VIRGINIA THORLEY'S RECOLLECTIONS
OF TOWNSVILLE DURING WW2

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visits since 9 April 2001

 

Subject:   Townsville at war - website
Date:           Sun, 8 Apr 2001 19:49:12 +1000
From:          "Virginia G Thorley" <vgthorley@ozemail.com.au>

Hello,

Your "Townsville @ War" site sure brings back memories! I wasn't born at the time of the 3 air raids on Townsville (born August 16), but still have some clear memories of wartime. We lived on the corner of Eyre and Leichhardt Sts, North Ward, and my family had been in Townsville since before 1890.

I can remember my father, Harold S. Thorley, who was too old for the army, going away to Brisbane to enlist in the Volunteer Reserve, and his return. I well remember the Americans landing vehicles (trucks?) from two landing barges at Kissing Point. The four remaining poles of the Kissing Point baths (destroyed in 1941 in a cyclone, I was later told) were on the city side of the landing barges and it took me a long time to find out what these poles, of which I had a clear visual memory, were! I also remember a building, between the roadway of the Strand and the beach (maybe two buildings?). It was services-related, but not army. WAAFs? Air force? It would have been not far from the end of Leichhardt St., down from the Drill Hall. I even remember the building's drainage system, as my mother wanted to copy it at home! By then, that was after the war, before the buidling was demolished.

Right after the war, the barbed wire along the beach above the highwater mark was breached, to allow access to the beach. I remember, because I caught my hand on the rusty wire, after running away when some boys rode horses along the beach. We had brown paper over our bathroom window, for the black out. Probably the other windows, too, but I don't remember them. My mother, who was English, used to try to listen to the BBC News (4 p.m.?) on the radio - sorry, wireless.

Regards,
Virginia Thorley

 

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This page first produced 9 April 2001

This page last updated 23 June 2002