FEATURE STORY -
FEATURE STORY - JOHN
John McKimmon served in the Australian Army during World War
II in the 2/2 Tank Attack Regiment. His later service as an officer
in the Regular Army included Japan, Singapore and South Vietnam. He
attained the rank of Major and on retirement was appointed honorary
Personalised War Histories is privileged to reproduce
his memoirs written between 1987 and 1989 and providing many intriguing
insights into aspects of his service from 1938 with the 11th Field Brigade
of the Citizens Military Forces through to the end of his career in
These comprehensive accounts are written in the perceptive,
unassuming and at times self-effacing style of this career soldier who
experienced the most momentous warfare of the 20th century and who
witnessed the transition of the military from horse-drawn artillery to the
age of nuclear weaponry.
detailed and absorbing military service recollections of
FEATURE STORY - PATRICK
Patrick Nowlan served during World War II in the 26th
Australian Infantry Battalion. From 1941 to 1946, in addition to
periods of training in North Queensland, he saw service in the Torres
Strait and on Cape York, Bougainville and Rabaul. During those years
he rose from Private to the rank of Sergeant.
Pat Nowlan was a typical Citizen Soldier whose career as a
Primary School Teacher in Central Queensland was interrupted, firstly to
participate in compulsory National Service training and then to undertake
full time service in his Militia battalion. After the war, he
returned to the profession in which he would serve a total of 44
Personalised War Histories has obtained the memoirs
of P S Nowlan aptly entitled "Forty-four Years a Teacher". This work
is appropriate to include in a military history setting as it so clearly
illustrates both the civilian and military life of a participant in the
Second World War, placing in context the respective aspects of his youth
and later years.
The memoirs are written in a style which typically
underestimates the capabilities of the author and which provides a strong
dose of healthy scepticism in his views of both the military experience
and later developments in the education sector. No personal credit
at all is given to his very substantial contribution for his country
during the war. His wicked sense of humour is frequently on display
but his perceptiveness and feel for fellow teachers and for many of his
pupils demonstrate a fundamental professionalism which characterised those
more than four decades of service.
the perceptions, the wit and the sensitivity of the man in the
military and teaching recollections of P S Nowlan
Mervyn Stanley Towers was conscripted into the Australian
Military Forces as an 18 year old in 1942. In 1943 he became a member
of the Australian Imperial Force and served in an artillery unit, the
2/12th Australian Field Regiment within the 9th Australian Division.
In addition to his recruit training in New South Wales and later
periods of retraining and reorganisation in North Queensland, NX172464
Private M S Towers participated in active service in New Guinea
in 1943-44 and on Labuan Island and the mainland of British North Borneo
in 1945. His four years of military service continued until his
discharge in October 1946.
Although the horrible
events that he experienced during the war occurred more than 65 years ago,
Mervyn has stated that their memory lives vividly with him still.
In recent times he has taken the brave and no doubt painful
step of writing about his experiences and revealing the detail of
events and their impact on him.
Mervyn belonged to a tough and resourceful generation of
fighting men who pursued their duty and demonstrated a love of their
country and their families in harsh and often very dangerous
circumstances. Characteristically these very hardened men rarely
spoke of their experiences outside of their own tightly-knit group,
many allowing these memories to remain bottled up inside
very human minds.
We are the richer for having the opportunity to read the
sometimes shocking recollections of this young soldier and we pray that
his confrontation with and courageous revelation of their impact
on his emotions will bring a long overdue healing.
Read the story and the memories of his
wartime service as written by Mervyn Towers on his own