Interview with Nancy Keesing (When the war came to Australia)

Place Oceania: Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, Potts Point, Garden Island
Accession Number F04052
Collection type Film
Object type To be confirmed
Physical description Betacam SP/Colour/sound
Maker Look Television Productions Pty Ltd
Date made 21 February 1991
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Period 1990-1999

Item copyright: AWM Licensed copyright


Mrs Keesing was a student doing the Intermediate Certificate at the outbreak of the war. As a Jew, she and her family became aware of the problems in Europe and her family over there migrated to America, or Australia and some were put in concentration camps. She volunteered for work at Garden Island, as her contribution to the war effort. She describes the incident when the Kuttabul, an old ferry used for accommodation of Naval ratings, was sunk by a Japanese midget submarine. Mrs Keesing sketches rationing- petrol, linen, food, tea, sanitary needs, silk and cigarettes were all rationed. She mentions work conditions- sick leave and holiday leave. She uncovered a petrol selling racket operating in Garden Island. Mrs Keesing describes the racial problems between the American servicemen and the Australian servicemen- the Americans were better dressed, went out with girls already engaged. There were also some problems between black and white American servicemen.