This is the story of a true Australian hero. A story lost but for the life-long, unswerving tenacity of one woman – his daughter and greatest champion, Pauline Cottrill.
Born in 1896, Paul McGinness grew up on a farm in country Victoria. After schooling in Ballarat, he enlisted in the Australian Light Horse at the outbreak of World War I. Only 19 years of age when he ran ashore at ANZAC Cove – and barley three weeks into the campaign – he was one of the very few 8th Light Horsemen to survive both Gallipoli and the Desert Campaign. But his destiny was in the sky – Flying with Lawrence of Arabia in a secret squadron called X-Wing, as well as the 1st Australian Flying Corps., by war’s end he had achieved the status of ‘Ace Pilot’.
In 1915 a boy had sailed from the shores of Australia, four years later a man had returned; a kind man who had led others; a brave man twice decorated for gallantry; a kind man who would go out of his way to do someone less fortunate a good turn; a clever man with definite ideas about the future; a man who had plan that would change not only his life, but that of hundreds in his lifetime – and the destiny of a nation in the future.