By Paul Livingstone
Absent with out Leave follows 3 wide-eyed younger Australian males from their enlistment on the Sydney Showground in 1940 to the conflict within the heart East and jungle war within the Asia-Pacific. inner most Stanley Livingston and his top buddies, Roy Lonsdale and Gordon Oxman, will be brothers-in-law in addition to brothers in fingers via the tip of the warfare, as Stanley may marry Roy's sister Evelyn, whereas Gordon might marry Lilly Livingston, Stanley's more youthful sister.
In this example the time period absent with no go away has no unfavourable connotation. among their center East and Pacific campaigns Privates Livingston and Oxman, and plenty of in their fellow infantrymen, deserted their devices to be with their household. those males weren't operating from conflict or accountability, yet to the provider in their households who desperately wanted them.
This can also be an account of the civilian women and men again domestic, and of Stanley's destiny spouse, Evelyn. Evelyn's battle is a narrative in itself, by way of day riveting...
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Extra info for Absent Without Leave. The Private War of Private Stanley Livingston
Off the record, the ominous move south may have just quietly unnerved many more of the troops as they boarded a train at 0730 hours on 1 July destined for a rumour of war. When the train arrived in Sidi Bishr station near Alexandria a couple of days later, it was clear their ship hadn’t come in. There was now no doubt they were heading to the Western Desert, and on 9 July the battalion arrived at their defensive position about halfway between Alexandria and El Alamein. The night spent here was described in the war diaries as ‘uneventful’ with only ‘slight enemy activity’.
By the end of July, the men were still awaiting the forward call. August and September of 1942 was known as the ‘static period’, with the 9th Division dug in in baked shallow white stone, now occupying front-line positions at Tel el Eisa. The calm before the storm. The only storms for now were the khamsins, raging desert dust storms that scoured the skin and stung the eyes. The only protection was their basic accommodation, the doover. One soldier compared the desert to ‘a garden where earthworms have been busy, little holes with freshly turned earth all around, that’s all we are really, worms, forever digging holes’.
These patrols were performed by companies B and D; being a member of C Company, Stanley Livingston didn’t get the chance to treat the local women as if they were invisible. Stanley Livingston had a strict Roman Catholic upbringing, and his first Christmas away from Australia probably included celebrating mass in the YMCA hut reading room. He may or may not have attended the confessions that were heard beforehand. Perhaps he had no reason to—after all, he kept his latrine seat down, aired his blanket and hadn’t so much as glanced at an Arab woman.