Gallipoli's troubled hearts: fear, nerves and repatriation

Murphy, Ffion, and Nile, Richard (2018) Gallipoli's troubled hearts: fear, nerves and repatriation. Studies in Western Australian History, 32. 2. pp. 25-38.

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Abstract

Twenty-one-year-old Private A.B. Facey returned to Australia from Gallipoli in November 1915. According to his bestselling memoir, published decades later, the young soldier had been severely wounded in an offensive against the Turks on 19 August. Transferred to the Australian base hospital in Egypt, Facey spent three weeks convalescing before being sent home to Perth for 'rest'. He never returned to the war and was discharged in June 1916. Facey's memoir claims that his wounds had healed before he arrived home, but that he 'felt there was something amiss deep down inside'. This feeling persisted for the remainder of his life. Military and medical records reveal that Albert Facey had not been seriously wounded in August 1915. Rather, he had suffered 'nerves' from the time of his brother Roy's death in an explosion on 28 June. A Fortunate Life depicts Roy's dismembered body and burial along with fifteen other dead: 'Roy was in pieces ... I can remember carrying a leg-it was terrible'. A Fortunate Life also depicts the 'hard, smelly and nauseating work' of retrieving decomposed corpses from no-man's land during a ceasefire called for that purpose on 24 May. Drawing on new historical and textual evidence, our paper seeks to re-read Facey's life-story in terms of war and emotions, specifically: abjection, fear, and humiliation.

Item ID: 54900
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0314-7525
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2018 03:44
FoR Codes: 21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 50%
20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9505 Understanding Past Societies > 950503 Understanding Australias Past @ 100%
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