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Praise for Anzac Boys and ”˜the power of verbal storytelling’

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With the hundred-year anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign on 25th April 2015, praise has been flooding in for Anzac Boys by Tony Bradman. The Gallipoli Campaign is described as one of the Allies’ most poignant defeats in WWI, resulting in the loss of many Australian and New Zealand troops – along with men from Britain and the Commonwealth – who faced the determined and well-prepared Turkish forces on the western shore of the Dardanelles. Anzac Boys is inspired by the author’s grandfather, who served in the 1st Battallion of the Australian Imperial Force, and many reviewers have highlighted the importance of passing on stories from one generation to the next.

Tony Bradman's grandfather’s Anzac service record from the National Archives of Australia.

Tony Bradman’s grandfather’s Anzac service record from the National Archives of Australia.

Books for Keeps included a feature on Tony Bradman’s family connection and the importance of visiting schools, to allow children to share their own family ties to significant historical events.

Inis Magazine published a glowing review of Anzac Boys in their most recent edition: “Bradman weaves a story that captures the reader instantly as they follow the twists and turns the brothers’ lives take on their journey from London to Gallipoli. The story is told using simple and engaging language, a trademark of Barrington Stoke books; this quickly draws in the reader and makes it easy to follow the historic setting and the foreign characters”¦”

Inis Magazine also picked up on the key details within the text including the chapter titles, which were taken from the folk song And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda, written by Eric Bogle in remembrance of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps who fought and died at Gallipoli.

Anzac Boys was also featured in The Scotsman: “Powerful, poignant and punchy, this can stand tall in the ranks of Great War fiction.”

Space on the Bookshelf blog described Anzac Boys as “a testament to the power of verbal storytelling” which had “preserved a very personal story for almost one hundred years”.

Lyn Edmonds, Executive Officer of The Gallipoli Association, said: “I would certainly recommend it to families with a connection to the Gallipoli Campaign of 1915. It would be a lovely story for young people to read, who then may want to go on to research their own family connection. Here in Britain we have a lack of appreciation as to just how many young men from Britain and the Commonwealth actually took part in the Gallipoli Campaign.”

Events will be taking place across the globe to mark the Gallipoli Campaign anniversary, as men from throughout Britain and the Commonwealth lost their lives in the conflict. Share your stories and memories with us in the comments section below and read more on the Barrington Stoke blog about Tony Bradman unearthing archive material on his grandfather’s involvement in WWI.

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