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:
‘It makes one feel and realise what a dreadful thing war is’ – a nurse’s story
by Janet Scarfe, Monash University Five thousand Australian nurses served during the second world war. … Continue reading ‘It makes one feel and realise what a dreadful thing war is’ – a nurse’s story
Consuming Anzac: some thoughts on the Anzac centenary
If prizes were given out for the enthusiasm with which nations commemorate the centenary of the Great War, Australia would be first by a long shot. Dr Carolyn Holbrook looks at ‘Brandzac’.
From hostility to lasting friendship: cultural reflections from Turkish and Anzac soldiers
For the first time in Australia, stories of Turkish soldiers will be told alongside those of Anzac soldiers in a bilingual exhibition at Monash Univeristy about the Gallipoli experience. The exhibition has been curated by Dr Azer Banu Kemaloğlu, of Canakkale Onsekiz Mart University.
On remembering and forgetting war
Join us this Remembrance Day for the launch of – World War One: A History in 100 Stories – a path-breaking social history written by Monash historians Professor Bruce Scates, Rebecca Wheatley and Laura James.
Monash MOOC: World War 1 history in 100 stories
Due to the remarkable success of the free online course, ‘World War One: A History … Continue reading Monash MOOC: World War 1 history in 100 stories
Soldiers’ real stories are the best defence against Remembrance Day conditioning
Our politicians ask us to imagine that our ‘fallen’ soldiers ‘sacrificed’ themselves for a higher … Continue reading Soldiers’ real stories are the best defence against Remembrance Day conditioning
Monash University commemorates the Great War Centenary
One hundred years ago today, on 1 November 1914, the first deployment of Australian troops … Continue reading Monash University commemorates the Great War Centenary
The untold stories of World War One now online at “One Hundred Stories”
One hundred years after the beginning of “The Great War”, it may surprise some people … Continue reading The untold stories of World War One now online at “One Hundred Stories”
What have we forgotten this Remembrance Day?
by Bruce Scates Red poppies are a familiar sight in November. We see them pinned … Continue reading What have we forgotten this Remembrance Day?
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 … Continue reading Book launch: Maestro John Monash, Australia’s greatest Citizen General
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 … Continue reading A family at war – the Allshorns of Peel St, North Melbourne
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 … Continue reading Who owns the myths and legends of the Great War centenary?