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WORLD WAR 2: Unforgettable memories of a schoolgirl

JOAN AS A YOUNG WOMAN WHO WITNESSED THE WAR AS A SCHOOLGIRL. Below: OVERSEAS PAPERS ALSO FEATURED THE WORDS ‘WAR DECLARED’ ON GERMANY.

JOAN, IN HER EIGHTIES, AS A SCHOOLGIRL, USED TO EXCHANGE LETTERS AND PHOTOS WITH AN AMERICAN SAILOR. “BUT WE NEVER MET”, SAID JOAN.

THE FRONT PAGE OF THE NEWSPAPER WERE HUGE LETTERS – “WAR DECLARED”.
ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

BORN IN 1930, JOAN McLEOD REMEMBERS INCIDENTAL MOMENTS OF WAR AS SHE WITNESSED IT AS A 9 TO 15 YEAR OLD SCHOOLGIRL. SHE LIVES IN ROCKDALE, NSW. SHE WRITES …

WHEN MEN OF 18 YEARS ENLISTED IN THE ARMY, THEY WERE TO GO OVERSEAS TO FIGHT THE GERMANS WHO HAD INVADED POLAND. THE FIGHTING HAD SPREAD TO OTHER COUNTRIES. WE BACKED ‘MOTHER ENGLAND’.

SOME WOMEN JOINED THE NURSING FRATERNITY. THERE WERE ALSO THE LAND ARMY GROUPS WHO WORKED IN FACTORIES, AMMUNITION, ETC, TO REPLACE THE MEN WHO HAD ENLISTED IN THE FORCES.

EVERYONE WAS ASKED TO BUY ‘WAR BONDS’ TO ASSIST THE ‘WAR EFFORT’ WHERE POSSIBLE. I KNITTED WOOLLEN KHAKI SOCKS. AT HOME, OUR MUM MADE ‘PULL THRU’S’ FOR ARMY RIFLES.

OUR CITIES HAD BEEN EFFECTED BY ‘BROWN OUTS’. WHICH MEANT AT NIGHT ALL WINDOWS, ETC, HAD TO BE COMPLETELY COVERED.

I REMEMBER THE AIR RAID WARDENS WHO CAME AT NIGHT CHECKING WINDOWS – AND LOOKING SKYWARD FOR ENEMY PLANES. CONTINUED BELOW.


Let’s Laugh …

SYDNEY CARTOONIST JOHN NEAL WAS AS BOISTEROUS AS SOME OF THE CHARACTERS THAT COME OFF HIS DRAWING BOARD. AND CABBIE, ONE HIS PROTÉGÉS IS NO EXCEPTION. CABBIE SOARED TO FAME AS SOON AS HE APPEARED. JOHN DREW THE POPULAR BLUEY AND CURLY STRIP FOR A SUNDAY NEWSPAPER IN THE LATE 1970s, SO HE KNEW WHAT “HAVING A LAUGH” REALLY MEANT. – FRANK MORRIS.


WORLD WAR 2: Wilfred Burchett – the best and bravest correspondent I’ve ever known, says Richard Hughes

ATOMIC PLAGUE: “THOSE WHO EXCAPED BEGIN TO DIE”. Below: BURCHETT: “I WRITE THIS AS A WARNING TO THE WORLD”.

BURCHETT’S TERRIFYING JOURNEY TO HIROSHIMA.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

IN THE MIDDLE OF AUGUST 1945, THE MOST TERRIBLE WAR IN HISTORY WAS OVER.

TWO GREAT FLARES OF LIGHT THAT SUBDUED ALL OTHER NATURAL LIGHT AS THE WORLD’S FIRST ATOMIC BOMBS WERE DROPPED PRESAGED THE END.

THE JAPANESE CITIES OF HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI WERE VIRTUALLY WIPED OUT OF EXISTENCE.

WHEN HUGHES READ THE FIRST EYE-WITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE DESTRUCTION OF HIROSHIMA, WHICH THE DAILY TELEGRAPH PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 6, 1945, HE PUSHED HARDER FOR PERMISSION TO GO TO JAPAN.

HE ARGUED THAT HE KNEW THE COUNTRY, SOME OF THE LANGUAGE AND MANY OF THE WAR-TIME LEADERS.

HIS APPETITE WAS WHETTED BY THE MAGNIFICENT REPORT TURNED IN BY WILFRED (PETER) BURCHETT, AN AUSTRALIAN THEN WORKING FOR LONDON’S DAILY EXPRESS.

BURCHETT BLUFFED HIS WAY FROM TOKYO TO HIROSHIMA, ARMED ONLY WITH A 45 CALIBRE PISTOL, A JAPANESE PHRASE BOOK, AN UMBRELLA, AND A WEEK’S SUPPLY OF RATIONS.

HE TRAVELLED BY TROOP TRAIN WITH JAPANESE OFFICERS AND TROOPS, UNSMILING IN CASE THE OFFICERS THOUGHT HIM TO BE GLOATING OVER JAPAN’S SURRENDER.

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ABOUT WILFRED BURCHETT …THE WORLD WAS IN SHOCK! BURCHETT WAS NOT REPRESENTING ANY AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPER AT THE TIME HE FILED HIS WORDLWIDE SCOOP ON THE ATOM-BOMBED HIROSHAMA. HE WAS A STAFF REPORTER FOR THE DAILY EXPRESS (LONDON), AND HE COVERED THE PACIFIC WAR FOR THAT NEWSPAPER FROM THE START.  CONTINUED BELOW.
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BURCHETT’S TERRIFYING JOURNEY ENDED WHEN HE CLIMBED OUT OF A WINDOW OF THE TRAIN AT HIROSHIMA’S EMPTY SHELL OF A STATION. HE WAS ARRESTED AND HELD FOR ONE NIGHT; BUT AGAIN HE TALKED HIS WAY OUT OF THE DILEMMA.

HE WALKED FOR SEVERAL KILOMETRES INTO THE CITY AND AS FAR AS HE COULD SEE FOR KILOMETRES AROUND THERE WAS NOTHING LEFT ABOVE THE GROUND BUT RUBBLE.

FOR SOME SIXTY-FIVE SQUARE KILOMETRES THERE WAS HARDLY A BUILDING STANDING.

BURCHETT SAID IT WAS THE MOST TERRIBLE AND FRIGHTENING DESOLATION HE HAD SEEN IN FOUR YEARS OF WAR REPORTING.

FIRES WERE STILL SMOULDERING AND THERE WAS A PECULIAR ODOUR; SOMETHING LIKE SULPHUR.

BURCHETT WAS LATER DESCRIBED BY HUGHES AS ‘ONE OF THE BEST AND BRAVEST CORRESPONDENTS I’VE EVER KNOWN”.

<< Excerpts from The Man Who Read The East Wind, a biography of Richard Hughes, Extraordinary Correspondent, by Norman Macswan; 1982; Kangaroo Press, Sydney.

A BUILDING, PARTLY DEMOLISHED, WAS THE ONLY EDIFICE LEFT STANDING IN SIXTY-FIVE SQUARE KILOMETRES.

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ABOUT WILFRED BURCHETT …
BURCHETT’S SCOOP ON HIROSHIMA (“THE ATOMIC PLAGUE – I WRITE THIS AS A WARNING TO THE WORLD”) APPEARED IN THE EXPRESS UNDER THE BYLINE “PETER BURCHETT”, A MIX UP ON THE PART OF THE EDITOR, ARTHUR CHRISTIANSEN, WHO PERSONALLY SUB-EDITED BURCHETT’S STORY. – FM. << FROM AUSTRALIAN BOOK COLLECTOR, FEDRUARY, 2000.
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WORLD WAR 11: Final. Unforgettable memories of a schoolgirl

THIS AFTERNOON AUSTRALIAN NEWSPAPERS, LIKE ALL PAPERS THROUGHOUT THE GLOBE, SAID “WAR OVER: OFFICIAL”. Below: THE THREE WHO DIDN’T GET AWAY – THIS ONE BEING HAULED TO DRY LAND.

ADAPTED BY FRANK MORRIS

EVERYONE, INCLUDING THE KIDS, WAS ISSUED WITH A RATION BOOK AND COUPONS FOR DIFFERENT ITEMS SUCH AS MEAT, BUTTER, SUGAR, TEA AND CLOTHNG ETC. I THINK IT WAS THE BASIS OF A MONTHLY ALLOWANCE.

EVERYTHING WAS PRETTY SCARCE. WE HAD AN ARMY TO FEED. SOME PEOPLE DUG AIR RAID SHELTERS IN THEIR OWN BACKYARDS. TO HELP THE MORALE OF OUR SERVICEMEN, WE WERE ASKED WRITE LETTERS.

ALL I CAN RECALL OF THE JAPANESE SUBMARINE ATTACK IN SYDNEY HARBOUR

 WAS THE NOISE, THE SIRENS AND THE SEARCHLIGHTS.

(SPEEDY DEFENCE FROM THE ARMY FOILED THE ATTACK BY 3 MIDGET SUBMARINES. TWO WERE SUNK IN SYDNEY HARBOUR. THE THIRD MIDGET SUB ENDS UP EVENUALLY TWO MILES OR SO FROM THE HARBOUR. – FM.)

I EXCHANGED LETTERS AND PHOTOS WITH AN AMERICAN SAILOR WHO WAS TRANSFERRED FROM MICHIGAN. WE NEVER EVER MET. AMONG THE PHOTOS WAS A COPY OF THE SIGNING OF THE TRUCE WITH JAPAN ON BOARD THE AMERICAN WAR SHIP.

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HIROSHIMA AND NAGASAKI …
KOKO KONDO, 75, HAS PLEDGED TO FIND THE PERSON WHO DROPPED THE BOMB AND LEFT NEARLY 200,000 DEAD. SHE APPEARED ON THIS IS YOUR LIFE IN 1955. ALSO APPEARING WAS CAPTAIN ROBERT LEWIS, CO-PILOT OF THE ENOLA GAY. KONDO CHANGED HER MIND. HER ENCOUNTER WITH LEWIS MADE HER REALISE THIS. “YOU SHOULDN’T HATE THIS PERSON … I SHOULD HATE THE WAR ITSELF”. – FM.
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AFTER THE USA JOINED THE WAR IN 1942, SYDNEY BECAME INUNDATED WITH AMERICAN SERVICEMEN. THE AUSSIE TROOPS USED TO SAY THE YANKS WERE ‘OVERSEXED, OVERPAID AND OVER HERE!’

THE WORLD CELEBRATED WHEN THE WAR ENDED.

IN AUGUST, 1946, I MET JOE McLEOD WHEN I JUST TURNED 16. HE HAD BEEN RELEASED FROM THE ARMY AFTER SERVING 5 LONG YEARS. HE WAS 24 YEARS OLD AND STILL GETTING ATTACKS OF MALARIA, WHICH HE CONTRACTED IN NEW GUINEA.

HE HAD SCRUB TYPHUS IN NG WHICH NEARLY TOOK HIM OFF. HIS PARENTS RECEIVED NOTIFICATION FROM THE ARMY IN NG THAT THINGS WERE BAD.

LUCKILY, HE PULLED THROUGH. JOE AND I MARRIED IN 1950.

<< This is an adapted letter from Australia at War 1939-1945: Letters and personal anecdotes; Bobby Barter; MSS.


JANE …

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ABOUT ERIC LAMBETH, AUTHOR …
THE BIG-BOOK WAS TWENTY THOUSAND THIEVES PUBLISHED IN 1951. IT WAS A STORY BASED ON HIS SOJOURN DURING WORLD WAR 11. WHEN HE MANAGED TO PRODUCE OTHER BEST-SELLING NOVELS – THE VETERANS, WATERMAN, HIROSHIMA REEF, ETC – HE DID SO WITH UNBRIDLED PASSION, HONESTY AND COMPASSION. HE WAS 48 WHEN HE DIED. – FM.

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GRAND YEARS WILL BE PUBLISHED ON SEPTEMBER 4.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 20 August 20

WORLD WAR 2: Dear Daddy … twelve-year-old girl kept her father entertained!

THIS VERY SPECIAL “SECRET” LETTER FROM ANN ASKED HER FATHER TO SEND HER SOME MONEY “SO SHE CAN BUY HER MOTHER A CHRISTMAS PRESENT”.

SELECTED BY FRANK MORRIS

<< Australia Today, Australia Post magazine, Dec/Jan 2011.

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ABOUT ERIC LAMBERT, AUTHOR …
AUSTRALIAN AUTHOR ERIC LAMBERT HAS OFTEN BEEN REFERRED TO AS AN ‘AUSTRALIAN HEMINGWAY.’ ON THE PUBLICATION OF WATERMEN HE WROTE TO ME “… ONCE AGAIN THE LONDON TIMES CALLED ME THE AUSTRALIAN HEMINGWAY FOR THE THIRD TIME. AT LEAST IT’S MADE ME READ SOME OF HIS WORK! …”  BOTH MEN WROTE OF WAR – BOTH SERVED AS SOLDIERS. THEIR APPROACH TO WARFARE WAS DIFFERENT. THEIR STYLE OF WRITING HAD NOTHING IN COMMON. ZOE O’LEARY, A BIOGRAPHY. – FM.
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JANE …

JANE WAS A ROBUST AND UNASHAMEABLE STAR OF THE MOST INFAMOUS EROTIC COMIC OF THE 20TH CENTURY! IT APPEARED AS A WEELKY FEATURE IN THE UK DAILY MIRROR. A LOT OF BRICKBATS WERE HURLED AT THE PAPER, BUT THAT DID NOT STOP THE TROOPS FALLING IN LOVE.

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ABOUT ERIC LAMBERT, AUTHOR …
TWO BIG NOVELS CAME FROM ERIC LAMBERT, ONE OF WHICH WAS THE TWENTY THOUSAND THIEVES. HERE IS WHAT LAMBERT WROTE IN HIS WAR DIARY WHICH WAS USED IN THE BOOK; BRUTAL WAR SCENES AND HEROIC: “WE WERE DIVE-BOMBED BY STUKAS – WICKED, BRIGHT COMPETENT THINGS, ONE WITH A WAILING KLAXON. BEARD, HIT BY THE SAME SHELL, LAY BLEEDING TO DEATH. MACHINE GUNS … AND THE BULLETS AS THEY PASSED ME WERE LIKE COMETS. – FM.
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FLASHBACK: The day America bombed Japan -- and it brought an end to the war!

THE FIRST ATOMIC BOMB WIPED OUT HIROSHIMA AS FAR AS THE EYE COULD SEE. Below: THE BOMB, OR LITTLE BOY, THAT WAS DROPPED ON HIROSHIMA.

WAS THIS THE END OF THE WORLD 75 YEARS AGO?

FRANK MORRIS

TO JAPAN, THE WORLD WAS COMING TO AND END. COULD IT BE THE END?

IT WAS AUGUST 6, 1945.

PEOPLE WERE STILL IN THE STREET AND THEY STARTED TO RUN. BUT, TO WHERE?

IT WAS STILL EARLY MORNING.

THE SIRENS BEGAN TO BLAZE THEIR DEADLY SOUND.

SOME PEOPLE STAYED AT HOME. SOME PEOPLE LOOKED FROM THEIR WINDOWS, ONLY FOR A BRIEF MOMENT.

WHAT DID THEY SEE? THEY COULD NOT SEE ANYTHING ONLY THE CLOUDSLESS SKY. THE BOMB WAS FALLING AT A RECORD RATE.

OTHERS WERE CLOSER TO GROUND ZERO. ALL THEY HEARD WAS THE DULL SOUND OF SOMETHING FALLING.

THE YOUNG PROPLE WERE TRANSFIXED. THEY COVERED THEIR EYES.

THEN, AFTER SNAKING ITS WAY THOUGH THE OPENESS, THERE IT WAS. THE FIRST URANIUM ATOMIC BOMB. IT WAS ABOUT TO SHED ITS DEATH ON EVERYONE WHO STOOD IN ITS WAY.

IT ONLY HAD SECONDS TO GO. “THEN I COULD FEEL THE EARTH SHAKE AND IT TOSSED ME SEVERAL FEET IN AIR”, ONE OF THE SURVIVOR’S SAID. “I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE”.

IT WAS THE MOST DEVASTATING PERIOD IN JAPANESE HISTORY.THE ATOMIC PLAGUE WAS FALLING FROM THE SKY.

THERE WERE BODIES ALL OVER THE PLACE.

MANY HOUSES COCOONED THEIR DEAD. GROTESQUE HUMAN SHAPES WERE EVERYWHERE.

“THEY HAD DIED MYSTERIOUSLY AND HORRIBLY” ONE REPORTER WROTE. A TROOP OF MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN WERE STANDING AROUND A LAMP POST NOT TALKING BUT WEEPING AND CRYING,

EACH CLUCHING THEIR HEINOUS WOUNDS.

A SCHOOL GIRL CAME OUT OF A BUILDING, IN RAGGED AND DUST RIDDEN CLOTHES, AND WALKED PAST A GENTLEMAN WITH HIS EYE BALLS IN HIS HANDS.

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REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE …
“WHEN THE ATOMIC BOMB WAS DROPPED ON THE JAPANESE GARRISON TOWN OF HIROSHIMA IT WAS THE FIRST EMPLOYMENT OF A WEAPON WHICH MAY END THE PACIFIC WAR WITHIN DAYS OR WEEKS. IT WAS AN EVENT MARKING A REVOLUTIONARY CHANGE IN THE WAY HUMANITY LIVES”. FROM OSMAR WHITE, AUSTRALIAN CORRESPONDENT.
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THE HUNDREDS WHO WERE ALIVE WISHED THAT THEY WERE DEAD.

THE CITY AND OUTLYING VILLAGES WERE FLATTENED INTO THE EARTH AROUND THEM.

THE ATOMIC BLAST WAS MADE UP OF BLACK CLOUDS. WHEN IT COLLIDED WITH THE EARTH, METAL SPRANG FROM THE BOMB AND SPRAYED EACH PASSER BY AS THEY CAME INTO CONTACT. THE SHRAPNELL SCATTERED. THE BOMB WAS SEEN 25 TO 30 MILES FROM ITS IMPACT.

THE CITY WAS IN MOURNING.

THE AIR WAS PUNGENT. PUNGENT BEYOND BELIEF. THE DARK CLOUD HAD SETTLED. IT WAS SLOW IN DISSIPATING. IT WAS MONTHS BEFORE ALLIED SOLDIERS COULD DETERMINE THE EFFECTS OF THE FIRST URANIUM ATOMIC BOMB USED IN A WAR.

IT’S HARD TO KNOW WHAT THE WORLD THOUGHT OF THIS ACTION.

HIROSHIMA WAS THE UNLUCKY CITY.

A FEW DAYS LATER IT WAS NAGASAKI’S TURN.

THE BOMB CHANGED EVERYTHING. THE FOUR YEARS WAR HAD ENDED.

THE WORLD HAD CHANGED DRAMICALLY.

JAPAN WAS TOLD: “NOW QUIT!”. AND THEY DID.

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“INHUMAN ACT” …
“MAIN REASON WHICH DROVE THE ENEMY TO USE THE NEW ATOMIC BOMB ON HIROSHIMA IS IMPATIENCE AT THE SLOW PROGRESS OF THE PROJECTED INVASION OF JAPAN’S MAINLAND”. DOMEI NEWS AGENCY … THE FIRST WESTERN JOURNALIST TO ENTER HIROSHIMA WAS AUSTRALIAN WILFRED BURCHETT ONLY DAYS AFTER THE BOMB WAS DROPPED. – FM.
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FRANK MORRIS COMMENT …

Japan was losing the war. Her plight was she was out of steam. Japan’s bid to dominate other countries in the Pacific was drying up.

Australia could never forget the times it was attacked.

On that eerie day in Darwin, hundreds of people were killed. Then, in Sydney, there were two Japanese submarines sunk in Sydney; and the third sunk about 2 miles or so from the harbour.

Japanese troops and bombs struck hard at Pacific bases in their plan for a rapid command.  The Japanese put up a gargantuan tussle to dominate all of the Pacific bases.

I wonder if Japan ever thought it would have an atomic bomb explosion right in middle of its country. Not once, but twice.

“Though most of the groundwork for the plan of attack … had been done, President Harry S. Truman had to make the major decision of whether or not to drop the atomic bomb on Japan”, a book reveals.

He did. The ‘Atomic Age’ was born. The Japanese had already been sent an ultimatum demanding that they surrender “unconditionally”.

The first atomic bomb to be used … it burst over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. And August 9, another bomb was dropped on the city and naval base of Nagasaki.

Japan surrendered.

In Hiroshima alone, this action cost Japanese nearly 200,000 lives whose footprint would disappear from this earth.
They were the bombs that stopped the war.

But dropping the bombs was inhuman.

THE MOST DEVASTATING PERIOD IN JAPANESE HISTORY.

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V-E DAY. MAY 8 -- THE WAR IN EUROPE IS OVER. AUGUST 15 – JAPAN MEETS DEFEAT IN THE PACIFIC.
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Let’s Laugh …

OH, NO! EATING AND DRINKING EVERYTHING IN SIGHT IS A NO-NO!

COMING: The ‘belly boards’, by Jack Eden in a 1964 issue of Surfabout, have amazing speeds and manoeuvrability. Jack Eden pointed out why they were here to stay.

GRAND YEARS WILL BE PUBLISHED ON AUGUST 21.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 06 August 20

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