Soldiers and Aliens

Men in the Australian Army’s Employment Companies during World War II

June Factor
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Soldiers and Aliens

Men in the Australian Army’s Employment Companies during World War II

June Factor
A forgotten history of the remarkable contribution of non-British subjects to Australia in World War II
Four thousand Australian soldiers in World War II who signed up for service were never to fire a weapon. Their work was essential for the war effort, but they were 'aliens' - non-British subjects - many born in other countries. Scholars and peasants, musicians and factory workers, communists and royalists, Jews and Catholics, animists and atheists, they all laboured under standard strict Army regulations, living in tents and huts, loading and unloading trains, working the wharves, cutting timber and transporting goods. They raised money for good causes, gave public concerts and staged theatre performances. And every day they feared for loved ones caught up in the horror of occupied Europe and Asia. They were a multicultural force in the Army long before the term 'multicultural' was coined. Largely forgotten, their contribution to Australia during World War II makes for an engrossing story and provides new insights into a critical period of Australian history.
Four thousand Australian soldiers in World War II who signed up for service were never to fire a weapon. Their work was essential for the war effort, but they were 'aliens' - non-British subjects - many born in other countries. Scholars and peasants, musicians and factory workers, communists and royalists, Jews and Catholics, animists and atheists, they all laboured under standard strict Army regulations, living in tents and huts, loading and unloading trains, working the wharves, cutting timber and transporting goods. They raised money for good causes, gave public concerts and staged theatre performances. And every day they feared for loved ones caught up in the horror of occupied Europe and Asia. They were a multicultural force in the Army long before the term 'multicultural' was coined. Largely forgotten, their contribution to Australia during World War II makes for an engrossing story and provides new insights into a critical period of Australian history.

June Factor Author Talk at Geelong Regional Libraries

Soldiers and Aliens is the best kind of history: cautious in its judgments and vibrant in its narrative ... This book delivers its message with the suavity and sophistication of the people it honours.”
The Age

June Factor

June Factor

June Factor is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and the University of London and is currently Honorary Senior Fellow, School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne, and an Honorary Associate, Museum Victoria. She is a well-known and highly-respected folklorist, social historian and writer, with a special interest in children's folklore and language. She is the compiler of the much loved children's books Far Out, Brussel Sprout!, All Right, Vegemite!

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