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Sunday, March 30, 2014

Gallipoli horror detailed through brothers' tales:John Rainford's review of Brothers Part One:Gallipoli 1915

Brothers Part One: Gallipoli 1915
By John Tognolini
163pp $20 paperback, $5 ebook

In the Junius Pamphlet, composed while she was in prison in 1915, Polish-born revolutionary Rosa Luxemburg wrote on the horror of World War I: “The flower of our mature and youthful strength, hundreds of thousands of whom were socialistically schooled in England, France, Belgium, Germany, and Russia, the product of decades of educational and agitational training, and other hundreds of thousands who could be won for socialism tomorrow, fall and moulder on the miserable battlefields.”

John Tognolini's book also takes us back to the year 1915 and the carnage at Gallipoli.

In December 1914, Grand Duke Nicholas, nephew of Tsar Alexander II and commander-in-chief of the Russian armed forces, advised the Allies that Russia’s inability to equip its troops meant that it was incapable of carrying out any further offensive actions.

Under pressure from Turkey in the Caucasus, the Grand Duke appealed to Britain for assistance. He made the helpful suggestion that they could distract Turkey with an engagement in the eastern Mediterranean.

British Secretary of State for War Lord Kitchener and first Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill rather approved of the idea, which was put into effect in the months that followed in Gallipoli.

Tognolini had two uncles at Gallipoli and he melds their story into the experience of many at
Gallipoli by using the fictional style of a novel to convey the horror of war.

We learn some things that we won find in conventional histories not just the smell of dead and rotting bodies but the distinctive smell of bodies from opposing sides.

The author sums up the campaign in one telling sentence: “Gallipoli has been nothing but bullshit and bollocks.”

This book is a welcome antidote to the nationalist and jingoistic approach taken by today’s major political parties who seek reflected glory in a past of which they seem to have little understanding.

 Green Left Weekly issue 1003

Saturday, March 29, 2014

No Glory - Remembering World War One in Music and Poetry-Four Man Films

As we head into another Anzac Day and 100th year since World War One started it worth to taking a look at this gathering in London last year. Also check out the No Glory website at this gathering Billy Bragg performed who has recentally toured Australia and spoke at the Sydney March in March rally.

John Tognolini 29-3-14

No Glory - Remembering World War One in Music and Poetry  (click on the link to see the video on Youtube )St James's Church Piccadilly London 25 October 2013 Produced for No Glory in War by Jan Woolf

Part one:
Welcome and introduction - Lindsey German, convenor of Stop the War Coalition
John Landor conducts i Maestri and solo violin George Hlawiczka, The Lark Ascending by Ralph Vaughan Williams
Kika Markham reads Last Post by Carol Ann Duffy and A War Film by Teresa Hooley
Elvis McGonagall reads Strange Meeting by Wilfred Owen and Matey by Patrick MacGill
Music from Sally Davies, Matthew Crampton, Abbie Coppard and Tim Coppard
Jeremy Corbyn MP
Elvis McGonagall

Part two:

Kate Hudson chair of CND
Music from Sally Davies, Matthew Crampton, Abbie Coppard and Tim Coppard

Matthew Crampton reads My Dad and My Uncle by Heathcote Williams
Kika and Jehane Markham
Billy Bragg

Filmed by Four Man Films

Brothers Part One: Gallipoli 1915 by John Tognolini

I’ve used the fiction style of a novel to convey the all-too-real historical events, conditions and characters in war, whether it be:

- the savage nature of the fighting and the major battles;

-that some senior Australian officers were just as good as their British counterparts at causing the slaughter of their own soldiers in futile charges against machine guns;

 -that what little drinking water there was at Anzac Cove tasted of petrol from the cans it was carried in;
-that dysentery ran rampant, and that it and other illnesses took 1000 soldiers off the peninsula each week;

-that some of the Anzacs were of German, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, West Indian and Italian decent, some were Aboriginal and others were just mere boys;

-that some played two-up with two-headed coins and ran bets on what hymns or psalms would be used on church parades.

 In this story I have attempted to show the horror of war for what it is. It has been my intent to show the hardship and suffering endured at Gallipoli. I had two uncles there, Stephen Tognolini, Military Medal and Bar, 21st Battalion and Andrew Tognolini, 24th Battalion. They would be joined by their two other brothers John/Jack Tognolini, 57th Battalion Military Medal and Henry/Harry Phillips 60th  Battalion on the Western Front in France and Belgium.

John/Jack Tognolini was killed in action on 25th April 1918 at the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux in France. The army had his age as 24 years old. As he was born in 1900 he was either 16 or 17.

I will be writing three future volumes to Brothers dealing with the Western Front in the years 1916, 1917 and 1918.
John Tognolini  

Available from WritersandeBooks  paperback $20 eboook $5