Home | Practical Living | New podcast chronicles the lives of WW2 vets in aged care
Picture: Uniting NSW.ACT

New podcast chronicles the lives of WW2 vets in aged care

A new Australian podcast has chronicled the inspiring stories of the men and women who served in WW2.

My Life at War is a production from Uniting Aged Care and features a number of stories told through the eyes of veterans living in Uniting homes. It is being launched in time for the 75th anniversary of Remembrance Day.

The podcast is a fantastic piece of historical evidence, charting experiences from a group of people whose numbers are dwindling yearly.

Around 600,000 Aussies served during WW2 and the latest estimates suggest that only 3,000 are alive today.

The six part series drops episodes weekly and tackles a different aspect of the war, and episode one starts from the very beginning. Titled: ‘Enlistment: Why I went to war at 15‘, the veterans describe the day Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced that Great Britain, and therefore Australia, was at war with Germany. And remember everything from the day they enlisted to basic training.

Bruce Robertson. Picture: Uniting NSW.ACT

“My mother came into where I was in bed and said, ‘Don’t think you’re going to the war’. She’d had a taste of the First World War. And she just didn’t want that to happen to me,” remembers Bruce Robertson, age 100, who was a wireless operator during the war.

Bruce’s father died from the bubonic plague when he was a small boy and when the war broke out his mother, like many women who experienced the great war, worried for the men of Australia.

Hearing the voices of the Uniting residents and getting their stories first hand is great listening, and for any history junkies the podcast’s sound design – replete with audio from newsreels of the day and a score reminiscent of Speilberg’s Band Of Brothers – makes this is essential listening.

Jean Turnball. Picture: Uniting NSW.ACT

Uniting NSW.ACT executive director Tracey Burton said the podcast is a timely reminder of the important contribution older Australians have made, and continue to make.

“In a year when our elders are enduring a pandemic, it’s more important than ever to remember how incredibly valuable they are to our community,” she said.

“We need to listen to these stories and remind ourselves about the sacrifices they have made and how they helped build and enrich our country.”

The podcast is hosted by Uniting’s own Lee Taylor and Jefferson Spratt and produced by former, and founding, managing editor of ABC Audio Studios, Kellie Riordan, now of Deadset Studios.

You can catch the first episode here.

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