Inner West Council will mark the centenary of the Battle of Amiens with a very special author talk.
The Battle of Amiens commenced on 8 August 1918, and ultimately led to the end of the First World War. During this time on the Western Front, a few daring low-ranking Australian infantrymen, alone among all the armies on the Western Front, were taking part in ‘stealth raids’. These raids, initiated by the men themselves and without the knowledge of their commanding officers, were highly successful, killing Germans, capturing prisoners and advancing the line sometimes by thousands of yards.
One of these men was Marrickville local Jack Hayes (pictured right). He and five other stealth raiders captured the village of Chipilly and the Chipilly Spur during the Battle of Amiens.
“This event was the supreme stealth raid,” author Lucas Jordan told Inside History magazine.
“Jack Hayes…was a wonderful character and a charismatic leader.”
Jack was one of six Australians (two non-commissioned officers and four privates) who captured the village of Chipilly and the Chipilly Spur, the right flank objective of a 15,000-man British division, during the most decisive battle of the war.
“After the war, Hayes was among a group of five returned men who initiated the Anzac Day dawn service at Martin Place. His son, the late John Hayes, told me, ‘Jack’s life revolved around his past soldier friends’,” Lucas Jordan said.
Jordan’s book, an account of the crucial summer on the Western Front, is Stealth Raiders: A Few Daring Men in 1918.
“Their weapon of choice was surprise, enforced by a revolver and bombs in the hands of cool-headed men. Australians, alone among all the armies on the Western Front, were masters of the stealth raid,” said Lucas Jordan.
About the author: Lucas Jordan is a history teacher at Western English Language School and has taught history to undergraduate students at Deakin and Monash universities. Stealth Raiders is his first book and is adapted from his PhD thesis, supervised by award-winning historians Professor Bill Gammage (ANU) and Dr Peter Stanley (UNSW).
When: Wednesday 8 August 2018, 6pm – 7pm
Where: Marrickville Library, Marrickville Road & Petersham Road, Marrickville NSW 2204