by Paul Byrnes
In the Second World War, thousands of Australian boys lied about their age and volunteered for a war the scale of which they could never have imagined. Like many of their fathers in the Great War, they went with their eyes wide shut: under-trained, under-equipped and under-age. Some were as young as thirteen – too young even to shave. Many did not grow old; others came back broken. A handful are still alive to tell their tales.
This extraordinary book captures the bold and untold stories of forty Australian children who fought in the deadliest war in history. Follow these boys through Libya and Palestine, Greece and Crete to the jungles of Malaya, Papua New Guinea and Borneo, fighting for their lives, their country, their mates. Many of the photographs have never been seen. Haunting images of youths in training camps and behind the lines stand beside moving portraits of old men who have not forgotten.
Sons of War is a deeply personal military history: an homage to youthful bravery, a eulogy for those who fell and a tribute to those still standing.