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The Ballad of Jack Elliott, Olympian, Boxer, Journalist, War Victim

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One aspect of writing a book detailing historical events is that you can very easily go off on tangents that, while peripheral to the topic at hand, don’t quite fit into the overall narrative.  Such a tangent is the story of the death of John ‘Jack’ Elliott, Olympic boxer, silver medallist, suspected Nazi sympathiser and a victim of World War II.

I first learnt about Jack Elliott as I was researching and writing my forthcoming book, ‘Australian Gothic’, which will detail the story behind the 1929 Dracula stage tour of Australia.  I began to serialise the book in the pages of Monster! magazine, but felt that a book project would enable me to expand upon my findings and give me far more scope to detail the histories of the performers of the tour, in particular Ashton Jarry, Australia’s first stage Dracula.  One of the actors in that tour was a young lady named Helga Rolunde.

A natural beauty, precocious and talented, Rolundes turn as the Maid in Dracula marked her swansong from the Austra…

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