Kevin and Des Harris

Kevin and Des Harris

29 March 2017

“I was sitting there with about half a dozen other school kids and this yank came to sit with us. He was so home sick…I said to him ‘what are you doing from here on?’ and he almost broke down, and he said ‘this time in a fortnight, I’ll be in the islands, fighting a war.’

And he put his hands in his pockets, and he pulled out some coins, and he gave me a five cent coin which was the last of his American money.

…and I’ve still got it.”

Des Harris and his older brother Kevin recall their memories of the home front during WW II. Memories of going to school in Mount Gambier and Moorak and how the air raid shelter was built in a day; being taught how to knit for the war effort and their parents volunteering for the Red Cross and Country Women’s Association.

They also recall the Italian prisoner of war, who worked on the dairy farm across the road and taught their three year old neighbour to speak Italian.

A remarkable story.