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ANZAC Day novels

Date Published: 18/04/2023

Australia’s Great War Series:

The following three separate novels tell the personal story of an Australian Soldier at war…

1916 by Alan Tucker – The ‘coo-ee’ call to arms takes Syd from his home in the Mallee to the fields of France. As part of the mobile veterinary unit, his horses are trained for war but face new and deadly weapons. Battle-weary Diggers, shipped from Gallipoli and joined by fresh recruits from home are met by a formidable enemy at Fromelles and along the River Somme. It is a year that will be forged in legend and memory…from the trenches and in the conscription battles at home.




1917 by Kelly Gardiner – The war in France rages in the skies, and support for the war in Australia turns cold. Alex flies high above the trenches of the Western Front, while a world away his sister Maggie finds herself in the midst of political upheaval. Somehow, both must fund the courage to fight on.





1918 by Libby Gleeson – With Russia out of the war, the Germans have sent more troops to the Western Front. Almost defeated, a small group of Australians join the fighting to hold the enemy back at Villers-Bretonneux. Weary after years of deadlock, Ned knows that the war will be lost if they can’t turn the tide. Will Ned ever see if family, or his brothers again?





A Rose for the Anzac Boys by Jackie French

It’s 1915 and war is being fought on a horrific scale in the trenches of France.  Sixteen-year-old Midge who is in England learning to be a young lady is devasted to learn her twin, Tim, is listed as ‘missing’ so her and her friends Ethel and Anne start a canteen in France. They find themselves caring for the endless flow of wounded soldiers returning from the front. Midge is recruited to the over-stretched ambulance service, where she is thrust into the carnage and scenes of courage she could never have imagined…will she ever get to go home or see Tim ever again?


Heroes of Tobruk by David Mulligan

It is 1940, and sixteen-year-old Peter Fullerton and his best mate Tony Cantonelli give false names and lie about their age to enlist in the army. This book follows Peter and Tony from the outbreak of war, through military training and the Siege of Tobruk…this is a moving story about the horror of war and the courage of ordinary soldiers.



Light Horse Boy by Dianne Wolfer

This classic book tells the story of Jim and Charlie who in 1914 lie about their age and abandon the Australian outback to enlist for the ‘excitement and adventure’ of the war to end all wars. But in the Light Horse they quickly discover the brutal realities of life on the frontline. Nothing will ever be the same again.



Lighthouse Girly by Dianne Wolfer

Fay lives on Breaksea Island, off the Western Australian coast, near Albany with her Dad and dog, Jacko. In 1914 when war is declared and the 30 000 men of the combined Australian New Zealand and Imperial Forces gather in Albany, Fay becomes a lifeline for homesick soldiers desperate to send a final telegraph. She continues the long-distance conversations with letters and postcards, following the fortunes of her soldiers from Egypt to Gallipoli. Then one day a single sad letter arrives and the war is brought brutally home.


This beautiful but heartbreaking book is based on the true story of Fay Catherin Howe, daughter of the Breaksea Island lighthouse keeper and is told using stunning illustrations and photos of true residents of Albany who died in battle.

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