Adam Holloway has thoroughly researched an incredible amount of material to produce a highly detailed account of the eleven members of his forebears’ participation in the Great War.
A family tree concisely links those involved in the narrative. From Roma, Inglewood and Brisbane there were three brothers from one family, two from three families and one son from two families who enlisted between August 1914 and January 1918. They were, of course, accompanied by those who had attended the same schools, and been with them in sports teams and workplaces.
These men strengthened their family bonds on Gallipoli and the Western Front over the four years of the War. Holloway follows each one from enlistment, their initial training, unit postings, battles, wounding and death. At every opportunity they sought their relatives on the battlefield and some exchanged letters. Their loyalty spilled over to those who fought beside them, and their feelings and emotional involvement is well presented to the reader.
Of the eleven, three paid the supreme sacrifice, one was repatriated back to Australia, and most of the others experienced wounding and or gassing. The Epilogue elaborates on their individual years back in Australia where they often could not fit back into society and missed the action and camaraderie of their war years.
This is a family history, not a military history: there are no maps, no notes, bibliography or index. Holloway has used his talent with prose to put the well- and accurately described actions into context for the reader. An interesting collection of high-quality family photographs has been imbedded in the text.
A most enjoyable, readable and amazing account of one ‘dynasty’s’ contribution to Australia in its time of turmoil.
Reviewed for RUSI by Neville Taylor, May 2018
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