Hilda Grey, veteran, served in the Women’s Land Army

Running time
1 min 30 sec
Date made
Place made

The 3-nine-39 radio and video series tells the untold stories of veterans, widows and family members from the Second World War.


And then as a result, Australia is also at war. 3-nine-39, the day the war became real for Australians. 

Ray Martin:

I’m Ray Martin. September the 3rd 1939, see’s Australia enter the Second World War. Around a million people enlist out of a population of just 7 million.

Hilda Grey, now 91, is one of them. Hilda joins the Women’s Land Army when she is just 16. She works on a farm replacing the men who have gone off to war. But it’s on September the 3rd 1939 when Hilda’s war suddenly becomes very real. 

Hilda Grey:

When war was declared, we lived out in the bush where there was only 5 houses and we had a wireless.

Robert Mezies via radio transmission:

“Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you that in consequence of persistence by Germany and her invasion of Poland. Great Britain has declared war upon her and that as a result, Australia is also at war".

Hilda Grey:

It’s just that all the women burst into tears, because of course they’d been through it before. And that’s how I remember it.

The men straight off said, ‘Well, we have to go”. My father joined up the very next day.

I was only a child then, but I do remember it.

Ray Martin:

Hilda Grey is one in a million as 80 years on we remember the Second World War.

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