War time Romance
From Perth to Brighton
I arrived in Brighton on 3/9/44 (Exactly 4 years after war was declared) and we were billeted at the Royal Hotel. Trained as wireless operators and air gunners we had travelled by train from Perth via Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane then on the “Lurline”with 375 Australian/American war brides to San Francisco then train to New York, the Queen Elizabeth to Greenock and an over night train to Brighton.
I met Joy Simmonds at the Dome the following evening. The next day we went to Worthing beach where I took the photo of Joy and also one of the 6 Spitfires.The 4 of us hired bikes and spent the next week riding around Brighton.On one of our trips up on the downs a great number of Lancasters flying east quite low prompted us to remark “Hitler is going to cop it tonight”. Since I have wondered if Bomber Command was trying to impress us and give us some fighting spirit.
Joy and I had what could be called a” whirlwind romance”,became engaged and were married the following August at St Matthews Church Preston Park.More of this can be seen on My Brighton Hove by Tony Simmonds.
I “crewed up” with a pilot from my home town Corrigin in Western Australia and flew on Wellingtons,Lancasters and Halifaxs but was lucky enough to escaped unscathed.
We now (7/12/05) live in Perth Westen Australlia and have 3 daughters 8 grandchildren and two greatgrand children.