'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)
yTo the Last Ridge : The World War I Experiences of W.H. DowningW. H. Downing,
Melbourne:Australasian Authors' Agency,1920Z18500381920single work autobiography 'Written just after the heat of the battle and in the language of the time, this is the personal account of an ordinary soldier's experience of one of the most horrific series of battles ever fought. Fleurbaix, Bapaume, Beaumetz, Lagincourt, Bullecourt, The Menin Road, Villers-Bretonneux, Peronne and Mont St. Quentin. Downing describes the mud, the rats, the constant pounding of the guns, the deaths, the futility, but also the humour and the heroism of one of the most compelling periods in world history. His writing is spare but vivid, and presents a graphic description of an ordinary person's struggle to survive. Walter Downing was a Melbourne law student before fighting on the Western Front, where he won the Military Medal.' (Publisher's blurb)