The Power of the Stones
The Power of the Stones explains a Wollongong family’s beginnings in colonial Australia. It is a story with a terrible past, growing from the events of Ireland’s Great Hunger, and the scourge of industrial madness which rapidly enveloped all that was once Scotland’s Midlothian rural landscape.
A child of this Australian pathway, Stan Meehan, of whom doctors said, ‘was the finest specimen’ of the Wollongong recruits to enlist in World War One, marched off to that dreadful war. After his sudden death following the horrors of Pozieres, his elite 13th Battalion lay him to rest in rural France in the village of Vaux en Amienois in the December of 1916.
The Summoning Begins
“This lack of confidence in the authorities arises principally from the fact that every man knows that the last operations were grossly bungled by the general staff, and that Hamilton has led a series of armies into a series of cul-de-sacs. You would hardly believe the evidence with your own eyes at Suvla. You would refuse to believe that these men were really British soldiers. So badly shaken are they by their miserable defeats and surroundings, so physically affected are they by the lack of water and the monotony of salt beef and rice, that they show an atrophy of mind and body that is appalling.”
Keith Murdoch 1915
The Summoning Begins tells the Gallipoli story of young men from a single Public School at Woonona in the city of Wollongong on the beautiful Illawarra coast of New South Wales.
The author Dan Michael Meehan, himself a former student of this school, paints a graphic image of young men and wasted lives. He pulls no punches.
It is not all doom and gloom as there is a theme here, a theme of bringing home the spirit of his great uncle Stan Meehan. He does this with some remarkable coincidences and to quote his Irish cousin Paula Halcrow, “It’s our ancestors that are playing a part in this story Our Dan, them and God Almighty Himself!”