2007 Winning Essay

Laura Grumley’s award winning essay approaches the Red Cross Wounded and Missing Files from a sporting perspective: 

Uncovering the rivalry between Rugby League and Rugby Union in the early 1900’s, I traced the war experience of four football players in detail, two from each code, and was able to better interpret their service dossiers in light of this pre-war sporting context. Ultimately though, while their athleticism afforded them popularity amidst their comrades, it did not serve to protect them from the callous nature of modern warfare, and perhaps provided their loved ones with a false sense of security, ill preparing them for the worst news of all – no news.

Laura has already experienced the battlefields of the Gallipoli Peninsula as the result of winning the The Simpson Prize  in 1999. The winners of the award that year were invited to attend the dedication of the ANZAC Commemorative Site at Gallipoli in 2000 on the 85th anniversary of Anzac Day and Laura attended as the NSW representative from the competition.

Before embarking on this visit Laura also had the opportunity to meet with Mr Alec Campbell, Australia’s last ANZAC veteran. Two years later, in 2002, Laura attended Mr Campbell’s funeral.

Laura plans to use the award to visit the Battlefields of the Western Front and hopes to expand her knowledge of the Australian soldiers on the Western Front. While there she also wishes to take the opportunity to visit the final resting place of those soldiers she encountered during her research.

Read Laura’s winning by right-clicking on the title: 2007-jltp-winning-essay

© Copyright Laura Grumley. Subject to the fair dealing provisions of the Copyright Act 1968, reproduction in any form is not permitted without written permission of the Author.