Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sepia Saturday and Fab Feb Photo Collage - Day Sixteen

Hazel and Ethel Conner nee Carrett near GPO Sydney c1943

Here is my beloved aunt and her mother, my Gran.

My Aunty Hazel enlisted in the Australian Army 15 February 1943 at Paddington.  Her next of Kin was my grandmother.  Hazel would have been about 18 or 19 when this photo was taken. 

She was discharged 21 September 1944.

She worked at the 113 Australian General Hospital and was a Corporal on discharge.

I've just ordered her war service record from the National Archives.

I found a great series of photos of the Hospital here on the Australian War Memorial website.

The 113 Australian General Hospital may be better known to Sydney residents as Concord Hospital.

It looked like this:

Image Copyright: Copyright expired Public Domain Note AWM Image Number bottom right of frame.

According to this Wikipaedia article it was one of the tallest buildings in Sydney at the time.  And it won the Sulman award for architecture in 1946.  By the by, I was born at the King George V Hospital for Mothers and Babies which won the Award in 1941.  I'm beginning to be obsessed with the Sulman Award as per this previous post.  Perhaps I could make it a life goal to visit every building that won the Award.  I can tick off a few already as per this list.

But I digress...There are some heartbreaking photos in the AWM collection of photos.  

I refer you to this one and this one.

I suspect my Aunt worked in an office like this.

Image Copyright: Copyright expired Public Domain Note AWM Image Number bottom right of frame.

I remember seeing my Aunt march on Anzac Day at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra when I was young.  She was very proud to do so.

I am looking forward to visiting the War Memorial again in Canberra next month.

Thanks to the following blogs for providing the inspiration for this post 
Sepia Saturday and Angler's Rest.

37 comments:

Oregon Gifts of Comfort and Joy said...

Great photos, and it was neat to learn about your aunt.

Kathy M.

Lovely's Blot said...

Lovely story. Thanks

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Your Aunt looks wonderful in her uniform. I'm sure it will be interesting to read her war service record. A beautiful sepia photo of Hazel and Ethel. Was it one of those street photographer shots?

Kristin said...

I see you went with the armed services theme as opposed to the turtle theme. The picture is a good fit.

Wendy said...

People look so much more mature at 18 back in the 1940s. Still that seems so young to be in service to one's country. It will be interesting to read your aunt's service record.

barbara and nancy said...

Your aunt certainly had an interesting life. She should have been proud.
Nancy

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Kathy - the theme was so inspiring - particularly finding the AWM collection of photos about the hospital. I found the photos of the return of the POWs quite moving - written with a trembling stiff upper lip.

Alex Daw said...

No - thank YOU for visiting my blog :)

Alex Daw said...

Hi Helen - I think it was one of those street photographers as there is a bit of a cryptic code written on the back in pencil - negative/roll number I think.

Alex Daw said...

Hi Kristin - no way in Hades was I going with the Turtle theme. Not that there's anything wrong with turtles you understand but I lacked any references to turtles whatsoever. For a while I thought I was going to go with pipe but then this seemed to dovetail nicely anyway with the Photo Collage Festival so I thought "Let's leave it at that."

Alex Daw said...

Wendy - I heartily agree - I had to look at her birth year and do the calculations several times to be sure I had the right age. I don't know what it is - the hairstyle or makeup must have been more severe then or was it just the hideous war and what it did to people's psyche. You've reminded me how slack I am when it comes to referencing sources though....here she is on the nominal roll http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/Veteran.aspx?serviceId=A&veteranId=372938

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Barbara and Nancy - she was my only real Aunt and much loved, that's for sure. I might add that she enthusiastically responded to my request for a dressing-gown made out of a blanket just because I happened to find a pattern for same in my mother's Girl's Own Annual from 1944. She promptly whipped one up on the Singer - bless her.

Boobook said...

Following your link I've been to the Sulman award site as well as the national briefly. Lots to look at.

Brett Payne said...

Great shot of Aunty Hazel in uniform. Apart from the cross and corporal's stripes on her sleeve (my rank too, many years ago) do you know what the other badges were?

Alex Daw said...

There is isn't there....sort of addictive really...

Alex Daw said...

Hi Brett - I don't know but if I find out I will let you know...the record of service may enlighten us here.

Jackie van Bergen said...

It reminds me of a photo I have of my grandfather's sister, not sure which war. Must go and check - and scan it of course - so many photos still to scan.
Thanks for the memory.

Ann O'Dyne said...

Your Gran is gorgeous and just look at that hat. and the gloves are very fine quality. Those street snappers were a blessing.

Mike Burnett said...

Auntie, looks quite grown-up for her age and Gran looks too young to be her mother. Just love Gran's hat set at a rather jaunty angle. She looks as if she enjoyed life and a giggle.

Alan Burnett said...

A great post as we get to meet your aunt and we also get to see more of those fabulous photos from the Australian collection.

Bob Scotney said...

Your aunt would be a similar age to my brothers who both served in WWII. I wiuld be interested in what you find out about her service. I hope it is easier than mu quest for my elder brother.

Postcardy said...

When I saw the photo, I thought the two women were the same age, so I was surprised to learn that they were mother and daughter.

Little Nell said...

And a good theme it was too. You are quite right about those photos being heartbreaking Alex.

Alex Daw said...

Oh yes Jackie - I'm hearing you about so many photos still to scan....and analyse. I'm finding this month quite exhausting but soooo rewarding doing this Feb Photo Collage Festival - but it's only 28 photos and there are hundreds!

Alex Daw said...

Well Ann obviously you are now my first best friend telling me my Gran's gorgeous. She did enjoy dressing up to go to town and would have been a milliner if she could.

Alex Daw said...

Girls often do look alarmingly mature for their years don't they? I remember some girls I went to school with really did look like proper women by the time we got to Grade 11 - very disconcerting. Gran certainly enjoyed life though it did present some challenges for her. She and I did enjoy a good chat. I was surprised how the hours went by with her just over a cup of tea and a scone.

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Alan...this is a great meme and I enjoy participating in it very much.

Alex Daw said...

Thanks Bob - Have no fear, I will post about her service when I find it. You can get some quite good detail in service records as I did with her younger brother's record - even a a copy of a letter in his own handwriting and a reference from the school. Good genealogical stuff. Now of course you've whetted my appetite about your elder brother....

Alex Daw said...

I wish they were alive to hear that comment Postcardy - Gran would have been very chuffed.

Alex Daw said...

Oh Little Nell, I'm glad you agree....they have been on my mind all day and I found them very affecting. I feel so very blessed in this life not to have been scarred by war.

Alex Daw said...

Oooh and thanks for becoming my latest follower!

Ann O'Dyne said...

My Gran b 1897, and all other nice ladies always wore hat and gloves to go from the suburbs to the CBD. My memory of going with her through the 1960's is that the train ticket could be tucked inside a glove palm ready for handing in to the collector.
Back then, the purchase of boxed shoes would be wrapped in paper and tied with string in a loop for carrying, and that's what your Gran is holding there.

Alex Daw said...

Get out of here! Ann you are a legend. I never knew that.

TICKLEBEAR said...

She looked very fetching in that uniform!!
I also think it would be interesting to see all of those Sulman awarded buildings, perhaps in a "then and now" scenario?...
It would give us a sense of the architecture of the time and what is noteworthy.
:)~
HUGZ

Cassmob (Pauleen) said...

Good idea from Ticklebear there! Could keep you busy for some time ;-). I enjoyed this post Alex and in a strange way I "liked" those POW photos -the hope contained therein and the camaraderie. It will be interesting to see what her service record tells you.

Alex Daw said...

Hmmm....this could be part of a sneaky plan to get around the country as often as possible....let me get out a pen and paper and start planning!

Alex Daw said...

I agree Pauleen...I am glad you liked those photos....I can't wait to get her service record too.