Following on the success of his original version of this work, Patrick has updated and rewritten this new edition, which includes our Diggers’ contribution to the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts and recent discoveries relating to Fromelles, Kokoda and other Western Front battles. He has also included new chapters on our most recent VC winners, the Coast Watchers and IEDs (improvised explosive devices).

Told through the words and actions of the Diggers themselves, The Spirit of the Digger explores the essence of the Australian soldier and how he differs from other soldiers.

In many ways, the Digger is a study in contradictions: he doesn′t crave war yet he will fight with unequalled ferocity; he hates spit and polish but will hold his discipline under the most trying conditions; he is tough yet compassionate; he hates his enemy until he surrenders, then he is generous in victory; he despises histrionics but will cry unashamedly at the loss of a mate.

Courage, mateship, endurance, selflessness, devotion, independence, audacity, and humour describe the Digger. Throw in resilience, self-reliance and compassion and the list of the Digger′s qualities is still not complete.

They are not all heroes but they are remarkable and their deeds are timeless.