Compass - Story of the Salvos
This story of music, faith and heroism focuses on the Brunswick Salvation Army Band whose fate in World War II is one of the most tragic and little told episodes of Australia's wartime history. Arthur Gullidge was a prolific and acclaimed Australian composer who in 1933 became the leader of the Brunswick Salvation Army Band. The Salvation Army's Brunswick Citadel was built in Melbourne in 1884, just a few years after William Booth founded his new Christian church-cum-charity in Britain along military lines, for the poor and destitute of the new industrial world.
In the 1900s, among those attracted to the Brunswick headquarters of this progressive new church was a young John Curtin, who would go on to become Australia's wartime Prime Minister. When war broke out in Europe, Arthur Gullidge and his band's musical talents were keenly sought. If they joined up as a band they could double as medical aides serving in ways that fitted with both long-standing military custom and Salvation Army tradition.
That's how Gullidge's crew became the Band of the 2/22nd Battalion of the Australian Army. In 1941 they were posted to the remote Pacific outpost of Rabaul as part of 'Lark Force', and that's where they were when the Japanese launched their surprise attack on Pearl Harbour. Families and loved ones waited more than three and a half years to learn of the band members' terrible fate. The Band of the 2/22nd Battalion's story is told through archives, music, letters and interviews along with a survivor and present day members of the Salvation Army in Brunswick.
This poignant Compass Anzac special is presented by ABC Radio's John Cleary, a leading religious commentator, a Salvo, and himself a former Brunswick bandmaster.
This program is released for non theatrical use within educational, government and business organisations. Additional payments under a Screenrights licence are not required. Please contact us for Exhibition or Streaming Licences.