Berry family did their share in World War II
Name: Berry family
Unit: Various AIF, RAAF, WAAF
Location: Australia, Middle East, New Guinea
The Berry family of West Tamar in Tasmania certainly did their fair share in World War II with five brothers and a sister all serving in the forces. They all survived, although not without a few narrow escapes, according to a newspaper article probably printed in 1944.
Private Dallas Berry was the first to enlist in the AIF in 1939. He was sent to England for training and then went to Tobruk where he was later wounded and was eventually invalided home in 1942.
Corporal Fred Berry and LAC Glyn Berry both enlisted in the RAAF in 1940. Fred was sent to Port Moresby where he survived 96 air raids before returning to Australia in 1943. Glyn also served in New Guinea and Darwin. He was repatriated to Australia suffering from malaria.
Corporal Charlie Berry and Lance Corporal Athol Berry both enlisted in the AIF in 1941. Charlie saw service in the Middle East before returning to Australia and was then sent to New Guinea where he was wounded in action. Athol also fought in the Middle East and afterwards was sent to New Guinea where he also caught malaria and was repatriated.
ACW Valma Berry enlisted in the WAAAF in January 1943 as a clerk signaller and served in Australia.
Whilst in the Middle East, Athol Berry wrote regularly to his sweat heart Ruby. During long hours on guard duty he often thought of her and of Tasmania and penned the following poem:
A Soldier's Dream
Leaning on my rifle
As I do my two hour shift
Not very regimental
But my thoughts can't help but drift
And I dream about my home town
And the girl I left behind
The days we spent together
Keep running through my mind
I see the Tamar River
And the happy carefree throng
The ferry boat to George Town
And surfing all day long
The rocks and hills and mountains
The miles of sun drenched land
While golden fields of wheat await
The coming of the rain
Some day I'll stop my dreaming
Of that fair land far away
For I'll be back again in Tassie
I'll be back again to stay
The material for this article was supplied by Cheryl Laverty and Kaye Lapham of Tasmania. They still have the original of the poem