Australian Chaplains in Gallipoli and France
First Australian edition. Hardback in dustwrapper. 23.5 × 15.5cm, 190pp.
"Eyewitness accounts of war give the real feel of battle—the triumphs and the tragedies. Padre brings together first hand reports of the major battles of the First World War, written by observers who saw things differently. Australian clergymen accompanied the troops to the camps and battles of the Great War, not as fighters usually, but as chaplains. Their job was to minister to the men's spiritual needs and to keep up the men's morale. Many chaplains kept diaries and almost all of them wrote home to their families, their colleagues and the church newspapers. Realising that the padres had been neglected by the ofiicial historians and all other writers on Australians at war, McKernan set out to collect these records. This collection includes some of the best writings from the front: it is acute and perceptive but it is also born out of anguish. Better than anyone else, the chaplains knew the cost of war: night after night they buried the bodies. This book reveals the courage and endurance of men at war. But, as happened to the chaplains, who began their tour of duty so optimistically, gradually the true horror of war unfolds—the ceaseless sufferings of individuals, the injured, and those condemned to wait their turn."
A good readable copy but with some rippling to the pages and edgewear to the wrapper.