Justice in a Hurry is a new novel based on the World War One diaries of Sapper Henry Dadswell (1894-1978) who served as a signaller with the Australian Army.
A work of fiction, the book has been written by Toz Dadswell, son of the Australian signaller. It is a follow-up to his 2015 book The Two Days in Your Life, the story of 'Bluey' Dowson, a red-headed country boy who joined the Australian Army in 1916.
That story opened with Dowson reminiscing on the advice given to him and his companions by Corporal Al Wilson, just before their first day under enemy fire. Eventually he lost most of his signaller companions, and eventually Dowson - in dire straits - accepts his own death will soon occur.
As he awaits the end, he recalls the events that lead him from the farm in Victoria to his battlefield predicament.
Importantly, it was in recruit camp that Dowson and his officer, Ronald Johnston, met, and both men took an instant dislike to the other. This dislike had far reaching and tragic consequences in the trenches and elsewhere on the Western Front.
Dowson and the other eight members of his signal section formed a formidable group. On arrival in France, they came under the command of Corporal Wilson. It was there that they were introduced to the philosophy of the "Two Days" - a philosophy to help men face possible death on the battlefield.
This latest volume combines the original book and the sequel which unravels the story of mysterious deaths in the dying days of the war - deaths of Australian Army personnel that occurred off the battlefield.
Justice in a Hurry is 600-plus pages of drama which although fictional, portrays the reality of life for the signallers supporting the fighting troops. It also shows the battle to get justice in a war setting.
For more details of the book, see tozdadswell.com.
The author, Toz Dadswell, retired in 1986 from the Royal Australian Navy as a Commodore, after more than 40 years of service. Apart from publishing two books, he was involved with the publication of his father's war record, Diary of a Sapper in 2010.
- Information compiled January 2023
Return to Family Stories Index Page