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Inspired To Change The Direction

Gordon George Smith Author Interview

Gordon George Smith Author Interview

Lady Ruth Bromfield is about a young girl that is rescued from Nazi Germany and grows up to be an engineer on the Snowy Mountain Hydro-Electric Project. What motivated you to write an inspirational story about this woman’s life?

I wanted to write a story that included some of my feelings that I encountered while in the civil construction sector. However, when I read a newspaper article about the Kinder Transport, I was inspired to change the direction of the story. I researched the background to the Kinder Transport, and I became even more inspired. I am always disturbed by how we as a human race always seem to be wary of people from different backgrounds and beliefs, so I include the three themes into my book.

Ruth was sent to England on the Kinder Transport to be raised by a Church of England priest. What research did you do to get this time in history as accurate as possible?

I read widely on the general conditions in England during the war. I had some understanding of Jewish traditions and teachings and along with my Anglican background, I was able to develop the story around Ruth being a Christian- Jew or was it a Jewish –Christian?. I was able to run the Christian aspects by a retired Anglican Priest. When I was halfway through the book, I heard an interview on the radio that mentioned that sometimes Jewish women bathed naked a religious ceremony. I researched this and found several articles about Mikveh. I was able to include this in the story.

Lady Ruth Bromfield is a sensational view at overcoming religious and ethnic intolerance. Do you think this is a topic that is more prevalent today than it has been in the past?

In some quarters it appears to be more prevalent today (e.g., the western populations being distrusting toward Muslim migrants.) However, in other instances, we have come a long way. As an example when I was growing up Protestant School kids did not mix with those who went to Catholic schools. It also seems that there is nowhere the distrust of “Jews” that was prevalent when I was young. Even then although there was some mistrust, this was tempered with the feeling of disgust in how the Jews were persecuted by the Nazis.

What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be published?

My next book is in the embryo stage but. I am considering writing a story about three young Australian men who were conscripted to fight in Vietnam in the 60’s. The three of them came from different worlds (a Christian, a Jew, and a Muslim) The story would revolve around their time in Vietnam and how their lives developed after the conflict. At this stage I hope to have it published toward the end of 2017.

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Lady Ruth BromfieldSaved from Nazi Holocaust, she grew in spirit to be a world leader. In 1935, Ruth was in born to an unmarried Jewish mother in Germany. Fearing the Nazi persecution, Ruth was sent to England on the “kinder transport“ to be raised by a Church of England priest. He raised in the Christian faith, and with help, he also raised her in the Jewish faith. Her faith guided her life and enabled her to build bridges between different groups, even at an early age. Follow her story as she grows up and becomes an engineer on the Snowy Mountain Hydro-Electric Project. Her story is guaranteed to raise your hopes and show how to overcome the differences we all share. A sensational view at overcoming religious and ethnic intolerance. 

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Lady Ruth Bromfield

Lady Ruth Bromfield3 StarsAs the Nazis begin to take over Germany, a young, Jewish mother strives to protect her daughter from the persecution that her people face on a daily basis. After meeting a secret agent from England, the young mother ships her daughter to the English countryside to live with a minister and his wife with the promise that they will raise her in the Jewish faith. A look into the life of a girl raised to be a Christian Jew, Lady Ruth Broomfield showcases the drive and amazing work ethic that its titular character posses which helped her become a powerful player in a world that once persecuted her people.

Gordon Smith’s Lady Ruth Bromfield proves to be an interesting read in the sense that it reads like fiction, but also reads like a true story. While the story keeps the reader on the edge of their seat near the beginning of the novel, there are obvious dips in the interest levels and movement of the story.

The book is very well written in the sense that the author definitely knows how to pace the story when it comes to facts. However, one of the major issues with the storytelling comes through the depiction of Ruth. While it is understood that Ruth is the story’s hero, she is far too perfect in her depiction. Overly smart, ambitious, and predominantly successful from an early age, the writing of ten-year-old Ruth makes her appear to be unusually self-aware. Certainly, the children of World War II grew up faster than most, but her mentality seems to be a mix of a spoiled five year old and a wise twenty year old.

Similarly, her depiction as a three-year-old is unrealistic. Had some of the conversations happened when the child was five instead of three, it would’ve been more believable than the conversation presented. However, when the reader keeps in mind that the main character is a little bit above and beyond the normal person as the story continues, it makes the unnatural maturity seem more plausible, if only by a little bit. While the writing is mostly well done, the repetitive descriptions and retelling of information slows the flow of the book greatly and dampers the overall mood when reading the story.

It’s really the ending of the story that makes up for the roller-coaster of writing and descriptions throughout the book. The promise of hope and the example of overcoming as a woman in a predominately male field is quite the impressive story. Similarly, overcoming her initial adversity at the beginning of the story as a Jewish orphan to becoming a massive player in the world of construction does offer hope to anyone who believes that their small beginnings do not allow them to go on and achieve greater things. Overall, this story provides hope.

Pages: 250 | ASIN: B01JVV1HLE

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Personal Side of the Great War

Gordon  George SmithThe Family that Went to War is both a family memoir and a history of the people of the state of New South Wales. Are you writing about your own family? What inspired you to write a story about your family’s life?

After starting to research my family tree I discovered for the first time that I had a great Uncle killed at the battle of Fromelles. Then to my amazement I gradually discovered the stories of the other 5 mentioned in the book. While I was discussing this with some of my cousins, I decided to see if I could write a book on their exploits.

This book is about World War 1. What research did you do to prepare to tell this story?

We had a guest speaker at a men’s dinner and he mentioned that he found a lot of information from public available war records. I applied for the service records of all six members and from there I researched the events shown in their records. Every time I came across a location that I was not familiar with I Googled the location to check on its spelling. Unfortunately army diaries were notorious for the inaccuracy of foreign names.  The Google research also allowed me to see the relationship between the various locations. I also searched newspapers particularly after reading Georgina’s letters to the army. I realized that there was a lot more to learn. From the old newspapers I was able to put together the later histories of the Wright brothers (both of whom gained the rank of Inspector in the NSW police force).

This story gives a personal look into the lives of WWI veterans. Did you find anything in your research of this story that surprised you?

Everything surprised me as I (like so many of my generation) knew so little of the personal side of the Great War.

How do you think the return of these veterans from WWI helped to shape modern culture?

From those I have talked to, it seems that they were all effected long term. I got the feeling that the distance made it even harder on the families at home because it would be months after the event that their families would have any news. I think that many went to do their duty for the “Mother Country” only to be disappointed by the attitudes of the British Generals toward the Australians. From that time in history Australians ceased to feel they were British. They now were proud to be Australians.

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The Family that went to WarIn1914 Australia joined England and declared war on Germany and it’s allies. In the small New South Wales town of Cootamundra 6 young Australians, all from the same family, individually joined the fight. This saga follows their journeys through Gallipoli and the Western Front. The saga also covers time in Egypt, England and France away from the fighting. This is a story of a family and how it was affected by a on the other side of the world. It tells of the battles, the wounding and sickness endured by these young men as well as the lighter moments. A readable history that shows some insights into what it was like during those dark times. Buy Now From Amazon.com

The Family That Went to War

The Family That Went To War3 StarsThe Family that Went to War is both a family memoir and a history of the people of the state of New South Wales, Australia. The author, Gordon Smith, gives a well-documented account of six members of a family from Cootamundra, NSW, who enlisted into the First Australian Imperial Force (1st AIF) at the onset of World War I. His research in historical archives, newspapers, and memorial societies is well done. The accounts of war and details of each man’s deployment presumes that he also had their war diaries and letters from home to draw on for detail.

The Commonwealth of Australia was still a young country, having formed a federation just over a decade previous. Australians still regarded Britain as their mother country, and when war broke out, Australia’s Prime Minister declared support for Great Britain and formally entered the Great War. Six members of the author’s family enlisted to fight the German army. He tells each man’s story with informative passages about the region they are in, the larger picture of the war that raged around them, and then brings it back down to the trenches where the soldiers fought. Smith’s details regarding ships, armaments, shortages and hardships, and other details of the soldiers’ experiences in Egypt and France will be of great interest to readers fascinated by World War I or the contribution of Australia to the Great War.

One such detail is in the account of Austin Schofield’s experience at Gallipoli. A water shortage, bad weather, and devastating losses motivated the British combined forces to evacuate. In order to safely evacuate, they used subterfuge to trick the Turkish forces into thinking they were still there.

Periscopes were to be propped up, and every effort was to be made to create the impression that the trenches were still fully occupied. … When it was time to finally abandon the trenches, Austin was to help set up some remote firing devices to fire some rifles to keep the illusion that the trenches were occupied. Some rifles had string tired to the trigger and a candle burning until it reached the string. The rifle would then fire.

Though the author writes with detachment, the stories of these soldiers in the midst of historic battles give a glimpse into the life, and death, of Australian soldiers. I was particularly interested in the account of William Power, fighting on the Western Front at Fromelles France. The losses to the Australian forces were described as, “the worst 24 hours in Australia’s entire history”. Though the account is given in a very matter-of-fact manner, it’s hard not to sympathize with the Australian soldiers.

The biggest drawback of this book was a simple case of bad editing. In one case, the name of an Egyptian city is spelled three different ways on the same page. Punctuation is inconsistent and made some passages difficult to understand and hard to follow.

Overall, I think the author has done a fine job documenting both his family history and military history. Despite the dry, academic tone of the account, there are moments of humor and humanity that shine through.

Pages: 92 | ISBN: 9781310378010

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