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The background on this homepage was created from Uncle Alec's army shirt.


Introduction

During the 1930’s (after the Great Depression) Japan underwent a massive military build up as the Japanese Government was hungry for war and power. While fighting for power and land in Europe, Hitler and the NAZIS continued to annihilate the Jews and minors. Japan had their own plans.

They felt that in order to weaken the United States military power, it was essential to bomb the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbour. The Japanese were worried that the United States could stand in their way of trying to invade the Asian Pacific and Australia. They later fought their way along ninety percent of the Kokoda Track not reaching Port Moresby which they saw as the perfect location to win control of New Guinea and to use it as a base from which to attack Australia. The Australians fought in the Owen Stanley Ranges for four months while defending Port Moresby from the Japanese and finished by completely defeating the Japanese in this campaign.

Six hundred and five Australian men were killed and one thousand and fifteen were wounded out of four Australian Brigades with twelve infantry battalions. World War Two had the highest number of casualties of any wars. The death toll was three times as high as that of World War One. Three of those millions of people killed were my three great step Turnbull uncles. My four Atfield great uncles fortunately were not amongst the fatalities. They lived for many years after World War Two and one still has the health and good fortune to tell stories about the old days.

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Val was only a little 8 year old when World War Two began. Five of her brothers were excited to a degree and wanted the chance to serve their country in the war. Their mother, like most other mothers was very upset and did not like the idea of her sons going to war. They were all AIF volunteers and two enlisted in their hometown of Mt Morgan, Queensland, one in Redbank while the other in Townsville. The fifth brother was unable to be recruited due to the ‘Man Power Act’. This is where people who worked in the most essential jobs for the community, e.g. teachers, were not allowed to enlist in the Armed Forces. Vince (the eldest brother) was an engine driver in the power house in Mt Morgan and so was exempted from joining .To get into the army medical tests were done to see whether the person had the right weight for the right height, was fit, had good eyesight, no diabetes or other medical problems.

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