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As 1914 drew to a close, little did anyone in Australia know that four years of warfare lay ahead. Mothers could not forsee the anguish they would suffer, nor wives and sweethearts their heartbreak. Young men had little idea of the grim reality of war as they marched off to do their patriotic duty for King and country. Among these young men were three brothers: Charles, Fred and James Carthew. This is their story told through the letters they wrote from Gallipoli, North Africa, Palestine and the Western Front to their mother and sisters back home in Victoria. Their letters tell the true story of war – not the dusty facts and figures of the history books, but the very real emotions of hope, fear, love and longing, life and death. The Carthew brothers participated in some of history’s most legendary battles, but theirs is more than a story of guns and bullets – it is also a love story; of the love and devotion of three brothers for their womenfolk and their country. Above all it is a tribute to the steadfast mateship of almost half a million young Anzacs who fought, and sometimes died for each other, in the Great War of 1914-1918.
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