Ron McLean's latest book released by the Gunnedah & District Historical Society has hit the shelves just in time for Father's Day.
Soldiers of Gunnedah profiles 650 people from around the area who served in the Great War of 1914-1918. The book also features 300 photos and was designed by local Alyssa Barwick.
Their individual stories convey the many stories that cover the whole gamut of the human condition - there were men who displayed extraordinary courage under fire or sacrificed their lives to try to save others.
But there were others, too, who were totally unsuited to military life and discipline - they resented authority, deserted their post or "absented" themselves, were fined or suspended for drunkenness, disobeying orders or assaulting officers.
Close to 1200 Gunnedah and district residents, and others with a connection to Gunnedah, signed up for duty. Close to 200 did not survive, and almost half of the remainder were wounded at least once in this "war to end all wars".
Ron McLean is no stranger to the Gunnedah community after more than three decades as editor of the award-winning Namoi Valley Independent and the author of six books - the last four on behalf of the Gunnedah & District Historical Society.
Work is continuing on an updated version of the Gunnedah Sesquicentenary history book, The Way We Were, due for release next year.
Soldiers of Gunnedah is available for $30 at the Gunnedah Newsagency and Meryl Hennessy's Second Edition Book Store in Conadilly Street, and the Gunnedah Water Tower Museum during opening hours on Saturdays and Monday mornings.
Those living out of town can order a copy through the Water Tower Museum's Facebook page or by emailing the secretary Marie Hobson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Postage is an extra $13.
Gunnedah & District Historical Society members have expressed appreciation to Ron Mclean for his ongoing commitment to recording the history of Gunnedah, John Sturgess and staff (Gunnedah Newsagency) and Meryl Hennessy (Second Edition Book Store) for their contribution to the project.