Comradeship: Stories Of Friendship And Recreation In Wartime
Kathleen Cusack & Brett Hatherley
1 Jan 2017
Department of Veterans' Affairs
Each of the 15 stained-glass windows in the Australian War Memorial's Hall of Memory shows a figure in military uniform, under which is a word describing a quality displayed by Australians during wartime. One window features a Lewis gunner wit a set of panpipes overhead. He represents all the men and women who shared good cheer and fellowship through simple pleasures like sport, music, games, and conversation in times of war; this window bears the word 'comradeship'. The stories in this book are about comradeship. Corporal Leslie "Peter" Chitty EM provided a welcome distraction on the sporting field for those longing for home; Lorrae Desmond MBE took the stage, drawing smiles from a grateful crowd; and Trooper David "Poppy" Pearce provided comforting words and a listening ear. Some friendships lasted well beyond the war years. Many of these men and women travelled across the world for reunions, while others held onto mementoes, a lasting reminder of the bond they had once shared. The individuals in these stories share many qualities: an unshakeable optimism, a sense of humour, and a determination to help others. Even in the darkest days, these men and women found joy and laughter through simple pleasures like sport, music, games, and conversation. This sense of comradeship brought comfort, strength, and hope for a brighter future.