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Letters from the archive
PP - Angus & Robertson
MDP - Angus & Robertson
Letters from readers:
Michael 'Machine Gun' Kelley
Dom & Sylvia
Lt. Don Astill
Lt. Don Astill (2)
Wayne Lee Hillarys
Father Pat Kelly
This is only a selection of letters, my great thanks to these people,
and others whose letters I have - and still am gladly receiving / Sava Pinney.
Letters from readers
Letter from Don Astill
May '08, Queensland
What a lovely surprise in the mail this morning! Shades of Peter and I can see him so clearly as I type this message. The story covers his service in New Guinea and as Peter joined us in Bougainville all my memories are with this Island. It is no secret that Peter was somewhat of a rebel but we did not take that as seriously as the book would make us believe! His story and diary leaves no doubt that he did not always agree with some of the officers but that was Peter. I did some patrolling with him and there were no problems except his decision to take off into the jungle on his own which gave us concern. How he survived is beyond comprehension! His best book, in my opinion, was "The Devils' Gardens". This covers the Bougainville Campaign and Peter came to see me to check out a few details. I admit that his memory was better than mine. With his attitude to some of the officers, I had some concern, so that it was with some relief that he was more than generous in pages 61/73. I think that we talked the same language.
Our numbers are dwindling but we soldier on and endeavour to retain the commando spirit.
I do trust that you are well and thanks again for sending the book.
Best wishes and kind regards. Don
from Brian Stoffell
August 2009, South Australia
I collected and read all of your father's books when I came back
to Australia in the early eighties. I started with the war diaries
to try and get some insight into the New Guinea campaigns. My
own father was in the 2/8 battalion and apart from medals, a
Japanese 'good luck in war' flag and an officer's sword there was
not much information about his experiences (he died in the 70s).
Your father's diaries, along with John Hepworth's novel were the
best source of impressions that had the feel of authenticity.
I have looked at the 'Dust on my Shoes' project, but has there
been any interest from film makers in the diaries, or the stories
that your father contributed to the AMW publications in 1944-5?
Kind Regards, Brian