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the collection of stories held within the
magnificent building's walls.
I introduced myself and quickly a
researcher, Andrew, was helping me
find more information on the internet.
He showed me the WWII nominal roll
website with my grandfather's details, as
well as information about an RAF unit he
Nothing could beat seeing the
hardcopies though, and I was delighted to
see the citation of why he should receive
his award, as well as record of The London
Gazette which announced honours and
The highlight by far was the sheet of
biographical information my Pop had
to fill out on May 25, 1943. He listed
his places of training for the RAAF, as
well as his civilian career as a sales clerk.
Tennis, swimming, billiards, cricket and
football were his favourite pastimes and
at the age of 22 he had listed his wife's,
and my grandmother's, preferred name
of Norma, rather then her actual name,
Isobel. Actually being able to touch the
page, see his signature and take a glimpse
into his past was an incredibly powerful
thing and something that I will take with
me in the years to come.
In researching my grandfather's past I
found his autobiography invaluable.
He poured his life onto the page and being
able to read how he first met and courted
my grandmother, his only girlfriend, was
a wonderful thing and I found myself
discovering many things about a man I
had only known as a grandfather.
My Pop told stories in his cheeky
manner of training for war and learning
to fly for photographic reconnaissance.
He flew solo and instead of a gun, his
plane was fitted with cameras, meaning
that if he came into contact with an
enemy plane the only thing he could do
was hope he was fast enough to get away.
In reading his book I came across an
incident described in the citation and it
was powerful to read it in his own words;
The research centre is the
single most important
resource for researching
Australia's military history.
At the centre they have
access to official and private
records, including unit war
diaries, squadron records,
letters and diaries.
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In a luxury one bedroom spa suite
Fully cooked buffet breakfast for two
Champagne & chocolates on arrival
3 course a-la-carte dinner for two
$145* - Studio Apartments (CD)
$169* - One bedroom SPA Suites (CE)
$179* - Family rooms (CF5) Sleeps 5
$189* - One bedroom Family SPA Suites (CE5) Sleeps 5
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108 Northbourne Ave & Cnr of Girrahween Street
Canberra City ACT 2601
Phone (02) 6243 8333 Fax (02) 6248 8011
Email email@example.com www.ceahotel.com.au
*Per room/per night
GROUNDED MAN: Gordon Jack (right) standing in front of a P28 Lightning with members of the 12th P.R. Squadron; and in front of a Spitfire.
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