Monday, December 19, 2011

Desert Boys

Some years ago when I first started researching my own family history my mother asked me to research the author of some war letters which had been written to her mother. It turns out that before she married she was a nanny employed by a Kilmore poultry farmer Richard Camm for his son Dick. These letters were from Dick. Captain Richard Camm had served in World War One- Gallipoli, 3rdLight Horse Regiment, the Imperial Camel Corps and Australian Flying Corps. Both Richard and his son Dick would join the 2/2ndPioneer Battalion on the outbreak of World War 2 and would not return.

Further information can be found in this article.

Journalist and author Peter Rees describes more of Richard Camm’s war time experiences in his new book Desert Boys: Australians at war from Beersheba to Tobruk and El Alamein
About 1300 Australians died in the desert campaigns in World War One, while another 3500 died in the desert and Mediterranean campaigns in World War Two including an ancestor of mine – Rat of Tobruk – Roy Squires. Using letters, diaries, interviews, and unpublished memoris, the author narrates the experiences of these Desert boys. Mr Rees was diligent in contacting people- recounting in his acknowledgements contacting the daughter of the author of letters accessed at the Australian War Memorial. The daughter has never read the letters and had believed that they had been buried with her father many years before.

This very readable but long book is of interest to family historians, especially those who had relatives who had desert war service.

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