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Blue Ribbons, Bitter Bread : Joice Loch - Australia's Most Heroic Woman - Susanna de Vries

Blue Ribbons, Bitter Bread

Joice Loch - Australia's Most Heroic Woman

Paperback

Published: 1st February 2017
In Stock. Ships from Australia today or next business day
RRP $34.99
$32.50

This unforgettable story has become an Australian classic describing how an Australian bush girl saved the lives of 1,000 Polish and Jewish children in a daring escape from the Nazis. This updated edition contains an important eye-witness account of the burning of Smyrna (Izmir) causing a vast number of deaths. The author's father, a young British naval officer, saved hundreds of Greeks from the blaze that destroyed their beautiful city and many of them would be cared for by Joice Loch in a Greek refugee camp and later in the refugee village of Ouranoupolis, now a holiday resort.

Joice Loch was an extraordinary Australian. She had the inspired courage that saved many hundreds of Jews and Poles in World War II, the compassion that made her a self-trained doctor to tens of thousands of refugees, the incredible grit that took her close to death in several theatres of war, and the dedication to truth and justice that shone forth in her own books and a lifetime of astonishing heroism.

Born in a cyclone in 1887 on a Queensland sugar plantation, she grew up in grinding poverty in Gippsland and emerged from eyars of unpaid drudgery by writing a children's book and freelance journalism. In 1918 she married Sydney Loch, author of a banned book on Gallipoli. After a dangerous time in Dublin during the Troubles, they excaped from possible IRA vengeance to work with the Quakers in Poland. There they rescued countless dispossessed people from disease and starvation and risked death themselves.

In 1922 Joice and Sydney went to Greece to aid the 1,500,000 refugees fleeing Turkish persecution. Greece was to become their home. They lived in an ancient tower by the sea in the shadows of Athos, the Holy Mountain, and worked selflessly for decades to save victims of war, famine and disease.

During World War II, Joice was an agent for the Allies in Eastern Europe and pulled off a spectacular escape to snatch over a thousand Jews and Poles from death just before the Nazis invaded Bucharest, escorting them via Constantinople to Palestine. By the time she died in 1982, Joice had written ten books, saved many thousands of lives and was one of the world's most decorated women. At her funeral the Greek Orthodox Bishop of Oxford named her 'one of the most significant women of the twentieth century'.

This classic Australian biography is a tribute to one of Australia's most heroic women, who always spoke with great fondness of Queensland as her birthplace. In 2006 a Loch Memorial Museum was opened in the tower by the sea in Ouranoupolis, a tribute to the Lochs and their humanitarian work.

About the Author

Susanna de Vries is an art historian who lectures at the University of Queensland. She has been the recipient of a Churchill Fellowship to study Renaissance art in Italy, and has written extensively on art and history both here and overseas. She was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1996 for services to art and literature. Susanna is the author of many books, several of which have won awards. In 2001 she was awarded a Tyrone Guthrie Fellowship to write in Ireland by the Literature Board of the Australia Council. Her most recent book was To Hell and Back.

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Every teenager in Australia should read this

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I wish Secondary schools would put this book on the curriculum for students. I think it is important for the current generation to understand what people were like in these early years and how they lived.

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ISBN: 9781925281781
ISBN-10: 1925281787
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 398
Published: 1st February 2017
Publisher: Golf Society of Australia
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 22.91 x 15.19  x 2.08
Weight (kg): 0.53