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The service, death and memorialization of an Australian soldier on the Western Front, 1916: An Interpretation

Warburton, Margaret J. (2013) The service, death and memorialization of an Australian soldier on the Western Front, 1916: An Interpretation. Honours thesis, Murdoch University.

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Charles Snell left Western Australia to work in New South Wales and, while there, enlisted in the AIF to fight and die in the Great War. He was an ordinary soldier who served King and country by means of intense physical effort and who made the most of every situation. He and his family left an extensive written record of his service and death, and the family’s subsequent journey through grief. This record will be examined in the broader context of the Great War in order to illustrate the experience of the ‘other ranks’. It will challenge the notion that the narrative of the wartime experience of the ordinary soldier can only be told through the lens of horror and bloodshed. It will also demonstrate that the story of the work of the ordinary soldier has much to tell us about interactions within the military and cultural environments of the time. The thesis will examine the identity of the soldier, his war service, his wounding, death and burial and the process of memorialization. In so doing it will provide a portrait of the soldier, his family and his community and will disprove the statement that ‘averages are too colourless … to represent concrete experience’.1

Item Type: Thesis (Honours)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Arts
Supervisor(s): Durey, Michael
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