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One Gunner's War

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About the Author

Francis Smith was born in London in 1920 and lived in the countryside nearby. In 1939 he was a bank clerk in Surrey when he met and fell in love with Joan Bardwell. With war impending he joined the Surrey Yeomanry and served with that regiment in the Middle East campaigns. After receiving a commission he returned home, married Joan and spent his last year in the army in Germany. He trained in forestry at Aberdeen University, kept bees and sold honey to support his growing family. Recruited by the Colonial Office he went to Tanganyika to research African bees and beekeeping and earned himself the degree of Doctor of Science. Offered a job by the Western Department of Agriculture he and his family went to Perth. In his spare time he built a yacht and with Joan as crew explored the coast and inland waterways of Western Australia. Appointed Director of National Parks he built up a fine body of rangers and Joan accompanied him visiting remote parks and supporting the rangers' wives. Retiring in 1980, Francis was concerned about the bad treatment received by Australian soldiers returning from Vietnam. He recorded his motives and experiences as a soldier in the service of his country for his family and friends and old war time colleagues.

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