The untold stories of the under-age soldiers who fought in the First World War
In the First World War of 1914–1918, thousands of boys across Australia and New Zealand lied about their age, forged a parent’s signature and left to fight on the other side of the world. Though some were as young as thirteen, they soon found they could die as well as any man. Like Peter Pan’s lost boys, they have remained forever young. These are their stories.
This extraordinary book captures the incredible and previously untold stories of forty Anzac boys who fought in the First World War, from Gallipoli to the Armistice. Featuring haunting images of the boys taken at training camps and behind the lines, these tales are both heartbreaking and rousing, full of daring, ingenuity, recklessness, random horror and capricious luck.
A unique perspective on the First World War, The Lost Boys is military history made deeply personal, a powerful homage to youthful bravery and a poignant reminder of the sacrifice of war.
Paul Byrnes joined The Sydney Morning Herald in 1976, reporting from various corners of the world for a decade, before specialising as a feature writer and film critic. He was director of the Sydney Film Festival for ten years, until 1998. In 2007, he won the Pascall Prize, Australia’s highest award for critical writing in the arts. This book is the result of a lifelong interest in the First World War. He lives in Australia and France.