Australia in Arms Phillip Schuler Author

Australia in Arms Phillip Schuler Author
Categories: Beef Stew
Brand: Bronson Tweed Publishing
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PREFACEOne hot, bright morning early in the Dardanelles campaign, so the story goes, Lieut.-General Sir William Birdwood was walking up one of the worn tracks of Anzac that led over the hills into the firing-line when he stopped, as he very often did on these daily tours of the line, to talk with two men who were cooking over a fireplace made of shell cases. General Birdwood wore no jacket, therefore he had no badges of rank. His cap even lacked gold lace. Under his arm he had tucked a periscope. But the Australian addressed did not even boast of a shirt. Stripped to the waist, he was as fine a type of manhood as you might wish to see. He was burned a deep brown; his uniform consisted of a cap, shorts, and a pair of boots. His mate was similarly clad.Got something good there? remarked the General as he stopped near the steaming pot of bully-beef stew.Ye-es, replied the Australian, it’s all right. Wish we had a few more spuds, though. Conversation then branched off into matters relating to the firing-line, till at last General Birdwood signified his intention of going, bidding the soldier a cheery Good-day, which was acknowledged by an inclination of the head. The General walked up the path to his firing-line, and the Australian turned to his mate, who had been very silent, but who now began to swear softly under his breath-You – – – fool! Do you know who you were talking to?No!Well, that was General Birdwood, that was, yer coot!How was I to know that? Anyway, he seemed to know me all right.Those were the types of soldiers with whom I spent [8]the first year of their entry into the Great War. I watched them drafted into camps in Australia, the raw material; I saw them charge into action like veteran troops, not a year later. Never downhearted, often grumbling, always chafing under delays, generous even to an alarming degree, the first twenty thousand who volunteered to go forth from Australia to help the Mother Country in the firing-line was an army that made even our enemies doubt if we had not deliberately chosen the finest of the race. Since then there have been not twenty, but two hundred thousand of that stamp of soldier sent across the water to fight the Empire’s battles at the throat of the foe.This narrative does not pretend to be an Eye-witness account. In most instances where I have had official papers before me, I have turned in preference to the more bold and vigorous stories of the men who have taken part in the stirring deeds.This work is fully illustrated, and has been formatted for your NOOK.