Anne Curtis - The uniform

Running time
3 min 39 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Well, they wondered why, there were three of them with us few girls, what they were going to do with us. So, my girlfriend Audrey and I were the ones to be chosen to go up to headquarters in Brisbane, Queens Street. An officer there was Captain Thomas, and then I wondered what they'd do with us.

First of all I said, "Oh well, looks likely we're to put them onto make us a cup of tea or something,"

So it was funny to go in wondering what these men had these women, and they didn't know what to do with us. Anyhow, we realized they put us in to what they call the signals department, and from there ... I won't go a little on with it there, but from there this is where it started, we got into the signals department, and later on I was sent up to where the AMP building in Brisbane, Queensland, and this is where we started to learn some of the coding work, and we had to work with the Americans, and my girlfriend Audrey and I, we were put in what they called a special unit and it was very hush-hush at the time. It was a special room up in the AMP building in Brisbane, and there was only about three or four of us there, and we were put into ...

If there was anything, I think there was a first bomb dropped in Townsville, was a surveillance one with the Japanese, and I can remember being there on the watch at night, and when that happened, no matter where we were the girls to the left of us they were always civilians, but when there was anything going on like that they had to be taken over by the staff ... I was on the one night at Townsville, and that was of an urgency. Fortunately, it was sound, but it caused a bit of reaction at the time. All communications we had to go down as telegraphists and disconnect everything, and that was quite exciting at the time.

Well, we were six nights before they got us in a uniform. They were in khaki for the daytime. The troop was in a simple dress, brown hat, brown shoes, brown stockings. But for winter, for dress occasionally, we had a rather attractive black suit or navy suit with double-breast and slacks, and also skirt. We had the shoes to match and of course the damn stockings too. But it was quite a smart outfit for the girls. As I said, it was six months with just the white band on my sleeve with WRANS on it.

Was this page helpful?
We can't respond to comments or queries via this form. Please contact us with your query instead.