IT WAS like seeing a ghost, literally.

Reporter Arthur Gorrie describes how it felt to see the silent black and white 35mm footage of his dad, and the troopship he was stationed on, bringing the troops back home from New Guinea in 1946, after the end of the Second World War.

It is an amazing tribute to the archiving and digitizing efforts of the people at the Australian War Memorial.

There on the silent black and white footage was the ship my father served on in the Second World War, the Duntroon.

It was 1946, after the end of the war when the Duntroon was engaged in bringing the Australian soldiers home from New Guinea.

And there , at 03:02:10 on the film's clock is a young man handing out some sort of tickets to the soldiers as they got on board.

The young man was my father, about 20 or so, some years before I came along.

It is hard to describe my feelings every time I see it.

I knew my father as a shopkeeper, not a gun loader on a troop ship dodging submarines and, one night, accidentally colliding with an American destroyer, sinking the explosive laden destroyer and sticking around in awful danger to rescue the sailors from a highly explosive mixture of fuel, seawater and ammunition.

It is a precious memory of someone I never knew, my father as a young man.

I'll think of him at 11am on November 11, whether or not I make it to the Gympie Memorial Lne commemoration.

Gympie Times


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