An ANZAC on the Western Front

H R Williams

The personal reflections of an Australian Infantryman from 1916 to 1918.

Enlisting in 1915 and serving in the 56th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, Harold Roy Williams had only arrived in France, from Egypt, on 30 June 1916. He described the horrors of the Fromelles battlefield in shocking clarity and the conditions the troops had to endure in disturbing detail.

Surviving a later gas attack, Harold Williams’ subsequent postings read like a tour of the Western Front. Following the Somme there was the mud and squalor of the line south of Ypres, the German Spring Offensive of 1918, the Battle of Amiens – frequently described as the most decisive battle against the Germans in France and Flanders – the capture of Villers-Bretonneux and, finally, the assault on Péronne. 

Injured at Péronne and invalided back to the United Kingdom, Williams survived the war to return to Australia in 1919. An ANZAC on the Western Front is his graphic description of his service in the First World War – an account that was described as “the best soldier’s story … yet read in Australia” when it was first published.

Hard cover, photographs, 194 pages.