GSQ BlogMilitaryAustralian Imperial Force (AIF)The Extraordinary Life of Uncle Billy.


The Extraordinary Life of Uncle Billy. — 10 Comments

  1. Beautifully written Bev. Sad ending though. I have heard of others who just disappeared after returning from war service. I had an uncle who was a POW in Changi Prison. He never settled back into civilian life and moved from place to place around S-E Qld, living in boarding houses and caravan parks. If he visited the family, it was very brief, because he always had to get the bus back to wherever he lived at the time.

  2. Thankyou Catherine for your interesting comment. Changi was hell for the POWs and I have absolute respect and compassion for those men. I have read enough about the horrors of war to become a passionate pacifist! LEST WE FORGET.

  3. Thank you Beverley.Your writing is incredible.So many of us have sad stories of our loved ones who were physically and mentally destroyed through war but not everyone can write the stories for us all to feel the aftermath. By writing this story you have made me feel the heartache.So very real!

  4. My uncle was a Rat of Torbruk and suffered mental torment afterwards. He went missing for months after he returned home. Some Boy Scouts found his body on Mount Coot-Tha. I’m sure the effects of war are passed down through the generations. Thanks for sharing Uncle Billy’s story.

    • Such a tragic story Di. How sad. I can’t help wondering how many other families have similar stories to tell. Yet another reminder of the wickedness and tragic waste of lives that accompanies war. Thankyou for sharing.

  5. What an interesting story about an amazing man. Very sad to think he had no help to work through his trauma, especially after his heroism saved others. Well done Bev for bringing his story to life in such a lovely tribute.
    How old was William when he died?

    • Uncle Billy was 70 when he died Chris so I guess he was one of the lucky ones to have been given his 3 score years and ten. The Wright family were a respectable, Methodist family and I suspect that the cause of Uncle Billy’s alienation was due to his problematic behaviour post all the trauma and perhaps the lack of family support. As I said, one will never know. I certainly feel a huge amount of respect and compassion for Uncle Billy and for anyone who has served during wartime.

  6. Enjoyed reading this blog, Beverley. This Uncle Billy certainly had an extraordinary life. I’m sure you may have explored Trove for the names William Wright or Harold Harvey for any more hints of what Uncle Billy might have done after World War I. Trove has helped me fill in a few gaps for some of my relatives and ancestors.

  7. I’m so pleased that you appreciated my story of my Uncle Billy, Ross. His story touched me and I regard him as my hero. Thanks for the reminder about Trove. It’s been a long time since I explored Trove and I found reports of the Roma fire at that time. I failed to find any reports into the death of Uncle Billy’s sister but family rumours explain that Uncle Billy’s brother, who was an MP intervened and prevented the incident from being published. Not sure that would happen today.

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