At our August session John drew upon the experiences of Australian troops a century ago in Poziers, Ypres and many other battles to explain his thinking about why the generals, including Haig, behaved with such little imagination.
In September John drew upon a range of resources to explore areas of false mythology surrounding Australian soldiers under the theme ‘Australians Behaving Badly’. Stories and legal cases abounded as he explored themes including discipline; views of Australian soldiers; compulsory military service and the impact of venereal disease on soldiers. We were shocked to discover that, although his wife wouldn’t have been told why, a soldier’s pay, and therefore the allowance received by his wife and family, stopped as soon as the soldier received a diagnosis of VD.
In all sessions John has incorporated the home front in a most engaging way, such as when attributing the widely held false belief that all soldiers in the North East were Light Horsemen to the fact that the umbrella unit for all local military service was a Light Horse Regiment.
At our next session John will introduce the technological advances associated with the Great War.