Well good morning Ted, we’re happy to be here to hear about you life. I’m wondering if you could start, just tell us something about your family perhaps about your parents and where they came from and that sort of thing.
Well my Father was born in England, a place called New Brompton, he came out here when he was about 5 year old. He was up at Bendigo,
he married up there, they had 5 children, his wife died, came down to Melbourne and he married my mother. And another I’ve got a brother and a sister. I had two brothers one who only lived 3 days and one about 3 hours. My mother passed away about 10 days after my 10th Birthday and my father passed away
exactly 9 months after that. So I went to live with a stepbrother, one of his first sons who had a daughter and that daughter was known mainly throughout the TV [television] world as Corrine Kirby, on Channel Two. I lived there until I was 16 and then I went to live with another stepsister who had a son that’s
he was 3, 4 years older than me. At age 16 I joined the 29th Battalion Militia which he was in.
When your father met your mother, did he, were all his children living with him at that stage?
That I don’t know I think they were mainly in Bendigo, they did come down here because my brother, my stepbrother that I was living with lived in East Coburg and my father and mother before they passed away lived, we lived in East Coburg.
Did you know much about their Service details?
No not a lot about them. I know the one that I was living with had gas TB [tuberculosis] and he was, he worked in the Tramway, as did my father, he was on full pension. One of my other stepbrothers was a TPI [Totally and Permanently Incapacitated] man, there was also the husband of the stepsister I was living with he was a TPI
I wonder if you can tell me about those couple of years, it must have been a bit of a shock to you?
Oh it was when my parents died, I as I say I went to live with the brother. My brother that’s two years younger than me, he went to live with stepsister and my sister, who was 6 years younger than me,
one of my Father’s brothers from Sydney took her over to Sydney. So we were all split up. My brother was with the stepsister for a couple of years, she couldn’t keep him any longer so he went to one of my mother’s brothers in Coburg and I use to see him a lot. Then his wife died and he married again and the second wife, him and the other two children from that brother’s marriage out, she didn’t want them there so my brother went to Sydney
and that left me living with Corrine and her father, when I turned 16 I went to the stepsisters that had my brother in the first place because then I was working and that helped to provide a bit of money for the upkeep and so that’s where I lived with them until I went away with the forces. And with them when I came back, til I was married.
stepbrother can’t have been a very well healthy chap if he’d been gassed and had TB?
Well he was with, I think it was up at Stanthorpe up in South Queensland where they (UNCLEAR), No he was, he was not too bad, but still on a full pension that’s…
which is down in West Melbourne, it now the William Anglis Food School now. I was there til I turned 15, had to leave at the end of second term. Cause when my father died the tramways provided enough money for our education until we turned 15. Money a year, it’s only something about 15 pound a year for each of us until we turned 15. Then I had to leave and go to work, cause
back in those days a bit hard. But had to contribute towards my keep and everything so. So I left in second term of intermediate so I didn’t even finish that.
that I remember well when I first started work it was about a 1936 Bedford Panel van, which were, I think we were panelling for I think it was Anglises in those days. We also made a few of the, all the, panel all the cabins on the Melbourne City Council water cleaning, they use to go round cleaning all the gutters and everything, we did the panelling on those, that’s the earliest ones I can remember.
back in when you first started in the trade?
Oh yeah people would come in and say can you get this included in it and everything and you’d try and include it, but the assessor if he knew his game, they were pretty cluey and … Especially somebody like me, most of them come up through the trade and everything. But the company I was with in the first place they all had to have been come through the trade and be very experienced people.
or was it a complete surprise?
He was, I remember I went in to see him a few times; he was in Royal Melbourne Hospital, which in those days was on the corner of Lonsdale and Swanston Street. And he had pneumonia and pleurisy but he really hung up the will to live after mother died, because they were told not to have any more children because of her condition and they did and she died and after
Let’s move onto the late 1930s, you’re working down in South Melbourne at the panel beaters, spending weekends riding your bike.
Yes, yes, and some other weekends cause 1936 when I joined the 29th Battalion.
learning it all as a senior cadet and as soon as you went in at 18 into the full thing, then you did your firing and everything and if you got that badge that gives you a bit of extra money. And I was with that 29th Battalion until war broke out and when war broke out they were a security battalion and only a few days after war broke out I was a security guard on the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation.
And did that for a months, I went back to work for a couple of months and then up into a camp at Trawool up at Seymour doing intense training under firing and everything for over a month, back to work for a few months and then to a three month camp on the Nagambie road. And in that three month camp there was three battalions of us there and they did
a trial mobilization call up I think for all 21 year olds. And from that camp, that’s where I joined the air force. I had to get a written permission from the CO [Commanding Officer] from there to join the air force.
What sort of an 18 year old, were you. I mean you’d had some pretty hard knocks, where you a…. do you think you were a mature 18 year old or still a bit of a kid?
Oh still a bit of a kid I think, I was pretty quite and shy. Didn’t get that you know knocked about very much only just out my nephew and everything. Very quite family
So making the transition to the air force, how did you go about that. What did you have to…what process was there?
Well I went through the recruitment thing, down in Melbourne, passed all the medicals and everything and then went to Laverton as to do the rookie squad and everything. And from that passed all that and went down to No. 7
Did you have an idea what you might like to be in the air force?
Well having been with guns, Lewis guns and everything, it gave me a step into an armourers position it was a trade that was available to me. Which I went down and fortunately did very, very well at it, pass out with a over 90 percent pass, which
higher than what the RAF were so we had to volunteer to go over and serve there under the same pay and conditions as the RAF The other pay just accumulated in our own pay books back here but whilst we were over there we weren’t allowed to draw any more than what an RAF man draws. That and when we got over we had to retain our own uniforms and our own
identity being Royal Australian Air Force. It was when we got over there to the Middle East they took our Australian pay books off us and gave us English pay books and that created a bit of a hassle with the fellows you know. Air Marshal Williams came to visit us and he was he’s known as the Father of the RAAF when he found out about the pay books he created merry hell and had our own pay books
given back to us. He said they were the conditions; everything was to remain the same except we served under RAF conditions as regards to the amount of pay and everything, so we had to get our pay books and everything back.
schools that you’d been through. Can we just go back through those? First you went down to was it Laverton
Laverton, yes and that’s when you did all what they call square bashing and everything, drill and everything, discipline it was all that type of thing. From that to an armaments school at Point Cook.
And are they, did you learn how to you know fix them to the aircraft, all those sorts of things?
Oh we could take them in and out yes, if one had to be changed, when you majored on them and everything. Mainly they were, when we were overseas in the planes over there they were cleaned and oiled and everything in the plane itself.
Ted I’m wondering if can take us through the process of cleaning a gun, one of these Browning .303s, step by step?
I suppose when the planes came back in, and they’d fired the gun. There’s a panel on top of the main plane, you take that panel out.
2A’s that’s fitter 2 Airframe, Fitter 2E who were the engine people, there’s instrument makers, there was coppersmith, there’s just general hands, aircraft oh I don’t know what they’re called guards, cooks
of course you’ve got your WO [Warrant Officer] Disciplinary, your Adjutant, Medical Officer, Medical Orderlies that’s roughly general things for the air force.
Mary and on the 8th of April, ’41 then we went down to Jervis Bay and waited there while the Queen Elizabeth went into Sydney Harbour and loaded up with all troops and everything. Which was the first time ever that the Queen Elizabeth had been used as a troop ship or anything. Because it was still in England when the war broke out and they rushed it over to America
and then brought it out to here, the first troop come out. And at that time it was the largest convoy that had left Australia, only five ships but there was a huge amount of men aboard. The convoy was the Queen Mary, the Queen Elizabeth, the Mauritania, the Ile de France, and the Nieuw Amsterdam. The Nieuw Amsterdam was the smallest ship in the convoy, 35,000 tonne. Unfortunately
that had the 8th Division on it, it broke away at the Indian Ocean and went to Singapore, we all know what happened to them. Then we went on and we disembarked at Port Tewfik, all out into barges and onto shore.
away. Because they’d just taken the beds and that out. We had, the one that I was in the room was only about four bunks in it. Later on when that was bringing Americans over from America over to Europe they’d stripped all swimming pools everything out, bunks and everything and they were sleeping in two shifts and bringing huge amounts of troops in one go on it, whereas there was only 7,000 on it when we went away so that was quite good.
Food was reasonable a bit different to what we’d been use to but a lot better than what we were to get later. I can remember the commander of the ship coming around, they’d have life boat drills and everything at times and be there and you’d have your life jacket on, he’d come around and grab it and roar at you and everything, that’s not on properly if you’d jumped over off here
it’s so many storeys up, you’d break your neck if you haven’t got it tied down properly. Little things I remember. But we had plenty of music onboard. The 2/2nd Pioneer Division was on, the battalion was onboard ours and the 2/25th which later on Bruce Ruxton [Former RSL (Returned and Services League) President] joined, later on when they came back from over there. And both of them had bands and we use to have plenty of music on board
when the brand practiced.
Port Tewfik, whereabouts did the squadron go from there?
We went to a place called Ishmailiya, which is a transit camp; we were there was a while and then moved to Aboukir which was a huge RAF base that they use to assemble planes and like that. And that was our first experience; we were there helping to assemble Hurricanes which would come out from England and all
parts all knocked down in crates and everything. We were helping them there and that’s where we got our experience of working on Hurricanes.
which made them pretty slow and cumbersome for some of them, we lost a lot of pilots. When we moved from Aboukir and took over from 6th Squadron and went straight up to a landing ground, our first, when we got there we were just getting our gear off the trucks when we got our first initiation to action, we got strafed and we lost a couple of planes on the ground and our first casualties, we lost 2 fellows that were wounded and one lost an eye he was
home straight away and the other one was wounded too. And that was our first initiation so.
Had you had much training as to what you should do if you’re being strafed?
No, not a lot. First think we did, we got under a truck and then we realised it was the armoured truck with all the ammo with explosives on board so we out from that just hugging the ground, we were lucky they were just after the planes and the things.
From there we were all over the place from one landing ground to another landing ground. We moved very quick being Army Cooperation Squadron it was always very close to the behind to the army because they were doing recko [reconnaissance] for them everything all the time. In fact on one of the aerodromes we were on there was all this clattering
and clanking of a night time we thought it was our own but it wasn’t we woke up in the morning it had been German tanks and everything coming and well we were able to get the planes off and everything got away but we had some of our fellows taken prisoners. They were prisoners for about 5 weeks until Bardia fell. And then when Bardia fell we got them back except an officer who was taken off by submarine.
So explain to me, you’re on the base and it’s overrun in the middle of the night?
Particularly, it’s still on the thing, they were particularly, particularly one end of it and we’re down the other end.
all had rifles, not that they’re much good against tanks. But it says on the book that I got there, they’ve taken out the log books, the squadron log books and everything and said well the Germans must have been a bit exhausted and asleep as they were up one end and we could make them out. Well say it’s not that close, it probably you know a couple of miles so and see them and we
were able to get the planes off and everything. I can remember we were all there on our trucks waiting to go and as soon as the planes went, we went too. But there was one place called Sidi Azeiz, which was a fort and some of our fellows were still there and they were taken prisoner and that was by Rommel himself was in that. I have some photos of
liaison officer there that they’d seen these tanks and everything so and they were taken down and reported them to the brigadier as he was and that’s in our book there and he said Oh they’re only dummies. So when our pilot came back to the wing commander he said, “They’re not dummies he said see the track and one of them swung his turret around and fired at me and he said dummies don’t do that.” So he said, “I’ll get back and tell him.” But it was a couple of days later some units of the Black
Watch, English Regiment went out and got hell belted out of them and our pilots said what the hells the good of us going out and telling them if they don’t take any notice.
it’s no good having a gun unless you’ve got something to stick in it, did you ever have any problems with ammunition supply?
No, no. No trouble with. Only supplies, only trouble at times you wouldn’t get the proper rations and you’d be living on just Bully Beef and hard biscuits for quite a while. But as I say lack of water, no lack of petrol, no lack of munitions.
What were the particular issues for you as an Armourer in the Desert, I mean how did those conditions affect the guns?
Well you had to be very particular there with the dust and dirt. Because dust storms and everything, sand storms pretty prevalent. Sometimes sandstorms they’d be that bad you’d be locked up in the tent with all the things and you wouldn’t be able to see more than a few feet. It might go like that for a day or a couple of days. And then be as good as gold and another time you’d get a rainstorm, which seems funny, get floods in the desert, you’d be floating out of your tent trying to stop it. A few days later you’d have a sand
storm and wouldn’t be able to see for a day. So you can guess we had to be very particular with the cleaning of the guns. Same as everybody on the aircraft, everything had to be very particular with cleaning and keeping the dust and everything out, it was a big problem.
CO had said we were green and we weren’t this and we weren’t that. But English squadrons if they had to do an engine change or a main plane change it would be done, back to a RSU [Repair and Salvage Unit] Re-service, Repair and Re-salvage Unit. Our fellows would whip up a pair of shear legs or have a crane come and change their own motor. And we’d all get underneath and heave the main plane off and get another one on, bolt it on. And that was all
done on site with some of our, when we had time we’d do it. But even tho he said we were raw and green and everything and I suppose not like permanent RAF blokes at least we could do things in the field that they couldn’t do in the field. Cause the Australian usually they’re pretty inventive and resourceful
really. But that’s one thing we use to pride ourselves on.
I’d like to ask you some questions about the armoury set up on the different planes, I’m quite interested in what sort of guns each plane had?
Well first off, our first Hurricanes which were Hurricane Mark One, they were fitted with eight Browning 303, 4 in each main plane. Later on we got Hurricane 2Cs they had two
got in them, have they got long, are they like shells?
Yes, yes they’re fairly long, just from memory I’d say Oh be roughly about 5 inches long, 6 inches long with the shell and the projectile.
And is there someone on the plane who’s job it is, like is it the gunner who has to keep loading up the ammunition or?
No, no, they’re only loaded when they come back, when they’ve been out and if they’ve used any
cover off the main planes, clean it all, all in the breech, all the mechanisms, clean it wash it down, make sure the barrels thoroughly clean out and everything and then you’d reload it all with new ammunition. So they were quite a bit heavier (UNCLEAR) with getting ammunition up to the main plane and getting in but that’s all there was to it. It doesn’t sound
much but it’s quite a bit of work.
well they did come down to have the battle of El Alamein it was all mainly training and we were doing air defence of Beirut, around Palestine and over in Cyprus and chasing any enemy high flying recko, reconnaissance planes and things like that. That was practically the total air cover for up in that way. The squadron was split up into
three flights, so as everything else could come down ready for El Alamein and all the defence down there.
fitted a bomb rack with practice bombs underneath one of the spitfires of which I have got a photograph and they were doing practising bombing for if ever they had to do any of that. And also whilst I was there, I think it was from memory around about September ’43 or something I was sent to do a I can always remember number 53
Chemicals, Weapons and Warfare Course down to Heliopolis which there’s not a lot known about, they reckon there was no gas or anything around but there was plenty of poison gas there. And I did a course there on the use of Mustard gas in containers on planes if it ever had had to be used. And thank heavens that never was used. Whilst there
at Heliopolis, I was, we loaded quite a few trucks of everything up of gas that was shipped back here to Australia. I mean it’s been denied a lot of times there was no gas, but there was, mustard gas was sent back here and on my discharge certificate which you can have a look at, you see on there No. 53 Chemicals, Weapons and Warfare Course they were with the RAF
Do you know any blokes who got these letters with white feathers?
No, not personally, I might have at the time but I just forget who they were and everything. But it’s in the book, Bankstown to Berlin it’s mentioned in there about it. Everything and the squadron again volunteered to come home, which we were not allowed
Did you know why you were going down to Corsica?
No, we all thought that we were there for part of the attack on Italy and everything cause while we were there our planes, we were stationed at a place, an aerodrome just south of Bastia which is almost opposite Elba and our planes would do strafing all the reinforcements that the Germans were taking down for the battle of Naples and Rome. And that’s why we got
done over properly one night by the Germans when they knocked all our aircraft out and the Americans down the road lost a lot of people as well. And after the, well after we got all our planes serviceable and everything again. I think out of the three squadrons on the drome, there was a funny set up, we was a RAAF squadron,
an RAF squadron and a Rhodesian squadron of Spitfires and they were doing all fighter cover for the Americans bombers that were stationed on Corsica and Sardinia and we were more or less under American control and with a RAF wing commander in charge and doing all the fighter cover for their planes and strafing and everything they could strafe on the way down.
After the air raid I think our squadron only had 3 planes that were left but by the end of the day, the squadron was fully operational again. And after some weeks and everything there we were moved to the other side of the island and still doing fighter cover for all the American planes were going over with big bombing raids on Southern France.
And after that had been all softened up and everything troops landed, our squadron was landed on the 3rd front of Southern France which was not a lot known about, or not mentioned much. We landed from landing ship tanks, American LST [Landing Ship Tank] on the beach at St. Maximes [actually St. Raphael] and were taken to an aerodrome called Quers [actually Oujda] I think it is
which had an enormous big hanger on it for dirigibles and everything and we were stationed there for some time and they were doing reconnaissance work and other work, strafing into Northern Italy. We were only there for a short time and as I said this was an American Invasion, the American and Free French and seeing as we had been with them all at Corsica they thought it was right for us to be with
them thing but when the higher ups got to know about it there was a bit of a political thing, we were pulled straight out by LST and brought back to Naples. We were there for a few weeks and then they transhipped us around to England. And we landed in England on the 1st of December 1944. In the middle of the night
we were taken by train down to an aerodrome called Hawkinge, which is not far out of Folkestone landed down there at midnight, snowing like hell and that’s where we were stationed there for a while. From Hawkinge we went onto a Spitfire [fighter aircraft] I think they were mark 16’s at that time, which had fitted with Rolls Royce motors made by
Packard from America, under licence, no way near as good as the Rolls Royce Engines even though they were made under licence. We were in Hawkinge for a while and then we were moved to Manston, which is the longest airstrip in England. Where all the damaged bombers would land there on their way back from. And Manston
the planes were fitted bomb racks and everything again, we were doing practice dive-bombing on the Goodwin Sands which are not far out from there and it was from there that I was sent to Transit Camp down at Brighton ready to come home. The squadron went from there further to another place in England and they were engaged on dive-bombing things
on V1, V2 [rocket powered unguided missile] sites. The poor little spitfire had a 250 pound bomb under each main plane and a 500 pound under the middle. Down to Brighton which was the transit camp for the RAAF in the Hotel Metropole and New Zealand’s had the
Hotel Grand and I was there for about a month waiting for a ship and then I went up to Liverpool and came home on the Nieuw Amsterdam, which was the smallest ship on the convoy going away. So I came home on that one. And we were 2, 3 days sailing off Fremantle when VE [Victory in Europe] Day was declared. So from
the time I left home till the time I got back the year was what 4 years and 6 weeks.
And as they say it’s the only it and another RAAF [Royal Australian Air Force] squadron were the only two squadrons ever to be in an Air Force of Occupation in Germany and I think our Squadron 451 was the only RAAF squadron to partake in the landing on the continent. In the front of the Continent. So
from a very unglamorous Army Cooperation Squadron early in the piece, then a fighter squadron and Air Force of Occupation. And there was at least one member of our squadron that went away with us was still in it until the squadron was disbanded in England in 1946. So whether he is still alive or anything like that I wouldn’t know.
Let me take you back to Corsica because that’s pretty interesting spot.
I’ll tell you one interesting little story of Corsica while we were there. Some of them went up in the hills and everything in time, there were a lot of pigs running around and everything. So they shot a few of these wild pigs and brought them back down to the squadron, thought they’d have a feast. Our squadron doctor, Squadron Leader Perritay he’d
dissected a few of them and they had to hide that, so he wouldn’t let them eat them or everything. But the only wild thing that was wild about the pigs was the farmer who owned the things. They was quite a bit of a diplomatic thing went on between the powers that be before a settlement was made to quieten things down. And it’s funny while our plane used
to take off there, we were beside a bit of a river there and it was well snow water and everything, melted because it had snow on it during the winter. But while we were there we’d just strip off and into the icy water and come out and get dressed again and wait for the planes to come back for refuelling and rearming and everything. But and some of the fellows got to know quite a few of the people
there that were fighting during the German occupation. Couple of them only young girls, 14 or 15 and it mentions one of them in the book that I’ve got there. But we got on very well there and it was the same when we went to France and we had our big slouch hats there and a lot of the younger ones thought we were Americans but some of the older
people that knew everything they grew their fellows (UNCLEAR) and the knew the hats from the First World War and we were very welcome.
Corsica. And after the Italian campaign had got well under way and everything but then they took Elba as well. Cleared that off and our pilots were doing cover over Elba and spotting and everything for them while that was taken. So the squadron was fairly close actually to the action there on Corsica,
we were actually above what the line was over in Italy, cause they were down around about Rome and we were much higher up, getting up nearly up level of Leghorn.
the main and dropped all their flares and everything and they were low level bombing and all the fellows that were killed, they dropped these bombs, big container type that opened up on the way down and all these little 2 pound anti personnel and anti bombs all dropped out and some of the fellows were killed were even in slip trenches or underneath trucks. And they just ripped all the
tents and everything to pieces and everything. And they were that low that some of them were even below the flare levels that they’d dropped. And after they’d done us they’d gone away. It was a bit later on they came down and bombed the American drome just further down the road. And they lost a lot of people as well.
The doctor, he was a Squadron Leader and a top surgeon. As a matter a fact when my wife had her veins all stripped
and tied and everything he was one of the top vascular surgeons. He was, the day before he did her veins was the Queens first visit out here and he was made honorary vascular surgeon for the Queen and we congratulated him on it and he says I hope I don’t have to touch. But while we were in Corsica he decides some of the lads might want to instead of going down to the, some of them use to go down to the Brothels and beside that
he went and recruited some of the girls himself and set one of his own up. In a little town outside and one of his medical orderly’s there all the time and he said don’t you dare let any of you fellows see anywhere else but there.
no repatriation what so ever until when we were on Corsica the first letter came through from the thing that they were going to start a repatriation scheme for ground crew. And the first of our fellows allowed to come home it was a lot of about 20 came home from Corsica. I came home from when we were out in England I was about I think
in the second lot that came home, so things like that yes they were permanent squadron being permanent replaced that was one of the things that why we weren’t allowed to have a lot of their people come to us early in the place because the RAAF wanted full control of reinforcements and repatriation with them and didn’t want them to be integrated into our squadrons which were the ATF [Australian Task Force] squadrons
but we did have a few of their NCOs come to us because we were short of NCOs at the time, didn’t have any fully trained flight sergeants, sergeants so some of them were posted to us for a while until we became proficient and then they went back to the squadron.
A lot of our officers, you’ll see them in photographs there they couple of them even use to come and work on their planes to with us. We could talk to them, eat with them. Very much more easy going between things and I think it created more respect than it did for the other ones that were
more you know strict and everything, they had great respect for each other. A couple of the pilots wrote very glowing reports on their ground staff and everything they said they didn’t know how that they would have got on without them, they didn’t know how they kept the planes in such good order and everything as what they were.
We had some great fellows, our pilots they were. Well when we were living in our little bivouac tents up in the desert, they just had little bivouac tents too (UNCLEAR). They, well over in Sydney at the Anzac Day services there, there’s a couple of the pilots are still able
to get to there. Back in Melbourne at the last air force march there was myself and on other man march from 451 Squadron and when we had our reunion there was only 4 of us there and that about, there not many of us left here. A few more in Sydney but I think when the book, Bankstown to Berlin was written in 1996 there were a hundred
known roughly still alive out of about 580 that went through the squadron. But from 96 to now it would have, at least a quarter of those or more have died since then.
Did you see any of them come over?
Yes, you could hear them, while the engine kept going you were right, and if it stopped you’d know that it would come down and everything, but they devised that they were shooting them down and everything but there was
But you couldn’t do it with like a Lancaster [bomber] or one of those?
On no, no, Lancasters, Halifaxes that was all just straight level and all American Flying Fortresses and everything they were all higher level bombing and just done with their bomb sights where they thought they had it right and just let them go.
waited on their Ground staff for Christmas Dinner which was very good. And having escaped all this and everything a lot of people go to London and everything to have a look around there. I had some leave, I wouldn’t go to London to trust anymore, getting hurt by V2s or V1s, I went to Scotland and mine up to Edinburgh and I found that was
really beautiful city, Edinburgh. Looked around Edinburgh castle which is where the War Museum and everything is it’s very, very nice. And whilst there, there was a place at Edinburgh called Usher Hall and where I went to a concert one night and saw Vera Lynn herself singing at the Concert.
long after I’d left the squadron they were reequipped with Spitfire Mark 14 now that sounds funny that the 16 were the Packard but the 14s had a Rolls Royce Griffin motor in them which are much bigger and a more powerful motor and everything. It seems funny it’s the same when we were out in the Middle East with one Mark Spitfire
the next lot we got were I think they were 9’s the next one’s we got were 8’s and they were better than the 9’s but the 9’s were one’s that were done in a hurry for awhile whereas the other ones were on the drawing board and were genuinely design for that were a better plane. It just as happen to…they modify one and call it a Mark 9 and
gave it for you and then the other one would have been designed and everything come out would be a much better, same plane but a much better. And that’s the same as the Mark 16 and the Mark 14.
you were still there at Hawkinge did they lose many?
No, no I think they might have lost a pilot but no, no none of the fellows no. That’s whilst we were at Hawkinge too there’s a bit of a to do there one time just regressing a bit, when we were in Syria, Syria was a highly malarious place,
we had a lot of fellows got Malaria there and we had no such thing as Atebrin or anything. When we were in Corsica, Corsica was very high Malaria but by that time we had Atebrin and we just look like Chinamen. So when we went to England and to Hawkinge, Mr Drakeford came to see us, he was the Minister for air and we were all there in the thing and Air Marshal Williams was with us, the CO of the RAF
Air Base at Hawkinge and Ray Quib was going on about us and some of them were going crook about not being relieved until this. And he started saying this about oh yes but the fellows in the Pacific and everything (UNCLEAR) Malaria and everything they all got stuck into him, properly and I know the CO Group Captain said you cant talk like that. Just a so and so, he’s an Australian we’re Australian we’ll speak to him how we like and they really got stuck into him and he turned round
and said why wasn’t I told where this squadron has been, I thought they’d been stationed here in England. We had fellows on the squadron that had 2 or 3 relapses of malaria, they’re still on it and he was absolutely (UNCLEAR) nobody had told him. So no wonder they got into him.
Did you stop anywhere on the way?
No we came home from Southampton down through, through the Suez Canal, first stop Fremantle. Yet on the way over on the Queen Mary we went and stopped at Trincomalee, well that’s a big port in Ceylon or Sri Lanka as they call it now. But on the way home no it was all the way home to Fremantle.
hopped on a train down to Melbourne and arrived here given straight away on 2 or 3 weeks leave and then at that time I had been away for over 4 years and at that time a thing came out that when you came home you weren’t allowed to be posted outside your home state then
so what did they do with me, they posted me to Mildura. Yep Mildura back in those days, back in those tin Nissan huts and everything again, sandstorms there cause that was in the middle of winter, it was cold and everything and you thought you were back in the desert again. They’d have been better off posting me to Sydney or to Queensland or something. But I was only up there
for a few months and then I came through and I was discharged, it was August or September I think. Only about a month after the war finished with Japan. But while we were up there VJ Day [Victory over Japan] came, while we were up at Mildura and the CO up there was a Group Captain Jeffries and he’d been over in the desert with 3 Squadron and he wouldn’t bloody give anybody leave to come to Melbourne for VJ Day. Only gave them 24
hours leave and of course up there was an all night train journey to get to Melbourne and back so I came down to Melbourne, as did a couple of other, couple of hundred of them, well when we got back he had SPs [Security Police] on all the gates and booked everybody and everything. So I got booked 2 days pay. But I wasn’t, having been away, still at sea at VE Day I was going to come
down to Melbourne to be home with the Family on VJ Day but that’s what happened with him so. We all reckon he was a bit of a stinker after that. And that was funny the officers that I appeared before was a Flight Lieutenant Fires who had been on 451 Squadron as an Intelligence officer so but I did two days pay just the same.
to a place called City Motors Panel Beating and everything in O’Connell Street in North Melbourne, I first of all went to work out at Ansett motors and they were making buses and everything. And a fellow there gave me a job to do which I did and I finished and I went back to get another job I’ve finished and he said oh no you’re still doing that, so I said this is no good to me I’m leaving and he said you cant leave it Manpower
I’ve got news for you I don’t come under Manpower I’ve been discharge after all this time I was a free agent and I said I’m just going. So I went back and got a job at this place City Motors Panel Beating and Engineering Works and I was there for quite a few years and I got married while I was working there and we were living at Chelsea so the travelling became a bit too much so I went to a place Bronson Motors down at Chelsea and worked there for a while
and then there was two other panel beaters myself and a spray painter we all gave notice and we started our own business down in Mentone, and that was going extremely well. And it’s funny one of the assessors use to come round, I knew him because he was the Manager of Melbourne Motor and Engineering Works where I was working before the war. So we got on and he put a bit of work our way
a couple of smashes and everything and he’d move them down to us. After a while my wife’s father got sick and he had a business out in Pascoe Vale, he owned a Service Station so I sold out my share of the business and when out to work for him for a few years and we moved form Chelsea to Pascoe Vale for four years. And then we sold our place up there and built a house just round the corner here and came back here to work
and I went back panel beating for a while and then the job as an assessor with Club Motor Insurance as it was first then changed its name to AAMI [Australian Associated Motor Insurers Limited].
I can’t understand this white feather thing?
Neither could we, the fellow, anybody who got, I didn’t get one but any of the fellows that get it couldn’t understand it, they’re fighting their guts out and just lost a few blokes and everything and people back here reckon they’re over there shirking.
Ted I’m wondering if you can tell us about some of your mates in the squadron?
I had one he came from Fiji, he was an armourer and later on transferred to a Fitter Motor to Transport loader, because he was involved with motors over in, but he was a bit of a funny turn and everything now and again he’d have a pretend making of a Indian curry and dance round, you know how the Indians use to do it over in Fiji and he was one of the ones they use to take me out
and make sure they got home. And another one is another armourer Bobby Jaggers.
there was three of us use to go out, we were together. Cause we all in the same Bivouac tent and everything right through the (UNCLEAR) so naturally you stick together. The squadron had a cricket team to at times that played a few matches whilst we were at Idku in Alexandria and waiting there to go up to Syria. And this Jaggers bloke he was a good bowler and
sometimes I use to keep the scorecards for them, they had a few cricket matches. And now and again they’d have a few football match against AIF fellows and that does happen from time to time where you’re coming out of one lot and going to a base, just waiting you know to go onto the next or waiting to be reequipped with a little bit of spare time and you get
with some of the other units and have a footy match or a cricket match.
You mentioned that your squadron was often based very close to the line, did you get to know many of the AIF Units, did you get a chance to mix?
No, no, no. We were on the move too much, you’d be only a few days at the one place and up off you might be for a few days. But fast
Where did most of the people of the squadron come from?
Well some came from Melbourne, some came from Sydney, there were some from Queensland, some from South Australian and some from Western Australia. Unlike an army unit which all come from one place. An Air Force Squadron is made up of people that come from all over the country. Country people, city people everything they all
Cook, especially when all the cadets and everything were down there. It was used for training before they were moved up to the main, Duntroon I think it is, or somewhere else where they’ve done it now. But we use to have our Remembrance Day reunion at Point Cook with wives and everything would come we would have a Barbecue down there. It use to be a
remembrance service with the guard of honour and everything but that’s all gone since the main RAAF has been moved away from Point Cook and that type of thing. And now the last couple of years we’ve gone our to Fairfield RSL but the last time there were only 4 of us there. I don’t know how long that will go, I think one of those wont be there next year I don’t think.
some months ago and I went to the funeral down here at Mentone and I think oh sort of that becomes a little more emotional than it was when we were away, cause when we’re away your in action and everything and it…well you don’t expect it buts it’s more ore less part and parcel of the job your doing while you’re away, somebodies killed, well they’ve got to be buried,
done away with and you’ve got a job to continue on doing and your kept busy. When you’re back here you’ve got more time to reflect on it. Go to the funeral, full funeral service and everything, more reflection so it gets a little more emotional.
personally over the course of those years, I mean you started the war pretty young, you know you said you were a bit of a naïve young lad when you started and you come out 25, 26 years old having seen a lot more of life.
Right yes, I basically became a bit more worldly wise and know how to look after yourself a little bit better. And
some soldiers and or airmen whatever get a reputation of knowing how to have high living?
Oh yes some of our fellows are real larrikins and everything, some of them and everything, no I was always pretty quiet always some of them say a bit of a stick in the mud what am I suppose to do. It’s like I’m at the bowls club, I’m on the Rules and Bylaw Committee and they always go crook, I always want to do
rotation and that people started eventually coming home, how did you decided when it was time for you, I mean were you able to make that decision yourself or was it just something that came up?
No, no that was the CO of the Squadron would go through his personnel and go through the files and everything and decided which ones would go and which ones wouldn’t. Naturally the first lot that were repatriated from Corsica were all, practically all
think that the work that you’d been doing was properly valued or understood?
No we were a bit hostile about it and thought that well, people thought that we were over there having a holiday and we weren’t, we’d been living in the very harsh and hard conditions all the time and lost people. We were very very hostile, in fact it created
when we lost the people in Corsica, one of the RAAF Padres happen to be with us at the time which Fred Mackay, when he came back here he took over from were Flynn of the Outback had left off and he was the Royal Flying Doctor Man, one of the aircraft is named after him actually now and it’s only
things like that settled everybody back down and got on with the job. Another one was, he wasn’t with us that time, but other times he’d been with us was a fellow named Bob Davies which became Bishop of Tasmania and the Roman Catholic fellow was fellow named of McNamara but he passed away quite a few years ago, he was the first one to pass away.
And Fred Mackay only died a couple of years ago.
Obviously you talk about that experience at Corsica and you’d been bombed and strafed other times, did some chaps find the conditions, the tension got to them?
Not really, we’re pretty lucky none of our fellows sort of went as they use to say ‘troppo’ [mentally affected by war time experiences] or anything about it, no. Pretty good level-headed lot of fellows they were. And some of our Ground Staff, Aircraft Gunners they use to call them with like machine guns sort of on five point thing had a bit of firing off and everything.
They’d go out and have to do a rec and order photograph on different places and there’d be another aircraft go with them as cover. And the poor old pilot in the recky [reconnaissance] kite would have to fly on a straight and level flight at a certain speed and go over with the cameras going all the time. Other aircraft around seemed like an eternity to him. They lost a few planes like that shot down.
We have South African Pilots, lost a few of those had some RAF Pilots and then we had some RAAF Pilots. We were fortunate most of the RAAF Pilots seemed to get by and survive. But the South African ones we lost a few of them. Not very glamorous work you have to do, but work that had to be done. So if they wanted aerial photos or
some recon work to bring back and tell the liaison officer.
photographers on the squadron. One of whom is pretty well known was Lawrence Laguy who later became an official war photographer. After he left the squadron when he, well he was taken away from us while we were still Army Coop [Cooperation] being that well known in the photography game, off he went. But we had the other, about another 3 photographers that were perfectly in, well that was their mustering.
when we went away, they went away with the squadron as photographers and that was it.
no there was a couple mates to. Another mate with me, I forget his name now it might have been Christian I think, I’m not sure. And as I say we got very friendly with a family up there and went to, had a couple of meals with them and the parcels that we took, we were lucky to be there at New Years Eve, Hogman’s eve they call it which is quite a good time for the Scots in
up at Edinburgh. And as I said before able to see the Concert with Vera Lynn and everything else so.
Did you also hear the broadcast by Lord Haw Haw [German propaganda broadcaster]?
Once or twice we heard that. But not a great deal that was mainly I think aimed at England itself that one. But we had pamphlets dropped on well the troops at Tobruk and somewhere else, I’ve got a copy of a couple of those. One saying Yanks are having a good time back in your country
and you, what are you doing here?.
happen to be Anglican and a couple of those were Roman Catholic, when we were there we had a Dominican Father of the Catholic Order happen to be known to one of them and he was the priest in charge of the Church of the Holy Inception and he took us there and all over that we saw Christ’s Tomb and other things there and then
he introduced us to a Franciscan Monk who was in charge of the Church of Nativity, so he took us out to the Church of Nativity and we were there when the famous Bells were there and the choir singing and everything and we heard all that and he took us underneath to show us the Catacombs underneath and where the bones of the holy innocence are but a lot of people don’t happen to see that and that was our…and we were there on Palm Sunday so that was our leave. That’s how I and a couple of others
spent ours while others went off on the town, so. It’s funny, or before that once we were down at Idku while we were at Heliopolis in think it was camp waiting for equipment. I did, I became, took confirmation classes there and confirmed in the Cairo
Cathedral by name of a fellow Beaumaris Gellafate the assistant Bishop who to the Sudan. And myself and another friend of mine named Cummings, he then took us to lunch in the Bishops Palace so that was my introduction, that was one of my reasons staying with the other fellows and going and seeing the sights in Jerusalem.
some of the things they say in the bible happened and everything. But a lot of things did happen and the proof of it is there. But very, very fascinating and very interesting. And just outside Jerusalem is the Mount of Olives with the Church of all nations on it and every parts, different parts of the church all donated by different nations, hence the name.
I just forget, I’ve an idea, it might have been the roof of the Church for the Australian, from Australia. So it’s just the way I spent my leave to there.
Did you see anything, apart from Jerusalem; did you spend time in other towns? Did you get to know any of the local people or...?
Not really, up in Syria we went, it wasn’t a leave but be off, a few hours off for a day and we went to another town, a little town called Zarly [?] which is up in the mountains cause the Rayak Aerodrome was in the Bekaa Valley which is about 4000 feet above sea level and the lowest part going over to Beirut above that is another 3000 feet about that.
Going from Beirut to Damascus it’s 7000 feet up and then 3000 feet down into, well Zarly is up in the mountains and just had an afternoon there, standing around having a few drinks and the photograph of the place I’ve got, when I was an assessor at AAMI there use to be a little place along Fenick Road somewhere that use to do the front ends of Volkswagens and I was telling a fellow
there about it. He was a Lebanese. Showed him the photo and it was his grandfather’s place. Just a little aside but otherwise we didn’t get to know people very much. It was the same, when we came out of the desert and were travelling through Palestine to go to Syria we were camped, pulled up one night on there and we went to a….a fellow came and invited us to come
to their place that night it was a Jewish Kibbutz and we spent a day with them while we were all sitting around the hall and singing their songs and going on and they gave us oranges and everything like that which was bit of a change from Bully Beef. Apart from that no we didn’t have much to do with the only people we met was when we were in England.
Well a couple of the trucks went up for a drive went to Baalbek, no I didn’t get there. I did get to Damascus. There was another place there called a street called Straight and a church of St Paul where he was lowered down out of the window, I seen that. And it’s funny back in those days, I got a photograph there of a big semi trailer type coach, air conditioned
coach run by the Nann Brothers who were New Zealanders. Been over in the First World War, stayed there and started up a coach service from Damascus to Baghdad. So if you could imagine that running then.
I think that he should have had to have done Australian History. There’s not enough of our own people know the history of Australia, not that I know a lot myself. But as I say when we went to school we were taught about that and we use to have Anzac Day Services always at school. And I can remember every Monday, you had to parade every Monday and you would salute the flag, honour your parents, the flag and your country.
And I don’t think they do too much of that now either. I think that’s one thing the Americans do have over us, is their patriotism. I think the young today should be taught more patriotism. Just my own personal opinion but I think if it was like that, I think it would be a better country. I think today the young
people sort of teachers are not allowed to chastise them, or let them go crook. Back in our day we were, we were none the worse for it and I think we got better discipline for it. But still that’s just my opinion.
did you get much of a chance to see places like Sardinia and Corsica?
No, the only of course we saw was round the, round our airstrips and everything. No I didn’t get to see Corsica. Pretty mountainous place, Corsica. We were, the aerodrome where we had all the trouble was just a little bit south of Bastia
Did people get lost in the desert?
Yes, yes people get lost in the desert. The desert’s not just all flat either it’s all depression there, hills and everything, pretty rugged places in the desert. Luckily we weren’t far off the coast all the time, we were at this, apart from a couple
Ted, I’ve asked you about some of your mates, I’m wondering if you can tell me a bit about some of your officers?
Well one Ray Hudson, a very well liked pilot in our squadron was a Flight Commander of one of the flights. Was moved over to 450 Squadron as a (UNCLEAR) CO Squadron Leader and he was the one that flew back to Corsica to do some of the taking to the fellows when
things were going a bit awry. Another named I think it was Archibald and he use to fly during the Vietnam War, was flying reinforcements to and from there cause his son was in Vietnam.
Another one’s name was Col Robinson, and Col Robinson came back as CO when we were in England for his third tour of duties for squadron. Having had a tour of duty with us in the desert, a tour with someone else, and he was back to do another tour with 451. A lot of people use to think they use to do one tour or two tours and go but he’d been there from early in the piece and was still there towards the end. There’s another one that’s still
in the association over in Sydney, that’s Charles Edmondson, there’s another one that was on the book committee (UNCLEAR) the book I cant remember a lot of them. But all their names are in the book there and it’s easy if you go through the book to remember them.
Another one’s George Purdies and he had another mate too, I use to go to some dinners with them over at Choices and RAAF Europe but they’re both passed away. I no longer go out to those dinners, too far to go and too late coming home at night. Getting too old. But
we had a very, very good lot of pilots, they mixed very well with the fellows, we were all just no different, one to the other. Another one of our Pilots he went on as a CO of another squadron, he was eventually taken prisoner of war and he had a pretty hard time, he got belted around a fair bit. Poor fellow he passed away back a couple of years ago it may have been from injuries and everything caused
from that and he finished up in a wheelchair. With the hands of the Gestapo [German internal security police]. And there’s a nice little piece written in the book from him about the Ground Staff and everything. That’s after that, a couple of them finished up flying, some at Ansett, some at TAA [Trans Australia Airlines].
Apart from that I can’t remember the lot back then, much more about them.
I forget what they call the other, there was another payment as well, it come from War Repat [Repatriation]. Money paid, what they call repatriation or something, what do they call it. Gratuity money, so much a day for that, yes mine all went to a block of land.
Apart from that I had to go back to work to earn my keep.
29th Battalion, what did you get back to see him after the war?
Well after the war I went to live there again, he was still away up in New Guinea. When he came home yes we were living in, his wife was living at that house with a couple of children. I more of less use to do the nursing and feeding and everything. One of them would only feed for me.
Did you miss your comrades that you’d had in the squadron?
No not for a while because I was on with back with the family and everything for a while. It wasn’t for a few years until I started going to reunions and everything then. And then well became good; I use to look forward to every year then at having a reunion and meeting all the fellows again. Back in those days there use to be a lot of us. It use to be met as 451 Squadron Reunion then in the old Federal Hotel corner
of …there’s a government building there now corner of Collins Street and King Street I think it is yes. The old Federal, when that went we went and we use to meet at the Hotel Francis which was in Lonsdale Street between Elizabeth Street and Queen Street.
Then when that packed up we went, we had our meetings then at Richmond Bowls Club there was still quite a lot of us, about 30 or so. Because one of our members was a member there, when he passed away it folded up and we now go to the Fairfield RSL. And now it’s down to about 4 members.
There one of those members he’s about 87 or 88 now and he’s not too good, so I don’t think he’ll be there for very much longer. But he and another one of our members they had joined the Rats of Tobruk Association too. Because the squadron was eligible to join that because they, oh they were only there was a couple of weeks
in Tobruk but eligible to join the Rats Association. Which I’ve never bothered to.
So I was just interested in that part, I want to come back to just after the war again now. Did you talk to your nephew much about his experiences?
Not a lot. He told me a little about up there, but not much, we didn’t talk. Neither of us talked much about the war actually. As my wife said the other day when they rang up and interviewed on the phone interview
know where I’ve been and everything but haven’t told them anything of all these other things that happened or don’t happen. Just say where I’ve served and where I’ve been. They know I was in a (UNCLEAR) air raid and some fellows killed and everything but I more or less don’t tell, don’t say much of it. But I’ve been in the Anzac March,
the last one my son and grand daughter came in and watched it the last couple of years they have but that’s the only time, it’s only the last two years but they’ve become very interested in it. As I think a lot of young ones are getting more interested in it now too. And in fact the grand daughter, she fifteen year old she wants to march for me now so.
Which I can see the time coming when I wont be marching any much more. Last year when I was a bit crook, this year I marched, they year before I didn’t, I rode in a truck.
What sort of dreams are they?
Oh hard to say, hard to explain dreams and everything they’re just dreams, wake up and cant get sleep and everything. It’s like after last Friday on the phone talking that night I couldn’t get to sleep before 2 o’clock before I went to sleep, just seem to get the thing over and just mull things
place and everything, so we did it up as best we could and we lived there for four years, and it was whilst there when our son was born while we were there, at Chelsea Bush Nursing Hospital. We live there for thing and then we managed to put a deposit. Her father became sick he had a garage and service station at Pascoe Vale so I was in the business and sold out when I run that and we put a, and managed to rack up a deposit, bought a house out
at Pascoe Vale, we were paying it off. We were there for four years sold it and but in the meantime we had a block of land that we owned round the corner, which back in those days we bought for 300 pound. The same block of land to buy it today would cost you about $300,000 at least or more. And Pascoe Vale for four years and in that four years we were able to scratch
enough and they had cooperative housing societies back in those days and one got into one of those and had the house built around the corner. After a number of years my wife’s grandmother died and we were lucky to get a bit of money and were able to pay it off. And this, then one of the oldest house in Beaumaris was on this block we owned, where these two houses are now. It was too big for
us so we were able to sell that and get into this place. So we’ve been in this one now for just on 21 years. I think this where we’ll see our days out.
going on and things like that. And I was still on that after we were married, for a few years. And that’s I was still able to get into my uniform at that time. So I was able to wear that, I got the air efficiency award and I was able to go up to Laverton on parade in uniform to get that.
Which was a bit of a moment, that’s when the lad was only a couple of year old.
service. Well I had from 1936 till ’45. But overseas service counts double time, but from ’36 to ’45 it was you know time just the same. So just out of the blue they wrote to me from the Air Force saying I had been eligible and been
awarded the efficiency award and I was to attend this parade on such and such a day. So I went. There were about 20 of us altogether. Here was me wearing a sergeants uniform and up the other end of the line was a Group Captain. All the same just Air Efficiency Award. I think in the army called it the Finsey Medal [?] I think in the army.
I dare say if the same, silly to say it, but if the same thing happened was to happen I’d do the same thing again. I’d always been interested because long before the war they had air shows when we got our very modern Hawker Demon planes that they had here. And they had a big air show put on at the Flemington Race Course and I use to go and watch those
and everything and all the aerobatics with that and my nephew certainly. So I sort of always had a bit of an interest in planes.
since, I suppose about 40 years based around there. I play bowls for the Duke of Edinburgh Shield, which is held every year which is an RSL Tournament from all the RSLs all over Victoria, those that can field the bowls side. That’s usually held at quite a
lot of different venues, because only 6 teams can go to one venue, so theirs quite a number of venues.
the lass was going with me, her father was a member there, took me down and joined me up and I only went there a few times. Up here at the Beaumaris RSL well I go there every second Thursday night, there’s quite a few of us go up there for a meal and every Tuesday Night we go down to the Mentone RSL for a meal. So apart from
that, that’s about the involvement with it, and they have an Anzac Service every year, naturally which I go to. But apart from that there’s I don’t go there a lot, I use to go to all their meetings at one time but I don’t now cause I was got very involved in the Bowling Club and spend most of my time there.
What’s the attraction of the RSL?
Well it’s very good for all ex-service people and everything. I suppose to put it the same, it’s the same as a lot of workers have got a union that stick up and everything for them. The RSL is there for the ex-service person and it’s also there to help the widows, the sick and the children, that’s the main purpose of the RSL
The RSL is there to be a very good citizens, to make good citizenship and to help the fellow man. That’s the main purpose of the RSL, to look after all it’s ex-service personnel and those that are in need. Those that are having difficulties with Veterans Affairs with pension and everything, they’re there to help them or lend a hand for that’s the main attraction of the RSL
You’ve mentioned a few time about patriotism and the fact that you regard that as important and you’ve talked about Anzac Day. Every now and again some people call for Anzac Day to be a National Day, you know to try and for some people the 26th of January is a bit of a problematic day,
what’s your opinion on whether or not Anzac Day should be a National, you know should be the National Day?
I think Anzac Day should always be Anzac Day as it is and Australia Day should always be Australia Day. That’s the Foundation of Australia OK, but I don’t think Anzac Day should ever be changed. Because more and more or less they are trying to open up more and everything but
days of it, 451 Squadron, then we realise there weren’t many of them here and everything, so we tried to form a Desert Air Force Association of which I was right in it from the start I think. But it’s been hard to get, well 3 Squadron to come into it, they’re part of Desert Air Force and 450. Well 3 as I say is a permanent squadron so they’re able
to maintain an Association of their own and have their own thing all the time. I think 450 have had more people here we have a lot of their, tho they’re getting very depleted now. The Desert Air Force Association from having quite a big membership has now gone to about 4 turning up for the...a few more march under the Desert Air Force Banner in the March but
as far as going to a reunion there’s only about 4 of us. All the rest come from all other units and everything so it more of less comes down to just the old 451 fellows, about 4 of us.
do you think it’s a good, I mean we’re here we’ve been probing a lot of this stuff and conscience of the fact that you know, you’re going to be thinking about it again after we leave. Is it a good thing to revisit these memories do you think or is it better to keep them in the background?
Oh no, I suppose it would be a very good thing
I think for some of these things to come out and that’s it’s recorded and everything. Cause I think from the First World War there hasn’t been a lot recorded and you’ve only been able to get it from some of the old fellows, in the last few years, right in the twilight of their years well I’d say it’s getting that way for me too. I think it’s a very good thing to be recorded so as people in the future will know as what happened
and what’s gone on. And I suppose with you interviewing me today I’ll probably discuss it with a couple of the others mates now just I’m round here at the Beaumaris Bowls Club just round the corner and there’s a big lot of us that are ex-servicemen. As a matter a fact I was out for a meal last night to the Beaumaris RSL and mentioned it to one of my other mates up there and he said yes he was interviewed by you
some time back and he said that I think it’s well worth while. He’s one that saw a lot of service. No so with them, he’ll probably want to discuss this with me now and say how’d you go? and everything and it will with some of the others. I’ve told them about the interview from last week down there and they are all very interested in it.
And no doubt they’ll be quizzing me.