A new book by Monash University historians traces the pilgrimages of remembrance to World War II sites and their impact on the lives of service men and women.
Every year, tens of thousands of Australians make their pilgrimage to the battlefields and cemeteries of World War Two. They trek through the jungles of New Guinea and South-East Asia, seek out abandoned airfields in Britain and Northern Australia and explore the mountains of Greece and the deserts of North Africa.
Anzac Journeys: returning to the battlefields of World War IIretraces the history of these pilgrimages and charts Australia’s growing interest in World War II battle sites and shows how the stories of HMASSydney and Bomber Command, Crete and Kokoda, Hellfire Pass and Sandakan have added new life to the Anzac legend.
Leading Monash University historian and author, Professor Bruce Scates, Chair of History and Australian Studies at the National Centre for Australian Studies said the book fills a gap in studies of war and remembrance as it is the first substantial study of World War II sites of pilgrimage undertaken.
“In the past Australian’s have made pilgrimages to the battlefields of France, Belgium and Gallipoli, but we are now seeing growing interest in visiting Crete, Papua New Guinea and South East Asia,” Professor Scates said.
“Through our research we found they travel in search of the stories of lost loved ones, to mourn the dead and to come to grips with the past. These stories suggest a reinvention of the Anzac Legend.”
Professor Scates, along with fellow researchers and co-authors Dr Keir Reeves, Dr Damien Williams, Alexandra McCosker and Rebecca Wheatley used surveys, interviews, extensive fieldwork and archival research to provide insights into the culture of loss and commemoration and the hunger for meaning so essential to the experience of pilgrimage.
“It is important that we capture these stories, especially those of the surviving service men and women who fought during the Second World War,” Professor Scates said.
“It is also important we understand the personal as well as political uses of the past and the enduring pain of war for those who lost their loved ones.”
Anzac Journeys: returning to the battlefields of World War II will be launched on Thursday 26 September at the Shrine of Remembrance starting at 6.00pm.
Bookings can be made through the Shrine of Remembrance website
Everyone is welcome. Gold coin donation
Anzac Journeys: returning to the battlefields of World War II is available through Cambridge University Press.
Find out more:
What have we forgotten this Remembrance Day?
by Bruce Scates Red poppies are a familiar sight in November. We see them pinned…
Book launch: Maestro John Monash, Australia’s greatest Citizen General
A new book by Tim Fischer, Maestro John Monash: Australia’s Greatest Citizen General, is to be launched…
A family at war – the Allshorns of Peel St, North Melbourne
By Elizabeth Johnson On January 7, 1915, Frank Allshorn and his eldest son both enlisted…
Who owns the myths and legends of the Great War centenary?
By Ben Wellings and Shanti Sumartojo When prime minister Tony Abbottdeclared at Villers-Bretonneux that “no place…
Handle with care: Nurses make own sacrifices overseas
by Louise Almeida They were four young Australian women who wanted to make a contribution…
Radio documentary based on Anzac Memories
The documentary “Searching for Hector Thomson” will be broadcast as a feature on ABC Radio National…
Anzac Eve Event: The War Turned Upside Down
The War Turned Upside Down: Changing the Way We Remember 1914 -1918 24 April 2014…
New website traces war in the desert
Australian tourists travelling through Lebanon and Egypt will have a better understanding of the role…
Plans to digitise repatriation files will change the way we think of the Great War
By Bruce Scates In the lead-up to Remembrance Day, the Australian Minister for Veterans’ Affairs…
Searching for Hector Thomson – Anzac Memories Revisited
by Alistair Thomson Sometimes you can’t write the history that needs to be told. In…
Taking a moment of silence to remember
As the 11th hour strikes today Australians, along with other nations around the world, will…
Lest we forget: Remembrance and Anzac teaching, learning and research at Monash
As Remembrance Day approaches, find out what Monash has to offer in Remembrance and ANZAC…