Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of
yOn the War-Path : An Anthology of Australian Military TravelOn the Warpath : An Anthology of Australian Military TravelRobin Gerster
Carlton:Melbourne University Press,2004Z11087882004anthology prose autobiography extract poetry criticism diary essay travel war literature 'This anthology reveals the many ways in which going to war has formed a cultural bridge between Australia and the world. From the Sudan in 1885 to Afghanistan in 2001, the connection of war to travel is illustrated by writers and reveals how the experience of war has both broadened and refined (and sometimes distorted) Australian views of the world.' From cover of On the War-Path : An Anthology of Australian Military Travel (2004)Carlton:Melbourne University Press,2004
Note: Editor's note: Tom Gunning's memoir of the Sudan was not published until 1947, in As You Were, a collection of military yarns produced by the Australian War Memorial. Gunning recalls the public fervour that accompanied the NSW contingent's embarkation in Sydney, implying it was not matched by the response that greeted the men upon their return. As another veteran of this ill-conceived expedition dryly observed: 'Our reappearance in Australia with unbroken ranks was thought to be inconsistent with the due achievement of glory'. When he died in 1949 Gunning left a bequest to be used for the erection of a memorial by Circular Quay to commemorate the departure for North Africa. Gunning also fought in the Boer war.
'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.)
Note: Editor's note: Tom Gunning was one of 758 men who joined the New South Wales Sudan Contingent for the Sudan War to fight alongside the British in the closing stages of the Mahdi War 1885. Gunning also donated a memorial plaque to the 'Sudan Contingent' in East Circular Quay, Sydney.