In 2018, Tim McQueen from Vision Australia Radio commissioned Elwood Writers to create a series of pieces in celebration of the centenary of Armistice Day. They were to be read on his program Cover to Cover.
I scratched my head for a story.
‘I’ve got nothing to write,’ I told my partner. ‘I don’t know anything about World War I.’
‘Yes, you do,’ Tom replied. ‘Your two grandfathers were in that war, and your great uncle.’
To my surprise, I was reminded that my maternal grandfather, Dr John O’Brien, had been an army surgeon at Australia’s ill-fated campaign in Gallipoli. To me as a child his post-war life looked so prosperous and comfortable, I couldn’t imagine him ever having been at what became a godforsaken strip of Turkish beach.
With much research and a stretch of the imagination, I wrote ‘Down to the Sea’ as a mixture of fiction and memoir. It formed part of the group’s quadrilogy for the radio program, and is now included in our eclectic anthology, Every Second Tuesday.
If you haven’t already registered for a free, online ticket to the launch of Every Second Tuesday by Elwood Writers, you can do so at the following link: