ISBN 0 522 84170 8
To be the founder of the Royal Military College, Duntroon, which he directed as commandant until a short time before war began in 1914; to raise and to command the First A.I.F., the largest expeditionary force to leave Australian shores up to that time; to die of wounds received at Gallipoli, three weeks after the landing which established the symbol of Australia’s existence as a nation; such a career might well have produced a fine biography long ago.
Yet, although it is more than sixty years since Bridges died, this is the first book devoted to describing and assessing his life and achievements. Based on extensive original research into military and private papers in Australia and England, it is an absorbing account of the father of the modern Australian Army.
Bridges’ military career spanned thirty years, when the character and traditions of the Australian Army were being established. When he was commissioned in the New South Wales Artillery, the first colonial troops to serve in a British war were fighting in the Sudan; fifteen years later he was in South Africa with other Australian colonials engaged in another imperial war. But perhaps his most enduring achievement was the founding of the Royal Military College of Australia.