John Pope - Enlistment

Running time
3 min 4 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


Because it was on, I guess. I had a certain degree of patriotism and the feeling that we should be involved, I guess, but there was also a feeling of adventure, so something different, that it was something that might fill our lives. I'd never been out of Western Australia prior to going overseas with the services.

There was mixed motives I suppose you'd have to say. Initially, I put my name down for the air force and passed the test. In fact, I had to have an operation done to my nose, a submucousal resection they called it, whatever that signified and I was accepted for aircrew but went on and on and on and they didn't have the facilities available to train us and I had a couple of other friends who were joining the air force as well but we went on a militia camp when Italy came into the war and had to round up the unnaturalised Italians in the goldfields area around Leonora and Menzies, that part of Western Australia and we formed an association with eight other chaps who were in the militia and we decided we'd join the AIF together.

So I put my name down for the AIF and it was accepted there and they were taking a bit of time to call us up, so I had some friends who joined the navy as sub chasers…and anyway, the army called us up first and I actually got my call up for the air force when I was on pre-embarkation leave for the army but I had this tie up with the other chap who'd gone in so off I went in the infantry on the flat feet which I'd said I'd never ever do if I had to go to war, I wouldn't be walking but as it turned out I did.

Was this page helpful?