Kristen Alexander. Australia's Few and the Battle of Britain. Sydney: NewSouth, 2014. As an Australian, every time I watch Battle of Britain I notice the mention of the 21 Australian pilots who fought in the Battle of Britain, and the 14 who were killed (these numbers are actually undercounts). This is the story of eight of them before, during, and after; only one of whom survived.

Carolyn Holbrook. Anzac: The Unauthorised Biography. Sydney: NewSouth, 2014. How and why did Anzac become as important to Australians as it undoubtedly is today? It wasn't always so, as Carolyn's book shows. The PhD on which this is based won the Serle Award for best Australian thesis at the AHA last month, which is as auspicious an omen as you could hope for.

Bruce Scates. On Dangerous Ground: A Gallipoli Story. Crawley: UWA Press, 2012. Bruce gave the Russel Ward Lecture at UNE last night, on ways of telling the postwar stories of returned soldiers, using still-to-be-digitised repatriation records and moving pictures (in both senses of the phrase). But more importantly I got a free copy of his first novel, just for sitting in the first couple of rows of the audience! Winning.

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2 thoughts on “Acquisitions

  1. Chris Williams

    I picked up Holbrook's book in Newtown this afternoon - I'm looking forward to reading it. Australian WW1 remembrance is especially interesting for Ukanians because in some ways it's very similar to the way we've done it in the UK, but in other ways, very different.

  2. Post author

    Has anyone ever written a close comparison of British and Australian remembrance/memory of the war? There are clearly similarities (a memorial in every town) and influences on the latter from the former (cenotaphs, eventually a tomb of the unknown soldier, a a national war memorial/memorial) but also different forms here (avenues of honour, massive mausoleums, though admittedly the Shrine of Remembrance is singular in Australia too). That's all before the resurgence of Anzac and the switch to something more triumphalist/nationalist, a very different path to the British one, I think.

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