The Digger of Kokoda by Daniel Lane : An Official Biography of Reg Chard
Introduction – Digger of Kokoda by Daniel Lane, The Official Biography of Reg Chard
In the heart of the Pacific, amidst the dense jungles and treacherous terrain, unfolds a gripping tale of resilience, courage, and the indomitable spirit of an Australian soldier. “The Digger of Kokoda” by Daniel Lane is not just a book; it’s an official biography that takes you back to 1942 on the infamous Kokoda Trail, revealing the untold story of Reg Chard, an 18-year-old Australian soldier who endured hell during the battle that saved Australia.
Enduring Hell as an 18-Year-Old
Reg Chard’s biography evocatively portrays the hardships faced by the soldiers on the infamous Kokoda Trail in World War II. As an 18-year-old, Chard found himself thrust into the war in the jungle, facing challenges that would test the mettle of any warrior. Lane’s narrative vividly describes the battle that saved Australia and the irrepressible spirit of the Australian soldiers and nursing sisters who fought alongside Chard.
Rescued Decades Later on the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway
Decades later, when Chard decided to take visitors on guided tours of Sydney’s Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway, he became a custodian of its legacy. The biography tells us of Reg’s war in the jungle, preserving the memory of those who never came home. Chard’s compelling account of Kokoda is not just a personal recollection; it’s a tribute to the last surviving diggers of Kokoda and the nursing sisters who dedicated their lives to the cause.
The Journey of a Custodian
Reg Chard, now 98 years old, has become a custodian of the Kokoda legacy. The biography offers a deeper understanding of his life experiences, transporting readers straight back to the battlefield. Every word of this story resonates with respect and admiration for Reg, who tells these stories not just to relive the past but to educate and inspire young people.
From Grief to Purpose
The biography delves into Chard’s personal struggles, including the loss of his comrades and the grief that led his grief-stricken great-grandfather to contemplate taking his own life. However, Chard found new purpose through educating young people about the lessons of war and soldering that never succumbed to disease weeks after the photograph was taken.
A Modern Digger’s Perspective
“The Digger of Kokoda” is a modern digger’s perspective on the enduring impact of war. Reg Chard’s story is not just about battles fought and won; it’s about the lasting effects on the human psyche. The book offers a genuine portrayal of an Australian hero whose story could be anyone’s, a story that fills a digger like myself with pride.
The Legacy Lives Within
Reg Chard has become a symbol of the irrepressible spirit of the Australian soldiers who fought on the Kokoda Trail. His biography, penned by Daniel Lane, ensures that the memory of Kokoda lives within us. It’s not just a historical account; it’s a living testament to the sacrifices made and the lessons learned from the battle that saved Australia.
In conclusion, “The Digger of Kokoda” is an inspiring biography of a 98-year-old veteran, Reg Chard. Daniel Lane masterfully captures the essence of Kokoda, offering readers a profound understanding of the hardships faced during the campaign. Chard’s journey from the hell of war to becoming a custodian of its legacy is a testament to the enduring spirit of the Australian soldiers. This biography is not just essential reading; it’s a tribute to the last surviving diggers of Kokoda and a heartfelt reminder that the lessons of war should never be forgotten.
Q: What is “The Digger of Kokoda” by Daniel Lane about?
A: “The Digger of Kokoda” is a healing and inspiring biography of Reg Chard, a 98-year-old Australian veteran who fought in the 1942 Kokoda campaign. The book offers a personal account of his experiences and the hardships endured during the battle.
Q: Who is Reg Chard?
A: Reg Chard is a 98-year-old Australian veteran who fought in the Kokoda campaign during World War II. He has become a custodian of the Kokoda story and continues to relive the experience every day.
Q: What makes “The Digger of Kokoda” an inspiring biography?
A: The book provides a deeper understanding of the Kokoda campaign through Reg Chard’s personal account, reliving the challenges he faced as an 18-year-old soldier and how he found the will to live decades later.
Q: How does Reg Chard’s biography resonate with readers?
A: Reg Chard’s compelling account of his war service and the hardships of Kokoda offers a moving and inspiring narrative that resonates with readers, providing a glimpse into the experiences of one of the last surviving soldiers from the battle.
Q: Why is “The Digger of Kokoda” described as a healing biography?
A: The book recounts how Reg Chard endured hell as a young soldier in 1942, lost the will to live, but found healing and inspiration in his later years, becoming a symbol of resilience and perseverance.
Q: Who is the author of “The Digger of Kokoda”?
A: Daniel Lane is the author of “The Digger of Kokoda,” offering a unique perspective on the battle through the eyes of a front-line soldier and providing a personal account of Kokoda from Reg Chard’s point of view.
Q: What makes “The Digger of Kokoda” a compelling read?
A: The book transports readers into the heart of the Kokoda campaign through Reg Chard’s personal account, giving a vivid and moving portrayal of the experiences and sacrifices of those who fought in the battle.
Q: How has Reg Chard’s biography been received by readers?
A: “The Digger of Kokoda” has been praised for offering one of the finest accounts of the Kokoda campaign, providing a personal and moving narrative that resonates with people and fills a gap in understanding the significance of the battle.
Q: What impact does “The Digger of Kokoda” have on readers?
A: Reading the story of Reg Chard and the battle of Kokoda has a profound impact, offering a deeper understanding of the sacrifices made and the resilience shown by soldiers like Chard, even 80 years after the battle.
Q: What does “The Digger of Kokoda” reveal about Reg Chard’s post-war life?
A: In the book, Reg Chard’s post-war life, including his role as a custodian of the Kokoda story and his dedication to giving guided tours of Sydney’s sites, demonstrates how Kokoda continues to live within him and inspire his actions.