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For Love Of Country

"His heart was in the land and he thought of nothing else.' At the close of the First World War, and after surviving a gas attack on the Western Front, Captain Walter Eddison moved his family from war-ravaged Britain to start a new life in Australia. The Eddisons were offered 'land fit for heroes' under the Australian government's soldier-settlement scheme, but the grim realities of life in the remote bush were not easy for a family used to the green pastures of England. Walter and Marion made the best of their limited prospects, but as they raised their young family on the outskirts of the nation's newly established capital, tensions were again simmering in Europe. When the Second World War broke out, they were forced to confront their worst fears as their three sons headed back to the battlefields they'd tried so hard to leave behind. Anthony Hill expertly weaves military history and gripping accounts of frontline fighting into this intimate portrait of a family who sacrificed everything for their country, showingahow the global conflicts of the twentieth century came home to Australia, with tragic consequences. a "
Booklovers earn $1.75 in rewards when purchasing this title

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: For Love Of Country
  • Author: Anthony Hill
  • Publisher: Penguin Australia Pty Ltd
  • ISBN: 9780143799962
  • Length: 3.2 centimetre
  • Width: 15.3 centimetre
  • Format: PaperBack
  • Category: Australian , Wars
  • Publication Date: 28/03/2016
  • Pages: 416
  • Weight: 0.56 keg
  • Country of publication: Australia

RATINGS & REVIEW

30/03/2016 10:14:08 PM - John
A Compelling Read
Gas! Was it tear gas, was it phosgene, was it mustard? The alarm had been raised. He donned the box respirator, setting it securely, as instructed and as trained. And yet the gas got in. The army said ‘very few’ ever showed leakage in testing, but he got one of those that did. It was mustard gas. As breathing became more difficult and he coughed up mucus, the need to tear the mask off became ever greater but, when he tried, he was restrained by the hands of medical orderlies. “No, sir! I wouldn’t do that if I was you, sir!” “Leave me alone!” “Not on your life, sir!” For Love Of Country, by Anthony Hill, is the hugely entertaining story of Captain Walter Herbert Eddison, ‘Bertie’ as he was known within the family. Returned to Blighty from Villers-Bretonneux to England, he saw out the balance of World War One and was repatriated to Australia. This is more than the story of one family. It is an historic work that parallels the development of Canberra as the national capital, recounts tales about soldier settlement, farm development, bureaucracy, rent paid at 6/3 an acre (I won’t explain that, anyone over sixty will understand) and how people struggled through the Great Depression. It is a word picture about Australia’s evolution in the 20th century, drawn principally on the Eddison family and those about them. At times, it is able to provide a poke in the eye to bureaucratic bungling… but it tells, too, of the most appalling tragedy any family might ever bear. Walter Eddison came from a well-to-do English industrial family but, like his father before him, did not possess the best business head. Married, needing the means to support a young wife, Marion, and growing family, Walter departed England for New South Wales, leaving his dependents behind while he sought, literally, greener pastures. War was declared while the ship steamed its way to Australia where, with only momentary hesitation, he joined up, finding himself sent to Egypt, then Gallipoli and, finally, France. Following convalescence in England, Walter was due for repatriation to Australia (because it’s where he enlisted), once again leaving his family behind. However, he convinced authorities of the sense in allowing his emigrating family to sail with him to Australia. They were able to depart together. Life in Australia was hard. As a returned serviceman, Walter, or Captain Eddy as many knew him, was granted soldier settlement acreage close by the planned and slowly emerging national capital, Canberra. Property ownership and development were forever a battle, mostly due to the difficulty in understanding the country and climate, establishing suitable farming practices (for example, whether best to crop, graze, milk or plant fruit trees), and making enough to pay the rent due the government, for the land was leashold, not freehold. He and Marion had their battles even to the extent of Walter droving for other settlers to eke out their existence. He was a hard worker, always prepared to take on whatever needed to be done, but forever mindful of how far he could push his gas damaged lungs. Through the 1930s, Europe was simmering into ever greater tension. During their discussions at home, “…for Walter and Marion, it seemed inconceivable that ‘the war to end all wars’ had been an illusion.” World War Two came about and, barely two decades on, three sons headed off to fight as their father had before them. For Love Of Country is compelling. It is thoroughly researched and well written, with much information coming from Eddison family archives, including photographs and official papers of the time. It is an engaging look at our history, providing detail, some of which we may have heard before, but given a more subjective reality by looking at events through the eyes of one particular family.
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