FROM MY INTRO
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 changed?
.... It was all a hotch-potch to me when I started this series. At the end of it, I can say it is a lot clearer.
I have sorted out the countable things like battles, locations, people, and rules and regulations. I can appreciate,
too, the effects on society, though these can only be ascertained from what I have researched, and I make no allowance for
all that I have missed.
.... So, despite all the talk about the War above, and despite the fact that it was the controlling influence
on all of our lives, the thrust of these books is about the social changes and reactions that took place in this
period, here in Oz.
Finally, let me apologise in advance to anyone I might offend. In a work like this, with so many painful
memories all round, it is certain some peole will think I got some things wrong. I am certain I did, but please remember,
all of this is only my opinion. And really, my opinion does not matter one little bit in the scheme of
things. I hope you will say "silly old bugger", and shrug your shoulders and read on.
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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.
Thus, 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
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.
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