Echoes of Gallipoli Reviews

Well done and congratulations Chris Shaw. What a beautifully written book reflecting many lives,  individual stories and journeys, giving another reality to the consequence of one story – the story of war, and in particular that of Gallipoli.

Brilliant, thought-provoking, and touching. The many characters presented would have taken endless hours of research and a depth of artistic creativity. This dynamic book shows the work of a writer who sees into characters, revealing their essence through a subtle word, meaningful action, or a turn of phrase. I relished this book immensely; it evoked thoughts I had not had before. It also gave me a new appreciation for Gallipoli. It shows Chris Shaw’s craftsmanship as a writer who gives of his best to bring about a book that will be treasured by many, for years to come.

Thank you, Sister Janice Pond, R.N. for your formidable character showing the reader the grit of war. Thank you, Chris Shaw, for your courage and determination to honour a well-documented subject, and to tackle it from different perspectives and life-stories.

— Letizia De Rosa

I've now read your manuscript ad offer you congratulations–it's an impressive feat of imagination–I think you can be pleased with what you've produced. I especially like that you've tried to acknowledge the range of protagonists involved in the campaign. 

— Professor Peter Stanely, UNSW, Canberra

In Echoes of Gallipoli, Chris Shaw presents a raw and honest account of the emotional impact of the loss of a child from war on parents, from the ten countries that were part of the Allied forces in that campaign. It's a story of grief and humanity told in a beautifully empathetic and poetic way.

— Senator Jim Molan, AO DSC, Canberra

I've just read the chapter of the nurse in your book Echoes of Gallipoli–wow, I couldn't stop reading it and I'm going to have to read it all again. I loved it. You must have done so much research for your book. Now I want to have the book and read it all as I'm sure it will be a very good read. I just love your way of expressing and describing events, etc. It makes me want to keep on reading. 

Will I be able to get your book here in Norwich? I hope so! 

— Janice Broome, Retired Nurse, Norfolk, UK

Thanks so much for letting me be privy to your latest venture. The Scotsman's story is a great piece of writing. Says everything that needs to be said with no verbiage. Brilliant. 

— Joan Duplock, Author and Editor, Cairns

I just finished the stories you shared, and I am keen to read the book. 

You had me in tears. You really took me there.

This is a beautiful piece of work. Congratualtions. 

— Kirsty Nancarrow, Freelance journalist and multi-media professional, Cairns

It is beautifully written but utterly devastating.

— John Hayward, Director, W.G.C. Lawyers, Cairns

Much has been written about Gallipoli–the carnage, the innocence lost ... but not like this! 

Chris Shaw brings to life the reach of war's inevitable waste to reveal the vast depths of the human spirit. Beautifully written. Deeply felt.

— Stephen Chong, author of Bodies of Consequence, and soon to be launched, The Afterlife, a journey to

Your average Gallipoli novel indulges an Australian readership by focusing on Australian exploits during the Dardanelles debacle. In Echoes of Gallipoli Shaw broadens our view by exploring the lesser-known contributions made by other Allied combatants in this campaign, such as Sikhs, Newfoundlanders, and the Jews of Alexandria, to mention a few.  He takes us from Ferozepore in the Punjab to Chatby Cemetery in Egypt, to Hawick on the Scottish border and to the Dordogne in southern France. He demonstrates that the ripples caused by the Gallipoli tragedy spread far and wide. I confess that I had never heard of the “Blue Puttees” and “Zion Muleteers”, who served beside the ANZAC’s, till I read this book. Echoes of Gallipoli highlights the sacrifice of these various units and the subsequent impact on individuals in disparate communities on five continents. 

— John Singe, Author of Blackbird StoryBommie Doon, Cooya Beach, QLD

Echoes of Gallipoli is a collection of vignettes describing the lives and actions of eleven fictitious men and women who served at Gallipoli and for some, the Western Front. More than just another Great War narrative, Chris Shaw has collated an eclectic mix of individual stories which bring to life the experiences of the parents, wives and loved ones left behind. These stories span both army and navy personnel as well as a nursing sister. There is a French naval rating and a young officer in the Royal Navy; the soldiers served in various infantry battalions including a mule-driver with the Zion Mule Corps and a member of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. Interpolated between these vignettes are descriptive chapters which provide information on some of the army units with which the men served.

There is much to commend this "anthology" of Gallipoli stories. Chris Shaw has illustrated each account vividly and brings out both the horrors of warfare and the agonies of parents losing their sons. I particularly liked the descriptive narrative for the impossible task of attacking the mountainous slopes above the landing beaches. Not only did the combatants have to contend with enemy-inflicted injuries, but they also had to cope with the scourge of dysentery, a disease which would completely incapacitate the soldiers. Zion muleteer Martin Moser got a bad dose and described it as “falling through my arse” eventually succumbing to the disease. The pain and suffering of parents are exquisitely cast into words. Anne and Henry Trevellyan, parents of Danny, “eventually … just ran out of tears,” while Peter Jenkins sang in both tiny Welsh chapels and cathedrals for his son with “effortless technique.” His poor wife died from a “broken heart” over the loss of their son.

Readers will find little to dislike about Echoes of Gallipoli. There are inevitable style issues. Some opportunities for illustrative detail have been missed and small details would have added extra colour. For example, the story of Patrick Jackson, who lands on the shore of Gallipoli in “small boats,” could have been enhanced by the use of actual historical narrative. The 9th Bn AIF unit diary for 24/25 April 1915 tells of the actual landing, and I paraphrase: “We were transferred into lifeboats of HMS Queen at 1.0 am. and towed by pinnace to the shore. As we moved slowly forwards, it was apparent that the naval people had missed their direction. We discovered afterwards that we were two miles north of the position intended.”

These are minor quibbles over a generously written and well-researched volume which brings to life a group of men and women who served at Gallipoli. Overall, the compilation serves as a fitting reminder of the human loss and tragedy of this theatre of war. Chris, in his own words, notes insightfully that the book “can also be perceived to represent all wars in human history, mirroring all the heartache that is buried in lifelong grief.” Fittingly, he ends each chapter with the immortal words of Rudyard Kipling, “Lest We Forget,” a reminder that these deeds at Gallipoli should remain in our consciousness for ever.

— Emeritus Professor Neville Marsh, Adelaide University, South Australia