Arthur Wheen was the most daring, resourceful signaller in the 1st AIF. His extraordinary exploits in the epic Battles of Fromelles, Polygon Wood, Villers-Bretonneux and Peronne are told as well as his subsequent career as a Rhodes Scholar. In 1929 he became the first and best translator of Remarque's classical German war novel All Quiet on the Western Front that became an international bestseller and a Hollywood film in 1930. On the other side of No Man's Land Wheen's experience paralleled incidents in the book. In the midst of the horrors of Fromelles, Wheen showed conspicuous bravery in laying and repairing telephone lines under extremely heavy fire across No Man's Land where there was indescribable loss of life. At night he volunteered to search for the wounded and showed fine courageous spirit in rescuing many under intense machine-gun and rifle fire. He wrote: 'The Morning Star is quenched with blood'.
John Ramsland is Emeritus Professor at The University of Newcastle and the author of several books and many articles on Australian social history. He has also published widely on the history of neglected and institutionalised children in England, France, and Australia.