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The Last 100 Days

With special guest:

  • Will Davies
    … in conversation with Bill Kable

Surprisingly little has been written about the last 100 days of World War 1.

This is the time when the Australian Imperial Force had some of their greatest victories. It was also the time when Adolf Hitler was wounded in battle before coming to the unshakeable conclusion that Germany had been betrayed in agreeing to sue for peace.

This imbalance in the accounts of the conflict has been addressed by Will Davies in his new book The Last 100 Days: The Australian Road to Victory in the First World War. In his book Will reveals why he has been described as being more than an historian because he has the rare gift of being a story weaver. As with his other books on the events of World War One this story will remain etched in your memory.

Will Davies provides the detail of the battle tactics but is also able to let us in on some of the events that appeal particularly to an Australian audience. There are even some funny stories involving in one case the Australian 15th Brigade’s commander, General Pompey Elliott who did not want to be left out when his soldiers advanced on Peronne.

Fast-paced and tense, the story of The Last 100 Days is animated by the voices of Australian soldiers as they endured the war’s closing stages with humour and stoicism. At the same time Will does not avoid the waste involved in fighting up to the last seconds before the Armistice was signed at 11am Parisian time on the 11th November 1918. We hear about the last soldiers to die for the main countries involved in the conflict and we hear about the surprising reaction of the troops as news reached them that the fighting had finally ended. It was a time for commemorating their mates who had not survived and then for their thoughts to turn to far-distant Australia where friends and family anxiously awaited news.

In this 100th anniversary special program we bring to you the authentic voices of our military representatives who are still revered in France and Belgium. In Germany they have a special kind of respect. This program will make you proud to call yourself an Australian.

Will Davies

Will Davies is an historian, writer and filmmaker. Somme Mud: The war experiences of an Australian infantryman in France 1916-1919, which he edited, has become a bestseller in Australia, the UK and The Netherlands. In The Footsteps of Private Lynch has also been published to acclaim in Australia and the UK. Beneath Hill 60 tells the true story of the Australian miners and soldiers who tunnelled under Hill 60 near Ypres in Belgium and eventually broke through to create a new frontline. Will Davies also edited Somme Mud: Younger Reader’s Edition for high school aged readers. Prior to The Last 100 Days Will’s most recent book is The Boy Colonel, the story of the youngest battalion leader in the AIF.

Will Davies conducts personal tours of the battle fields each year in France and Belgium. For more information go to his website or contact him at

Song selection by our guest: And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda by Eric Bogle

Listen Now (mp3)

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