By Roland Perry
Published by ABC Books
RRP $29.99 in paperback
This is the unlikely story of the son of a country butcher, Stan Savige, who became, first, a Gallipoli marksman and finally, as Lieutenant General, presided over the surrender of Japanese forces on the island of Bougainville some thirty years later.
Back in 1915, it had been his abilities as a crack marksman that had first attracted the attention of his officers. He was put in charge of Sniper’s Ridge, his job to eliminate the enemy assassins in Anzac Cove.
Savige succeeded, only to be sent to the Western Front then Iran as part of the crack squad Dunsterforce.
It was the beginning of a long, dangerous and distinguished military career spanning both world wars, with Savige commanding and fighting in Europe, Iran, North Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific in World War II, initially as Major-General then Lieutenant General.
Roland Perry paints a fascinating portrait of a man of character and integrity, a man not always in step with his peers but a quiet outsider who, after the war, went on to establish the war veterans’ support charity Legacy.
His combat record over two world wars is second to none in Australian military history.