Port Stephens authors to launch new book on Australian WWI hero

NEW TITLE: John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher, carrying the Australian and Turkish flags, have released a new historical book about a little known WWI officer.
NEW TITLE: John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher, carrying the Australian and Turkish flags, have released a new historical book about a little known WWI officer.

A pair of Port Stephens authors have collaborated once again to bring to light the tale of a World War I hero virtually forgotten to Australian history.

In John Gillam and Yvonne Fletcher's fifth book, called Turkish Charlie Ryan, they tell the true story of Australian Major General Sir Charles Snodgrass Ryan.

Ryan is credited as being a pivotal figure in the Armistice at Gallipoli on May 24, 1915.

He was knighted and decorated for bravery in battle by the people of Turkey and the British Empire.

Turkish historians credit Ryan with helping to establish "the indestructible foundation of Turkish-Australian friendship amidst the trenches of war". While he is studied in Turkish schools, Ryan is little known in Australia.

"It is [our] intention... [to] enlighten Australian school children to an Australian hero who also happens to be a hero to Turkey," the authors said.

Yvonne Fletcher and John Gillam with their fifth book, Turkish Charlie Ryan, illustrated by artist Lillian Webb.

Yvonne Fletcher and John Gillam with their fifth book, Turkish Charlie Ryan, illustrated by artist Lillian Webb.

The book, which bears the Centenary of Anzac logo, has been illustrated by artist Lillian Webb.

Turkish Charlie Ryan will be launched during Raymond Terrace and District Historical Society's Australian Heritage Festival event at Sktechley Cottage on Sunday, April 28.

The open day will shine a light on female convicts of the area.

From 10.30am, Mr Gillam and Ms Fletcher will be relating their experiences and research revelations. Ms Webb will have her artworks and illustration process on display.

To attend the launch, RSVP by April 24 to j.gillam@bigpond.com.

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