When Good Men Do Nothing

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Media: BOOK - hardcover, 310 pages
Author: G. Spragg
Year: 2005
ISBN: 9781876439910
Other: b&w photos, bibliog, appendixes, index
Publisher: Australian Military History Publications

Griffith Spragg, was born in West Maitland on 24 January 1922. He began his working life as a Junior Clerk at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in 1939, and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in July 1941. In January 1942 he was posted as a reinforcement to D company of 2/3 Australian Infantry Battalion in Syria, remaining with that unit until it was disbanded in February 1946.

After his stint in the army, he began medical studies in 1947, graduating in medicine at Sydney University in 1953. He undertook his residency at Royal South Sydney Hospital with is was an active regional hospital, there gaining practical experience.

This book covers the very interesting life of an average Australian as he gives the reader an introspective look into the mind of a front-line soldier. His medical career is equally interesting as he portrays the experiences of a country GP, then a psychiatrist who was constantly fighting the bureaucracy of state-run medicine.

Called back to the army he later had a tour in Vietnam as psychiatrist with the Australian Force. After his return, he became involved with the 'Greek Conspiracy' investigation. He has battled against the attitudes of the military, regarding the way it classified and managed men who were suffering from battle stress. Throughout his book we see how events in his earlier years, particularly in the Pacific War, influenced his later life.


Part 1: Country Practice
1. Warming the Relationship
2. Enter Matron Pilkington
3. The Arrival and Departure of Oliver Snape
4. Farewell Elysium

Part 2: Learning the Trade
5. Bucolic Bloomfield
6. Callen Park
7. Offside with the Professor
8. Good Friends at Broughton Hall
9. Out of the Mire

Part 3: Trouble in the Park
10. Bold Young Men
11. The Therapeutic Community
12. Bill Barrett Takes Over
13. Baiting the Boss
14. New Guinea - Lieutenant Weir
15. Memories from Childhood
16. Vietnam and Brigadier Weir
17. Regs and Nashos
18. Home and Head Office
19. Climax to the Conflict

Part 4: War and the Veterans
20. Veterans' Entitlements
21. The Legacy of Combat
22. Battalion Leadership
23. Into the Fray
24. Eora Creek and Oivi
25. Wairopi to Sanananda
26. The Yanks at Sanananda
27. Leadership and a Strike
28. Persisting Problems from Combat
29. Holidays and Memories

Part 5: Pursuing the Lost Cause
30. Military Psychiatry
31. War and its Aftermath
32. Combating the Combat Psychiatrists
33. A Case of Conspiracy
34. Journey to Athens
35. Agent Orange
36. Washington DC to San Antonia
37. Topeka to Newhaven
38. College to Psychiatrists
39. The Middle East Revisited
40. The Beginning and the End
Appendix A: Wartime Experiences of PO Duncan
Appendix B: The Stress of War?

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