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In the Footsteps of Private Lynch

By: Will Davies (572/35900)
Publisher: Vintage Books ISBN: 9781741666106

The follow-up to the best selling SOMME MUD

When Will Davies discovered the manuscript for Somme Mud he knew he had found a lost treasure. The book became an instant bestseller, telling as it does Edward Lynch's deeply personal story of the men of the First AIF in France and Belgium.

Many readers, however, craved to know more about the background to Private Lynch's account, so Davies began to write a contextual history to explain the battles, the ebb and flow of the war, and to illustrate what was happening in the wider world while Lynch was fighting his own personal war in France.

Davies retraced Lynch and the 45th Battalion's travels: their long route marches to flea-ridden billets, into the frontline at such places as Messines and Dernacourt, Stormy Trench and Villers-Bretonneux, to rest areas behind the lines and, finally, on the great push to the final victory after August 1918. He also photographed the now benign-looking areas of Belgium and France that were once the scene of such devastating bloodshed. Looking at the sites of these battlefields today, it is hard to imagine the horror of the trenches, but in revisiting them and attempting to understand their significance we pay tribute to the Australian men who sacrificed their youth in the First World War.

August 2008

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