Saturday, 15 September 2007

Night of the Invasion

In 1942 Fred Savins with his wife Evelyn and children Lola, Ronald and Kevin were living on a farm at Lennox Head, near Ballina, New South Wales, Australia. It was in the middle of World War Two. At the time tension was high because the Japanese were off the east coast of Australia and Fred had been told they could invade anywhere at any time.

Fred was a member of the Volunteer Defence Corp and had to patrol the headland and beaches at night and keep check that others living in the area had their windows covered so that house lights weren't visible from the sea. If there was a landing, Fred was under instructions to destroy all manner of food, vegetable meat etc., turn on all water taps, let the animals out and clear them away from the shoreline. Nothing ws to be left for the Japs to utilize. Evelyn also learnt to drive the family car so that she could gather up the children, grab a few belongings and leave the area as quickly as possible.

One summer night while all the family were in bed, a wild storm blew up and there was a very heavy downpour. The farmhouse, like many built back in that era, had a wide verandah around three sides and there was no fence around the house.

Suddenly there was a lot of heavy trampling on the wooden verandahs. Fred's first thought was "this is it, the Japanese have landed". Fred stuck his head out through the bedroom window to check out the commotion. He thought he might as well have his head cut off right then instead of in the bedroom.

Fortunately Fred kept his head and much to his relief it wasn't the invasion but a lot of frighten calves coming in out of the heavy rain.

Source: Savins in Australia (GH &IF Savins)

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