Smokey Dawson, veteran, served in the Army
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.
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.
Smokey Dawson is one of them. His Army duties include being a stretcher bearer and entertaining the troops. But for Smokey, the day he farewelled Dot, his new wife of just a few days, is the day the war became very real for him. It was a very frosty morning, and we both said to each other that we promise that we wouldn’t look back when we said goodbye. And I remember the last kiss and I turned my back on her and walked down the hill. And I heard the train and I never looked back at Dot, I couldn’t bare to look back. As the train started moving out I happened to look out and I saw at the top of the hill, where I left my wife with her apron, waving, and these three pines tress. And I balled like a kid and I’ll never forget it. I felt so stupid dressed up as this soldier with all this gear on me and this fighting equipment, and hear I was balling like a kid. I was terrified.
Smokey Dawson was one in a million as we remember the Second World War 80 years on. .