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Balanced tribute to our ANZAC surgeons

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WHEREAS THE OBJECTIVE of this book is to highlight and commemorate the contribution that Australian and New Zealand surgeons made to the Dardanelles Campaign, on this centenary of the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landings at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915, it goes far beyond that, by providing a balanced appraisal of the medical and surgical services of both the Allies and the Turks, sprinkled with details of the military aspects of the campaign.

Although 15 surgeons from Australia and New Zealand — many with a military background — and college staff have contributed to the book, much of the credit for the final product should go to its editors. Milford, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) archivist, was responsible for some of the biographies, and the collation, editing and proofreading; and Watters, the principal surgical author and College president-elect, recruited the contributors, wrote some of the chapters and has been the driving force in the book’s publication in time for its launch on 23 April 2015 at the RACS headquarters in Melbourne.

Most readers will find the biographies of the surgeons are what make the book so special. From Aberdeen to Zwar, the biographies are arranged alphabetically and interspersed between the four chapters and epilogue. All the biographies follow the same outline: exploring each surgeon’s early life; time spent at Gallipoli; period of service during the First…