TWO NEW BOOKS DUE SOON

Two new editions of Patrick Lindsay's books will hit the bookstands soon.

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The Spirit of the Digger

Following on the success of his original version of this work, Patrick has updated and rewritten this new edition, which includes our Diggers’ contribution to the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts and recent discoveries relating to Fromelles, Kokoda and other Western Front battles. He has also included new chapters on our most recent VC winners, the Coast Watchers and IEDs (improvised explosive devices).

Told through the words and actions of the Diggers themselves, THE SPIRIT OF THE DIGGER explores the essence of the Australian soldier and how he differs from other soldiers.

In many ways, the Digger is a study in contradictions: he doesn′t crave war yet he will fight with unequalled ferocity; he hates spit and polish but will hold his discipline under the most trying conditions; he is tough yet compassionate; he hates his enemy until he surrenders, then he is generous in victory; he despises histrionics but will cry unashamedly at the loss of a mate.

Courage, mateship, endurance, selflessness, devotion, independence, audacity, and humour describe the Digger. Throw in resilience, self-reliance and compassion and the list of the Digger′s qualities is still not complete.

They are not all heroes but they are remarkable and their deeds are timeless.

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Our Darkest Days

This is an abridged edition of Patrick’s acclaimed book, Fromelles, first published in 2007 and substantially updated in 2008 after the confirmation of the discovery of the Missing Diggers of Fromelles, the story of which was first revealed in the original edition.

On 19 July 1916, near the French village of Fromelles, Australia suffered its worst-ever losses in a single day when a British officer ordered around 7000 of our Diggers ‘over the top’ to attack the heavily-defended German lines. The following morning more than 5500 Diggers were dead, wounded or missing: the dead was greater that our losses from the Boer, Korean and Vietnam wars combined. Many of those who died disappeared from the official record, their fate remaining unknown for close to a century.

This abridged edition of the bestselling Fromelles includes the recent discovery of the largest mass war grave since the Second World War; the recovery of the missing Diggers’ remains; the names of those who have been identified and the opening of the new Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery in 2010

FOOTSTEPS' ratings back over million mark

Footsteps’ ratings jumped more than 9% last week to see it back over the million mark, at 1.024 million viewers, as it posted its highest result in Sydney of 310,000.

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Last night’s episode featured 25-year-old camera operator, Kathryn Ward, as she walked in the footsteps of her grandfather, Les Semken, who survived the Japanese bombing of Darwin on February 19 1942 – the first time the Australian mainland had come under fire.

Now 90, in 1942 Les Semken was a carpenter working in Darwin to try to save money for a world trip. When the world came to him, his life was changed forever. His traumatic time in Darwin prompted him to join the Army and do his part to keep his country free.

Now, almost 70 years later, his granddaughter Kathryn takes us along with her on her personal quest to learn about the war that came to our shores and how it changed her beloved Pa.

It’s a tender story where a typical vibrant 25-year-old Australian woman takes time out to learn from her grandfather and to understand the historic moments that shaped her grandfather’s life at a similar age: a tale of the wisdom of elders and the life-changing experiences of youth.

Next week, July 10, will be the final episode of the first series of Footsteps and will feature 52-year-old Steve Johns as he walks in his Dad’s footsteps: Stan “Stunna” Johns, a Korean and Vietnam War veteran.  Steve knew his Dad as a violent family man and wants to understand the wartime experiences that contributed to his Dad’s post-war life.