Alison Worrall - Stories of Bill (Husband)

Running time
2 min 14 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


One time I was at Evans Head, and he was going on draft from Brisbane to Sydney, he decided to jump ship. He got a cab, came all the way out to Evans Head and I'm behind bars there, we're talking through the bars and he's got a cab there. Weren't allowed to get out to meet him. Then he had to get the cab right back there, and he was AWL for a day, it took a bit of explaining when he got back to Sydney. But that's the best we could do."

Speaker 2: Well it sounds like a reasonable excuse to go AWL.

"Heck of a long way to jump out from the train to Brisbane to Sydney, and get a cab right out to Evans Head and then..."

Speaker 2: I think that's true love.

"... talk to his mate behind bars. Bill was at sea right through on HMAS Stuart, and then Vendetta was supposed to be having a refit in Melbourne. When he got to Bombay a fortune teller said, "You think you're going home", he said, "but you're not. But you'll get there eventually, and you'll marry the girl that you want to". He thought, "Oh yeah".

When they got to sea, they got a message to say that the refit was going to be done in Singapore, and 25 of them were going there, the others went on another ship and went off. 25 of them went with Vendetta to Singapore, and they were there with no engines, when the Japs came in the other side of the island. So, they had to be towed out, just got out of the dock in time, when the Japs bombed it. So, then they had to be hidden and towed up various rivers, and finally he rang from Perth and said, "Hey we're nearly home".

Then the tow rope broke 27 times in the bite, so by the time I saw him he weighed about as much as that. Though wasn't that strange though that, that chap, fortune teller, knew and the skipper didn't know. He hadn't got instructions until he got to sea again. Wasn't that odd? We got married by special license because we had a relation, he was a minister, and we just happened to have our leave at the same time.

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