Ordinary Heroes

Ordinary Heroes is a year on the road in search of war lives, war memories that have more to do with candour than courage, which isn't to say that those interviewed here weren't courageous. Ordinary Heroes is uniquely Australian, as enigmatic as an old couple whispering and laughing on a suburban back porch, or a veteran of Flanders remembering atrocities, barbarities, slaughter and eventual evacuation over morning tea in some nursing home. Roy Longmore, one of the last WWI veterans, talks with a glint in his eye about returning home from Gallipoli to the haven of his father's colourful orchids. Bill Toon describes being shipped out to Australia from England as a small child to grow up with his dad in the coal fields, and recalls his time as a Japanese POW. Christina McMahon, a nurse in Vietnam ponders: ‘You've got to be strong. But how does one share the agony and the suffering of a person who is dying with out showing human feeling?'

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Fiction , Non-Fiction


Hardie Grant Books


29 November 1999


Barry Dickins

Barry Dickins wrote the stage play ‘Remember Ronald Ryan’ for The Playbox Theatre Company, which in 1995 won The Louis Esson Prize For Drama at the Victorian Premier’s Awards, as well as The Amnesty Prize For Peace Through Art. Here the story is told for the first time as prose.