About the Book
In August 1915, H.E. Cottee and C.R. Anstey left Tregeagle, a village in the Northern Rivers district of New South Wales, and went off to war together, brothers in arms. It was a fateful decision. One lived and one died. Both served on the Western Front with the 9th Battalion, AIF; Cottee also served with the 2nd Field Survey Company of the Royal Engineers at the Battles of the Somme, Messines Ridge, and Ypres. World War I was so vast and so bloody that it can be hard to gain an understanding of what it meant for individual Australians. This account -- based on Cottee's letters home (printed in an appendix), the service records of both men, and contemporary newspaper reports -- provides insight into the experiences of not only Cottee and Anstey, but also the 322,000 Australians (out of a population of fewer than 5 million) who served overseas during the war.