Peggy met Jack when she was a teenager, during a time when you would go on group dates to the cinema. But they were separated during WWII when Jack was deployed to Malaysia and Peggy Joined the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF).
Their time in the war also meant they lost contact with each other. Peggy couldn’t write to Jack as he was only allowed one person to write to him – and that was his mother. It was during this time that Peggy heard from Jack’s mother, who told her Jack was captured by Japanese soldiers. In Peggy’s mind, this was a death sentence.
During his time as a prisoner-of-war (POW), Peggy says Jack faced a lot of adversity: he had malaria several times, was worked to the bone and, horrifyingly, was forced to dig his own grave.
On his third bout of malaria, Peggy recalls Jack saying he was sure he would die. Peggy explains that it was not uncommon for Japanese soldiers to order sick POWs to be killed. Jack was lucky though, as the usual doctor who assessed sick soldiers wasn’t rostered on. Instead, there was a doctor who ordered Jack to be sent to a hospital.
Meanwhile, back in Australia, Peggy always had Jack on her mind.
Finally, when Jack was discharged, he came looking for Peggy. Peggy was called into the WAAAF office; never in her wildest dreams would did she think Jack would be there. But there he was! Peggy was shocked.
Jack asked if Peggy could have some days off so they could go to their hometown. The two then married within a year and have had four beautiful children. And while Jack has unfortunately since passed away, his memory lives large through Peggy.
Anzac Day is a very special and important date in Australian Hearing’s calendar. We were established in 1947 to assist veterans who experienced hearing damage during World War II and, over 70 years later, we continue to support them.