World War, 1914-1918--Australia--Correspondence.
World War, 1914-1918--Personal narratives, Australian.
World War, 1914-1918--Battlefields--France--
World War, 1914-1918--Battlefields--Turkey--Gallipoli Peninsula--Correspondence.
RRP: AU$32.99 (paperback)
Letters from the Front is an authentic account of World War One through the eyes of an ordinary soldier, the story of one man. It seeks to add to our national consciousness of the immeasurable value and sacrifice of all those who have served our country, and our damaged heroes who survived, without in any way glorifying war.
Jim McConnell takes us with him to Gallipoli, Villers-Bretonneux and the Somme Canal to gain another glimpse of the events that symbolise courage, comradeship and sacrifice, and that cost Australia a generation.
As a first-person narrative, it strives to preserve the authenticity of the time and place in which these events occurred; to simply tell the story without twenty-first century judgements, embellishments or condemnations. Much of the story comes directly from this important primary source of actual diary notes. This is a valuable contribution to our World War One literature because so little was passed on in the generations that followed.
It also teaches us how to live well in an imperfect world. Jim McConnell saw people as people, and treated them accordingly, willing to fight and quick to forgive. He then made the most of the life he was left with in post-war Australia.