Last Man Out

Louise Park

Last Man Out
Wild Dog Books
22 March 2023

Last Man Out

Louise Park

The evacuation from Gallipoli of Australian and New Zealand troops was a logistically incredible undertaking. The exhausted young men were to slip away by ship in the dead of night. But... Someone needed to remain behind to cover for their fellow soldiers. This was a mission that almost certainly meant death. Would it be you? Would you volunteer to be the last man out?

And so, the rivalry begins. Who will be chosen to stay on until the end? Who will hold fast to the last to allow tens of thousands to slip away silently from Gallipoli? Only the fittest, the most gallant and capable will be chosen. The pick of the whole force, we are told. And the message is clear: the rear guard of honour will be killed or captured. The rear party, the most daring men of all, doomed.

John Alexander Park grew up in England and served in Africa, the Afghan War, and the Boxer Rising before settling in Australia. The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in 1914 sparked The Great War - or World War I. On 1st March 1915, John joined the Australian Army in Sydney and was promoted to Sergeant before being assigned to the 19th Battalion. He was 36 years old and a seasoned serviceman when he arrived at Gallipoli. And he was the last man out.

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