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Updated by Bev Wilkinson on Jul 06, 2015
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War Veterans Stories

Collection of war stories by students from Bond University, Swinburne University and Griffith University as part of the Celebrate Living History internship program. Visit our website at

Audrey, A Woman in the War

By Jake Watson It is an unfortunate fact that people often overlook the great efforts of women during war times. During the Second World War, women served in many crucial roles, including overseas roles, such as in New Guinea and Singapore, as nurses, anti-aircraft gunners, mechanics, and radio operators.

John 'Jack' McMullen

By Caitlin McMullen John 'Jack' McMullen was a man of strength and toughness, he joined the Royal Australian Navy in his early 20's as an engineer. As my great grandmother Margret used to say 'Jack was straight forward, what you saw was what you got'.

Keith Lindner

By Kyfer Yeo Edited by Jake Watson It was a rainy, overcast autumn day, the perfect weather to stay indoors. I was at the ANZAC day therapy centre in Brighton, a place that specialises in treating senior war veterans and assisting them in day-to-day life.

Tony Guest a man with the sea

By Rhiann Elizabeth McNally Edited By Jake Watson It is 1952, during the Korean War. Leading electrician Tony Guest is head of the damage control party for the HMAS Warramunga which was given the task of bombarding the Korean shoreline. He and his team are down two decks and are repairing the ammunition hoist as the guns are going off.

Max Buchanan- A career cut short

By Caitlin Matticoli, Swinburne University If he hadn't have suffered from a severe health condition at 59 years old, 85-year-old ex-pilot Max Buchanan is adamant he would "still be flying today". Despite his deteriorating memory, Max still lives at his home with his wife Margerie in Bayside.

Young hearts that flourished whilst apart

By Taylor Toovey Edited by Natasha Hoppner and Jake Watson Lawrence Howard Hoppner, better known as Hoppy, is a Victorian native who was called on to serve his country in national service in the year of 1966, at the tender age of 21.

Keith and the war won on a hay-bale.

By Jake Watson Keith was in a Queensland hospital in 1943 when his mate suggested they join the Air Force. They were desperate for blokes to enlist, his mate said. "I wouldn't join them buggers," was Keith's reply, to which his mate informed him that if he did, he'd get to return to Melbourne, for at least a little while.

8 Long Seconds

By Jamie-Lee Dwyer AS a 12 year-old Jewish boy in Warsaw, Poland during World War II, Alex Tomkin narrowly escaped a gruesome fate and in all likelihood eventual death at one of the German extermination camps. His savior was none other than one of the Nazi officers sent to his district to gather Jewish people for the camps.

Peder and the war in Norway

By Trine Tessem Moerkeset My Grandfather, Peder Tessem was a young boy during the Second World War but recalls what it was like growing up during the German invasion. "Rationing with lack of food, clothing and other necessities was an area which gave us anxiety for the day and the future.

Generations standing side by side for the ANZAC'S

By Mischeline King As I stood back and watched the flow of people, young and old make their way to the ANZAC Day Dawn Service, it struck me the perception of this day varies across all age groups and that we all stood there on that frosty morning all with different insights on what this day means, but stood for the same reason.

Digging up the past

By Jack Harbour There is a lot about his four tours of duty that, after more than a decade Josh can't remember. He can't remember what the food was like, the first time he flew in a helicopter or any wins by his beloved Collingwood Football Club while he was on duty.

  • Bev Wilkinson has a background in journalism and public relations. In 2012 she created the Celebrate Living History of Frankston exhibition, which showcased stories of local seniors. Using initiative Bev a graduate of Griffith University approached Communications Professor Stephen Stockwell to pitch the idea of an internship program to document stories of seniors. In March 2013 she formed not-for-profit Celebrate Living History. In July 2013 she recruited students at Swinburne University. Bev mentors and leads students in the Celebrate Living History program.

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