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Winifred Joy Constantine

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I completed my education at Fremantle Tafe 1939. My first employment was at a dressmaking factory in Perth for 12 months.

In 1941-1946 I was employed and “manpowered” by Joyce Brothers in Fremantle where we made all equipment for the Armed Forces, such as tents, tarpaulins, flys, kitbags, gaters etc. which we enjoyed knowing we were helping our country and those in the Armed Forces.

Even though we had “blackouts” we worked 3 shifts to keep the production in motion.

Even though the world was in chaos we had our enjoyment by writing our name and address on the wooden keepers on the tents, then receiving mail from unknown soldiers. I guess they looked forward to receiving our letters as we did from them. We never did get to meet any of them, once the war was over that was the end of our correspondence.

My one regret is destroying that mail, which sometimes had pieces cut out because of censorship.

I would love to have shown my children today as you truly can’t explain the way things were.

Having ration books, which I have in my possession, which belonged to my father from the 1st World War.

Shop windows were protected by sand bags. Air raid shelters which we entered when the sirens sounded. Search lights scanning the sky, searching for enemy planes. Wardens going around making sure no light were showing from any homes.

Every household had to cover their windows with dark paper etc, fortunately I am here able to relate to my children, 12 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren, 1 great-great grandson. I am truly grateful.

Acknowledgement of Country

The Government of Western Australia acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.