Snowy to the Somme: A Muddy and Bloody Campaign 1916-1918

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 412 pages
Author: T. Cook
Year: 2014
ISBN: 9781922132635
Other: b&w photos, maps, nominal roll, bibliog, index
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

"I was eighteen when I was first sent into battle at Fromelles. The hard thing was to see so many mates drop beside you and to control yourself to face up to the things happening that you couldn't really believe. War is both the silliest and cruellest activity that a man can get mixed up in. It breaks my heart even now to think of it." - Walter Herbert "Bert" Bishop, ex-55th Battalion, speaking nearly seven decased after the end of the Great War

In 1915, news of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corp landing and the slaughter at Gallipoli stirred tens of thousands of young men to go to war.

They answered the call and formed ballations of the Australian Imperial Force. By the time the new recruits were combat ready, the campaign at Gallipoli had ended. Their battlefields became the muddy paddocks of France and Belgium.

Based on eyewitness accounts, 'Snowy to the Somme' traces the story of one of these battalions, the 55th, from its birth in the dusty camps of Egypt through three years of brutal, bloody conflict on the bitter Western Front.

When the Great War ended in 1918, over 500 of the 3000 men who served in the 55th had been slain and another 1000 wounded. This book share personal stories of Australian men as they stared down the horrors of war with determination, courage and mateship. With chapters devoted to the significant battles at Fromelles, Doignes, Polygon Wood, Peronne and Bullecourt, this book tells the story of one battalion, but in doing so it encapsulates the experiences of many Australians on the Western Front.

List of maps
List of figures
List of symbols used in maps
Organisation of an AIF division
1. Egypt - 'too hot for a white man'
2. Fleurbaix, July 1916 - 'a short apprenticeship'
3. Fromelles - 'the whole turnout was absolute hell'
4. Fleurbaix, July-October 1916 - 'I am starting to feel the strain'
5. Somme winter, 1916-1917 - 'like hell let loose every day'
6. Doignies - 'what a mess-up it all was'
7. Bullecourt - 'that horror of a death-trap'
8. Polygon Wood - 'not worth the life of even one man'
9. Anzac Ridge - 'mud, mud and more mud'
10. Wytschaete - 'a quiet spell in the line'
11. Villers-Bretonneux - 'altogether it was a very bad business'
12. July-August 1918 - 'lost a few good sterling lads'
13. August 1918 - 'an anti-climax'
14. Peronne - 'no one will be left soon'
15. Bellicourt - 'what a time you must have had'
16. Peace - 'La guerre est finie!'
Roll of Honour
Summary of casualties
Honours and awards
Summary of honours and awards
Nominal roll

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Snowy to the Somme: A Muddy and Bloody Campaign 1916-1918


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