Example extracts from my freelance history writing service.
"The war didn't bother him at all. They were the enemy so you blew the crap out of them. Of course the thing about flying in the Air Force was that you don’t think about the fact you might be killing hundreds of people below you. You don’t see them. I won’t say he was a warmonger but he liked it. He was obviously a good pilot and he enjoyed it."
76-year old Perth man (recorded April 2021).
"I always wanted to keep my last name. We gave the kids my name as their middle name so that I would be identifiable as their mother on the school roll. That was before we realised that as soon as they could talk there was no question of who their mother was. It never seemed to bother the kids I had a different name from them. It was just my name. The first time I realised it was helpful not having the same name as my kids was when I got to sit by myself on the plane and [partner's name redacted] had to sit between the squabbling kids at the back!"
42-year old Melbourne woman (recorded March 2021).
"My father had a business in South Fremantle. He was a baker, beautiful bread. That’s all we ever went in the bakehouse for, to get the bread. Horse and carts in those days. Stables at the back of the bakehouse. There were two great big blocks; separated by a fence. It was really good. He died in 1948 when he was 49 years old. He was in the merchant navy during the first war but he died of a heart attack. I’m sure it was because during the war we never had power all the time to mix the dough and he used to have to do it by hand, that was terrible. I thought that brought it on him. Mum was 89 when she died.
I was 17 when I met Jeff. We met at a dance hall called Queens Hall on the corner of Petra Street. A great big hall. They used to have all the balls and everything there. They started a weekly dance there during the war and it was held on a Thursday night. The boys from the Air Training Corp always did their training in Fremantle in the dark in those days. Coming home they used to call into the dance hall and we all joined up. It was good. When I think back, we were damn lucky to go. Letting girls out at that time and Mum and Dad letting us go! It was five or six girls and we’d go all together and we’d dance with the same boys all the time. Jeff was 17 too. It wasn’t love at first sight, not really. We just seemed to work up to it. We went with each other for awhile and got married when I was 22, 23. Those were the days, I tell ya!
This old age is terrible, awful. It’s just one thing after another. Anyway, I suppose we all have to go through it. I’m 94 now. I don’t want to move out, I really don’t. I think I can keep going here for awhile. We came here in 1956. I hope I die in my sleep here.
94-year old woman (recorded April 2021)