24 Apr 2012

Australian soldier bludger comments 'outrageous'

11:04 am on 24 April 2012

The head of the Returned and Services Association says comments by a New Zealand journalist that Australian soldiers in WWI were lazy bludgers, are outrageous.

The journalist, Jock Anderson, was commenting on a new book about the Australian expeditionary force and described some of the diggers as excellent black marketeers, scavengers, poachers and thieves.

He said while the Australians had their moments on the battlefield, there was no way they could hold a candle to the New Zealanders.

Speaking from Gallipoli, RSA national president Don McIvor says the comments are misinformed and badly timed coming so close to Anzac day commemorations.

He says many Australians received the Victoria Cross for their deeds at Gallipoli and describes Mr Anderson's understanding of the subject as shallow.