This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Friday, September 2, 2016

The Fair Dinkums, by Glenn McFarlane

In this recently published book, The Fair Dinkums, Glenn McFarlane examines a cohort of men from the 8th Reinforcements of the 7th Battalion, who embarked on the Anchises in August 1915.  They were called the Fair Dinkums because they knew about the disaster at Gallipoli, and enlisted anyway,  knowing the risks.  Among this group was McFarlane's great-uncle Alf Layfield.

Also among the group was a name well-known to the folk of Moonee Valley - the renowned William Scurry whose invention of the drip-system of firing a rifle to aid in the evacuation of Gallipoli won him the Distinguished Conduct Medal and promotion to Commissioned rank.

McFarlane draws heavily on the letters Scurry wrote home to his mother at 70 Middle St, Ascot Vale, and mentions other local men, both with the 8th Reinforcements and other units.  

The one big hole in McFarlane's work is the lack of an index, so I have indexed references to our local men, and have put the page numbers on their web-pages in The Empire Called website.

McFarlane follows the service and fate of the above men, and others from the 8th Reinforcements of the 7th Battalion, including those who were transferred to other Battalions. Endnotes provide sources, though there is no bibliography.  McFarlane has provided a number of previously unpublished photos and portraits of the men.

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