"Key Clicks and High Tension"

 By Mr Paul Copeland, OAM, JP

This book is a Fictitious Historical Book of which the author Barry Abley has articulated a number of key milestones in the history of Australia, particularly toward wireless communications during the early 1900s to 1917. The beginning of the 1900s was the coming of age in terms of grasping wireless electrical communications and utilising this valuable technology to provide world-wide communications on a scale never seen before. Barry Abley has articulated the character of the book, Thomas Adams, of the life of a bright young boy who grew up in the Geelong area during this golden age of technological advancement. He enthusiastically grasps Morse Code as a 15 year old, which after a visit to the Geelong Telegraph Office changes his life toward a meaningful and satisfying career in wireless. Abley places the historic radio contact with ships off Fort Queenscliff; and several years later Tom Adams is also involved with the significant radio communications to Tasmania, linking the Island state with mainland Australia in a unique manner, without the use of submarine cable. A major feat at the time. The book is well researched and written by a Ham Radio Enthusiast, who has researched his subject well. This book would be of great value to anyone interested in the history of the first wireless communications in Australia, particularly the lead-up to the First World War, the technological research and development made during the period, and the reason for Coastal Stations after the disaster of the Titanic sinking.
The story also tells of successful operations in Electronic Warfare (Electronic Support Measures (ESM)), also known as communications interception of wireless communications by the enemy. This is a matter that Tom Adams developed in his role with the Australian Intelligence Corps as an Engineer Wireless specialist. The description of the War of the "Tigris Corps", the horrors, disappointments, appalling high numbers of death from disease and triumphs places the reader for a clear understanding of the difficulties of the war in Mesopotamia, otherwise known as Persia, under the Ottoman (Turkish) control. Many men were lost not from bullet, bayonet or artillery shell, but the harsh conditions of operating in the Middle East. As a proud Army Communications Specialist (Signalman) who served in the Regular Army for 20 years, I found the book very easy to read and could not put it down. The basics of radio operations that are described in this book were very familiar toward the applications in modern military radio communications operations from transmitting, receiving, Signals Intelligence and delivering messages as quickly as possible in wartime as the vital link for commanders. This book is a tribute to a talented communicator and to the men and women who served in the campaign in Persia, which the sacrifice of tens of thousands of men, including Australian soldiers and nurses, is much of an unknown in the community. The patch identified by the character, Tom Adams, which was made in India, signifying a lightning bolt through wings is perhaps a badge of honour that the Australian Army should have retained for those who served in this most specialised and vital combat support arm. To quote the end of the book:
"The soldiers of the Great War have passed into history, but the stories of their service and exploits live on".

 Author: Barry Abley,
Keys Clicks and High Tension
ISBN: 1-921642-43-2
EAN13: 987-1-921642-43-2