Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston


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Private Stanley Livingston and his two best mates, Roy Lonsdale and Gordon Oxman, would by the end of the war be brothers-in-law as well as brothers in arms as Stanley would marry Roy's sister Evelyn, while Gordon would marry Lily Livingston, Stanley's younger sister.

Over the course of the war, these three young men would be court-martialled four times for abandoning their training units. They were not cowards, running from responsibility, rather they were deeply committed family men who ran to the service of their families. This was a more common occurrence than has ever really been reported before. Stanley's mother died just prior to the outbreak of WW2, and while in the midst of battle in the Middle East, Stanley received word of the sudden death of his father.

Once back in Sydney, Pte Stanley Livingston skipped training camp to be with his younger sister Lily, who was deeply traumatised by the loss and had suffered a mental breakdown. After almost six months AWL, Stanley surrendered just in time to embark with his battalion to Milne Bay in New Guinea, where he was court-martialled in the field and pleaded guilty to all charges.

He was fined twenty pounds before being plunged into the harrowing combat - with no jungle warfare training whatsoever.

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Illuminating, deeply moving and told with no shortage of humour, Absent Without Leave is part biography, part family memoir, and part of Australian history that is largely forgotten, because no one ever really talked about it. Save on Non-Fiction Trending price is based on prices over last 90 days. You may also like. September Private Eye Magazines.

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May Private Eye Magazines. About this product Product Information Absent Without Leave follows three wide-eyed young Australian men from their enlistment at the Sydney Showground in to the war in the Middle East and jungle warfare in the Asia-Pacific.

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Private Stanley Livingston and his two best mates, Roy Lonsdale and Gordon Oxman, would be brothers-in-law as well as brothers in arms by the end of the war, as Stanley would marry Roy's sister Evelyn, while Gordon would marry Lilly Livingston, Stanley's younger sister. In this case the term absent without leave has negative contation. Between their Middle East and Pacific campaigns Privates Livingston and Oxman, and many of their fellow soldiers, abandoned their units to be with their loved ones.


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These men were t running from battle or responsibility, but to the service of their families who desperately needed them. This is also an account of the civilian men and women back home, and of Stanley's future wife, Evelyn.

Evelyn's war is a story in itself, by day riveting bombers at Kingsford Smith Airport, by night enjoying the spoils of war courtesy of the ever-present and exotic American servicemen. Absent Without Leave gives a deeply human face to the circumstances of war.

Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston
Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston
Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston
Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston
Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston
Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston
Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston
Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston Absent Without Leave: The private war of Private Stanley Livingston

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