The Dardanelles Disaster in Soldiers’ Words and Photographs
By Stephen Chambers and Richard Van Emden
Published by Bloomsbury, UK
RRP $49.99 in hardback
My headline is a bit tongue in cheek because C E W Bean is so intimately associated with Australian writing about World War I that I thought it worth checking to see if he got a mention in the Pommie book – just one excerpt on p.134.
Keeping with the theme of my posts this week of photographic records, I thought this was certainly worth bringing to the fore. It was published for the Gallipoli anniversary in April, as were many other titles.
The book includes more than 150 never-before-published photographs of the campaign, many taken by the soldiers themselves, together with unpublished written material from the British, the Anzacs, the French and the Turks, including eyewitness accounts of the landings; this is an interesting account of what really happened at Gallipoli. In Britain the campaign is remembered as one of waste, yet one fought with great heroism.
Being published in the UK, it isn’t of course written from an exclusively ANZAC perspective, hence my Bean reference.
As you would expect from a quality publisher, this is a nicely presented book that uses the first person stories to enliven the narrative.
Just a bit about the authors: Richard van Emden has interviewed more than 270 veterans of the Great War (obviously much earlier in his career) and has written fifteen books on the subject including The Trench and The Last Fighting Tommy. He has also worked on more than a dozen television programs on the First World War.
Stephen Chambers has written three battlefield guides, Gully Ravine, Anzac The Landing and most recently Suvla: August Offensive. He is a military historian and a well-known tour guide to the battlefields.