'In that house was born in me a fear that lasted throughout the whole winter.
It was the dread of dying in the mud, going down in that stinking morass and
through dead being conscious throughout the ages. Waves of fear at times
threatened to overwhelm me ... a little weakness, a little slackening of control
at times and I might have gone over the borderline.'
'In the light of the sun, on firm ground, I could laugh at fate. But where
the churned mud half hid and half revealed bodies, where dead hands reached out
of the morass, seeming to implore aid - there I had to hold tight.'
In this gripping account, George Deane Mitchell relives the horror and humour
of an Australian solider on the Western From in World War I. 'Backs to the Wall'
was originally published in 1937. This re-issue - with and introduction by
Robert Macklin author of 'Jacka VC' - will allow a new generation of readers to
fall under the spell of this forgotten Australian classic.
1. To Sunny Face
2. The Somme
3. The Mud
4. The Great Frost
5. Utmost Test
6. Rustle of Spring
7. Moving Up
9. Lull in the Storm
10. Back to Flanders
12. Daylight Patrol
14. Joyous Interlude
15. Backs to the Wall
16. The Vin Blanc Sector
17. Monument Wood and an Unofficial Armistice
18. Slaves of the Trenches
19. Last Turn in the Static Warefare
20. Front Stalls for a Battle
21. Proud Command
22. The Great Silence