Gallipoli, by Alan Tucker

The attack has been timed to the minute. Thirty minutes from now we’ll climb down the rope ladders into the lighters and find our seat. I’m one of the lucky ones. I’ve been chosen as one of the 500 men from my battalion who will be in the first wave to land. The Turks won’t know what’s hit them…

Victor Marsh longs for adventure. Not looking forward to a a career as an underground miner, he jumps at the chance to enlist and fight for his country – even though, at just 14 years of age, he has to lie to be able to enlist. Soon, with his new friends Fish, Needle and Robbo, he is trained and sailing for Egypt then on to Gallipoli where, over eight torrid months, he fights not just for his country, but for survival, learning just what war really means, the value of friendship, and just how much courage is needed to carry on.

Gallipoli , part of Scholastic’s My Australian Story records the events of 1915 from the first person perspective of a young soldier, through diary format and the letters he sends to and receives from his mother. Whilst the story is not new, this diary format and the young age of the protagonist, allows the child reader an insight into the realities of the Gallipoli campaign and of war in general. The sub plot of Victor’s ‘gut’ friend Hans, an elderly family friend who, because he is German, is interned for the duration of the war, adds an element which may be less familiar to young readers, and a story which needs to be told.

A valuable educational tool but also simply an absorbing story.

Gallipoli (My Australian Story)

Gallipoli , by Alan Tucker
Scholastic, 2013
ISBN 9781742836935

Available from good bookstores or online.