As the afternoon of the 14 June 1941 drew to a close Major John Wilton, 7th Division, Australian Imperial Force (AIF), sat beneath a beautiful fig tree in the town of Jezzine, Syria, and consumed “the most delicious figs [he’d] ever eaten”. Apart from a few other scant occasions, this was the first opportunity to relax since beginning of the Allied invasion of Vichy French Syria. Wilton looked over to his commanding officer and mentor Brigadier Frank Berryman, whom he greatly respected. Here was a man, thought Wilton, whose fearless and sometimes unorthodox leadership had been instrumental in the recent allied successes. Over the past week alone Berryman had planned a number of major attacks, conducted reconnaissances beyond the front line, accompanied the infantry in their assaults on two major strategic towns, captured prisoners, and had almost ambushed ”friendly” tanks with nothing more than a revolver.

'Man of Might: Brigadier Berryman and the battles of Merdjayoun and Jezzine, Syria, 1941', has been published as:

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