'Around the country, bronze soldiers in slouch hats stand silently at attention. It is the Anzacs' remarkable writing that reveals the lives behind the national legend.
In the Trenches is a collection of gripping, awe-inspiring and sometimes terrifying accounts of life at the front, recorded by those who lived through the fighting.
Drawn from diaries, memoirs and letters, as well as poetry, reportage and prose, this writing reminds us that the Anzac legend is rooted in real and tragic circumstances on a heartbreakingly human scale. Belying the common perception of the laconic digger, these compelling voices convey the range of wartime experience, from the desolation and horror to the unbridled excitement and camaraderie. Through it all runs the bleak toll on young lives.
Author and journalist Mark Dapin has selected writing from those on the frontlines as well as behind the scenes, from officers and soldiers to nurses, engineers and reporters, to create a volume that will be regarded as the definitive record of the personal experiences that forged the emerging national identities of Australia and New Zealand.' (Publisher's blurb)
'A Globite suitcase, a diary, and a bundled pile of postcards and letters left abandoned in a barn. Lying unknown to his family, here was the life of a young man of humble beginnings who left home at fourteen to become a telegraph boy, only later to experience the horrors of Gallipoli day by day, day after day, and establish one of Australia' s great political families. Sapper Hubert Anthony was seventeen when he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in October 1914. He wrote deeply affectionate letters home to his mother in outback New South Wales. They show the thoughts of a young man encountering the world for the first time, provide great insights into the relationship between a son and his mother, and tell of a long-gone period in Australi' s rural history. But these letters offer more. They give a fleeting picture of Honora McNab, a young girl who escaped the famine in Ireland for service in outback Queensland, a woman who endured the loneliness and hardship of bush life and a mother who instilled in her children a curiosity and deep eagerness to learn. Letters Home is a rich and intimate portrait of a different time, the sadness of war and the enduring nature of family.' (Publisher's blurb)