Gillian Watch Whittall Shares Remarkable Story of Young Soldier

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New book ‘From Gallipoli to the Skies’ is written from Fred Reeve’s letters while he speaks through them

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For a young man, war can be exciting but also frightening. Fred Reeve survives the sinking of the Southlands, fighting at Gallipoli but dies while flying in France. “From Gallipoli to the Skies” (published by Xlibris AU), written by author Gillian Watch Whittall, shares the remarkable story of a young soldier who tries to understand love, life and war, and the expectation that every soldier should be a hero.

Fred Reeve is a 19-year-old young man from Melbourne who dreams of flying. He builds a Bleriot in his back yard but does not finish it as war breaks out in 1914. After he enlists he writes to his mother and family. He is critical of training in Egypt and comments that thousands of Australians have been lost just because of inexperience and lack of discipline. While hospitalised in Egypt, he hears of the experiences of the wounded at Gallipoli and a fellow in the next bed is the only non commissioned officer left alive in his battalion.

On the way to Gallipoli, Reeve’s ship is torpedoed and he spends many hours in the water before being rescued. At Gallipoli, he is in the ‘Hell of fighting’ for five weeks before being evacuated. After recuperation on Malta and in Oxford, he finally achieves his dream of joining the Royal Flying Corps in 1916. Reeve’s daredevil flying exploits are recounted in newspaper articles in both the USA and Australia. He is flying on a mission in France when his aircraft comes down and he is killed.

“”From Gallipoli to the Skies” offers a unique experience of Gallipoli when we are celebrating 100 years since our men fought there,” says the author. She added that this book is not just a biography; It is a story about the importance of family ties and how essential they were during those times of war. It does not glamorize war; It is written from Fred Reeve’s letters and he speaks through them.

“From Gallipoli to the Skies”
By Gillian Watch Whittall
Hardcover |6 x 9in | 154 pages | ISBN 9781499018059
Softcover | 6 x 9in | 154 pages | ISBN 9781499018035
E-Book | 154 pages | ISBN 9781499018011
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Gillian Watch Whittall is a secondary school history teacher who lives with her husband Chris in Maleny, Queensland. She has spent decades researching family history and has written biographies of the many strands of her family.

Xlibris Publishing Australia, an Author Solutions, LLC imprint, is a self-publishing services provider dedicated to serving Australian authors. By focusing on the needs of creative writers and artists and adopting the latest print-on-demand publishing technology and strategies, we provide expert publishing services with direct and personal access to quality publication in hardcover, trade paperback, custom leather-bound and full-color formats. To date, Xlibris has helped to publish more than 60,000 titles.For more information, visit or call 1800 455 039 to receive a free publishing guide. Follow us @XlibrisAus on Twitter for the latest news.

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