Darwin draws WWII veteran Allan Godfrey back

31/01/2017. Melton/Moorabool Star Weekly. Rsl. Issue Date 07/02. Caroline Springs RSL have paid for flights and accommodation of 94 yr old veteran Alan Godfrey to fly to Darwin. Pictured is Allan with Great Grand Daughter ( and Carer ) Reeannan and RSL members David, Peter, John and Bobby. Picture Shawn Smits.

When Allan Godfrey returned home after serving in World War II, the evenings were marred by nightmares and the afternoons with flashbacks.

The now 94-year-old was only a “little boy” aged 17 when he joined the war. His journey started in Darwin, where he was stationed for 13 months, and took him to New Guinea, Philippines, Borneo and Malaya where he rescued Australian prisoners of war.

“When you see blokes’ legs blown up, you can never forget ’em – it’s just one of those things,” Mr Godfrey said.

He is one of a handful of World War II veterans still alive – and he’s heading back to where it all started, Darwin, for what may be the last time, thanks to the generosity of the Caroline Springs RSL.

Mr Godfrey will fly to Darwin in business class with his great-granddaughter, and carer, Rhiannon for eight days next week.

“I used to try and get back there every year, and think of where I started from,” he said. “It means a lot to be able to take my great-granddaughter up there … I was only a little boy then, I didn’t know nothing.”

Life was hard back then, Mr Godfrey says. Food wasn’t scarce, but the only way to be fed was to live off the land and catch your own game.

“The boys used to eat anything they can get, and sometimes we couldn’t get supplies,” he said.

Caroline Springs RSL president Peter Burquest said the club regularly helped community members.

“We’re always doing something,” he said.


Sumeyya Ilanbey