I remember being horrified when I read someone say that all non-fiction books contain errors. He was right. They may be errors of fact or typos, but they are invariably there. I have often shared with other historians the experience of opening one's new book, which went through painstaking checking, and finding an error on the first page you open. In short, my books contain some errors, though not many among the tens of thousands of words and thousands of facts that each of them present. One of my purposes in creating this website was to correct these errors, as I have never had the option of doing so in a second edition. I will have missed some. Here are the ones I have noticed over the years:
At the Front Line
Page x: the semi-colon that appears after 'me in 1988' should appear on the next line, after the word 'evidence'
Page 43: In the sentence ending with fn 47, the location was Ambon, not Rabaul
Page 206: I mention the 6th Division sailing in January 1940, when in fact only part of the division left that month.
Page 207: 'Africa Korps' should read 'Afrika Korps'
Page 208: New Britain fell in January 1942
Bibliography: Should include 'Glenn, J.G., Tobruk to Tarakan: The Story of the 2/48th Battalion AIF, Rigby, Adelaide, 1960.'
Index: Neeman, T.R. is also referred to on pp. 4 and 5
Fighting the Enemy
That Magnificent 9th
Since I wrote this book, much more information has become available on individual servicemen, thanks to the Internet. It is now possible to determine the first names of most or all the soldiers pictured. That will have to wait for a second edition, if it ever comes.
I would like to add that from September-October 1941, each field regiment added a third battery.
Page 26 line 22: 'east' should be 'west'
Page 39 line 5: 'was' should be 'were'
Page 83: 'Emmott' should read 'Emmett'
Page 91: Post-nominals should be 'VC, DCM', not 'DCM, VC'
Page 148: '28 casualties' is an underestimate. Sources differ, but there were probably nine killed and up to 45 wounded.
Page 156: Private Thomas of the 2/15th is called Leslie in the 2/15th Bn history, but his service record suggests he was Lloyd Thomas. I also called him Leslie in the DVA booklet Huon Peninsula, p. 26.
Page 205: Photograph 12.10 (128724) has been inverted
Page 216: The wounded man in 12.22 was Gordon Johnston, not G. Johnson. Contrary to my comment, one of the pictured bearers - Fred Giles, in the background, behind the front man - had also served in New Guinea
Page 254: In Introduction note 1, 6th Division casualties should be 5700 rather than 6000
Alamein: The Australian Story
As with the previous book, many more first names could now be included, thanks especially to the Department of Veterans' Affairs online nominal roll (http://www.ww2roll.gov.au).
Page 89: 'passed to Austin' needs to be 'passed to Lieutenant A.G. 'Bunny' Austin'.
Page 213: In the first line, 300-yard should read 600-yard
Pages 219-220: the word 'into' should be either the last on 219 or the first on 220
Page 284n6: '2/17 Bn' should be '2/13 Bn'.
In working on the endnotes and bibliography for my forthcoming book on Alamein in the Army History Campaign Series, I discovered some omissions in the bibliography and footnotes of this book. These related in particular to the list of soldiers quoted from my own collection - for example Allan Jones - and list of files from the AWM that were consulted. For example, the 24th Brigade Report on the October battle is mentioned in the footnotes, wrongly listed as AWM 54/6/12, when it should be AWM54 526/6/12. Where relevant, these omissions are corrected in the new book.
The Silent 7th
Page 44: third last line: 'part of the 1st British Cavalry Division' should be 'the 5th Indian Brigade'
Page 160: 'Copeland' should be 'Copland'. It appears that he took over as RMO on 22 December, not 24 December, as stated here
The Australian Army in World War II
None noted yet.
The Proud 6th
Page 32, line 2: '125 rounds per gun had been brought forward' should read '125 rounds per gun could be brought forward'
Page 69, line 1: 'one man' should read 'one Australian'
Page 89, line 4: 'two brigades' should read 'two battalions'
Page 97, line 13: 'April' should be 'May'
Page 144: Alfred McGoldrick was known as 'Alf'
Page 173, second last line: 'Then loads were prepared' should be 'Once collected, loads were prepared'
Page 177: 'second from left in Photograph 9.2' should be 'second from left in Photograph 9.22'
page 221 'Ted' Kenna was regularly called 'Ned' in his army days
Page 223 and 225: the patrol discussed here included ANGAU involvement that should have been mentioned
Page 228: 'Shibarangu' should read 'Shiburangu'
I omitted to discuss the question of whether an RAAF Hudson was tardy in reporting sighting Japanese ships heading for the Solomon Islands on 8 August 1942. See Richard Frank, Guadalcanal, pp. 92, 666-7
Page 314: Chapter 20 is entitled 'Breaking the Bismarcks Barrier', but the title pages in the chapter call it 'Breaking the Bismarck Barrier'
Page 346: Second para, 'eight Cats flew the first raid' should be 'eight Cats flew the first mission'
Anzacs in the Middle East
Page 106: '27 April' should be '27 May'
Page 51: The part of the indented quotation starting at 'Sliding down slopes' and ending 'at various heights' should be in the main text
Page 165, first para: In the sentence about Private Edward Croft, the words 'who was' should be dropped
Page 249, last sentence: 'Ayres' should be 'Ayre'
An Australian Band of Brothers
Page 41: The compass rose has N at the bottom rather than the top
Page 298 John P. Higgins, who is mentioned as Corporal Higgins, was in fact a Private.
In revisiting John Coates' Bravery above Blunder I discovered that he interviewed Gordon Combe and George Lush about operations at Finschhafen. Gordon is not mentioned in that book's index. The relevant pages are 186-189 and especially the endnotes to those pages, as well as pages 237-240.
Derrick VC in his own words
Page 4: After the printing of the book, Tom Derrick’s nephew Ian Philp contacted me with some corrections on my listing of Diver’s siblings. In the book I have the sequence as: Keneitha (‘Dolly’), Mabel (1918-96), Lotte (b. 1923), David Edward (‘Teddy’ 1925-1940), Lilian and Elizabeth Mary (‘Rose’). Ian, son of Rose, tells me that Elizabeth Mary was ‘Lily’ (1927- 2006) and that ‘Rose’ was born Rose and lived from 1931 to 2021. The available genealogical sources on this were incomplete, but Ian’s account is consistent with Tom Derrick’s diaries.
Another of Tom's nephews, Derrick Fryer, was also good enough to contact me. He told me that his mother, Elizabeth Mary, was 'Lily'. He said too that the 'Mabel' referred to on p. 289 was Tom's sister and that she is also referred to on p. 381 as 'Mrs C Shrive', which should be 'Mrs G Shrive' (for George Shrive). The reference to Mabel and the 'male infant' on p. 289 was probably to the fact that up that point Tom and his siblings had produced no surviving sons.
Photographs section: David Eaton kindly pointed out that the figure at far right in the front row of the photo of 11 Platoon 2/48th Battalion on 25 November 1943 is his father, Les Eaton. VX82380, Pte Leslie Norman Eaton, b. 14 December 1922. Cabinet maker, of Geelong, Vic. WIA 15 May 1945, Tarakan (penetrating grenade wound, lower lip). Discharged as a lance-corporal.