...Well dear Jim it breaks my heart to write this letter. Our dear [brother] was killed yesterday morning at 5.30. The bullet killed him instantly and he never spoke a word. I had just left him and gone down the trench to see the other lads when I was called back. Oh Jim it is awful...Oh I do hope he is the last...It is April 27, 1918, Jim's brother writes from the battlefields of France. Of five brothers serving on the Western Front, three have given their lives; ather has been hospitalised. Six agonising months of brutal warfare were yet to be endured...The Great War was a senseless tragedy. Its long shadow darkened the four corners of the world. In Mologa, Victoria, once a bustling community, stands a lonely stone memorial. Etched within the granite are the names of the Marlow brothers and their mates; a testament to ordinary people who became heroes. Anzac Sons is composed from a collection of over five hundred letters and postcards written by the brothers who served. From the training grounds of Victoria, Egypt and England, to the Western Front battlefields - Pozieres, Bullecourt, Messines, Menin Road, Passchendaele, Villers-Bretonneux and the village battles of 1918 - this compelling true story was compiled by the granddaughter of a surviving brother. She takes us on her journey as she walks in the footsteps of her ancestors. This is a story of mateship, bravery and sacrifice; it is a heartbreaking account of a family torn apart by war. It is a pledge to never forget.
Allison Marlow Paterson is a teacher/librarian. She decided to write this book to honour her family after the collection of over 500 letters came close to being destroyed, but through fate were recovered. She began researching and transcribing the letters 12 years ago and after visiting the Western Front in 2011 was finally able to complete this moving and historically important book.