ISSUE 190 : Mar/Apr - 2013 - Australian Defence Force Journal

adfjournal.adc.edu.au

ISSUE 190 : Mar/Apr - 2013 - Australian Defence Force Journal

Overall, the reader is left with the impression that learning at the time was remarkablycontemporary, in the sense that the curriculum dealt with the war in almost ‘real time’, withschool papers requiring discussion as to the battlefields, including such subjects as the useand effects of gas and living conditions in the trenches. The underlying theme of the work isperhaps best summed-up by the quotation at pages 222 and 223 of the book:And so our school shall see them nevermore!And only tender memories remain,And loving pride that takes the stinging pain,Making them dearer than they were before.Thus, in the places once they occupied,Are come, not phantoms that will change and fly,But vital presences that will abide;As, all night long, beneath a summer sky,After the splendors of the sunlight die,There lives a glow across the darkened tide.The Blue Diamonds:the history of the 7th Brigade 1915-2008David Belham and Peter DenhamLand Warfare Development Centre: Puckapunyal, 2009ISBN: 978-1-7411-4403-1Reviewed by Officer Cadet William Leben, Australian ArmyDavid Belham and Peter Denham’s history of the 7 th Brigade is a comprehensive account ofthe Brigade from its formative days early in the First World War through to its contemporaryinvolvement in operations in the Middle East. Both authors boast service within the brigade,with Belham most recently serving as Commanding Officer of the 7 th Command SupportRegiment from 2002 to 2004. This edition is the product of Belham’s supplementary research,updating an earlier version authored by Denham in 1987. The project was facilitated by theCommander 7 th Brigade, Brigadier (now Major General) Stephen Day, with the aim of creatingan up-to-date and long-lasting history of the formation.The text centres on the conduct of the Brigade throughout the First and Second World Wars,and the authors’ examination of its organisation and activities is impressively in depth. Thestructure, composition and movements of the Brigade are tracked often to the hour, andformation strength recorded quite literally to the very last cart and bicycle, with essentiallyevery notable engagement covered in detail.Photographs, tables and reproductions of original document sources, such as after-actionreports, are extensively included, and the text regularly closes in on the more intimate detailsof gallantry awards, in contrast to its wider operational focus. Some 18 appendices add a dealof depth to the text, including a number of Brigade Commander biographies, unit diaries andvarious reports reproduced at length, and honours lists. These inclusions largely add yet moredetail to the already intricate histories of the First and Second World Wars.132

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