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Lost Anzacas : The Story of Two Brothers
Lost Anzacas : The Story of Two Brothers
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Author(s): Kerr, Greg
ISBN No.: 9780195540178
Pages: 288
Year: 209911
Format: Trade Cloth (Hard Cover)
Price: £41.83
Status: Out Of Print (Not available from Oakleaf Books)

Greg Kerr has written a stark and moving account of the profoundly different experiences of his grandfather and great-uncle at Gallipoli. Hedley Kitchin, his great-uncle, took part in the Gallipoli landing and was promptly killed on the morning of 25 April 1915. His letters and diarieswritten during the months prior to Gallipoli evoke the doomed purposefulness and excitement surrounding the preparations for that disastrous campaign. The diaries end on a portentous note on 24 April. George Kitchin Kerr, his brother, landed after Hedley, was subsequently wounded, and survivedexecution by the Turks in remarkable circumstances (a vivid account that opens the book), only to be taken prisoner for three years. Greg Kerr relies heavily on George Kitchin Kerrs cool, intelligent diary accounts of the long journey across Turkey and his years in Belemedik, where the Anzacs wereput to work for the German-owned Baghdad Railways Construction Company. Few members of that first group of prisoners survived the ordeal; George Kitchin Kerr managed to do so because of his native determination and resourcefulness, and went on to insinuate himself into a position of authority. Thelatter gave him the freedom to take a remarkable series of photographs of Turkish and prison life.

After the Armistice, Kitchin Kerr pursued a bohemian life in London and Paris before returning to Australia and forging a distinguished career in the Victorian citrus fruit industry. Greg Kerr has written a direct and moving account of two Anzac stories - one encapsulating the Anzac legend in abrupt, tragic detail, the other exploring much less familiar themes, of survival, brutalization, despondency and overcoming. Throughout the book are countless vignettes of heroism andfutility, casting a new light on this most remarkable episode in modern Australian history.

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