Jack’s Bugle written by Krista Bell & Illustrated by Belinda Elliott
Published by Windy Hollow Books
With the anniversary of the Anzac’s approaching, this timely reminder of the sacrifice so many young men made is heart breaking.
We journey with Aiden Jackson, as he enlists to join the Australian Imperial Force.
Aiden takes along with him one of his most prized possessions, his shiny brass bugle, for which he had often been called a “natural” when he played.
The lovely water colour illustrations, show us Aiden’s journey, as he lines up with the other men for their physical’s, they get their shots and don their brand new uniforms. Next they enter the training camp to teach them how to fight the enemy.
Aiden quickly makes a friend in Spencer Harrington, and as their friendship grows, they begin to call each other by their nicknames. Aiden becomes “Jack” and Spencer becomes “Harry”.
As their time drew near to ship out, Jack often played his bugle for Harry, when he couldn’t sleep thinking of what lay ahead.
They soon set sail and a month later they arrive in Egypt. They have a photo take on their arrival, but neither man could imagine the hardships that lay ahead.
Four months they train in the harsh desert and finally on the 25th of April, they land on the shore of Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey.
The gun fire is deafening and so many lost are already floating in the water and lying on the beach.
Jack plays his bugle to rally his mates. Harry and Jack stick together, but the battle is relentless and they become separated.
Harry find’s Jack’s bugle, but he never does find Jack again.
Harry never spoke of that time, not to anyone, not even his wife, so when he departed for the heavens, the bugle he kept in honour of his friend eventually finds its way into a second hand shop.
A young boy named Jackson adopts the bugle, and we learn he is also is a “natural” when he plays.
In closing when Jackson’s mum reflects on his natural ability, she reminisces that his great uncle, Private Aiden Jackson, also played the bugle, but on that day on April 25th at the age of nineteen, he gave his life in sacrifice in Gallipoli Bay.
I can barely keep from sobbing at this point actually. This was a thoroughly moving tribute to a time that is but a memory to many. The illustrations depict the era so beautifully and the scenes where we know there was mass chaos and blood shed, were done so sensitively. I believe this will make an excellent addition to any classroom, not just to impart some of the history of this time, but to give a sense of the sacrifice and loss these men made on our behalf.
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Krista Bell
Illustrator: Belinda Elliott
Title: Jack’s Bugle
Publisher: Windy Hollow Books
Published: April 2014