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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Branno BS: Armistice Day (debate) (777* d) RE: BS: Armistice Day (debate) 13 Nov 13

Bless all here at sandpit mudcattus...!

More on the Australians in the Great War.
Perhaps the "disproportionate' reference has been misunderstood : in the census of 1911 there were 1,497,456 males aged 15-64 in Australia; the AIF embarked 330,770 men to fight in the ill-conceived and badly executed Dardanelles campaign and thereafter in Flanders and Palestine.

Great Britain had a population of around 40 million (?)and a far larger pool of manhood to draw on. I don't have the total casualty figures to hand, but around 23,000 Aussies died at Pozieres alone.
Eric's "whole generation" has particular resonance in Australia, where the adventurous spirited egalitarianism met the imperial loyalty, propoganda did its appointed task,
and they all joined up (and voted in two referenda AGAINST conscription!)

For the more serious historian, George Trevelyan, grandson of Lord Macaulay and a very English man is a prime source for detailed explanation of the root causes of the conflagration.
And the aftermath: "Lloyd George had the majority, and the majority had Lloyd George." I have his 'History of England' right here. There's far too much to selectively quote!

'The Broken Years' by contemporary Australian historian Bill Gammage I have here also, presented as "A horrifying yet moving portrayal of men at war, based on their own accounts". The selected bibliography runs for several pages.

"I have seen things here that will make the bloody aristocrats' name stink forever. The soldiers I pity as they have been ruled into this farce...God, it is cruel. What humans will stand is astounding... I have seen the most gruesome sights the most awful tragic scenes it has been my cruel lot to witness, however, take it from me none of mine will ever tackle this job again... if men refuse to fight all the world over war will cease."
Corporal A.G. Thomas 6 Bn 27/7/16 after Pozieres. KIA 8/6/18

Adieu, the years are a broken song
And the right grows weak in the strife with wrong.
The lilies of love have a crimson stain
And the old days will never come again.   

September 1917

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