The Book

BARNEY GREATREX is the biography of World War II veteran Barney Greatrex, written by bestselling author Michael Veitch, based on the research by Alex Lloyd and Angus Hordern. This book was inspired by the documentary miniseries FOR SCHOOL AND COUNTRY.

It was a privilege and a pleasure to collaborate with Michael and publisher Hachette on this action-packed account of Barney’s life.

The book is out now where all good books are sold. Order now from Hachette or your retailer of choice in print and digital formats.

Barney Greatrex is from the Knox Grammar School Class of 1939. A special ‘Knox edition’ of the book is available from the OKGA website.


The incredible untold World War II story of Australian hero BARNEY GREATREX – from Bomber Command to French Resistance Fighter.

A school and university cadet in Sydney, Barney Greatrex signed up for RAF Bomber Command in 1941, eager to get straight into the very centre of the Allied counterattack. Bombing Germany night after night, Barney’s 61 Squadron faced continual enemy fighter attacks and anti-aircraft fire – death or capture by the Nazis loomed large. Few survived more than 20 missions, and it was on his 20th mission, in 1944, that Barney’s luck finally ran out: he was shot down over occupied France.

But his war was far from over. Rescued by the French Resistance, Barney seized the opportunity to carry on fighting and joined the Maquis in the liberation of France from the occupying German forces, who rarely took prisoners.

Later, Barney was awarded the French Legion of Honour, but for seventy years he said almost nothing of his incredible war service – surviving two of the most dangerous battlefronts. Now, aged 97, Barney Greatrex has revealed his truly great Australian war story to acclaimed bestselling author Michael Veitch.

From the schoolyard to the battlefield, a dozen student soldiers put down their books, and went to war…

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