In this book, Philip Payton provides a vivid insight into the experiences of regional Australia during the Great War of 1914-18. Alighting upon 'old Kio', the copper-mining communities of South Australia's northern Yorke Peninsula, he describes the relationship between the 'homefront' and the 'battlefront' half-a-world away. He draws an intimate portrait of Australia at war, from the lives (and deaths) of local soldiers—all volunteers—in the trenches far from home to the myriad reactions and activities of those in a community struggling to grasp the enormity of the situation in which it found itself. The book shows how community cohesion was fractured by increasing tensions and divisions, not least over the Conscription debate, as the war dragged on. And it shows how those volunteer soldiers fared in each of the great battles in which the Australians participated—from Gallipoli to the Western Front and the heady days of 1918.
From 1979 until 1991 Philip Payton was a Senior Lecturer in History at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich, later serving in the Royal Naval Reserve until 2009, rising to the rank of Commander. In October 1991 Philip joined the University of Exeter as Director of the Institute of Cornish Studies, and was promoted Professor in 2000. A frequent visitor to Australia, in 2007 he was Visiting Fellow in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University. He is a past president of the British Australian Studies Association, and edited the Association's journal Australian Studies, having negotiated its relaunch in 2010 as an on-line publication under the aegis of the National Library of Australia. Philip Payton has published widely on Cornish and Australian themes. Recent books include: John Betjeman and Cornwall: 'The Celebrated Cornish Nationalist' (UEP, 2010); Making Moonta: The Invention of Australia's Little Cornwall (UEP, 2007); A.L. Rowse and Cornwall: A Paradoxical Patriot (UEP, 2007); The Cornish Overseas: A History Of Cornwall's 'Great Emigration' (2005).