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16 January : '"An elegy of mud, blood and darkness" : Australian war writing and the third battle of Ypres’ with Matt Haultain-Gall
‘The year 1917 had been one of disaster for our arms in all save the Messines attack’ wrote the Australian ex-serviceman G.D. Mitchell in Backs to the Wall. Few of his comrades would have disagreed. The Australian Imperial Force (AIF) lost far more men in the battles for Bullecourt (France), Messines and Passchendaele than at their 1915 baptism o…