Barrier thinking

Featured in

  • Published 20150414
  • ISBN: 9781922182807
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

IN VIETNAM, MINES accounted for half of the Second Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (2RAR) soldiers killed in action. Two of those killed on mines were among the nine South Australian members of the Battalion who died on active service, and who are listed on the memorial in Adelaide that was dedicated to them in April 2014. The invitation, which Tom Young extended to me on behalf of the Battalion Association, was to speak at the dedication on why I wrote my book, The Minefield: An Australian Tragedy in Vietnam (Allen & Unwin, 2007). It was indeed an honour, and I became all the more mindful of that tribute when Tom, who worked for some three years on the memorial project, sadly died a few weeks before he could see it realised.

In Australian culture, memorials have long tended to have a dual function. They are sites of remembrance for everyone; but for the families of the fallen and members of the wider unit family, they are also sites of sorrow. Grieving for loved ones and mates may be eased over time, but will never end.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Share article

More from author

Race fear, dangerous denial

EssayFor Bruce Pollard, Greg Dodds and Howard Dick   'I still want to talk about Australia as a whole, as a nation-state...' – John Hirst, Looking...

More from this edition

Lots of rabbits this year

MemoirDISPERSED AMONG LENGTHY discussions of cycling, which must have been their shared passion, a teenage Charles Harlock was given some erratic career advice by...

Gough’s war

EssayIt took Gough’s war years and his time in the RAAF, freed from the happy but sheltered home life of a public servant’s son,...

What was lost

EssayDURING THE CENTENARY commemorations of the Great War, it will no doubt be frequently asserted that the conflict ‘made’ Australia (in a positive sense)...

Stay up to date with the latest, news, articles and special offers from Griffith Review.