About the book

Chester Wilmot (1911–1954) was a renowned Australian war correspondent, broadcaster and writer. Covering the North African battles of Bardia, Tobruk and Derna, the disaster of the Greek Campaign, the epic struggle along the Kokoda Track, the invasion at Normandy and the defeat of Nazi Germany, his voice stood above all others during BBC and ABC broadcasts throughout World War II.

Following the war he continued reporting and published The Struggle for Europe, his classic account of the Normandy invasion, before he was tragically killed in 1954.

Valiant for Truth charts Wilmot’s exceptional life as he reported key events of the twentieth century.

Book cover of Valiant for Truth: The life of Chester Wilmot, War Correspondent by Neil McDonald
Published by: 
NewSouth Publishing

About the author


Neil McDonald is a film historian and author. His books include Kokoda Front Line: the amazing story of legendary Australian war cameraman Damien Parer (Hachette 1994, 2004, revised edition 2012). He is co-author with Peter Brune of 200 Shots, a pictorial account of Australian fighting on the Kokoda Track.

Peter Brune is bestselling author of A Bastard of a Place: the Australians in Papua; Those Ragged Bloody Heroes: from the Kokoda Trail to Gona Beach 1942 and most recently Descent into Hell: The fall of Singapore – Pudu and Changi – the Thai Burma railway.

Image of author Neil McDonald

Judges’ comments

This book is to be commended for its well-researched and well-documented World War II accounts. Chester Wilmot was an Australian journalist and war correspondent. The authors of this sensitive biography illustrate that Wilmot was a reporter with integrity and a strong moral code. At times this led to Wilmot finding himself at odds with censors, who were known to redact large sections of his reports, for fear that his accuracy would aid the enemy.

Wilmot was an extensive traveller having gone to both Japan and Europe before World War II. In these contexts he noted and wrote of growing nationalism, racism, and what he regarded as developing fanaticism. In a prescient and informed manner Wilmot contextualised and historicised these feelings.

As a war correspondent Wilmot was witness to battles in Europe and Papua New Guinea.

As a broadcaster for both the BBC and ABC he became a trusted commentator by both the general audience and members of the military.

This comprehensive and finely researched book sheds new light on the career and experiences of one of Australia’s most renowned War correspondents. Of particular note is how the book deals with Wilmot’s early years, which provide good insight into his life at that time.