Les Williams

Listen to Les Williams dicussing supplies. [No: S00959, Murdoch Sound Archive, AWM]

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Rationing Commission radio broadcast

A radio broadcast presented by the Rationing Commission to the workers of Australia

Download audio of Rationing Commission radio broadcast 6.72 MB MP3

Rationing Commission question and answer session

A question and answer session about rationing and coupons? This radio broadcast excerpt from the Rationing Commission answers a question about sugar rationing.

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Mister Doughboy

Mister Doughboy by Jack Davey

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There is a man called Uncle Sam
Who’s always stuck to his guns.
He heard a shout to help us out
And sent us one of his sons.

Mister Doughboy, Mister Doughboy
Gee, what a guy, you sure look pie to me.

When everything looked black
For the Union Jack
The Stars and Stripes came over
And they helped to put it back.

Mister Doughboy, don’t you know boy
That all of us have cottoned on to you.
It’s a wonderful combination
All for one and one for all
The Eagle, the Lion and the Kangaroo!

You are the kind that’s great to find
A fighting son of a gun
We like the way you said OK
And came along on the run.

Mister Doughboy, Mister Doughboy
Hear the applause and it’s all yours, siree
For years your loyal sons
Made us arms in tons
And now you’ve come in person
With your tanks and planes and guns.

Mister Doughboy, off we go boy
We’ve taken it, but we can give it too.
Tommies, Diggers and now the Doughboys
All for one and one for all
The Eagle, the Lion and the Kangaroo!

Mister Doughboy, Mister Doughboy
Gee, what a guy, you sure look pie to me.

When everything looked black
For the Union Jack
The Stars and Stripes came over
And they helped to put it back.

Mister Doughboy, don’t you know boy
That all of us have cottoned on to you.
It’s a wonderful combination
All for one and one for all
The Eagle, the Lion and the Kangaroo!

Our Air Raid Shelter

Our Air Raid Shelter. [Written by Jack Davey]

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Our Air Raid Shelter

We’ve got a house down by the sea,
We’ve been busy with the ARP,
We’ve built a place where we can hide,
Now it bulges when we get inside.

There’s no more room now in our air raid shelter,
There’s Aunt ‘n Gran ‘n Dad ‘n Mum ‘n me.
And when the sirens sound we all run helter-skelter,
Just Aunt ‘n Gran ‘n Dad ‘n Mum ‘n me.

Of course it isn’t very big, and it isn’t very long,
And it isn’t very deep, and it isn’t very strong.
So if a bomb drops take a quick look up at heaven,
For Aunt and Gran and Dad and Mum and me.

It’s made of bags filled up with sand,
And all the neighbours lent a helping hand,
When it was built, we raised a shout,
We rushed in and now we can’t get out.

There’s no more room now in our air raid shelter,
There’s Aunt ‘n Gran ‘n Dad ‘n Mum ‘n me.
And when our friends drop in it makes it such a welter,
For Aunt ‘n Gran ‘n Dad ‘n Mum ‘n me.

Old Granny’s causing us concern, though she doesn’t care a bit,
For her bustle sticks outside and may get a direct hit.
And if she pulls it in it makes it worse than ever,
For Aunt ‘n her ‘n Dad ‘n Mum ‘n me.

Chifley victory speech

'The war is over' victory speech

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Chifley victory speech transcript

Fellow citizens, the war is over. 

The Japanese Government has accepted the terms of surrender imposed by the Allied Nations and hostilities will now cease. The reply by the Japanese Government to the Note sent by Britain, the United States, the USSR and China, has been received and accepted by the Allied Nations.

At this moment let us offer thanks to God.

 Let us remember those whose lives were given that we may enjoy this glorious moment and may look forward to a peace which they have won for us.Let us remember those whose thoughts, with proud sorrow, turn towards gallant, loved ones who will not come back. On behalf of the people and the Government of Australia I offer humble thanks to the fighting men of the United Nations whose gallantry, sacrifice and devotion to duty have brought us to victory.  Nothing can fully repay the debt we owe them nor can history record in adequate terms their deeds from the black days that followed September 1939 and December 1941, until this moment. 

We owe, too, a great debt to those men and women who performed miracles of production, in secondary and primary industries so that the battle of supply could be won and a massive effort achieved. Materials, money and resources have been poured out so that the fighting men would not go short.  Australia’s part, comparatively, in terms of fighting forces and supplies, ranks high and the Australian people may be justly proud of everything they have done.

I am sure that you would like me to convey to the commanders of the fighting forces the warmest thanks for their skill, efficiency and great devotion.  Especially do I mention General Douglas MacArthur with whom we have so much in common and with whom we shared the dangers when Australia was threatened with invasion.

In your name I offer to the leaders of the United Nations our congratulations and thanks.  We join with the United States in a common regret that their inspiring leader, the late Mr Roosevelt did not live to see this day.   We thank his successor, President Truman, for the work he has done. Australians too will feel their happiness tinged with sorrow that another man who gave his all was not spared to be with us today, that man was John Curtin. To Mr Churchill, Generalissimo Stalin and Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek go the unstinted thanks of free people everywhere for what they have done for the common cause.  Especially do we honour Mr Churchill, with whom in the dark days - to use his own words - we had the honour to stand alone against aggression.

And now our men and women will come home; our fighting men with battle honours thick upon them from every theatre of war.  Australians stopped the Japanese in their drive south, just as they helped start the first march towards ultimate victory in North Africa. Australians fought in the battles of the air everywhere and Australian seamen covered every ocean. They are coming home to a peace, which has to be won.  The United Nations charter for a world organisation is the hope of the world and Australia has pledged the same activity in making it successful as she showed in the framing of it.

Here in Australia there is much to be done.  The Australian Government, which stood steadfast during the dread days of the war, will give all that it has to working and planning to ensure that the peace will be a real thing. I ask that the State governments and all sections of the community should co-operate in facing the task and solving the problems that are ahead. Let us join together in the march of our nation to future greatness.

You are aware of what has been arranged for the celebration of this great victory and deliverance, and in the name of the Commonwealth Government, I invite you to join in the thanksgiving services arranged for, truly,this is a time to give thanks to God, and to those men against whose sacrifice for us there is no comparison.

Good day to you fellow citizens.

Prime Minister Ben Chifley announcing the end of the war against Japan, 15 August 1945. [V-P Announcement: Segment No. 179490 in Prime Ministers of Australia: A Compilation of speeches and interviews. Screensound Australia, National Screen and Sound Collection, Screensound Title No: 214438]


The Ceremonial Sunset reflects the worldwide naval tradition of saluting the lowering of the ensign at sunset each day both in ships in harbour and shore establishments. At sunset the bugle sounds the Alert, the guard presents arms and the band commences the harmonised version of the bugle call Sunset as the Australian white ensign is lowered slowly.

[Played by the Royal Australian Navy band conducted by Lieutenant Commander Phillip Anderson]

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Kamikaze part 2

Kamikaze part 2 [Reg Walker, HMAS Australia]

Download audio of Kamikaze part 2 219.04 KB MP3

Kamikaze part 1

Kamikaze part 1 [Reg Walker, HMAS Australia]

Download audio of Kamikaze part 1 207.3 KB MP3

The 'Navy' Hymn

The 'Navy' Hymn

Played by the Australian Navy Band conducted by Lieutenant Commander Phillip Anderson.

Download audio of The 'Navy' Hymn 571.19 KB MP3


Eternal Father, strong to save
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits to keep
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Christ, whose voice the waters heard,
And hushed their raging at Thy word
Who walkedst on the foaming deep,
And calm amid the storm did'st sleep,
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Holy Spirit, who did'st brood
Upon the waters dark and rude,
And bid their angry tumult cease,
And give for wild confusion, peace;
O hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Trinity of love and power,
Our brethren shield in danger's hour,
From rock and tempest, fire and foe
Protect them wheresoe'r they go-,
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Life at Milne Bay

[Bruce Brown, 75 Squadron RAAF]

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Fuzzy Wuzzy angels poems

'Angels' poem

Download audio of Fuzzy Wuzzy angels poems 348.88 KB MP3

Fleets, Roy Scrivener

Able Seaman Roy Scrivener, HMAS Hobart with a brief description of the role of the Allied fleets in the Battle of the Coral Sea. [Roy Scrivener, HMAS Hobart]

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Able Seaman Roy Scrivener

Able Seaman Roy Scrivener, HMAS Hobart.
[Roy Scrivener, HMAS Hobart]

Download audio of Able Seaman Roy Scrivener 387.16 KB MP3

Proud Echo

‘Proud Echo’ was composed by Lieutenant Commander Phillip Anderson to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the loss of HMAS Perth and USS Houston during the Battle of Sunda Strait. The march features the bugle, a traditional instrument of communication used on board ships of British Commonwealth navies.

[Played by the Royal Australian Navy Band conducted by Lieutenant Commander Phillip Anderson]

Download audio of Proud Echo 512.61 KB MP3

Prime Minister Menzies announcement

A recording of Prime Minister Menzies announcing Australia's entry into the war.

Download audio of Prime Minister Menzies announcement 759.02 KB MP3

Max Nicholson's experiences as a National Serviceman in Vietnam

Audio of Trooper Peter Maxwell Nicholson, 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron, served in Vietnam during 1966 – 1967. Major Lance Logan interviewed him about his experiences as a National Serviceman in Vietnam. [AWM S03481]

Download audio of Max Nicholson's experiences as a National Serviceman in Vietnam 10.6 MB MP3

Overlooking North Beach at Walker’s Ridge


Leave Walker’s Ridge Cemetery and turn right down the track to the end of the ridge. Be careful here! There are no fences and the drop is almost sheer down to the gully below. Ahead of you the view is back down to where you began your ‘Anzac Walk’ at North Beach and the Anzac Commemorative Site.

Download audio of Overlooking North Beach at Walker’s Ridge 7.51 MB MP3

Audio transcript

If you had gazed down on 13 November 1915 at about 1.30 pm from where you are standing you would have seen a tall man in the uniform of a British Field Marshal striding up one of the piers at North Beach. Behind him came a gaggle of generals and commanders, including Lieutenant General Sir William Birdwood, for this was Earl Kitchener of Khartoum, Secretary of State for War in the British Cabinet and overall commander of the British Empire’s armies in the field. Word quickly got around just who the famous visitor was and soldiers ran to the pier to cheer. Kitchener made his way through the crowd stopping to chat to this man and that man all the while telling them – ‘The King has asked me to tell you how splendidly he thinks you have done, you have done splendidly, better even than I thought you would’.

With Kitchener in the lead, the entourage now made its way up the ‘dusty, precipitous road’ to Walker’s Ridge and a trench looking out towards the Nek and up to Chunuk Bair. Then he went to a nearby position known as Bully Beef Sap and was shown the Anzac line – Pope’s Hill, Quinn’s Post and Lone Pine. Kitchener had come to see the situation at Gallipoli for himself. By 3.30 pm he was gone and by late November the British War Cabinet, after hearing from Kitchener, had decided to evacuate the three British positions on Gallipoli – Suvla, Anzac and Helles.

The decision was based on a number of concerns. Winter was coming and early gales had already shown that nature was capable of having a devastating effect on the precarious man-made piers of Gallipoli. On 27 November torrential rain turned the trenches into rivers and this was followed by high winds and snow. Sergeant Cyril Lawrence wrote in his diary:

Just fancy yourself, standing in a trench, a piercing wind roaring along it, the snow driving down it in great gusts. Everyone and everything coated white, your frozen feet over your boot tops in half frozen slush … Your feet and hands are paining you. Someone runs along the trench with your day’s rations – a tin of Bully Beef and three hard biscuits. Water is short so you only get a half a cupful of tea with the information that this is to do for the day, as they are unable to land water.

[The Gallipoli Diary of Sergeant Lawrence of the Australian Engineers, Sir Ronald East (ed), Melbourne 1983, p 118]

Up at the British positions at Suvla, 30 men were found in a trench frozen to death.

The Turkish Army was also preparing for the day when it could crush the Anzac position. At the end of September 1915, Bulgaria entered the war on the side of Germany and Turkey, making it possible to send heavy guns and ammunition overland to the Turks. By the spring of 1916, the Anzac positions, and those of the British at Suvla and Helles, might have been pulverized into submission by siege artillery. In general, it was felt that nothing more could be achieved at Gallipoli so evacuation plans were drawn up and quickly implemented.

In stages, and at night, more than 41,000 men were shipped quietly away from Anzac. If the Turks had realised what was happening during this time, thousands of casualties might have been inflicted on the departing garrison. So great efforts were made to deceive the ever-watchful Turks that their enemies were merely preparing for winter. The Turks became accustomed to a lessening of activity through so-called ‘silent stunts’ during which there was no firing from the Anzac line and it might seem that a live and let live policy was being adopted. After 27 November, firing and bombardments were resumed as normal. On the final day of the evacuation – 19 December – various ruses were used. One group was ordered to hang around on Artillery  Road where they should be observed ‘obviously loafing and smoking’. Others had a cricket match on Shell Green to convince the Turks life was proceeding normally on Anzac.

What greatly distressed the Anzacs was having to leave their dead comrades behind. As the evacuation proceeded, little groups of men could be seen tidying up the cemeteries and individual graves. On the final day General Birdwood came ashore to say his personal farewell to Anzac. One soldier, pointing to a cemetery, said to him, ‘I hope they won’t hear us marching down the deres [valleys]’.

Much of the evacuation was conducted from the piers of North Beach although Anzac Cove was used as well. Motor lighters took men and equipment out to waiting warships and transports which then left for the base at Lemnos Island. On the night of 15 December, the men and mules of an Indian Mountain Battery came down to North Beach from the hills to the north:

At once I thought – ‘My goodness, if the Turks don’t see all this as it goes along they must be blind’. But as I went along behind them I began to notice how silently these mules behaved. They had big loads but they were perfectly quiet. They made no sound as they walked except for the slight jingle of a chain now and then … I doubt if at 1,000 yards [914 metres] you could see them at all – possibly just a black serpentine streak.

[Unnamed diarist in Charles Bean, Story of Anzac, Vol 2, p 866]

The fleet that came to take the final parties away on the last two nights – 18–19 and 19–20 December – sailed from Imroz Island. As the warships and transports came in to anchor off the Anzac shore, nobody there could hear the normal rattle of the anchor chains. Instead, these were lowered silently by the sailors. With the fleet was the cruiser HMS Grafton and one of its crew recorded the event:

It is about 9 o’clock. An ideal night for the job. No ships (only a few lights) visible at Suvla. One ship about a mile on our port beam. Barely a wrinkle on the water. Soft air from the north. Moon at present quite invisible. The wash of a destroyer has been lapping against our side like the wavelets on the edge of a pond.

[Unnamed diarist in Charles Bean, Story of Anzac, Vol 2, pp 888–9]

On the last night of all small rear parties manned the trenches. Men ran around firing rifles and making enough noise to convince the Turks that the whole garrison was still there. Among the last to leave and head for North Beach was New Zealander Private Joe Gasparich, Auckland Infantry Battalion:

I walked through the trench and the floor was frozen hard … and when I brought my feet down they echoed right through the trench, down the gully, right down, and you could hear this echo running ahead …Talk about empty, I didn’t see a soul … It was a lonely feeling … I was on my own at last.

[Gasparich quoted in Chris Pugsley, Gallipoli:The New Zealand Story, Auckland, 1998, p 341]

At 4.00 am on 20 December there was one steamboat left at North Beach. Waiting beside it were Captain C M Staveley, The Royal Navy Anzac Beach Commander, and Colonel John Paton, commander of the Anzac rearguard, of Newcastle, New South Wales, and other officers. They waited for ten more minutes for stragglers then cast off, Paton being the last to leave. Anzac was deserted. 

Ah, well! We’re gone! We’re out of it now. We’ve some-
where else to fight.
And we strain our eyes from the transport deck, but
‘Anzac’ is out of sight!