For Love of Country
By Anthony Hill
Published by Viking/Penguin Random House
RRP $35.00 in paperback
Author Anthony Hill writes that this story had its genesis in 2011 following an idea from Bob Sessions, then Publishing Director of Penguin Books Australia, for a work that looked at the long-term effects of the First World war on the returning servicemen and their loved ones but it was the particular tragedy of the Eddison soldier-settler family in the Second World War that caught his attention.
At the close of the First World War, and after surviving a gas attack on the Western Front, Captain Walter Eddison moved his family from war-ravaged Britain to start a new life in Australia. The Eddisons were offered ‘land fit for heroes’ under the Australian government’s soldier-settlement scheme, but the grim realities of life in the remote bush were not easy for a family used to the green pastures of England.
Walter and Marion made the best of their limited prospects, but as they raised their young family on the outskirts of the nation’s newly established capital Canberra, tensions were again simmering in Europe.
When the Second World War broke out, they were forced to confront their worst fears as their three sons headed back to the battlefields they’d tried so hard to leave behind.
Anthony Hill is an experienced storyteller across a number of genres. This has been a project requiring substantial research, resulting in an intimate portrait of a family who sacrificed almost everything for their country.