The Secrets of the ANZACS: The Untold Story of Venereal Disease in the Australian Army, 1914-1919 by Raden Dunbar
Published October 2014 and distributed by Penguin Books New Zealand. RRP $37.00
Review by Dame Margaret Sparrow, a doctor, reproductive rights advocate and author.
During World War 1 about 60,000 soldiers or 13-15% of troops in the Australian Army were treated for venereal disease (VD), mainly gonorrhoea, less commonly syphilis and fewer still for chancroid. In this pre-antibiotic era treatments were often prolonged and unsatisfactory and soldiers also had to cope with the stigma surrounding VD. The book is in three parts.