We are thinking to time the story around the battle of Pozieres because:
- It’s important to Australia in terms of our cultural memory of the war
- We’ll be facing the 100 year anniversary in the months after we launch the book
- Australian service-folks were fresh off the boat from Gallipoli where the dysentery was most rife, so we can use plot points around immunity and re-infection.
- Pozieres has a sense of futility, because it was lost again so quickly
- It arguably affected the outcome of the referendum for conscription
I’m reading Graham Keech’s book “Pozieres” – which details the movements of each battalion, day by day, hour by hour. I'm not very good at imagining a map in my head and it's pretty boring reading a list of who went where when, but feels like I should know the basics. Fascinating, how completely absent are the stories of anyone not a fighter or a commander. In this version there are no medical staff, cooks, sanitation teams, messengers, previous residents of the area.
I’m noticing how, in language, a place becomes an event, becomes a time. Pozieres is a village, Pozieres is a battle, Pozieres is when the battle happened.