The people

Personal accounts of growing up during the war years from current and former residents of the City of Port Phillip.

Port Melbourne

Amelia Dukes and Barbara Patterson

The war wasn't spoken about in their home, despite the fact that Amelia and Barbara's father, Robert Currie, enlisted alongside his two brothers.


Elva Keily

Elva has very fond memories of the meals her mother cooked with cheap cuts of meat including, offal, lamb's fry, tripe, kidneys, and ox tail.

St Kilda

Janet Revill

Janet and her cousin made a plan to run away if Japan invaded. They loaded up their toys and dolls into a cart with socks and shoes, although didn't pack any food!

Judy Thomson with parents before her father left for the Middle East


Judy Thompson

At school Judy practised drills in the muddy, mosquito-filled trenches dug all around the hockey ground.

Kay Rowan, her cousins and neighbourhood children outside 98 Ferrars Street South Melbourne.

Port Melbourne

Kay Rowan

While Kay was too young to remember the war years herself, she has a strong recollection of family stories from the time.

St Kilda

Margaret Ewing

Sunday nights the family would all gather around the kitchen table and listen to stories or plays on the radio.

Marlene and Gloria Firman, Christmas 1941.


Marlene (Firman) Bailey

Like many families, Marlene's didn’t talk about the war at home. She and her sister remained blissfully ignorant of many of the dangers and horrors of the war.

Albert Park

Mary Baldie

Every Friday, Mary and her work colleagues would go and watch the soldiers marching along Swanston Street heading off to join the war.


Pat Zangiacomi

Like many families, the impacts of the war continued on in Pat's family, long after the last shot was fired.

Garden City

Reg Macey

Unlike many other young children who grew up during the war years, Reg's parents, and in particular his mother, discussed the war openly with him.

Port Melbourne

Terry Keenan

Larger-than-life American men stuck in Terry's mind because he had previously only even seen Americans in films.

St Kilda

Thelma Aimers

Thelma finished school and began working at the Victoria Barracks for the army typing pool, then the war records unit adding captions to photographs.


Thelma (Nixon) Edgar

Thelma remembers her mother regularly took packages of food and other comforts to the training camps.

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