David Mattiske - Hearing about the war

Running time
1 min 4 sec
Date made
Copyright

Department of Veterans' Affairs

David Mattiske, who joined the Navy in 1943, reflected on his feelings when he first heard about the outbreak of war.

Transcript

I grew up in the town of Murtoa, in western Victoria, and I can very clearly remember it was a Sunday, late afternoon, evening, and Menzies came on the radio to announce that Australia was at war.

I don't know whether I had any very strong reaction, but we had been told for many years that Germany was going to be a strong, virile enemy. They had been painted by the news as being very aggressive, and we all felt that, well, perhaps this was the right thing to do.

I remember talking as a young lad in the street to one of our prominent shire counsellors and he said that, I can still remember him saying, that this would be a long, hard, bitter contest.

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