And the Band Played “Waltzing Matilda”

The horrors of World War I have been remembered in a variety of ways — in movies, books, songs, monuments — but more in Australia than in the U.S., partly because it was the first major war in which Australians participated after federation in 1901, but also partly because Australians and New Zealanders, whose militaries were grouped together at the time, suffered the most devastating casualties of any country participating. I’ve mentioned this in more detail in previous posts (just search for Gallipoli), and talk about it in my book, as well, but I thought a few more comments were reasonable. First, a movie recommendation: Gallipoli features a very young Mel Gibson as a soldier during one of the most horrifying conflicts of the war. Second, a song by Eric Bogle, a Scot who emigrated to Australia, captures the experience of a soldier wounded at Gallipoli. I can’t show you the movie, but I can share the song. (When I brought the album home from my first trip to Australia and played it for my parents, it made my dad — a World War II veteran — cry.)


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Filed under Australia, History, Video

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