In this article I return to interviews I conducted in the 1980s with Australian World War One veteran Fred Farrall, armed with new historical sources and new ways of thinking about war, suffering and memory. My interpretation of Fred's war and its consequences was central to the approach to individual and collective memory, and their complex interaction across time, which I articulated in my bookAnzac Memories. Focusing on Fred's experience and narrative of shell shock and pacifism, this article complicates my understanding of Fred's war and postwar life, and of how he created and recreated his war memory in different contexts and relationships, including the relationship between interviewer and interviewee, historian and witness. I investigate ideas about trauma, intersubjectivity, and memory composure that have become important theoretical tools for oral historians.
- oral history
- shell shock