The Adventures of a Naval Chief Gunner extract   autobiography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2011 2011
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  • Editor's note: The New South Wales, Victorian and South Australian navies sent men to China in 1900, in response to a British appeal to help end the Boxer Uprising. The sardonic, mysterious and slightly self-important WH Blake (birth and death unknown) was a former gunner in the Queensland Royal Navy, who joined The Protector, South Australia's only warship. By the time the Australian contingents arrived, the fighting was all but over.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y The Penguin Book of Australian War Writing Mark Dapin (editor), Camberwell : Viking , 2011 Z1828081 2011 anthology extract autobiography correspondence diary war literature

    'From the cliffs of Gallipoli, through the jungles of Vietnam, to the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq, Australia's short history is a story of war.

    'The battlefield has shaped the way we define ourselves - the Australian values of mateship, courage under fire, larrikinism - but few of us have witnessed these scenes firsthand. Soldiers writing from the front and journalists on the ground have formed the way we think about war and so formed the way we think about ourselves.

    'In The Penguin Book of Australian War Writing, author and journalist Mark Dapin has gathered together the finest of these accounts. Starting with Watkin Tench's observations of an Aboriginal war party, we see the terror, confusion and occasional heroics of the front line through the eyes of some of our best writers, including AB Paterson, Martin Boyd, Patrick White, Alan Moorehead, Kenneth Slessor, Peter Cundall and Barry Heard.

    'These remarkable letters, diaries, memoirs and reports remind us of our history, and of our responsibility in recording and remembering what happens in the wars we send our soldiers to fight. (From the publisher's website.)

    Camberwell : Viking , 2011
    pg. 59-71
Last amended 19 Mar 2012
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