Australia’s Forgotten Soldiers from Paraguay
A quarter of a century ago a large number of people left Australia with the idea of the founding a New Australia – a communistic paradise – in the middle of Paraguay, in South America (states The Diggers’ Gazette). The attempt was a disastrous failure, but it is interesting to learn that the half-dozen families still left of the original settlers at Colonia Cosme sent 14 volunteers to the war practically – every fit man. One was 56 years old, and others were so young when they left Australia that they could not remember it at all. And they had to travel a thousand miles, presumably at their own expense, to reach the coast at Buenos Aires. Probably this fine result was due to a survival of the influence of William Lane, the founder of the colony, who was always strongly British in sentiment, lost a son in the war, and was largely instrumental, as editor of a daily newspaper in New Zealand, in getting compulsory service adopted there.
“This book brings light to the life stories of Australian heroes who, after calling Paraguay their new home, responded to the call of duty during the First World War.”
– Armando Fernández Galté, Head of Mission, Embassy of Paraguay, Canberra
About the Author
Robert A. Barnes first travelled to Paraguay as an exchange student in 1982.
A visit to Nueva Australia and a chance meeting with one of the few remaining colonists sparked a lasting interest in William Lane’s New Australia experiment, and more specifically, the little-known stories of those New Australians who left Paraguay to fight for Britain in the Great War of 1914-1918.
After university and short career as a provincial newspaper journalist, Robert served in the Australian Regular Amy for 23 years.
This is Robert’s second book. He has previously written a historical romance novel, Asunción, set in Paraguay during the tumultuous period between 1922 to 1947.
Robert is married to Misook and they live with their kelpie Max in Cooma, New South Wales.