AN EXCERPT FROM 1941
For a young boy, as the War years went on, reality and fantasy went hand
in hand. As I heard of our victories, I day-dreamed of being at the head of our Military forces, throwing grenades and leading
bayonet charges. I sank dozens of battleships from my submarine that was always under attack. And I lost count of the squadrons
of Messerschmitts that I sent spiralling from the sky. Needless to say, I was awarded a lot
of medals and, as I got a bit older, earned the plaudits of quite a few pretty girls.
But, mixed in with all this romance were some more analytical thoughts. Every day, once the battles got going, I
would go to the newspapers’ maps of where the battlelines currently were. One for the Western front, one in North Africa,
and a third in Russia. Later, another in the Pacific. Then I would examine them
minutely to see just how far we had moved, backwards or forwards. I read all
the reports, true and false, and gloated when it was said we were winning, and shrunk away from our losses.
. . . . And finally, when war did come, and grind on, year
after year, what effect did it have back here in Australia? How did we as a
society cope with a world that just had to continue on, given that the sons and dads of the nation were actually being killed
daily overseas? When the postman did his normal delivery and brought a letter
saying your loved one is dead? What did we do when old jobs suddenly disappeared,
and new ones were created a hundred miles away? When goods, long readily available, were no longer for sale? When everything
Cost is $16, post free.
Plus $6 for Express Post.
EXTRA READING -- COMPLETELY OPTIONAL
YOU WILL NOT BE EXAMINED ON ANY OF THIS
ABOUT THIS SERIES … But after that, I realized that I really knew very little about these parents of mine They had been
born about the start of the Twentieth Century, and they died in 1970 and 1980. For their
last 50 years, I was old enough to speak with a bit of sense. I
could have talked to them a lot about their lives. I could have found out about the times they
lived in. But I did not. I know almost nothing about them
really. Their courtship? Working in the pits? The Lock-out in the Depression?
Losing their second child? Being dusted as a miner? The shootings
at Rothbury? My uncles killed in the War? Love
on the dole? There were hundreds, thousands of questions that I would now like to ask them.
But, alas, I can’t. It’s too late.
prompted by my guilt, I resolved to write these books. They
describe happenings that affected people, real people. The whole series is, to coin a modern phrase, designed
to push the reader’s buttons, to make you remember and wonder at things forgotten. The books might just
let nostalgia see the light of day, so that oldies and youngies will talk about the past and
re-discover a heritage otherwise forgotten.
Hopefully, they will spark discussions between generations, and foster the
asking and answering of questions that should not remain unanswered.