The Bombing of Darwin: Australia’s Pearl Harbor

The Bombing of Darwin was the largest attack against Australia by a foreign power, and the worst wartime disaster. It became known as Australia’s Pearl Harbor. The Japanese bombed Darwin on 19 February 1942 with 188 fighter planes. It was the largest attack since Pearl Harbor (7 December 1941). Chaos ensured as at least 240…

Lawrence of Arabia: War Hero and Writer

T E Lawrence’s role as a British liaison officer during the Arab Revolt of 1916-1918 was immortalised in the 1962 film, “Lawrence of Arabia”, starring Peter O’Toole. Thomas Edward Lawrence was the second of five illegitimate sons born to Sir Thomas Robert Tighe, an Anglo-Irish landowner, and Sarah Junner. She was employed as his four…

The Dream With Roy and HG: The Alternative Olympic Commentary

Aussie comedians, Roy Slaven and HG Nelson add their style of humour to the Olympic Games with their nightly show, The Dream with Roy & HG.  No Olympic stone is left unturned during their irreverent observations. Who can forget their commentaries on the Gymnastics, including "hello boys, crazy date, hello boys"?  Or "you're supposed to…

The Olympic Torch Relay: Waiting At Woolooware

The Olympic Torch Relay finally reached the Sutherland Shire on 11 September 2000, after its long journey around Australia. Despite being a gold-medal contender for climbing walls after hearing all the Olympic hype, I was curious.  The Torch would pass along The Kingsway, only 50 metres from my home, at approximately 6.20 pm. I left…

The Sir Harry Oakes Mystery: An Unsolved Murder in the Bahamas

Flamboyant Canadian gold-mining millionaire, Sir Harry Oakes, was found brutally murdered on 8 July 1943 at his home in the Bahamas. This mystery remains unsolved today. Oakes’ family had left for their summer holiday in America but he entertained some guests, including personal friend Harold Christie, the night before, until the others left around 11.00…

Louis Mountbatten: 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Viceroy of India

British naval officer Lord Louis Mountbatten accepted the Japanese surrender during World War II. He was the last Viceroy of India, and also mentor to Prince Charles. Mountbatten, known as “Dickie” to family and friends, was born Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas on 25 June 1900 at Frogmore House, Windsor. His parents were Prince Louis…

The Restoration: Charles II and His Kingdoms

Charles II made his triumphant royal entry into London to reclaim his three kingdoms on 29 May 1660. Many who welcomed the Restoration were soon disappointed. The Protectorate under Oliver Cromwell enjoyed stability since Charles I’s beheading in January 1649. However, Cromwell died on 3 September 1658 after a short period of illness. Anarchy Richard…

Oliver Cromwell: The Republic Leader The ARM Never Mention on ANZAC Day

NPG 514; Oliver Cromwell after Samuel Cooper

Britain's former war-veteran-turned Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell was born on 25 April. In Australia, every Anzac Day, the Australian Republic Movement, notably Peter FitzSimons, usually raise the issue of Australia becoming a republic. Yet they never mention Britain's Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell whose birthday is also commemorated as Anzac Day in Australia, New Zealand and the…

Queen Elizabeth II: Her Early Life

No one predicted Princess Elizabeth of York would eventually become Queen, as her life dramatically changed when her uncle Edward VIII abdicated in 1936. Princess Elizabeth Alexandra Mary of York was born on 21 April 1926 at 2.40 am by caesarian at 17 Bruton Street, London—the eldest daughter of Albert Duke of York and his…

Australia’s Role in the Abdication Crisis: Edward VIII Gave up Throne for Mrs Simpson

The Australian Government also insisted Edward VIII abdicated rather than marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson. Edward VIII became King of Great Britain on 20 January 1936 when his father George V died. He was determined to marry his mistress, Mrs Wallis Simpson, and told Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin on 16 November. Baldwin was horrified. Mrs…