By Bruce Scates
Australians were making pilgrimages to the battlefields and cemeteries of global struggle because the Forties, from the jungles of recent Guinea and South-East Asia to the mountains of Greece and the deserts of North Africa. They go back and forth looking for the tales of misplaced family, to mourn the lifeless and to come back to grips with the previous. With attribute empathy, Bruce Scates charts the historical past of pilgrimages to Crete, Kokoda, Sandakan and Hellfire go. He explores the emotional resonance that those websites have should you served and people who have in mind. in line with surveys, interviews, wide fieldwork and archival learn, Anzac trips deals insights into the tradition of loss and commemoration and the starvation for which means so pivotal to the adventure of pilgrimage. Richly illustrated with full-colour maps and pictures from the Forties to this present day, Anzac trips makes a major and relocating contribution to Australian army historical past.
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Australians were making pilgrimages to the battlefields and cemeteries of global battle because the Nineteen Forties, from the jungles of recent Guinea and South-East Asia to the mountains of Greece and the deserts of North Africa. They go back and forth looking for the tales of misplaced household, to mourn the useless and to return to grips with the previous.
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Additional info for Anzac Journeys: Returning to the Battlefields of World War Two
Other markers prompted Babb to reflect on the feelings of their makers. He wondered whether a simple stone cairn was the work of a homesick Scotsman. 22 Even in death, then, these soldiers retain a voice, a presence, a dignity. And they attempt to influence their own destiny in a way that is virtually unimaginable in Sticpewich’s account. On the track most men died when all the strength and all the spirit had gone out of them. In Babb’s account they can still ‘fall’ as heroes rather than victims, choosing execution as an escape from the slow death of a prisoner.
News of woefully inadequate conditions travelled home via Red Cross officials who supervised civilian exchanges. It was the beginning of what one British report called ‘a growing list of brutal outrages’. 6 The fear that ‘our boys’ were the victims of these outrages spread like wildfire through the Australian community. It was not just that Australia seemed the next destination in an apparently unstoppable Japanese advance; or that (in the popular imagination at least) a nation woefully ill prepared for war had been abandoned after the unimaginable fall of Singapore.
The old colonial order had been restored, the white man was master, Babb was a prisoner no more. Re-enactments, reimagining: Simpson’s documentary drama Whatever their differences, Sticpewich’s and Babb’s accounts have one crucial feature in common: they were personal accounts. Neither author sought the publication of his manuscript, and to this day their readership has been confined to a narrow circle of historians. Colin Simpson’s Six from Borneo is a very different kind of document. Broadcast by the ABC and BBC, then republished as a six-shilling pamphlet, its audience may well have numbered a million.
Anzac Journeys: Returning to the Battlefields of World War Two by Bruce Scates