Over the Top
A digger's story of the Western Front
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Australia's diggers didn't go 'over the top' for King and Country, they did it for their mates and their battalion - extraordinary deeds performed by ordinary men.
Henry George Hartnett, known as 'Harry', joined the Australian Imperial Force on 13 September 1915 at the age of 23. He saw action on the Western Front at Fromelles and on the Somme, receiving his first 'Blighty', a wound so serious he was sent back to Britain for treatment, in the Battle of Pozieres. Upon his recovery, he returned to 'tour' the front with his battalion - an endless cycle of fighting interspersed with brief rest periods behind the lines.
In this book Harry recalls the battles, the long marches, and the many amusing events that provided escape from the horrors of the battlefront. His moving descriptions give the reader insight into the unshakeable bonds forged between men trapped in situations they could never have imagined.
Over the Top takes the reader on an eye-opening tour of life in and behind the trenches on the Western Front. Harry's book, which has never before been published, is a magnificent gift to Australia.
- Allen & Unwin, November 2009
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