Purple Patch: History of the 3rd Field Company Engineers in World War One

Big Sky Publishing
Free sample

The 3rd Field Company Engineers holds a distinguished place in the history of the Australian Army, being the first unit of the AIF to deploy on active service and to come under enemy fire, in defence of the Suez Canal against a Turkish attack in February 1915, almost three months before the Gallipoli landing.

This book, the result of many years of research, details the work of the Company from its raising in August 1914 until the end of the war in November 1918. Drawing on both official records and personal papers, it explores the varied activities of an engineering unit, ranging from the taxing work of building bridges and other vital infrastructure in and behind battle zones to the highly dangerous task of extending trenches and barbed wire obstructions on the front line.

From senior command levels down to the rank-and-file Sappers, the book combines a careful account with personal experiences and observations to present a compelling portrait of the unsung heroes of the AIF. As an example of the role of engineers in the First World War, Purple Patch offers an authoritative examination of the achievements of this most notable unit.

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About the author

Darren Prickett was born and raised in Brisbane and after completing schooling he enlisted in the Royal Australian

Air Force. Following his military service, Darren joined the Queensland Police Service and spent the next 24 years as a police officer, most of that service as a designated Detective. Darren retired from the police service in 2018 and moved to Victoria with his family.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Big Sky Publishing
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Published on
Apr 15, 2019
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Pages
324
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ISBN
9781922265388
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Australia & New Zealand
History / General
History / Military / General
History / Military / Wars & Conflicts (Other)
History / Military / Weapons
History / Military / World War I
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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An eminent writer has said that regiments great in history have this in common with mortals- through old in glory and honour, they have yet the vigour of youth. To none may the remark be more truthful applied then the Grenadier Guards...' Thus wrote Chichester and Burges-Short in 1900 and, judging by the Regiment's history over the last fifty years, the words ring as true as ever. For this history of Grenadier Guards is indeed a microcosm of all the proud endeavours of the British Army. There are few places of significance where the Regiment has not served: after the round-up of Nazis in 1945 in Germany and Austria, Grenadiers saw action in Palestine and in the jungles of Malaya, and subsequently served during emergencies in Cyprus, the Cameroons, British Guiana, Belize, Northern Ireland, the Gulf and with the United Nations, to indicate but some of the over seas postings which included the Falklands and Hong Kong. Grenadier have also been responsible for the protection of British Sovereigns and the great ceremonial events in London, including the funerals of King George VI and Winston Churchill. Oliver Lindsay has produced a rigorous work of history-his fourth book- rich in quotation after interviewing Grenadiers, serving and retired, of all generations. Drawing on their accounts as well as his own experiences - for he was a regular soldier for thirty-five years- he has written a book of extraordinary interest. Unique among such historians, he tells of the experiences of wives in such places as war-torn Germany in 1945. Tripoli and Cyprus. The story of Grenadiers who served with the Guards parachute Company and in the SAS is included. Five years in the writing, this comprehensive record included coverage of training, tactics, the pronounced changes in the armed forces and the views and anecdotes of the Non Commissioned Officers and Guardsmen. Profusely illustrated and with 14 detailed maps, this is a dedicated history of the senior infantry Regiment in the British Army and what is probably the most famous Regiment in the world.
Fatal Mission is the story of Australian navigator Oscar Furniss, just one of 55,000 young men who perished while flying for Bomber Command during World War II. Lovingly crafted by his nephew, Mal Elliott, this book brings to life a young man whose name was never spoken by his family and who was a stranger to his modern-day descendants.

Elliott follows Oscar from his carefree childhood in the Blue Mountains through his training over the vast emptiness of Canada to the mist-shrouded patchwork landscapes of Britain and on to the hostile skies of occupied France. He uses the accounts of the two surviving aircrew to piece together the events of the fateful night that saw most of the crew of Lancaster JA901, affectionally know as Naughty Nan, perish as pilot Colin Dickson heroically manoeuvred his burning aircraft away from the towns and villages that dotted the landscape. This has been a difficult book for Elliott to write as it contains a harrowing description of his uncle’s last moments. The terrible impact of the deaths of the aircrew are vividly described alongside the miraculous tales of the two survivors.

But for the family of Oscar Furniss there would be no  miracle, just the lingering weight of deep and lasting grief. This is a story that moves beyond the technical descriptions of bombing missions to describe the human toll of conflict. It underlines the crucial importance of commemoration, of refusing to allow those who perished in war to be forgotten. Theirs was a sacrifice that we who live in freedom should never forget.

From the bestselling author of Tulipomania comes Batavia’s Graveyard, the spellbinding true story of mutiny, shipwreck, murder, and survival.

It was the autumn of 1628, and the Batavia, the Dutch East India Company’s flagship, was loaded with a king’s ransom in gold, silver, and gems for her maiden voyage to Java. The Batavia was the pride of the Company’s fleet, a tangible symbol of the world’s richest and most powerful commercial monopoly. She set sail with great fanfare, but the Batavia and her gold would never reach Java, for the Company had also sent along a new employee, Jeronimus Corneliszoon, a bankrupt and disgraced man who possessed disarming charisma and dangerously heretical ideas.

With the help of a few disgruntled sailors, Jeronimus soon sparked a mutiny that seemed certain to succeed—but for one unplanned event: In the dark morning hours of June 3, the Batavia smashed through a coral reef and ran aground on a small chain of islands near Australia. The commander of the ship and the skipper evaded the mutineers by escaping in a tiny lifeboat and setting a course for Java—some 1,800 miles north—to summon help. Nearly all of the passengers survived the wreck and found themselves trapped on a bleak coral island without water, food, or shelter. Leaderless, unarmed, and unaware of Jeronimus’s treachery, they were at the mercy of the mutineers.

Jeronimus took control almost immediately, preaching his own twisted version of heresy he’d learned in Holland’s secret Anabaptist societies. More than 100 people died at his command in the months that followed. Before long, an all-out war erupted between the mutineers and a small group of soldiers led by Wiebbe Hayes, the one man brave enough to challenge Jeronimus’s band of butchers.

Unluckily for the mutineers, the Batavia’s commander had raised the alarm in Java, and at the height of the violence the Company’s gunboats sailed over the horizon. Jeronimus and his mutineers would meet an end almost as gruesome as that of the innocents whose blood had run on the small island they called Batavia’s Graveyard.

Impeccably researched and beautifully written, Batavia’s Graveyard is the next classic of narrative nonfiction, the book that secures Mike Dash’s place as one of the finest writers of the genre.
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