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An Anzac on the Western Front: The Personal Reflections of an Australian Infantryman from 1916 to 1918

Publisher: Pen & Sword

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Product Description

Media: BOOK - hardcover, 212 pages
Author: H. Williams
Year: 2012
ISBN: 9781848847675
Other: b&w photos, index
Publisher: Pen & Sword

"The ordeal of the night was plainly visible on all faces, ghastly white showing through masks of grim and dried sweat, eyes glassy, protruding, and full of horror seen only upon men who have lived through a heavy bombardment." So wrote Harold Roy Williams of his time in the Battle of Fromelles in July 1916.

Having enlisted in 1915 and serving in the 56th Battalion Australian Imperial Force, Williams had only arrived in France, from Egypt, on 30 June 1916. He describes the horrors of the Fromelles battlefield in shocking clarity and the conditions the troops had to endure are revealed in disturbing detail.

Surviving a later gas attack, Harold Williams' subsequent postings read like a tour of the Western Front. Following the Somme, there was the mud and squalor of the line south of Ypres, the German Spring Offensive of 1918, the Battle of Amiens –frequently described as the most decisive battle against the Germans in France and Flanders – the capture of Villers-Bretonneux and, finally, the assault on Péronne.

Injured at Péronne and invalided back to the United Kingdom, Williams survived the war to return to Australia in 1919. An Anzac on the Western Front is his graphic description of his service in the First World War – an account that was described as "the best soldier’s story ... yet read in Australia" when it was first published.

List of Plates
Author and Editor's Notes
1. From Liverpool to Cairo
2. Tel-el-Kebir and the Desert March
3. The Move to France
4. Allied March Through Paris
5. The Battle of Fromelles
6. Into the Somme Battle
7. Death of Captain Fanning
8. The Gueudecourt Sector
9. German Retreat From The Somme
10. Blighty Leave
11. Officers' Course, Cambridge
12. Gas Warfare
13. The German Offensive
14. New Somme Battlefield
15. Preparing the Return Blow
16. The Battle of Amiens
17. Consolidating the Victory
18. March Up to Peronne
19. The Battle of Peronne
20. End of the Battle - And Hospital
21. Conclusion

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