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Just like her book, Australia Remembers: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force, Allison Paterson is full of interesting facts and insights that bring us joy in knowing more about her. Here, just like the book, we uncover some fascinating ‘fast facts’ that Allison has shared in a fun way! Enjoy! 🙂
Favourite wartime poem or arts piece:
Menin Gate at Midnight – Will Longstaff (1927). It is the artist’s tribute to the 55 000 men of British and Empire Forces of WWI who have no known grave and lie in the soil surrounding Ypres. The print hangs on my wall and is a constant reminder to always remember. It is also known as Ghosts of Menin Gate.
The portrait has an incredibly moving story of its creation. You can read about it in my YA novel Follow After Me. Or on the AWM website: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C172234
Shrines you have visited:
That is a very difficult question to answer. Wherever I go I always gravitate to a war memorial. The Australian War Memorial, The Shrine (Melbourne), Menin Gate (Ypres), Australian National Memorial (Villers Bretonneux), Tyne Cot (Passchendaele) are all very significant to me. The one that has the most significance is the Mologa War Memorial which my great-grandmother and grandfather unveiled in 1920. I was to give the centenary address there last year but hope to be able to do so this year – border crossings allowed of course. The once thriving town no longer exists, there’s just the memorial.
Best sweet biscuit:
Anzac Biscuits – I’m very partial to oats and golden syrup.
Favourite military instrument:
Number of Australian Army badges you own:
I have collected many Anzac Day and Remembrance Day badges, but I don’t feel as though I own any medals. Our family are simply custodians and the medals in our possession belong to our courageous ancestors.
Best wartime / military-related experience you’ve had:
An Anzac Day service at Polygon Wood on the Western Front, where one of the Marlow brothers was killed near the village of Passchendaele. I was there with my husband and father and it was one of the most moving experiences I have ever had.
Favourite animal mascot:
Corporal John MacArthur ‘Stan the Ram’ of the 8/9th RAR – obviously he’s a ram!
Most engaging ANZAC / Remembrance Day activity to do with children:
Without a doubt it is to attend a service. If that’s not possible there are loads of fabulous activities in both Australia Remembers: Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and War Memorials and in Australia Remembers 2: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force. The teacher notes are also available online and have lots of activities in them.
That the origin of the hand salute goes all the way back to the days of the knights! It’s to do with flipping the visor back on your helmet when your covered in armour and trying to stay on your horse – it was a bit awkward. So … raising your right hand (the hand you would use to draw your sword if you didn’t like someone) was considered a friendly gesture … and much better than falling off your horse.
Favourite part/s of Australia Remembers 2: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force:
Too hard! There is so much interesting information that I can’t choose.
Next book in the Australia Remembers series:
The next book is called Len Waters: Boundless and Born to Fly. I haven’t written it but helped the author Catherine Bauer to create it! What fun! It will be a fabulous book and is released in September.
A Significant Event: It’s the Australia Remembers 2 #BookGiveaway!
Click here to enter to WIN a copy of Australia Remembers 2: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force
Join us on a memorable journey as we take Allison Paterson and her important non-fiction picture book, Australia Remembers 2: Customs and Traditions of the Australian Defence Force on tour, appearing at the following media sources.
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