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"Put Les Darcy in a uniform and the men of Australia will march to hell behind him." That was the message Australia's great 'Blacksmith Boxer' was getting, as debate about conscription raged in the middle of World War 1. The problem was that Les Darcy didn't want to march at the fore of such a procession, nor to such a destination. He wanted to continue what he had been doing to extraordinary acclaim before the war began - taking on the best boxers the world could throw at him, and lifting his entire family out of poverty as he did so. Torn between the duty he felt he owed his family, and the duty many felt he owed his country, Les made his choice - and faced the consequences. And so unfolds a ballad of love, war, betrayal, mystery, patriotism and heroism, a ballad of a champion whose story still has the power to move the stoniest heart.
About the Author
Peter FitzSimons is a journalist with the Sun-Herald and the Sydney Morning Herald, and the author of more than 20 books, including How Hemlines Predict the Economy.
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Comments about The Ballad of Les Darcy:
The book was easy to read and interesting for me as I always knew the story. Mr.Fitzsimons fitted in very well the backgrounD of WW1.It is a very good Aussie yarn, sad but true. It meant a lot to me. Some of the photographs I had never seen before. A good coverage of his brief time in the USA. I suppose I have always found the story absorbing ; I heard it from my Dad when I was very young. An uncle of his had been a spectator at one of Darcy's fights in Sydney. MR. Billy Ford was a member of my extended family. His words were prophetic in 1914; telling Darcy he would come to a bad end. He did. Mr Ford died in Sydney in 1950 aged 88.
For Ages: 14 - 15 years old
For Grades: 10 - 12
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: August 2009
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd
Dimensions (cm): 20.0 x 12.8 x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.26