Under a grey October sky
The little squads that drill
Click arms and legs mechanically,
Emptied of ragged will!
Of ragged will that frets the sky
From crags just ragged Pines,
a wayward immortality,
That flies from Death’s trim lines. (Walter J Turner)
Many books have been written about the experiences of Australians and New Zealanders at war, but From the Trenches offers a book now just about those who served, but also written by them, in the form of a collection of writings from World War One. Including poetry, letters, diary entries and recounts, the books serves as a reminder of the very human face of the war, its toll on those who fought and served, and its impact on all Australians and New Zealanders.
Grouped chronologically and geographically from the time of joining up, to Gallipoli, the Middle East and Western Front and beyond, to epitaphs and the time beyond returning home, the writings range from the intensely personal, to the reportage of the facts and even to humour. Readers could choose to read the book cover to cover, but equally could dip into readings.
Suitable for history buffs, lovers of literature and more, From the Trenches offers a touching, accessible insight into the times.
From the Trenches: The Best ANZAC Writing of World War One, edited by Mark Dapin
Available from good bookstores and online.