May 1942, Submarines in Sydney

May 1942, Submarines in Sydney

On the evening of 31 May 1942 allied warships flying the flags of several nations moved gently at their moorings in Sydney Harbour. HMAS Canberra was nestled off Farm Cove close to the iconic bridge. From Canberra’s decks the US heavy cruiser Chicago was visible in...
Just a Simple Post Card #2

Just a Simple Post Card #2

It came in the post, and it was wonderful, a pretty lace postcard from a terrible war. ‘A Kiss from France’ for a mother. He remembered her birthday but given the irregular mail and distance the card had to journey around the world Sapper Horace Mervyn Herrod (6672)...
Just a Simple Post Card #1

Just a Simple Post Card #1

Victor Charles Friberg was born to Anders and Amelia Friberg of ‘Mootala’, Locksley Road, Ivanhoe, Melbourne, Victoria. The family enjoyed a stable middle-class lifestyle thanks to the furniture manufacturing business Anders had established. Victor entered the family...
A LEGEND BY THE NAME OF VIVIAN

A LEGEND BY THE NAME OF VIVIAN

It was a Midshipmen and Cadet Mess Dinner at the Australian Defence Force Academy in the late 1990s. I was teaching History and Strategic Studies at UNSW at ADFA so was asked to attend as a guest with my husband. These mess dinners were to instruct aspiring Australian...
The Mystery of AE1

The Mystery of AE1

Robyn Rosenstruss would visit her grandmother in Balmain, Sydney, where the elderly lady would gesture to the small timber chest of drawers which took pride of place in her home. ‘That’s Jimmy’s Box’ she would say. Robyn the child never knew who ‘Jimmy’ was – she...
Hilda Mary Knox

Hilda Mary Knox

Oh, these poor men! It is simply heartbreaking. Sister Hilda Knox, June 1915. Hilda Mary Knox was born in the pretty Victorian town of Benalla on 29 December 1884. Positioned on the banks of the Broken River it was a pleasant environment in which to grow up. Her...
A War Widow and Holbrook, NSW.

A War Widow and Holbrook, NSW.

How many of us have driven to Melbourne passing through the town of Holbrook? And thought how odd it was to have a couple of submarines landlocked in this tiny place? Well, it is in part due to a War Widow named Gundula Holbrook. Lieutenant Norman Holbrook commanded...
Anzac Courage: Curtis McGrath

Anzac Courage: Curtis McGrath

During August and September 2015 Australian Army Sapper Curtis McGrath, added more medals to the cabinet. At the ICF Canoe Sprint & Paracanoe World Championships in Milan, Italy, in late August he defended the World VL2 200m title he won in Moscow in 2014. Even...
The emotional legacy of war

The emotional legacy of war

Invariably the history of war is presented from the perspective of campaigns, strategic and tactical delineations and, generals. The story of war, however, is about the people and the ongoing legacy suffered by families, communities, and the nation. They fell in...