Every AIF soldier of the Great War regarded his battalion as his home. This was where he felt he belonged. At the head of that unit was the Commanding Officer (CO), the lieutenant colonel who commanded the men, trained them, led them into action and rebuilt the unit following its time in the front line. There are myriad accounts and histories of divisions.
Brigades and battalions, of battles and actions great and small, some of which name the CO of a battalion, while others do not. The Official Histories, the various unit war diaries and many of the unit histories are likewise inconsistent, often neglecting to identify the unit’s CO other than as ‘the CO’ or ‘the old man’.
Combat Colonels of the AIF in the Great War seeks to address the regrettable gap in Australia’s documented history of its combat colonels. Its purpose is to name all the Commanding Officers who led units into action in the Great War and to describe their lives before and, for those who survived, after the war. From these pages emerge the men who shaped Australia’s battlefield history, both the professional soldiers and the former teachers, accountants, salesmen, clerks, farmers and others from a broad range of occupations whose leadership on and off the battlefield proved so crucial. These are men Australia cannot afford to forget.
Hard cover, 417 pages.