Untraceables: The Mystery of the Forgotten Diggers
Untraceables: The Mystery of the Forgotten Diggers is not a conventional military history text detailing the battles of World War One. Gillam and Fletcher have researched to find and share stories of the aftermath of war, focussing on its effects on veterans and their families—many of whom were at the margins of the AIF.
Their treatment, which resulted in medals not being collected, raises many questions. How many unissued medals might there be? What were the causes of so many medals not being issued? How can cases of unissued medals be identified? Who is eligible to apply for the issue of the uncollected medals and what is the best process to follow?
This book seeks to answer these questions for families, schools, and institutions who are interested in stories which have been untold for generations. Living Memorials to honour those who time has forgotten can be created by telling their stories.
The rich narratives revealed by the research and the mysteries uncovered, is a reflection of the circumstances of those who were not mainstream or conventional veterans. As such, this group became the Diggers that Australia has forgotten. As each story is revealed and each mystery explored the opportunity to rightfully commemorate these men, and many more yet to be discovered, is afforded to a grateful nation. Readers may find some disturbing parallels between the experience of these AIF Diggers and some current veterans.
The authors hope that by sharing their research and their research methodology, that this book will encourage schools, families, and eligible institutions to become involved in researching their local soldiers.It can well be said the Anzac’s are not dead, their deeds and fame will live for evermore. Australia’s duty to her dead may be expressed in four words- ‘Don't let them die'! Their memory should never be allowed to die. Parramatta Mayor, Ald. H C G Moss, 1923
Turkish Charlie Ryan Canakkale’s ANZAC Hero
When a young doctor named Charlie Ryan graduated from University, he went looking for adventure by joining the Turkish Army. Forty years later, as the head of the Australian Army Medical Corps he landed at Gallipoli to fight his former friends. His previous association with the Turkish Army led to a most extraordinary event.
For one short time on May 24, the goodwill of common people prevailed between the ANZAC's and the Turks. From a simple necessity, a legacy was left that would bond the people of Turkey and Australia in an enduring relationship
In Turkey, today, the story of "Plevna" Ryan credits Charlie with helping to establish "the indestructible foundation of Turkish-Australian friendship amidst the trenches of war”. Author Haluk Oral's book “Gallipoli 1915 Through Turkish Eyes” (Turkiye Bankasi 2007) has an entire chapter devoted to Charlie Ryan. This book is used as a teaching reference in Turkish schools.
To this day his legacy helps unite the peoples of Australia and Turkey. One hundred years after that first act of goodwill, the children of TED Mersin College Turkey, guided by their history teacher Celal Yildirim, reached out to the families of the ANZACs through a project they called "Two Trenches One Letter".
In writing “Turkish Charlie Ryan.” Canakkale’s ANZAC Hero, authors and historians John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher have sought to demonstrate to children of all ages the power respect and understanding bring when dealing with people of different cultures. Lavishly illustrated by artist Lillian Webb, the book tells the saga of Major General Sir Charles Snodgrass Ryan KBE, CB, CMG, VD. Knighted and decorated for bravery in battle, by both the people of Turkey and the British Empire, Charlie Ryan was a pivotal figure in the Armistice at Gallipoli on May 24 1915.