Daryl Bristowe - Return home

Running time
2 min 6 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


I landed at a place called Tullamarine and I'm thinking, "Am I on the moon?" When I left to go to Vietnam, to go back to Sydney, I flew out through Essendon. Tullamarine's... You go out there now it's nothing like it was 50 years ago. There's nothing there. An airfield, a big airfield. And I landed at Tullamarine, I thought, "My God, where am I?" Mum and Dad were waiting for me... at the airport. Mum wasn't going to take any chances with the army stuffing up transport to get me back to Melbourne.

Mum and Dad was there. Mum, she played in the dance band. She played the piano. So what they did is, it's just a coincidence, Mum was out at North Melbourne with her little band playing... She used to play old time, Second World War music and the dance music. Dad... I was immediately picked up, dropped off at my auntie at North Melbourne, knew nothing about what was going on. Didn't know who had babies or anything. I'm getting there, oh yeah. Then after the dance, Mum and Dad picked me up, brought me back to Kallista, because I was living at home.

Whilst I was away my sister got married, but there was nothing I could do about it. I knew it was happening. And the sad thing is when I got at the airport, the first thing I said to my Mum, "Grampy," her father. I said, "How's Grampy?" 'cause the last letter I had in Vietnam, my sister had got married in September. He was all right for the wedding. He died on the 10-day trip back to Melbourne from Vung Tau, Vung Tau to the boat. And then by the time it came back to Melbourne, he was dead and buried. So I didn't even get the chance to see him. When I left, he was well. When I came back, he was gone.

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