Laurie Woods was a member of the 460 Squadron of Bomber Command. Laurie was recognised with an Immediate Award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, for flying a Bomber back to England after the pilot was wounded. Laurie remembers how PTSD affected his relationships and personal life after his service.
Richard Trevor Martin
Dick was called up into the Army on the 5th of February 1943 and eventually transferred to the Air Force when age appropriate. Dick shares some tragic stories of his time in Bomber Command and reflects on a happy life in Queensland, and still volunteers at the Sunnybank RSL Sub-branch on a weekly basis.
Leslee Scott Tannock
26/11/1923 - 25/04/2019
Leslee joined the WAAF in signals after learning morse code. After initial training in Victoria, she was stationed in Maryborough, and has fond memories of the town in the 1940s. Leslee and her family were primary producers after WWII and eventually settled in Toowoomba. Sadly Leslee passed away just six weeks after filming, on ANZAC Day 2019.
Terry, a British national, enlisted at Aldershot, Eng. 30 May 1938 in the Calvary of the Line as a bugler. He spent much of his service in tank training operations in Wales and was discharged from the Royal Armoured Corps in July, 1948. Terry was a “Ten Pound Pom,” arriving in Fremantle, WA in 1957 before moving to Redcliffe, Queensland. Terry was instrumental in the construction of the Botanical Gardens in Redcliffe.
Joe followed in his father’s footprints and joined the Navy in the 1940s, but explains it was for the food! He wanted to try the foods of the world. Joe spent time as a stoker on transport ships between Northern Queensland and New Guinea and recounts travelling Australia with his wife upon his discharge from over 20 years in the Navy. During Joe’s time in Wittenoom in Western Australia, his wife contracted lung cancer from the asbestos mine and passed away as a result. Joe shares his insights into the town that has been scratched from Australian maps.
Henry George Preston
12/01/1926 - 19/04/2019
Henry decided to join the army in late 1943. Henry speaks of the drama surrounding the Japanese submarine invasion of Sydney Harbour, just near his home. He continues to share his stories about the Japanese prisoner outbreak at Cowra and his intricate knowledge of the event whist stationed there. Sadly Henry passed away in April 2019, two months after we had the pleasure of interviewing him.
Bill speaks of the “Yellow Peril” scare in 1939 and the push for men to join the militia. Both Bill (17) and his brother (15) joined in 1939 but were taken into the infantry (31st Battalion) full time when Japan entered the war in December of 1941. Bill speaks of hearing Tokyo Rose on the radio threatening Australia, before he was deployed to New Guinea. Bill was discharged due to injury and he shares stories of Townsville, American troops and what life was like after the war.
Roy Atfield Arthy
When the war broke out Roy was playing football (Rugby League) at Curran, and he signed up right away in 1939. After training in Darwin, Roy was sent to the Middle East, Benghazi in Lybia, Syria and eventually to New Guinea. Roy offers some interesting insight into the Japanese tactics of fighting in the jungles and mountains of New Guinea.
Ron joined the Australian Signal Corps after the bombing of Darwin in 1942. He later was sent to New Guinea, Borneo and Singapore. Ron shares some of the more vivid and tragic memories of what he saw in Borneo during the war, and met Australian over 2000 POWs in Changi before accompanying them home to Australia. Ron also shares about the horrors that haunted him, then identified as ‘war neurosis’ (now known as PTSD) and his shock treatment in 1964. Ron credits the tremendous support of the DVA in the past 50 years as a comfort to him and his lifestyle.
Cynthia Lorna Daphne Clifford
Cynthia didn’t want to join the services just to be an administration officer so she made her decision to join the Artillery. As a gunner, Cynthia saw most of her service in training anti-aircraft gunners on 3.5 inch guns. She recalls fond memories of her service and lives a happy life in the Fairview Retirement community in Pinjarra Hills, Queensland.
21/03/1922 - 27/05/2019
Alan joined the RAAF at age 19 in 1941 and served mainly in the Middle East. Allan flew Beaufighters with his co-pilot Vic ‘Possum’ Whitfield doing night reconnaissance. They were the first Australians to land in Greece after the German occupation. Alan was a keen pilot after the war and founded gliding clubs across the Sunshine Coast area of Queensland.
Frank was the ninth child to his parents and grew up on a dairy farm in the Glass House Mountains. Like many others Frank lied about his age to join the army. He saw action at Milne Bay and recalls in exquisite detail much of the campaign in New Guinea. Frank was discharged in the middle of 1949 and joined the Queensland Police force where he spent the next 33 years until his retirement in 1980.
Arthur James McClure
Artie joined the war effort as a topographer due to the threat of Japanese invasion. He went to Darwin immediately after the bombing as much of the Northern Territory coastline had not been adequately mapped. He shares some horrific experiences of his time in Borneo and continues to live a simple life in Caboolture Queensland, not far from where he was born over 101 years ago.