Prior to the First World War making your own entertainment -singing, playing musical instruments, recitations, story telling - was an important part of home and community life which accompanied the Australian soldiers to the battle fields. Robert Holden looks at how many of the units established bands or had impromptu concerts, perhaps around a camp fire, to entertain fellow soldiers. Although there was no chance for the relief of music on the battlefield, there was plenty of opportunity for musical and general entertainment interludes in the camps in Egypt, for example. Recreation areas behind the lines in France, such as those run by the YMCA, also provided the opportunity for soldiers to relax and listen to music and / or poetry as a relief from the horrors of battle. Those who had the opportunity to go to London on leave also had the opportunity to attend concerts and dances.
In this book Robert Holden describes the opportunities for making music and other entertainments for the troops as well as looking at a selection of the songs and poems popular with the Anzacs at the time.