I have received my copies of the book I have written about the World War I Battle of Fromelles. It is part of the black dog books non-fiction series called The Drum and the book is titled Fromelles: Australia’s Bloodiest Day at War.
It is about the first battle that Australians took part in on the Western Front in World War I almost 95 years ago. It was a complete disaster. There were more Australian casualties in this one battle which lasted only about 19 hours, than in the Boer, Korean and Vietnam wars combined. It’s a shocking statistic.
In my book I tell the story of this battle with all its chaos and confusion. As with my other Drum books, each chapter begins with a piece of fiction that, I hope, helps readers imagine what it would have been like to be part of history and actually experience the events.
The story continues into present time with the discovery, in 2009, of the bodies of soldiers who fought in the battle and their subsequent reburial in a specially built war cemetery last year.
It is a grim story, and one that history tried to forget. It involved ordinary people, who were thrust into the horrors of war, who dealt with it each in their own way, and earned their place in the pages of history.
It will be in bookshops on 1 March.