Thursday, September 03, 2009

What were you doing when............ ?

70 years ago today an event occurred that had very far-reaching implications, changing the course of history, and the lives of a significant portion of the world's population.

Some of those who remember the 3rd of September 1939 are still with us. Ask them their recollection of what they were doing that day. It is a recordable snippet of history.

Mine Host's father (a boy at the time) remembers the war starting:

The grown-ups gathered around the wireless as dusk approached. The kids gathered also & were required to be still.

The Prime Minister came on the wireless, gave a brief synopsis of the international events, ultimatums, rejections, etc. then solemny announced that as a consequence of the aforementioned events, the country and empire were now at war with Germany.

The grown-ups went very silent. And remained silent. The kids were put to bed, without a story. The grown-ups were to remain silent all night.

The kids knew something was up, by the silence, lethargy and deep contemplative mood of the grown-ups.

They wondered what "war" was.

The coming years were to demonstrate just what the word meant.


Sackerson said...

That silence still speaks, to me.

Boy on a bike said...

Dad was 16 st the time, and still at school. The country town we grew up in had plenty of reminders of WWI in the "leggies" and "armies" that you'd see out and about - ex-servicemen short an arm or leg. At least they came home.

Dad told me that as most of his class was expected to not survive the coming conflict, they all dropped out the following year when they turned 17 and joined one service or another. Why bother studying for your Leaving Certificate under those circumstances?

That sort of idea still numbs me.

Thankfully, most survived, and the TAFEs were full in 1946 and 1947 of that generation finishing off year 12!