Cobbers: Stories of Gallipoli 1915
Nationhood. Loyalty. Duty. These are not trivial things, even ninety years later. This book is a compendium of prose and verse on those themes, today the more resonant because of lying politicians. These stories and poems are competently edited, so the reader isn’t distracted. Most of the work is written first-hand by the blokes being shot at. New Zealand is mentioned only two or three times, but Jim Haynes, an Australian author and broadcaster, is careful to write “Australasian” wherever appropriate. Kiwis and Aussies alike respected the Turks and distrusted the British. We have these tales in common.
The Gallipoli campaign (25 April to 19 December 1915) foreshadowed the horror and stupidity of the Somme and Passchendaele. Young men will find the book un-put-downable. Young women who imagine it to be un-pick-uppable are mistaken; nationhood, loyalty, and duty are not trivial male-only things.