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y separately published work icon Died of Wounds single work   drama   - One act
Issue Details: First known date: 1938... 1938 Died of Wounds
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

On the eve of the opening of the local war memorial, John Sturdee is planning his speech for what he is sure will be the defining moment of his political career. The only variable capable of foiling his future in parliament is his brother David, a war veteran haunted by his experiences and prone to drunken displays. That night David seeks refuge from his distress with John's wife and son, who show him sympathy and kindness as he grapples with his trauma and, unbeknownst to them, discreetly commits suicide in their lounge room. On discovering David's death Mary is distraught, but John's only thought is of the damage to his career, so bringing out in painful irony the lip-service he has paid to the spirits of dead soldiers, whose benefits he enjoys without counting the tragic cost.

A play in one act.


JOHN STURDEE Master grocer.


LENNY Their eight years old son.

DAVID STURDEE John Sturdee's brother




  • Scanned by The University of New England, NSW, 2016. Original held in the Campbell Howard Collection, Dixson Library.

Production Details

  • 1938: Bryant's Playhouse, St Peter's Lane, Darlinghurst, Sydney; 15 October, 19 October.

    • Performed alongside The Axe and the Oak by J.A.S. (of New Zealand), For Value Received by Motley, and Wanted a Patron by Gwyn Steppe.
    • A review in the Sydney Morning Herald stated that this performance of Died by Wounds suffered because an actor had been replaced at the last minute and had tried, but failed, to memorise their lines.

    1938: The Little Theatre, 5 Phillip Street, Sydney; 3 December.

    • Performed alongside the other finalists of the One Act Play Tournament: (winner) Machine Song by Mr. A Coppard (of New Zealand), Spotlight on Johanna by Mysterious Intruder, and Follow On by Lindo Lovatt (of New Zealand).

    NB: These performances were part of the annual One Act Play Tournament organised by Bryant's Playhouse. Conditions of entry were: that the play had not been published or professionally produced, that only the author's nom-de-plume appeared on the script (but that the author's name, address and penname be enclosed in a sealed envelope which would not be opened until preliminary judging had been completed). The judges of the competition were Mr Frank Clewlow, Miss Beatrice Tildesley, Mr David McNicoll, Mr Alan Baume, and Mr Albert Collins.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

First known date: 1938
First performed in 1938. Held at the Campbell Howard Collection, Dixson Library, University of New England.
Link: Full text document 08/03/2017
      (Manuscript) assertion
Last amended 14 Feb 2018 10:52:30