I was at boarding school, in 1914, when a German submarine was washed up on the beach ? we clambered all over it, until a guard was placed on it.
The same year a German cruiser evaded the Navy and 'shelled? the town, knocking out the middle house of a block of three. The houses were 2 storey and on the upper floor of the middle house a bed was left dangling.
We could hear gunfire in France.
In 1919 I made a trip to Belguim, on my own, to visit ?Aunty Ida?, my mothers sister who lived there. Later I went to Lessimes, a town on the edge of Flanders ? to visit my Mothers half-brother ?Uncle Maurice? who owned and managed a canal system.
I had just turned 13.
I had my 16th birthday on a grazing property in north west New South Wales. When I was 18 I lived alone, on a 4000 acre property, looking after 3000 sheep, 50 head of cattle, two dogs and millions of rabbits.
Later, when I came to Melbourne, I got a job with the Victorian branch of ?Mortons?, whose main line of business was Epsom Salts. They arrived in 400 gallon tanks, in which were packed lightweight wooden boxes, each box holding 100 packets of the salts.
I also sold ?Hermes? tin Tomato Sauce and valuable other lines ? caviar, pate, and anchovies.
I went away with 8th division ? taken P.O.W. but was never in the really bad camps ? and only weighed seven stone when the war ended.