Stretcher-Bearers: Saving Australians from Gallipoli to Kokoda

StretcherBearers copy

Stretcher-Bearers
Saving Australians from Gallipoli to Kokoda
By Mark Johnston
Published by Cambridge University Press
Australian Army History series
RRP $59.95 in hardback
ISBN 9781107087194

This book is scheduled to appear in the Books of Interest pages in the September issue of Australian Defence Magazine. It has particular resonance for me. My own father served in Field Ambulance units in World War II so I must admit the interest in this book is very personal indeed. He was much troubled in later life by the work he did in New Guinea, along with many others I suspect.

This author, I am sure, will be familiar to many readers. Dr Mark Johnston is a leading authority on the Australian Army in World War II and this is his tenth book and his fifth with Cambridge. In his acknowledgements he heaps well-deserved praise on the Army History Unit for assisting his research and for allowing him to produce the work as he saw it, without a particular slant. In fact his acknowledgment includes a veritable who’s who of military history writing in Australia.

As he writes, the cry of ‘stretcher bearer’ was heard on every Australian front in both world wars. This is a long overdue history of a group praised by innumerable Australian soldiers.

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