Title: Over the Top – A digger’s story of the Western Front
Author: Hartnett, H G edited by Chris Bryett
Edition: 1st Edition
Publication Date: 2009
Cover: Soft Cover without Dust Jacket – 326 pages.
Comments: Harry Hartnett was 23 when he joined-up in 1915 – here he tells the real story of the battles and the boredom, of life and death, on the Western Front in World War I.
Australia’s diggers didn’t go ‘over the top’ for King and Country, they did it for their mates and their battalion – extraordinary deeds performed by ordinary men.
Henry George Hartnett, known as ‘Harry’, joined the Australian Imperial Force on 13 September 1915 at the age of 23. He saw action on the Western Front at Fromelles and on the Somme, receiving his first ‘Blighty’, a wound so serious he was sent back to Britain for treatment, in the Battle of Pozieres. Upon his recovery, he returned to ‘tour’ the front with his battalion – an endless cycle of fighting interspersed with brief rest periods behind the lines.
In this book Harry recalls the battles, the long marches, and the many amusing events that provided escape from the horrors of the battlefront. His moving descriptions give the reader insight into the unshakeable bonds forged between men trapped in situations they could never have imagined.
Over the Top takes the reader on an eye-opening tour of life in and behind the trenches on the Western Front. Harry’s book, which has never before been published, is a magnificent gift to Australia.
About H.G. Hartnett, edited by Chris Bryett
Harry Hartnett was a digger on the Western Front. Over the Top is based on Harry’s diaries, which his family gave to Chris Bryett, a lawyer and World War I buff, to arrange for publication.