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August 18, 2020

Dorothy ‘Topsy’ Curtis

Private, Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS)

“You have to protect your country and your families. If it happened again, I would have to join up again.”

 

Dorothy “Topsy” Turvey enlisted in the army two weeks after her 18th birthday, in the middle of World War II. Dorothy was from Newcastle and her first visit to Sydney was to join up.

“I’m an Aussie and I wanted to be part of it. My dad was in Gallipoli. I had a brother in the army and my sister was a nurse.

We had six weeks’ training at Ingleburn Army Camp. I learnt how to use a rifle. They were learning from us too. They wanted to see how our brains worked. What we were capable of. Then they sent you where they thought you were suited.

I was sent to the Coastal Artillery and my first assignment was the Cape Banks Army Station at La Perouse. I spent nine months at battery headquarters in the underground plotting room.

We had an enormous plotting table that showed the outline of the coast. We would get information from the Army outposts to chart the course of ships on the plotting table. We had to make sure they were our ships and not Japanese ships.”

For the full article Click Here.

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