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The Chipilly Six

Unsung heroes of the Great War

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On 9 August 1918, on high ground overlooking the Somme River, an entire British Army Corps is held up by German machine gunners. The battle has raged for 30 hours and more than 2000 Englishmen have fallen, for no gain.

Meanwhile, two Australian sergeants, Jack Hayes and Harold Andrews, go absent without leave and cross the Somme ahead of the British lines. Gathering weapons and four of their best mates, Hayes and Andrews return to take on the Germans.

The extraordinary feats of the Chipilly Six have been overlooked and the personal stories of these diggers never before celebrated. Yet this story doesn’t end when the war does. Historian Lucas Jordan weaves a compelling tale of the lives of these soldiers, chronicling their return home and years after service, through a pandemic, the Great Depression, another world war and the very first Anzac Day dawn service.

‘The Chipilly Six were extraordinary men in extraordinary times. Lucas Jordan reveals a wider story of Australia’s Great War veterans as they battled a nation forgetting, a bitter Depression, another World War and beyond. This is a remarkable insight into a vanishing world’ — Bill Gammage, Emeritus Professor, Humanities Research Centre, ANU

‘An absolute cracker of a story. No one — and I literally mean no one! — is more equipped to write a compelling book about the remarkable story of the Chipilly Six.’ — Ross McMullin, author of Life So Full of Promise

‘A superb piece of investigative historical storytelling. Lucas Jordan is part of a new generation of military historians. He is a bright star.’ — Peter Stanley, author of Bad Characters: Sex, Crime, Murder and the Australian Imperial Force

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