As a young soldier on the battlefields of Gallipoli, Sydney Loch witnessed the horrors of war first-hand. On his return to Australia, he wrote an account of all he saw, describing his work as a ‘novel’ to evade censorship. As the war ground on abroad and battles raged at home over conscription, Sydney’s book, The Straits Impregnable garnished widespread literary acclaim. But when the publisher revealed that it was a work of non-fiction, Australian military censors swiftly ordered it be withdrawn from sale, and the book vanished.
Now renowned historian Susanna de Vries and her husband Jake de Vries have unearthed Sydney’s book for a new generation of readers and, to accompany it, have written a biography of the remarkable life of Sydney Loch: soldier, writer, humanitarian.