Where Are Our Boys? by Martin Woods – (NLA Publishing, $49.99)
The outbreak of the Great War coincided with advances in cartographical and printing technology that led to the newsmap – the most convenient way for people to stay up to date with the progress of the war. With the newsmap worried parents, spouses and children now had a way of feeling connected to their loved ones even if they were fighting on the other side of the world.
Where Are Our Boys? tells the story of the first World War from the perspective of the newspaper reader. As such, the collection of maps, clipping and propaganda gives an insight into this era in a way that no amount of imaginative retellings could hope to. The accompanying notes provide a history for the maps themselves, who produced them and how they were received.
‘Eventually, detailed topographic maps and trench diagrams sketched for those at home (or brought from Gallipoli) became widely available, showing something of the complexity and closeness of the fighting and explaining the mechanics of engagements like that at The Nek.’
For the history buff, this book is like opening a time capsule. For those who have family that survived through WWI, it’s a slice of a nearly-forgotten time, one that’s as critical to our history as it was traumatic. A fitting tribute to coincide with the war’s centenary.