By Bruce Scates
Australians were making pilgrimages to the battlefields and cemeteries of worldwide warfare because the Forties, from the jungles of recent Guinea and South-East Asia to the mountains of Greece and the deserts of North Africa. They shuttle looking for the tales of misplaced household, to mourn the useless and to come back to grips with the earlier. With attribute empathy, Bruce Scates charts the background of pilgrimages to Crete, Kokoda, Sandakan and Hellfire go. He explores the emotional resonance that those websites have if you served and people who be mindful. in keeping with surveys, interviews, large fieldwork and archival examine, Anzac trips deals insights into the tradition of loss and commemoration and the starvation for that means so pivotal to the adventure of pilgrimage. Richly illustrated with full-colour maps and pictures from the Nineteen Forties to at the present time, Anzac trips makes a major and relocating contribution to Australian army heritage.
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Additional resources for Anzac Journeys: Returning to the Battlefields of World War Two
It soaked our shirts and dripped off our noses. When, after seven hours climb, we reached the rest hut … all we could do was to peel off our sodden shirts and lie prone on the bamboo floor … I think Major Jackson here will bear me out. JACKSON: Yes, it felt as hard as that the first day … The mud was knee deep at times. But their hardships were not the focus of the narrative. Having situated his listeners so effectively in place, Simpson beckoned them on to another more exacting journey. 43 44 Captivity Narratives SIMPSON: We left Ranau to walk 26 miles further inland to a place called Paginatan.
The government’s thinking was shaped by practical considerations as much as by solicitude for the bereaved. How would the Japanese respond to the publication of atrocity stories? Would they retaliate against other prisoners? Would premature disclosure compromise future war crimes trials? Secrecy was also driven by wartime politics. Britain and to a lesser extent its Dominions favoured the ‘wise control’ of information and pressure through diplomatic channels. 9 From that point on the war cabinets of Britain and the Dominions were forced to make one ‘grievous and shocking disclosure’ after another and attribute these to the ‘barbarous nature of the Japanese’.
Babb was careful to record the location of these tiny graveyards, and treasured the original crosses raised to the dead. 031 The First Journeys The irony of all this was that these ‘very English’ cemeteries were initially tended by the Japanese. The graves of Sandakan, Ranau and the track were also cleared by conscript enemy labour, but those forces were soon evacuated to Japan or hastily despatched to the war crimes trials in Rabaul. Management of Borneo’s graveyards quickly fell to the War Graves units and its vast reserves of ‘coolie labour’.