Australia's Troopship (1939) newsreel
Copyright expired - public domain
In March 1939, before war's outbreak, Australian militiamen were sent north to Darwin, as part of the Darwin Mobile Force. Their mission was to defend the northern approaches to the country should a threat materialise. In this newsreel footage, we see an Australian troop ship leaving Sydney for Darwin before the Second World War. The farewell scenes at the docks would be repeated many times over during the war. This film would have been shown at cinemas throughout Australia. British Pathé FILM ID: 1005.23
A troop ship leaves Sydney for Darwin. Southern Australia for North Australia doesn't sound much, but these boys will be away from Sydney, home and beauty, for 4 years. For Darwin is as far from Sydney as New York is from England. They are going to defend Australia's northern shores should it be necessary. There is always a note of sadness under the cheers of these partings, but think of the welcome home. "Hip hip, hurray. Hip hip, hurray. Hip hip, hurray".