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Anzac Sons

The Story of Five Brothers in the War to End all Wars

(6 customer reviews)
Authors: Allison Paterson
Military history, Western Front

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…Well dear Jim it breaks my heart to write this letter. Our dear [brother] was killed yesterday morning at 5.30. The bullet killed him instantly and he never spoke a word. I had just left him and gone down the trench to see the other lads when I was called back. Oh Jim it is awful…Oh I do hope he is the last…

It is April 27, 1918, Jim’s brother writes from the battlefields of France. Of five brothers serving on the Western Front, three have given their lives; another has been hospitalised. Six agonising months of brutal warfare were yet to be endured…

The Great War was a senseless tragedy. Its long shadow darkened the four corners of the world. In Mologa, Victoria, once a bustling community, stands a lonely stone memorial. Etched within the granite are the names of the Marlow brothers and their mates; a testament to ordinary people who became heroes.

Anzac Sons is composed from a collection of over five hundred letters and postcards written by the brothers who served. From the training grounds of Victoria, Egypt and England, to the Western Front battlefields – Pozieres, Bullecourt, Messines, Menin Road, Passchendaele, Villers-Bretonneux and the village battles of 1918 – this compelling true story was compiled by the granddaughter of a surviving brother. She takes us on her journey as she walks in the footsteps of her ancestors.

This is a story of mateship, bravery and sacrifice; it is a heartbreaking account of a family torn apart by war. It is a pledge to never forget.

Allison Paterson

Allison Paterson

Allison Paterson is the author of the 2016 ABIA and CBCA longlisted title Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front, the children’s version of her adult non-fiction title Anzac Sons: the Story of Five Brothers in the War to End All Wars. She has written four other children’s books, Granny’s Place and Shearing Time […]

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6 reviews for Anzac Sons

  1. I loved Anzac Sons – from the moment I discovered the book was written from postcards, letters from the five boys to each other and their family at home I was hooked. The research that Allison has undertaken to ‘shore up’ this story and make sure the information surrounding this is solid is terrific. Combine facts with a great true story and you have it all. there are so many moments where the reality of war, mirrored in their letters, has you really sitting up or reaching for a tissue. A really great book – a true story – an Australian story. Great work Allison.

  2. Anzac Sons, Five Brothers On The Western Front Allison Marlow Paterson Big Sky Publishing, $14.99 When the call for volunteers went out at the outbreak of war in 1914 the seven Marlow brothers were too busy working on the family farm to run away to war. Besides, two of them were not tall enough and they all assumed it would be over before Christmas anyway. But when the fighting continued and news came of the dire need for more men to help the Diggers dying at Gallipoli, the three eldest went to enlist. Two were rejected but the other ended up on the Western Front, since Gallipoli was all over. Another four of the brothers would eventually join up. Their poignant story is told, simply and succinctly, for young readers in this evocative and beautifully illustrated book. There are photographs, maps, excerpts from diaries and letters as well as explanations of some of the terms used and battles fought to put together a picture of the experience of the Marlow boys and their war experiences. It is a good introduction for children to the personal history of the Great War

  3. Praise for Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front There’s so much information in this book that it is compelling and fascinating and so full of heart than any reader – children six to teens (and over) – will want to linger over the written and visual texts … This book is a valuable way of personalising war through one family’s sacrifice, but showing, too, how Australia’s sons and daughters participated with great bravery despite horrendous odds. It’s a book that ought to be in every school library, and hopefully too in many home libraries. Di Bates, Buzz Words

  4. The author of Anzac Sons, descendant of the Marlow family, has created an account of WWI by interspersing letters from the boys to their family, with the real-world contexts of their experiences – from signing up and training camps, to shipboard life en route to the Front, occasional leave, and life in the trenches … An affecting and poignant book. – Ben Marshall

  5. I absolutely loved Anzac Sons. How much heartache the family of those young men endured. I loved the way the author told the story and put the letters together. It was done with such love and compassion and dignity. I have been telling everyone about Anzac Sons!
    Maria Augustus-Dunn

  6. An incredible book about one family’s contribution to the war, it was touching to read about everyday people being exposed to the horrors of war. The letters were particularly poignant and captured the emotion beautifully

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