Much has been said and written about ‘The Digger’ – the soldier who has fought for Australia in numerous conflicts and who, to many, represents the spirit of Australia. But who exactly is the digger and what elements have gone into the forging of his spirit?
In The Spirit of the Digger author Patrick Lindsay explores just what it is that sets Australian soldiers apart from those of other nations. Using the words and recounted actions of Australian soldiers, he reveals the human aspect of the campaigns they have been involved in and provides insight into their lives, their thoughts and their spirit, to give the reader a deeper understanding of the character of the digger and the heritage they have forged for all Australians.
Lindsay looks at diggers both past and present – from the campaigns of Gallipoli, the Somme, North Africa, New Guinea, Vietnam, East Timor, Afghanistan and more. He prefaces the book with an example of how the spirit of the digger plays out away from the battlefield, describing Australian spirit and actions in the terrorist bombings of Bali in 2001.
This is not an easy read but it is inspirational, exploring an aspect of Australia’s history of which all Australians can be proud.
The Spirit of the Digger: Then and Now, by Patrick Lindsay
Pan Macmillan, 2003