by Barry Allan
Copyright 2012 Barry Allan
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This book was first published in print in 2010 and follows on from my earlier book 'Black Sheep and Gold Diggers' that told the story of convicts Joseph Allen and Richard Venvill, and of the early lives of their descendants Bill Allan and Elizabeth Vurlow. Bill and Liz never married each other but had many children. Three of their boys George, Joe and Dave served in the AIF in World War One. This book is an account of the boys' army service, their family's situation during the war, and of the consequences for all of them that came afterwards.
The family's story at Footscray is based upon real events and the personalities, as far as they are known, of the people involved. For the military action I have used factual records, only inventing dialogue to give some life to the narrative, and occasionally including the boys in real battlefield incidents where they were known to be present but where no names were recorded. All the people named in the book were real and their actions are taken from sources such as Army Service records, Unit War Diaries, and two excellent books written about the 5th Battalion and the 6th Machine Gun Company. Both were written soon after the war by Officers who were in those Units. Those books have enabled me to include explanations of tactics, anecdotes about individual men, and background detail such as weather and specific battlefield conditions on particular days.