The Diggers View: WWI in Colour – by Juan Mahony

On the eve of the Anzac Centenary this book and the project to create it deserves high praise. The Digger’s View: WWI in Colour is a magnificently produced high quality book that will create a connection with any reader. The book is crammed with rare colourised photos and diary entries that provide a very personal perspective of some of the Australian soldiers who served during WWI.

The Digger’s View: WWI in Colour was five years in the planning and production. The collaboration between Juan Mahony and Kent Rowe Digital Print, has resulted in a unique and fresh look at Australia and WWI. The project sought to better appreciate what Australian soldiers experienced, and to explain what they observed and reflected on during WWI.

All the images in the book have been painstakingly colourised to accurately portray what the Digger’s world looked like. Each high resolution image takes between one day to one month to complete, and the attention to detail in the colouring process achieves results far superior to automated recolouring techniques. The results are nothing less than spectacular.

The narrative text from the participants further enhances the personal perspective. The incredible horrors and hardships the soldiers faced every day are hard for us to put into words; the soldiers themselves were often forced to use euphemisms and avoid certain topics when writing home. However, many of the postcards and diaries that have been collected over time describe in detail both the highs and lows of fighting for your country on the frontlines.

The book includes a comprehensive glossary, list of abbreviations, and chronology of events as well as statistics about the First AIF. Group photos have all the individuals identified and there is also a biographical note for all those that feature in the book as well as a comprehensive names index.

Juan Mahony most certainly deserves our collective thanks for his efforts in bringing this book to publication.

The Digger’s View: WWI in Colour is available in bookshops and on-line at where sections of the book can be viewed. At $50.00 RRP this book is terrific value for money and would make a handsome gift. If you only buy one book to mark the Anzac Centenary The Digger’s View: WWI in Colour should probably be it.


The Digger’s View
The Digger’s View Pty Ltd, 2014; 270 pp.; ISBN 9780957969612 (hardback); RRP $50.00

Contact Marcus Fielding about this article.

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