Valarie Trevithick - Family's war history
Department of Veterans' Affairs
My dad was the youngest of the three brothers that served and if they came to visit, occasionally, it was more some humorous types of reminiscences that they would start to discuss.
My Dad suffered terribly. At 26 years of age he was given the prognosis that he was going to have an ongoing health problem, gave my mother the opportunity to break the engagement.
She said, 'No. If he was going to be ill, he would need her more than ever'. So, she went into the marriage knowing that she was facing the possibility of health problems and for the next 26 years he was in and out of hospital.
We lived a constant fear of wondering what was going to happen with Dad because there were times like, as I said, when we moved to Sydney he was not expected to come out of hospital in 1937. So that clouded our childhood in many ways, financially, and in other respects but I had a loving family group.
We were encouraged through our schooling and that sort of thing so despite the fact that it was difficult in certain respects also we had a close-knit happy family.
My eldest brother served in the Second World War, a number of cousins as well. He suffered for his service in the air force for nearly six years and he was only 54 when he died of his war and Dad was 52 so, you see, I know what it is in the family to have one's life really, really affected by war service.