Grave reflections inspire poignant new book
The 2020 COVID-19 lockdown was not wasted by our Anzac historian, Philip Powell (OW1973). In deciding it was time to organise his photos of the graves and memorials of OWs who died in WWI, he concluded it was time to use them as a basis for a book.
‘It is the logical follow-up to my Come on Lads book published in 2019 which is a very word intensive book,’ said Philip. ‘This is image-based and brings together a journey visiting scores of cemeteries and memorials in Australia, UK, Europe and the Middle East. ‘It enables a recording of the circumstances of the nearly 160 OWs who died, with images of their grave or memorial. I am no trained photographer – all of my photos are taken with just an iPhone or iPad.
But in reviewing them, I felt the need to share them with the community.’
The result is a 200-page book, The Graves and Memorials of Old Wesley Collegians who died in World War I, published in January this year.
‘This is not a commercial exercise – just a personal project. Initially I thought I would print ten or so books, but encouraged by those who read early drafts, a print run of 200 copies was ordered,’ he said.
The book has been well-received by all who have seen it. Wesley College Principal, Nick Evans (OW1985), who famously taught History at Wesley for many years said, ‘It is an astonishing achievement… Even a Great War obsessive found something to learn.’
Philip has provided a number of books for the College, OWCA and alumni. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please make a donation to the Foundation for a proposed plaque for Captain Robert Grieve VC (OW1904) in Belgium.
Please contact the OWCA office in the first instance, which will be handling distribution at OWCA@wesleycollege.edu.au or by calling 03 8102 6750.