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Valiant for Truth: The Life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent

Neil McDonald and Peter Brune, have both written extensively about Australia’s role in the second World War. This biography about the journalist Chester Wilmot , is well researched, with comprehensive referencing. Both authors had access to Chester’s papers, donated to the National Library of Australia, by Chester’s widow Edith, and also papers from the Liddell Hart Centre for military archives at King’s College in London.

 Chester Wilmot was a war correspondent respected by his biographers, and this biography follows his life from early days, through entry into journalism, and finally his career as a war correspondent. His father was a great influence as he too was a journalist. He had a strong social conscience and with it, integrity to check original sources for accuracy. He valued accuracy, even when it led to criticism of military issues. He had the need to look for the underlying causes of both successes and failures. He had numerous battles with censors, who deleted large sections of his reports, in case they aided the enemy.

 Prior to World War two, Chester had travelled to Japan and Europe, where he had observed  the growth of national anger and racism, developing into fanaticism. He noted this and understood the history behind the passionate feelings.

 He was present at many of the great battles in Europe, and Papua New Guinea, broadcasting for the BBC, and ABC. His reports on the Kokoda Trail were memorable, and his confrontations with General Blamey make interesting reading, as do his encounters with Montgomery. His reports were uniquely trusted by listeners to the ABC and BBC, as well as soldiers in the field, who felt they had been listened to.

 His death in a plane crash in Greece, in 1954, at age forty two, was a loss felt very keenly by all those involved in war correspondence. This is a comprehensive cover of the experiences of one of Australia’s most renowned War correspondents.

AuthorPeter Brune, Neil McDonald
PublisherNew South Publications
DistributorNew South Books
ReleasedDecember 2016