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Marcel Caux: A Life Unravelled/Silver, Lynett/Paper/1740311531/S024-E
Who was Marcel Caux?
He was among the nation's last surviving veterans of World War I before his death in August 2004, aged 105, yet few Australians had heard of him. For more than eighty years he scarcely spoke of his war. Until 2001 he had attended no Remembrance Day or Anzac Day services. When he finally began to talk of his life, his own narratives were riddled with inconsistencies and evasions.
He had lived through the slaughter of trench warfare on the western front, but there were secrets in his military record that threatened to undermine the hero-making machinery that culminated in his being accorded a state funeral in Sydney.
Was he simply trying to forget the horrors of war when he took up a new name and past after returning from war-torn Europe? He had at different times laid claim to at least five different names, six birthplaces, three nationalities and five occupations. Why had he gone to such lengths to conceal his identity and to repeatedly reinvent himself? In Marcel Caux: A Life Unravelled, acclaimed historian Lynette Ramsay Silver sets out to disentangle the life of a man whose past was so convoluted and contradictory that his very identity would remain a mystery to the end, even to those closest to him.
As much detective story as war story, the painstaking, forensic unmasking of the real Marcel Caux through official records, news items, photographs, and interviews with family and friends takes us on an extraordinary journey into one of the most enigmatic and intriguing public figures of recent times.