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April 21, 2019
This story was one i heard from a good friend a couple years back when it was the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC's. I absolutely love it, so just had to share.
"12 months ago, leading into the 100th Anniversary of the ANZAC’s I finally decided to look through my collection of old photo’s and war memorabilia left to me by my Grandfather. My three kids were sitting on the table with me, busily drawing, reading and colouring in and my husband was watching the news on the T.V, however as I started pulling pieces of memorabilia out of the old shoe box I started talking to my husband about what I was seeing. A letter from my Great Grandmother to the Prime Minister asking him to send her boy home, as he was only 16 and had lied about his age to go and serve in North Africa; and how beautiful my Grandmother looked in a photo of the 70,000 strong Women’s Auxiliary Australia Air Force (WAAAF),
After a little while I noticed something. My children had stopped their reading, drawing and colouring, and were now picking up photo’s and asking me ‘Mum, who is this?’ ‘Mum, What does that medal mean?’ ‘Mum, where was this photograph taken?.’
That night for the first time, I told them the whole story of how my great grandfather did get sent back from the war as his mother had requested, only to sign up again! This time going to Papua New Guinea. PNG is where he met and fell head over heels in love with a beautiful lady, who ended up becoming my grandmother and my kids Great Grandmother. Nana was an aircraft mechanic in PNG! I loved listening to her stories like the one about how the pilots used to make them go up in the planes during the test flights, because the boys never trusted the female mechanics work, but the planes were always proven to be safe and sound!
My children were, for the first time, really fascinated with the war stories and family history I had been sharing with them their entire lives. But it was not until they could look at photographs and memorabilia, and see what it was I was talking about that they really seemed to take it all in and understand that our family were a part of it all, and their own Great Grandparents were two of the war heroes we talk about. And so it was right then and there that I decided; these priceless memories were not going back into the old shoe box they had just come out of, they were going on the walls of our house.
Since that day, my children often stop in the hallway and look at the photographs and memorabilia I now have framed and preserved and ask me questions about the war, what their great great grandparents did, and when is the next ANZAC day celebrations…. I am so proud that they are learning about not only our countries history, but our own families history
And it all began with one photograph…
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