apple core wars cover

The Apple Core Wars is the story of Second World War soldiers Jacky Bellamy and Charlie Parkin. As children growing up in neighbouring farming communities, Jacky is Charlie's sworn enemy. Their rivalry is magnified as they compete for the attentions of the beautiful, enigmatic and headstrong Stella Cerini.

Life throws them together at apple core fights, social events and a cricket match where Don Bradman appears. Their dislike for each other increases.

The Second World War arrives and the bitter enemies find themselves in the same unit as they go off to fight. At the beginning of 1942, their battalion is diverted to south-east Asia to halt the advance of the Japanese. These two young soldiers are captured when Java falls and as POWs they face adversity, privation and many ordeals.

It Is Only Friendship Which Gets You Through

When their ship, the Tamahoko Maru, is torpedoed by an American submarine, they spend a harrowing twelve hours in cold, rough seas. Most of the shipwrecked POWs do not survive this horrific ordeal but Charlie and Jacky are rescued by the Japanese and are taken to Nagasaki where they are forced to work under diabolical conditions. On 9th August 1945, they are amongst 24 Australian POWs in Nagasaki when the Atomic Bomb is dropped, annihilating much of the city and hastening the end of the war.

Parkin Cricket team 1929Parkin Cricket Team 1929 The Apple Core Wars contrasts the boys' early lives, when petty rivalries seem so important, against the inhumane atrocities inflicted on them as POWs - where life could be spared or taken at any time. Over their internment a mateship arises - Jackie and Charlie find they have more in common than divides them.

The Apple Core Wars extends the lives of characters introduced in Linda Bettenay's previous books ‘Secrets Mothers Keep’ and ‘Wishes for Starlight’. Readers will enjoy the reappearance of Marco, Arthur, Macca, Mary, Mibs, Eustace and Bluey as their lives continue in the orchards of the Perth hills and in various locations over the depression era and WW2. The Apple Core Wars is based on a true story of the enormous sacrifice made by the Parkin family of Roleystone, Western Australia.

This tale show shows that in times of real adversity it is only friendship which gets you through.