People Share Their Stories

The night the Jap subs bombed Sydney Harbour I remember waking up with my Mum beside my bed, dragging on her dressing gown. I said what’s the matter? Can’t you hear the siren she said. So then I hopped out of bed and Mum, Dad and I did what the warden had instructed us to do in case of an air raid. We had a high 4 legged stove in the kitchen and the large kitchen table was pulled up to the stove. Mum Dad and I sat hunched up under the stove with our legs under the table. All was silent and so were we, waiting for bombs to fall. The only sound was a mozzie buzzing around us. Finally, the all clear siren went off and later on the warden knocked at our door to make sure we were all OK. Of course, we found out much much later on that the sirens went well after the Jap subs had done their job. Other memories are of all our Dads going to our school, Waitara Primary, to dig trenches in case of air raids. We had practice drill every week if I remember correctly. I lived in Churchill Ave Wahroonga and from our back gate to Waitara School back gate was all bush, but then the army arrived and set up camp which filled all the space, so I had to walk the long way to school instead of short cutting through. One day a captain from the Army knocked on our class room door, 5th class and delivered a telegram to our teacher who we all liked very much. His name was Mr Star. He read the telegram and burst into tears and hurried out.  A short time later the headmaster came to tell us that the sad news was that Mr Stars son had been killed in the war. At school, we were given cards and every time we donated a penny we were given a small blue patch to stick on the card which was another nail in Tojos coffin. I still have a page somewhere but would take me hours to find. At the end of the war the message got around that there would be a big celebration at the cenotaph in Hornsby so everyone gathered there I think it was evening.

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