Bonds of Friendship
WHEN WORLD WAR II BROKE OUT IN 1939, it stirred excitement and patriotism among many young men. The world wasn’t as easily explored back then, so a ticket to Africa, Europe or the Pacific must have seemed irresistible. In early 1940, Australian Ernest Brough had just turned 20 when he signed up. ‘The Partisan Promise’ (page 108) delves into the challenges Ern faced during the war, when he relied on the support of his mates to escape a Nazi POW camp. It also captures the hardship and isolation Ern felt after returning home, with the war’s impact remaining with him for many years. His story demonstrates that a war veteran’s journey is a life-long one, with many facing post-traumatic stress disorder after they return home to familiar faces and surroundings.
The bonds of friendship are also apparent in ‘The Prisoner and the Guard’ (page 40). This story looks at how a young aimless criminal found purpose through sport after a guard recognised his abilities. With time and effort, the young man now lives a life devoted to sporting excellence.
I hope you enjoy reading this month’s stories as much as we enjoyed putting the selection together.