Cruel Conflict

Cruel Conflict

A Grave Too Far Away

A Tribute to Australians in Bomber Command Europe


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More Information
By Kathryn Spurling
Format Paperback / softback
Page Extent 448
Book Size 241 x 160 x 29 mm (H x W x D)
Imprint New Holland Publishers
Release Date 1 Sep 2012
Subject Classification True stories / True war & combat stories

A Grave Too Far Away illuminates the story of the men of (RAF)Royal Air Force Bomber Command Europe 1939-1945 who answered the call of their nation to defend the Mother Country in World War II.

A Grave Too Far Away describes the highs and lows of their training and military service through letters, interviews and remembered stories. The demands of the bombing campaign on men and aircraft were enormous and the horrors of war deeply felt by the youthful Australians ordered to carry out operations. After WWII these young men would face derision and would fight their own demons but their service and sacrifice would continue to reverberate for generations around the globe. Their loss and legacy will endure for generations.

Kathryn Spurling

Kathryn Spurling

Dr Kathryn Spurling served with the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS). Her late father FO Maxwell Norris (RAAF) served with RAF Bomber Command during WWII.

After securing her PhD in military history Dr Spurling tutored history and strategic studies and guest lectured in history at the University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra.

In 2012 she was appointed a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, Canberra and in 2014 became an Adjunct Visiting Research Associate with Flinders University. She has lectured extensively overseas on military issues.

Most significant: First Australian invited to speak at NATO HQ, Brussels, on women in the military; First Australian Summer Military History Fellow, United States Military Academy, West Point; Guest lecturer at the Dutch Defence College, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Keynote speaker at the Women’s Research and Education Institute ‘Women in Uniform Conference’, Washington DC, four times. Keynote speaker, Australian Women of the Year National Congress, Canberra. Keynote speaker ‘Women in the Australian Defence Force’, Chief of Defence Force Conference on Women in Security and the ADF. Speaker at Crime and Justice Challenges for the Contemporary Military Conference, Onati School of Sociology, Spain. Commemorative address, RAN Centenary Ceremony for the Loss of AE1 and crew, Rabaul, New Guinea.

Dr Spurling's media appearances have included features on ABC's The Drum; 4 Corners and Insight.

She has written ten books, including for New Holland Publishers:
  • Cruel Conflict: the triumph and tragedy of HMAS Perth I, New Holland, 2008. Launched by Minister for Defence onboard HMAS Perth III.
  •  A Grave too Far Away: A Tribute to Australians in Bomber Command Europe, New Holland, 2012.
  • HMAS Canberra: casualty of circumstance, New Holland, 2016.
  • Abandoned and Sacrificed: Rabaul, Lark Force and the Montevideo Maru, New Holland, 2017.
  • Upcoming - Fury To Hell, New Holland, 2022.