Supplied courtesy of the © Robinvale Sentinel
There was the Great Depression when there was a lot of unemployment. Work was hard to get and a lot of men tramped the roads looking for work, these men were called swagmen and sometimes got the name “Sundowners”, because they would often arrive at a farmhouse at about sundown. The farmer would usually give them a feed and let them sleep in a shed for the night. For this, they would do an hour or so work, usually cutting a bit of wood for the kitchen stove.
When the war started, most of these men joined the Armed Forces.
The farmer had little money and had to work long hours on the farm as most of them only had horses to pull their implements and the horses had to be fed and watered very early in the morning before they could be worked.
There was no television; only a few people had radios. Not every family had a motor car, a lot still relied on the horse for transport.
When the war started a lot of men joined the Army, Navy or the Air Force and this left a shortage of men to do the work in the factories and on the land, so the women had to do a lot of this work. This is what was called “The Land Army” sent to the country to work on the farms. Most of them had never seen a sheep or a cow before, but they soon learnt all about farming and did a very good job of it. Many things were in short supply and rationing was brought in. There were ration tickets for things such as meat, flour, petrol and clothing.
When the war finished in 1945 and the men came home, there was plenty of work around getting the nation going again. Not all the men came back. A lot of the returned service men found it hard to get used to normal life after up to six years in the services and they moved about the country from job to job. Migrants started coming into the country to build up the population, most of these people soon settled into the way of life and became Australian citizens. They also brought in a lot of their culture.
Big changes began to take place with tractors taking over from horses. Today, there are very few horses on farms. Factories became more mechanised and now automation and computers have taken over the jobs of hundreds of thousands of workers so we have a very large number of unemployed people.
Before I start I would just like to say: All the people that went to the war, will always be brave and in my memory for many years to come and so will the men that were injured!
Before the war it was nothing like today. There was nothing like we have got now. Before the war people in those days had large families. Most people could not afford to pay their bills for the house. One in twenty families would own a car. All the rest of the people wouldn’t be able to afford it because they wouldn’t be able to get jobs. Before the war clothing was very different to what we have now. They wouldn’t have the same material as what we have now. Children couldn’t get teddy bears and toys unless they had enough money to buy some. It would be very boring and dull back then because they wouldn’t have any entertainment or television to watch. The only thing they would be able to do is make up acts or read a book. Not that many people could afford a radio to listen to the cricket or the weather back then. You were very popular back then if you had a car or a radio or even if you were very rich.
During the war, there were a lot of people that were confident about the men that went to the war. Most people didn’t feel confident and felt that some of the men would die. During the war, the music changed, television came in. The clothes were changing into more fashionable clothes. Every night and every day; the women and children would pray that their fathers, husbands, boyfriends were still alive. When the men came back from the war, they noticed that a lot of things had changed. The wives of the men who died in the war knew that their husbands were brave.
After the war, a lot of people felt better than what they did during the war. Not worrying about their husbands going away and getting shot. A lot of things have changed since then. In the Sixties and Seventies, people changed their clothes to hippy fashion. In the 80s and 90s, the change of clothes changed a bit to decent clothes. The wives now, are probably a bit scared that their boyfriends and husbands might have to go away to World War III.
Before I finish this, I would like to say thank you for reading this. The men who went to the war were very, very brave. My great grandfather was very, very brave. His name was Donald Murray Rae. He was shot in the shoulder. Thank God, the war’s over!
If Australia and the Allies had lost the war between 1939 – 1945, life would be different in Australia today. In our communities, we would have had more people who migrated from Japan and Germany. We would be doing things that the Japanese and German people do eg: we would’ve had more riding around on bikes to get to places. Also our homes could’ve been different shapes and sizes than they are today.
The foods that we eat today, could’ve been things like raw fish, noodles, and chop suey, instead of things like chicken, pies, and potatoes.
The sports that we would be playing could be something like table tennis, instead of the sports that we play today, like football, cricket, swimming and netball.
We would have more rice crops instead of wheat crops and cattle farms.
I think that overall, I’m glad that we won the war.
BY ABBY EGAN
I see victims, explosions and depression.
I see gloom, memories and poverty more than a vivid memory.
I see war.
It’s just a game but what kind of game?
You have to ask yourself.
Why have war?
I see Gallipoli, Hiroshima and Vietnam.
Do you fear the unknown?
I see innocent elderly, women and children being killed.
About 55 million died in World War 11, can anyone tell my why?
Some can forgive and forget, others will live with the pain for the rest of their lives.
Will there be a World War 111?
You have to consider it with the war in Bosnia and French Nuclear tests.
Tell me, what does this all achieve?
So many deaths, the cost of weapons.
Is this the world’s way of having fun?
I see no winners, only losers.