Editor's note: British-born Angela Mackail married the Australian Gallipoli veteran George Thirkell in London in 1918. Together with her two sons from a previous marriage she sailed to Australia aboard the former German troopship the Friedrichsruh in 1920. Handed over to the British as part of war reparations, the ship had been sabotaged so that its cold water pipes dispensed sewage; its pace was funereal; and it was packed with hundreds of riotous repatriated Diggers (including many prisoners, mostly deserters). This dreadful journey proved fine fodder for a satirical novel about the behaviour of Australians abroad. It is narrated by one Major Tom Bowen, a Sydney doctor returning home with his wife, Celia. Here, the troopship calls in at Colombo. It is 'a bonzer day'; but things are about to get out of hand...
From Chapter 7: 'The Digger Isn't Bad' pp. 116-129
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