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In Gallipoli: The Western Australian Story, Wes Olson provides a fresh perspective on the epic World War I military campaign fought on the shores of the Dardanelles: that of the West Australian soldier. Drawing on a wealth of research—from personal accounts to official records—the soldier’s journey is laid out, from initial conscription and treacherous landing until the tactical masterstroke of sombre withdrawal eight months later.
Alongside a detailed examination of many of the arduous, vacillating encounters during the conflict, the story of their deployment is recounted largely in the words of the soldiers themselves. Olson introduces, among others, the larrikin Ben Bailey, heroic Douglas Barrett-Lennard, resourceful John Simpson, and future acclaimed author Albert Facey. He allows you to tread in the shadowy footsteps of the soldiers through each painstaking battle for ground, encompassing everything from minor skirmishes to major encounters, during which many of these men would lose their lives.
Wes Olson’s Gallipoli is a vital contribution to Western Australian history, and an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to learn more about one of the defining experiences of a young nation. It is also about an eclectic group of brave, ordinary men who came together on the shores of Gallipoli to help pioneer the ANZAC spirit as their legacy—one that is still alive in the hearts of Australians today.
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