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Australian History Prize
Subcategory of New South Wales Premier's History Prize
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Winners

2018 winner y separately published work icon The Battle Within : POWs In Postwar Australia Christina Twomey , New South Wales : NewSouth Publishing , 2018 14223567 2018 multi chapter work biography

'This landmark and compelling book follows the stories of 15,000 Australian prisoners of war from the moment they were released by the Japanese at the end of World War II. Their struggle to rehabilitate themselves and to win compensation and acknowledgement from their own country was just beginning. This moving book shows that the battle within was both a personal and a national one.

'Prize-winning historian Christina Twomey finds that official policies and attitudes towards these men were equivocal and arbitrary for almost forty years. The image of a defeated and emaciated soldier held prisoner by people of a different race did not sit well with the mythology of Anzac. Drawing on the records of the Prisoner of War Trust Fund for the first time, this book presents the struggles of returned prisoners in their own words. It also shows that memories of captivity forged new connections with people of the Asia-Pacific region, as former POWs sought to reconcile with their captors and honour those who had helped them. A grateful nation ultimately lauded and commemorated POWs as worthy veterans from the 1980s, but the real story of the fight to get there has not been told until now.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2013 winner y separately published work icon Kitty's War Janet Butler , St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 2013 Z1924885 2013 single work biography

'The remarkable wartime experiences of Kit McNaughton.

Kitty's War is based upon the previously unpublished war diaries of Great War army nurse Sister Kit McNaughton. Kit and historian Janet Butler grew up in the same Victorian district of drystone walls, wheatfields and meandering creeks, except many decades apart. The idea of this young nurse setting out on a journey in July 1915 which would take her across the world and into the First World War took hold of Janet Butler and inspired her to research and share Kit's story.

This decisive and dryly humorous woman embarked upon the troopship Orsova, bound for Egypt in 1915. Kit's absorbing diaries follow her journey through war, from Egypt, where she cared for the Gallipoli sick and wounded,to the harsh conditions of Lemnos Island, off the coast of the Dardanelles, and then on to France and the Somme. Here she nursed severely wounded German soldiers for the British. During Passchendaele, a year later, she ran the operating theatre of a clearing station near the front line. Kit finished the war as Australia's first plastic surgery nurse, assisting medical pioneers in this field as they repaired the shattered faces of Australian soldiers.

Through Kitty's diaries and Janet Butler's thoughtful narration, we see the war through the eyes of a young Australian nurse as she is transformed by what she witnesses. Kitty's War is an intimate and rare story of one woman's remarkable experience of war.' (Publisher's blurb)

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