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August 18, 2020

Eugenie Allen

Signalwoman – Australian Army

“I was a hairdresser when we married, but I wanted to do something different.”

 

Eugenie Allen married her husband during World War II, between his service in the Middle East and his service in New Guinea.

Eugenie’s fiancé spent two years and seven months in the Middle East. He bought gold for her wedding ring at an Arab stall in Cairo. He had it made with a pattern of roses and the words, ‘Until the day,’ which he signed at the bottom of all his letters.

“I was a hairdresser when we married, but I wanted to do something different. I wanted to learn. I enlisted in the Army, but I wasn’t patriotic I just wanted a change. Even though I was married, I was expected to live at home with my parents. I was angry at the whole situation. I felt like my life was on hold. I wanted the war over. You had to have your husband’s permission to join the Army. I wanted to go into Transport because they had much nicer uniforms, but my husband had taught me Morse code and I could do 20 words a minute. I applied for Signals and was sent to Balcombe Army Camp in Victoria.

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