Gordon Hughes: Anzac Day 2020

Running time
1 min 30 sec
Date made
Place made
Hear from veterans, their loved ones and those on the home front about their most unforgettable memories of wartime.


Intro: Anzac Day 2020, commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

Mat McLachlan: I'm Mat McLachlan. On Anzac Day, we remember all Australians who have served our country. Gordon Hughes served as a stretcher-bearer during the Middle East campaign of the Second World War. He was one of the Rats of Tobruk, and, I might add, very proud of the name and its origins …

Gordon Hughes: We'd been in Tobruk for a few weeks. Part of the idea of winning the war, of course, was psychological and this fellow in Germany named William Joyce – they used to call him Lord Haw-Haw – he was a British traitor who was broadcasting at night-time to the forces on our side. And this fellow, on one night he said: "And there are you Australians soldiers, hiding like rats in holes in the desert. We thought this was rather amusing actually – and far from regarding it as an insult, we adopted the term, 'Rats', as our own. And we used to go around and say to fellows: "Oh Christ, you're lookin' more like a rat every day". Now we were rather proud of, in a quiet way, of being called Rats of Tobruk.

Outro: Anzac Day 2020, remembering all Australians who served our country. Lest we forget.

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