A tribute to a lost father
MORE than 70 years after a young man from Theodore travelled half-way around the world to fight for his country, his efforts are being commemorated in a book put together by his daughters in Rockhampton.
Such is War: Diaries of a Signalman is the first volume of a compilation of Cecil Anderson's diaries from 1941 to 1943 during his time as a Rat of Tobruk.
Mr Anderson's daughter Joscelyn Lobegeiger said the diaries were a wonderful way for the sisters to better understand their father.
"When we were young he didn't talk about the war much and I suppose we knew the diaries were there, it's sort of only in the last 10 years we decided to start looking at them," she said.
"The three volumes together is 130,000 words, it's not just like a couple of sentences each day, there are pages where the writing is so small just to fit it all in.
"He wrote about the country, about the people, he was very interested in farming because he was off the land, he wrote about all those things. There's a lot of photos - he draws maps.
"He travelled all across the Middle East, Alexandria to Georgia, Cairo, Palestine, Egypt, all that area, Turkey."
As her father was in communications he had a behind-the-scenes view of the battles - this book concentrates on the Battle of Tobruk.
"He knew what was going on around the place because he would get all the communication," Joscelyn said.
"He didn't fight but they fired on them and everything, he in was in the middle of the battle - he was the communication, they'd get fired on with bombs and artillery and machine guns."
It is clear the diaries are invaluable to Joscelyn and her sisters, who lost their father when they were young.
Such is War: Diaries of a Signalman will be launched to the public on Monday at 11.30am, at the Rockhampton Regional Library in the Fitzroy room. Copies can be bought on the day or at boolarongpress.com.au.
RSVP to the library on 4936 8043.