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                     74th BIRTHDAY
EXCERPTS 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 countabe 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.  

 


CONTENTS

JAN:  JOHN CURTIN’S  OWN WAR

EVACUATION OF SCHOOL CHILDREN                     

FEB:  PLIGHT OF ENEMY ALIENS                                  
NOW ON A WAR FOOTING                                               
MAR:  THE JAPS ARE COMING
LET THEM COME                                                 
APR:  CURTIN AND CHURCHILL                                   
SMALL BOATS GONE FOR DURATION             
MAY:  CYRTIN'S TOUGH SPEECH
DARNING NEEDLES HERE TO STAY                          

JUN:   BURYING JAP SAILORS                            

CLOTHES RATIONING AT LAST                        

JUL:  HERE IS THE NEWS FROM THE ABC      

WAR CASUALTIES                                                 

AUG: OZ PILLAGING IN NEW GUINEA              
RUFFIANS IN NEW GUINEA                                      
SEP:  MORE FINGERS CROSSED                                     
CROONING AND JAZZ                                                      
OCT:   STATUTE OF WESTMINSTER                  
HORSE RACING ON SATURDAYS                                   
NOV:  NORTH-WEST AFRICA                              
POSTER-PROPAGANDA WAR                              
DEC: WE’VE PROBABLY MADE IT                               
WE SURVIVED THE TOUGHEST YEAR                                    

 

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.

 

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 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.

 

 

 

                 

HOW TO BUY THESE BOOKS.  But first, note that if you want Express Post, you must make payment through eBay or by Direct (Bank) Deposit.

Payment by Direct (Bank) Deposit: Cost is $20, post free.  You make payment to BSB 650000, a/c 519918301. You need to notify me at email@boombooks.biz that payment has been made, and the address of the consignee.  Add an extra $5 for Express Post. 

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