Wagga’s volunteers who served in the First World War were the country men of AIF lore. Some who laboured on farms might have been the bushmen of legend; a significant proportion earned their living in the same professions and occupations as city dwellers. Many of the local men who survived were profoundly affected by it. Some never recovered, but as well as the unemployed, the destitute and those who needed constant care were veterans who had jobs and families and managed to live normal lives.
This book follows the First World War generation from the Wagga Wagga district in southern New South Wales through the late nineteenth century to the mid-1930s. The environment in which Wagga’s soldiers grew up, their years in the army and their lives as returned men touch on the war’s most enduring themes.