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Over the Top With the Third Australian Division   By:

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[Illustration: Major General Sir John Monash, K.C.B., V.D. Photo by Elliott & Fry. ]

'OVER THE TOP' WITH THE THIRD AUSTRALIAN DIVISION

BY

G.P. CUTTRISS

WITH INTRODUCTION BY MAJOR GENERAL SIR JOHN MONASH, K.C.B., V.D.

ILLUSTRATED BY NEIL McBEATH

London CHARLES H. KELLY 25 35 CITY ROAD, AND 26 PATERNOSTER ROW, E.C.

TO THE FADELESS MEMORY OF OUR HEROIC DEAD AND TO THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THIS BRIEF VOLUME OF SKETCH AND STORY IS DEDICATED, IN UNSTINTED ADMIRATION, IN AFFECTIONATE SYMPATHY, AND IN THE UNSHAKEABLE BELIEF THAT

'As sure as God's in heaven, As sure as He stands for right, As sure as the Hun this wrong hath done, So surely we'll win this fight.'

PREFACE

In response to numerous requests from the 'boys,' this brief volume of story and sketch is published. It makes no pretension to literary merit, neither is it intended to serve as a history of the Division. The indulgence of those who may read is earnestly solicited, in view of the work having been prepared amidst the trying and thrilling experiences so common to active service. The fighting history of the Australian Forces is one long series of magnificent achievements, beginning on that day of sacred and glorious memory, April 25, 1915. Ever since that wonderful test of capacity and courage the Australians have advanced from victory to victory, and have won for themselves a splendid reputation. Details of training, raids, engagements, and tactical features have been purposely omitted. The more serious aspect will be written by others. In deference to Mr. Censor, names of places and persons have been suppressed, but such omissions will not detract from the interest of the book. 'Over the Top with the Third Australian Division' is illustrative of that big hearted, devil may care style of the Australians, the men who can see the brighter side of life under the most distracting circumstances and most unpromising conditions. In the pages that follow, some incidents of the life of the men may help to pass away a pleasant hour and serve as a reminder of events, past and gone, but which will ever be fresh to those whose immediate interests attach to the Third Australian Division.

G.P. CUTTRISS.

[Illustration: The Author. Photo by Lafayette, Ltd. ]

INTRODUCTION

At the outbreak of the World War in August, 1914, the Australian as a soldier was an unknown quantity. It is quite true that in the previous campaigns in the Soudan and in South Africa, Australia had been represented, and that a sprinkling of native born Australians had taken service in the Imperial armies. The performances of these pioneers of Australia in arms were creditable, and the reputation which they had earned was full of promise. But, viewed in their proper perspective, these contributions to Imperial Defence were no true index of the capacity of the Australian nation to raise and maintain a great army worthy and able in all details to take its place in a world war, beside the armies of the great and historic civilizations of the Old World.

No Australian, nor least of all those among them who had laboured in times of peace to prepare the way for a great national effort, whenever the call to action should come, ever doubted the capacity of the nation worthily to respond; but while the magnitude and quality of the possible effort might well have been doubted by our Imperial authorities and our Allies, and while it was certainly regarded as negligible by our enemies, the result in achievement has exceeded, in a mighty degree, the most optimistic hopes even of those who knew or thought they knew what Australia was capable of... Continue reading book >>




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