This book sets out to answer that question by looking at one unlikely candidate who stands for so many.
Jack Bourke was the Sacristan at St Stephen’s Cathedral in Brisbane when World War Two erupted in 1939.
He enlisted, leaving a secure job, relaxed lifestyle and a wide circle of friends. Jack was popular, loved music, entertained with his accordion and kept in touch.
But this seemingly carefree young man also penned an uncensored diary of his time in service, which is now the essence for a new and exceptional history of life in World War Two.
A larrikin adventure of a lifetime which had it all – the greatest of times and the worst – and mateship, the priceless thread to which Aussie soldiers like Jack clung for survival and hope.