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Anzac Memories: Living with the Legend [New Edition]


New edition

Two decades on and many more people have helped with this new edition. My colleagues in History at Monash University have provided a wonderfully stimulating intellectual community, and I’m especially grateful to members of our research group who have read drafts. Thanks also to members of our Melbourne Life Writing Group for lively discussion and generous support.

Archivists have helped with access to the sources for the new chapters in part IV, and thanks in particular to Jessica Reid at the National Archives of Australia, Katie Wood at the University of Melbourne Archives and Stephanie Boyle in the Film and Sound Section at the Australian War Memorial. Bill Langham’s niece Margaret Paulsen provided invaluable family history background. Thanks also to the team at Monash University Publishing, including Sarah Cannon, Nathan Hollier and Joanne Mullins.

For comments on draft chapters, and support in many other ways, I thank: Bain Attwood, Johnny Bell, Frank Bowden, Ian Britain, Vicki Davies, Graham Dawson, Siân Edwards, Susan Foley, Ruth Ford, Peg Fraser, David Garrioch, Jim Hammerton, Mike Hayler, Carolyn Holbrook, Katie Holmes, Ken Inglis, Marina Larsson, Jim Mitchell, John Rickard, Bruce Scates, Dorothy Sheridan, Chips Sowerwine, Peter Stanley, Campbell Thomson, Judy Thomson, Christina Twomey and Jay Winter.

I dedicate this new edition to my father David Thomson, and to his parents Hector and Nell.

First edition

I would like to thank the following people who have influenced my understanding of Anzac. Most of the Great War veterans whom I interviewed between 1982 and 1987 have died in the intervening years, but I am profoundly grateful to all of them for sharing their life stories with me. In particular, I thank Percy Bird, Fred Farrall, Fred Hocking, Bill Langham and Ern Morton for participating in my second ‘popular memory’ interviews with so much enthusiasm and care, and Stan D’Altera and James McNair for their early inspiration. Percy Bird’s daughter, Kath Hunter, reminded me of the value of oral history for families—and the role which families play in this work—and I thank her and many other family members who were encouraging and supportive. Anna Young also deserves special mention for her painstaking and sensitive transcription of most of the tapes.

The Australian War Memorial gave me a research grant which paid for tapes and transcription, and I particularly thank Matthew Higgins and Peter Stanley of the Research and Publications Section for their support. I also thank the Association of Commonwealth Universities for a postgraduate scholarship, and the Northcote Scholarship Scheme for providing me with a return air fare to Australia to complete the research in 1990. The Trustees of the Liddell-Hart Centre for Military Archives granted permission for the use of a number of quotations. My parents, Judy and David Thomson, offered practical assistance in times of need, and I value their support for a project that touched their own histories and was sometimes painful and disconcerting. Thanks also to my colleagues in the Centre for Continuing Education at the University of Sussex, for encouraging and supporting me to finish a project that had few obvious connections with the needs of adult learners in Sussex.

Many people helped me to develop the ideas in this book by offering advice and editorial or typing assistance, and for their support I thank: Fi Black, Joanna Bornat, Ruth Brown, Stephanie Brown, Bob Bushaway, Angus Calder, Jane Carver, Mike Cathcart, Drew Cottle, Martin Evans, Stephanie Gilpin, Mike Hayler, Chris Healy, Mary Hoar, Katie Holmes, Ursula Howard, Alun Howkins, Rod Kedward, Terry King, John Lack, Marilyn Lake, Ross McMullin, Jim Mitchell, John Murphy, Richard Nile, Lucy Noakes, Nick Osmond, Rob Perks, Jeff Popple, Lloyd Robson, Alan Seymour, Glenda Sluga, Cliff Smyth, Chips Sowerwine, Mary Stuart, David Thomson, Judy Thomson, Denis Winter and Stephen Yeo. Campbell Thomson brought old photos back to life, and Peter Rose and Katherine Steward at Oxford University Press were supportive and constructive editors. Above all, the approach of this book was influenced by discussions in my reading group, and I am deeply grateful to Graham Dawson and Dorothy Sheridan for their unstinting intellectual and personal support.

Anzac Memories: Living with the Legend [New Edition]

   by Alistair Thomson