A unique contribution to the commemoration of the centenary of the Anzacs. Ted Egan weaves personal stories and songs into a highly readable history of the Anzacs and the two nations, with amusing anecdotes and tales of great courage and ingenuity serving to leaven somewhat the brutal truth exposed, of a tragic and senseless war. The soldiers, nurses, politicians, wives, and the mothers who lost their sons, or welcomed them home severely damaged, all feature in this book and its songs.
Egan’s stories and poignant songs infuse the facts with the pain and loss (of life and innocence) and suffering that this war created both on the battlefields and in every Australian and New Zealand home.
Listening to the songs is an unmissable, profoundly illuminating experience–you cannot fail to feel deeply and viscerally every chapter of this historical period, as if you were there–the excitement of the big adventure, the horrendous reality, the ultimate betrayal by the leaders of the day, the grim legacy of the aftermath for so many.
From boyhood, Ted Egan was deeply affected by the stories of the Great War as it affected his own family–his mother’s three brothers went to war. Ted Egan’s uncle, Jack Brennan, was one of those young men who never made it back home. Like the famed John Simpson, he was a stretcher-bearer who served at Gallipoli. Like Simpson, Jack died serving his country, too young, at the age of 27. His story is told poignantly in The Anzacs: 100 Years On in Story and In Song.
In reflecting on the loss of innocence, and remembering the Anzacs on the centenary of the beginning of the war, Egan combines never-before-seen diaries, private letters, 120 photographs and deeply moving songs. It is a personal and honest appraisal of the war and its aftermath. Ted Egan’s superb commemorative book uniquely blends the Anzac story with 20 songs.