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Obituary: John Laffin -- 1922-2000.

John Laffin, journalist, teacher, author, lecturer and historian died in Canberra in September after a long illness. He was a prolific author with 130 books to his name. Many of his books concerned military history and I have had his book Digger on my bookshelf for many years and regularly enjoy re-reading it. His last book, published just before his death, was his autobiography, A Kind of Immortality (Kangaroo Press).

Laffin's parents both served in WWI, his father in the 20th Battalion and his mother as a nurse. In 1940, aged 24, having worked with Smith's Weekly and The Wagga Advertiser, he enlisted in the 2nd AIF. He trained as an infantryman and later completed an officer course before serving in New Guinea. While convalescing in Sydney in 1943 he met his wife Hazelle, a young VAD.

After the war Laffin worked for a number of newspapers and magazines, wrote short novels and began his own feature service and editing unit. With his family he left for England in 1956 where he resided for nearly 40 years. He wrote articles for Australian newspapers and taught English, history and geography in secondary colleges.

Laffin travelled extensively in Europe, especially the Western Front areas of WWI and in the Middle East. He returned to Australia in 1995 but Hazelle developed heart problems and died in early 1997. He is survived by his partner, Army two daughters, Bronwen and Pirenne, and a son, Craig.
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Author:Staunton, Anthony
Publication:Sabretache
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Dec 1, 2000
Words:241
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