SWING BY SAILOR
True Stories from the War Brides of HMS Victorious
by Catherine Dyson
In the winter of 1946, the British aircraft carrier, HMS Victorious, was modified to ensure the safe passage of 669 Australian war brides from Sydney to Plymouth.
The reverberations of WWII were still being felt around the world, but for these women the trip of a lifetime lay ahead and the chance to finally begin their married lives with their British husbands on the other side of the world. Catherine Dyson has brought together the stories of seventeen of these women, now in their eighties.
Delightful, funny and sad tales emerge - the tumult of the era, the fear of leaving home, the highlights of the sea voyage, the conditions onboard, the emotional experience of stepping into a future unknown. Each woman remembers the time from subtly and sometimes strikingly different perspectives.
From Woolloomooloo to Fremantle, then on to Colombo and beyond, the voyage would prove a rite of passage for many who previously had never left their hometowns, let alone dreamt of foreign shores. On their arrival in Britain, the women faced the coldest winter for fifteen years and stricter rationing than they had experienced during the war years.
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 3 June 2007
This page last updated 07 September 2018