I am proud to say that I am an Australian Baby Boomer. I was the youngest child of four children born to William David Doughty and Edna May Ford Doughty. I was born in working class Port Melbourne on the 29th of June 1954. I had an older sister Lorraine Edna Doughty, born in 1947, Stanley William John Doughty, born in the Womens Hospital in Carlton in 1950, and Kevin John Doughty, born in the Women's Hospital in Carlton in 1953.
Our family was working class, and at the time of my birth in 1954, and my dad was working in the Port Melbourne box mills as a labourer. My mother was a house mother who worked at home, like many other women back in those days. Most familys back then had the dad as the 'Bread Winner' and a mum would carry out her home duties while dad worked hard to bring home a suitable wage. Before World War Two. William was following a promising career as an apprentiship Jockey with Mr Ernest Underwood, the well known racing identity at Williamstown racing stables. Young William was being taught the tricks of the Jockey trade from the well know trainer from those early racing days, Mr R. Sinclair at Wiliamstown race track. William was showing a lot of promise as a jockey and a strapper and then the war began, ending his riding career. William had no choice but to enlist into the Australian Army, as his three uncles, Uncle Henry Richard Doughty, Uncle Robert Ernest Doughty and Uncle Albert Percy Doughty served in world War One. Uncle Albert Percy Doughty was killed in action at Gallipoli, two weeks after the landing on the 25th of April 1915. William's father, William David Doughty senior, worked for 'Stokes And Sons', making army badges so he was excempt from fighting in war.
Young William became a soldier, enlisting with the Australian Imperial force, number VX13720 in 940. The newspapers of the day were full of war stories of the invasion of Hitler's German Army in Europe, on the other side of the world. Great Briton declared war on Germany and Australia was one of it's allies, so that meant that Australia, who was part of the Commonwealth, was also at war with Germany. World War Two was to be fought by the next generation of those men and women who took part in World War One (The War To End All Wars). There was a sense of real excitement, as many of these young men were out of work, and this moment in Australian history gave them the opportunity of earning money, and travelling the World in service of their Country, Australia. There was conscription in many of the Commonwealth countries but Australians volunteered to be soldiers and fight for their country.
William left foir war on board the Ettrick -Type: Troop transport Tonnage, 11,279 tons. Completed in 1938 by Barclay, Curle & Co, Whiteinch, Glasgow Owner P. & O. Steam Navigation Co Ltd, London Homeport London . The Ship Ettrick was eventually attacked and sunk on the 15th of November 1942 by (Adolf Cornelius Piening) U-155, position 36° 13'N, 7° 54'W - Grid CG 8665. Complement 336 (24 dead and 312 survivors).Convoy MKF-1Y Route Gibraltar - Glasgow Cargo Ballast.. History, in 1939 the Ettrick was requisitioned by the Admiralty and used as troop transport. Notes on event - At 04.14 hours on 15 Nov 1942, U-155 fired a spread of four torpedoes at the convoy MKF-1Y about 120 miles northwest of Gibraltar and heard three detonations, but was not able to made visual observations. The Ettrick and the HMS Avenger (D 14) were sunk and the USS Almanack (AK 27) was damaged. The master, 204 crew members, 41 gunners and 66 naval ratings from the Ettrick (Master John Murray Legg) were picked up by the Norwegian destroyer HMS Glaisdale (L 44) and landed at Gibraltar. Six crew members and 18 naval ratings were lost. The master, John Murray Legg, was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
During my relationship with my father, he wouldn't talk very much about his army service. Every year he would religiously attend his army reunions and meet up with his past army mates. Those soldiers had an amazing connection with each other. They could never be separated and they stayed very close to each other until the day they all died. I am not a shamed to say that loved each other. My father loved his childhood, growing up with his family and his friends and school mates from Montague, South Melbourne and they all enlisted one by one as a huge and very close family. Those young men had spent most of their childhood together.
My father became a member of Second fifth Battalion, Sixth Division, Seventeenth Brigade. His colour patch was black over red (mud over blood). He told me that his father wasn't happy with his decision to enlist into the army, and he wasn't allowed to wear his uniform in his father's house. William's brother Albert Percival Doughty also enlisted into the A.I.F. but William refused to fight with his brother in the same unit, as he didn't want the resposibility of looking after him during action. It was enough for William to look after his self.
During his service in World War Two, William was engaged to a young lady named Freda and her name was tattooed on his arm, but I know nothing about her and after the war he met and married Edna May Ford. When William was heading for service in Africa, he was extreamly nervice, and he would regulary write to his mother Catherine, his sister Lily and his mother's sister Aunty Jessie, every day.
The Second Fifth Battalion formed in Melbourne on 18 October 1939, as part of the 17th Brigade of the 6th Australian Division. The nucleus of the battalion was assembled in ensuing days at the Royal Melbourne Showgrounds, but its first drafts of recruits were not received until after it moved to the newly-established camp at Puckapunyal on 2 November. Basic training was completed there prior to the battalion's departure for overseas service on 14 April 1940.
After arriving in the Middle East on 18 May 1940, the battalion undertook further training in Palestine and Egypt. The Second Fifth Battalion took part in its first campaign - the advance against the Italians in Eastern Libya - in January and February 1941, and participated in successful attacks at Bardia (3-5 January) and Tobruk (21-22 January). In early April, the Second Fifth Battalion with he rest of the 6th Division, were deployed to Greece to resist the anticipated German invasion. For the Second Fifth Battalion, the Greek campaign was essentially one long withdrawal from its initial defensive positions at Kalabaka (occupied on 14 April) to the port of Kalamata, from which it was evacuated on 27 April. A party of approximately 50 transport drivers were left behind in Greece and became prisoners of war. A similar sized group landed on Crete and, after fighting with the 17th Brigade Composite Battalion, also suffered the same fate.
Back in Palestine, the Second Fifth Battalion was given little respite. In June and July 1941, it took part in the campaign in Syria, including the climactic battle of Damour (6-10 July) that sealed the defeat of the Vichy French forces. The battalion was destined to remain in Syria and Lebanon as part of the garrison force there until January 1942. It left the Middle East, heading for the war against Japan, on 10 March 1942. The 16th and 17th Brigades, however, were diverted on the voyage home. From early March to early July they defended Ceylon (present-day Sri Lanka) from possible Japanese attack. The Second Fifth Battalion finally disembarked in Australia, at Melbourne, on 4 August 1942.
The Second Fifth Battalion deployed to Milne Bay, in Papua, in early October 1942 but did not meet the Japanese in battle until the end of January 1943, when it joined the force defending Wau, in New Guinea. After much desperate fighting, the Japanese around Wau were defeated in early February. The Second Fifth Battalion subsequently participated in the drive towards Salamaua and was heavily engaged around Goodview and Mount Tambu in July and August. After arriving back in Australia at Cairns on 23 September 1943, the Second Fifth Battalion spent most of 1944 training in northern Queensland.
On 29 November 1944, the Second Fifth Battalion disembarked at Aitape in New Guinea for its last campaign of the war. It spent much of the next seven months engaged mainly in arduous patrolling to clear the Japanese from the Torricelli and Prince Alexander mountain ranges. It was still engaged in this role when the war ended on 15 August 1945. The battalion embarked to return to Australia on 1 December and disbanded at Puckapunyal in early February 1946. It was one of only two battalions that fought all of Australia's major enemies during the Second World War disembarked at Aitape in New Guinea for its last campaign of the war. It spent much of the next seven months engaged mainly in arduous patrolling to clear the Japanese from the Torricelli and Prince Alexander mountain ranges. It was still engaged in this role when the war ended on 15 August 1945. The battalion embarked to return to Australia on 1 December and disbanded at Puckapunyal in early February 1946. It was one of only two battalions that fought all of Australia's major enemies during the Second World War.
'When I turned 19 in 1973 I purchased my first car, an old 1952 morris minor. My dad took an imediate liking to this old car and he would love me picking him up from work when I was available. In 1974 the Second fifth Battalion were having their annual Anzac Day re-union at the Melbourne town hall. My dad asked me to take him there as he had been ill for a couple of previous re-unions and now that he had me to drive him there, he was keen to attend it. I was so honoured and proud to be asked by him to be his escort, and as it turned out, it was to be his very last re-union ever. I remember as we first walked in, how the hall first went silent, and somebody yelled out, "There's Doc Doughty" and everyone imediately applauded. I was so proud of my father at that moment.
My dad took me over to meet two of his mates. I had no idea that they were ledgions, both military Cross winners, Les 'Bull' Allen and the full blooded Aboriginal hero, Reg Saunders. It would be a lot later when I discovered what heroic deeds these two wonderful brave men did in wartime. All these men were in their fifties but they were like school friends reliving they deeds from theirmilitary past. Reg Saunders and Les Allen told me to look after my dasd because he was a war hero. Imagine hearing that from two Military Cross winners. Two of the most iconic pictures show sergeant Reg Saunders in front oif a train with a group of his soldiers. Reg stands out out with his black skin and movie star looks. Then there is the picture of Les 'Bull' Allen carrying a wounded American soldier to safety. He carried on soldier after another while being shot at by a japanese machine gun. He finally collapsed from loss of blood from a bullet wound to his arm. Some time later, Les Allen had a run in with an officer, and he was threatened with court martial, but then his commanding officer received notification that Les Alllen was to be recomended for the highest American award for his bravery in saving those American soldiers. The award was to be personally presented to Les Allen by the USA President's wife, Elenor Rosevelt.
The wonderful part of that very special night was when Les and Reg told me to look after my Dad because he was awar hero. Imagine two Australian heroes saying that about my dad. I was, and still am so very proud. The one thing that stood out to me that night was watching the First World War One soldiers congregating at one end of the hall, and the Second World War Soldiers Congregating at the other end of the room.
It was hard to know what happened in wartime as my dad wouldn' t talk very much about it. He would sometimes tell us some little stories but not any thing with detail. He once spoke to me of the time he and his Battalion were escaping from Crete, He told me how frightened he was when he saw dozens of German paratroopers leeping from Aeroplanes. He told me that they looked like six foot big men but maybe that was just the impression he got that day. He told me of the day he was ordered to check out if there was any one alive in some bombed out German tanks. He was sickened at what he found. He said that the bodies were just like roasted beef. He said that escaping from the Germans in Crete, was one of the most frightening moments he had during World War Two.
After my father passed away in 1976 my mother decided that she would turn up to the Melbourne march eaxch year, in honour of her late husband. For the first couple of years my mother Edna wore my dad's medals and the old Second Fifth Battalion soldiers were happy to have her there, except for the officers in command and also the marshalls of the march. They approached my mother and they told her that she was not allowed to march, as women who were non serving ladies were not to take part in the ANZAC Day march. That night on ANZAC Day 1982 my mother came home devastated and in tears. I was angry at the way they treated my mother, so the following year I put the medals on my four year old son Timothy, and he wore my dad's World War Two slouch hat, and I carried him on my shoulders from the beginning to the end of the Melbourne march. So It was then that I began to learn more about my father. I started to attend the ANZAC Day march in 1983. My young son Tim got to speak to my dad's former mates, and they all were thrilled to see me and him. They called him young Doc. Doc was a nickname given to my father in World War Two by one of his sergeants, Ivor White. Ivor told me that he kept mis-pronouncing William's surname Doughty to Docarty and then Docarty Doughty, so he and every one else started to call him Doc. That nickname stuck with him him for the the rest of his life.
Each year I was fortunate enough to meet so many of my dad's mates. Rodger Hagen was an interesting man. He went to school with my dad and he grew up with my dad in Montague, South Melbourne. Roger Hagen was into boxing in a big way after World War Two. He helped Ambrose Palmer train Johnney Fameshon to become the light havy weight champion jockey of the world. Roger told me a story of a shoot out against the Japanese, one day in the jungle of New Guinea. There were seventeen of them pinned down by a couple of Japanese snipers. Sergeant 'Dickie' asked for two soldiers voluteers to circle around behind the enemy and shoot them. Roger Hagen went one way and my dad William went around the other way. Roger and William opened fire and killed both Japanese soldiers. Roger reached William just in time to see him kneel over the Japanese soldier. William took the Japanese hat and belt and put it in his pocket and he began to cry. Roger asked him what was the problem, and William said that he was jumped and he turned around just in time to shoot the enemy soldier point blank range. He kept saying over and over again, "I saw his eyes". Roger reminded me that those men were so young and still not used to death.
Another close friend of my father William was a small fellow named Patty Burke. My dad William, and his mate Patty were insperable, and Patty and William were always in trouble. I have a photograph of the day they found some Italion wine and they had a huge party. They both stole the wine and they invited all their officers and staff to the party. After every body enjoyed themselves, William and Patty admitted to what they had done and there was nothing that any one in authority cold do about it asthey were just as guilty being at the party. There was also the day they both were in trouble, and they had to front the officer in charge. "What's your names", he asked. My dad replied, "We are Burke and Will". "A couple of smart fellows". "No" replied William. "That's Patty Burke and I'm Will Doughty." They were confined to barracks. There are photographs of them dressing up as Arabs and my favourate photograph was taken on the day they stole an Arab fire engine. They wore the Arab Fire helmets and they took the truck for a spin around the block.
My father inlaw's brother Norm Marshall married a lady name Eileen Curran and she had a young brother named Micky Curran. William left the Williamstown horse stable to join the A.I.F. and some time later Micky Curran, who amazingly worked at the same stable as an apprentice jockey, also joined the Second Fifth Battalion. Mickiy lied about his age, convincing those in aurthorty that he was eighteen but in fact he was only sixteen. William approached him one day and he told Micky that he knew who he was and how old he was. "Are you going to given me up", Said Mickey. William told him that if he didn't shave off that awful bum fluff on his chin, he would give himselve up. They became close friends and William looked after him throughout the rest of the war. When I met Mickey Curren he was sadly dying of throat cancer, but hestill had a sense of humour and he told me what an amazing funny man my dad was. He tiold me that William would alays play his mouth organ and one day they were running for their lives across the desert sands, being shot at by German Stuka aeroplanes. Mickey feared for his life and ran hard and then he could hear music and realised that William was running along while playing his mouth organ.
One ANZAC week my dad had a few of his mates over to our house. We children were ment to be in bed but I must have been only about eight years old, and I hid behind the door and I heard them talking about an Australian soldier who was tied to a tree in the jungle of New Guinea. He was butchered and canabalised by the Japanese while his was still alive. One of those men put a bullet in his head and I heard them crying about the incident. That story has stuck in my memory all these years, but I never did find out who shot that poor unfortunate soldier. My father told me about the time he served in Ceylon and he found a monkey and tried to smuggle it back to Australia. He said that the Australian soldiers would throw coins into the sea water and they loved watching the children diving for the coins. One ANZAC Day I met one of my dad's mates. I cannot recall his name, but he was thrilled to meet me when he knew who I was. He told me of how he though that my father was a real war hero. He spoke about the time the Second Fifth Battalion were aboard the ship 'City Of London', escaping from Crete. He told me that the ship stopped dead in the water. It was being attacked by German Stuka aeroplanes. It was thought at the time that the engine room had been hit. The funnel was riddled with holes and cut cables were hanging danerously loose. My father William, without fear of his own life, ran down into the enginge room. He found the Lasca Indian sailors on their knees, praying. The noise of the battle was deafening in that part of the ship. William yelled to those upsairs for support and the soldiers ran down and shovelled coal on the fire and 'The City Of London' went as fast as it could go. They managed to escape the fighting and there were about five thousand soldiers on board. The old gentleman told me, "Your father should have been award a medal for valour. Some years later the book about the Second Fifth Battalion, entitled 'All The Kings Enemies' mentioned that story and my father's name in one of it's paragraphs.
This was an article from the old Record (our old Port & South Melbourne local newspaper) back in the 1960's, stuck on the wall of Robert (Ditz) Doughty's, Sunday Southern Cross Social Club (Sly grog & SP Betting). Robert was William Doughty's younger brother -
To the editor - ' The Record ' - The Changing face of old Montague -
Sir, It gave me great pleasure to read the changing face of old Montague. Born in Buckhurst Street, South Melbourne (where Lovigs the carriers now stand), and living most of my life in Gladstone Street . I received a tremendous fillip to read about old times. Your writer mentioned the response from Montague at the out break of the war. Those who sailed aboard the troop ship "Ettrick" from Station pier in 1940 who come to mind are, Frank Carey, who played football and cricket with Port Melbourne, Jack "Speedy" Lugg who saddled up with Port and South Melbourne after the war. Andy Garbett who often boasted of the fact that he led a premiership team on to the M.C.G. before 80,000 people. He was refering to the 'Wayside Rovers', that mighty junior team who played in the curtain raiser of the V.F.L. Grand final. There was "Chaser" Kay who won the heavy weight title on the ship. Gerry Beaton, who good judges like Fitzroy's Leo Monaghan and Eddie Morcom declared to be the best centreman in the Middle East, and he had some tough opposition, and offcourse Bill "Doc" Doughty about whom, one could write a book about. I remember the 2/2 Pioneers arrived and we went down to greet them. What memories their names conjure, Collin "Rocky" Coy who won the heavy weight championship of his troop, Harry Sykes, Tom "Perky" Parkinson, probably the greatast junior goal sneek ever produced in this district. George Bennett, Micky Webster (of grey hound fame}, Ron "Doba" Garbutt, who was to volunteer in Java to stay behind with his wounded "Digger" mates. None of them were every seen again.(See History of the 2/2 Pioneers). Yes they were great names, great fighters and great mates - Written by the late R. C. McAuley. Dicky McAuley was one of my dad's sargeants.
After the war my father came back to Australia, hopelessly addicted to cigarette smoking and drinking, and eventually gambling became a real problem in his life. He hated any thing that was Japanese for the rest of his life. He hated toys that were made in Japan and in those days most were made there. My dad bed and showed canaries and budgerygars and he enter them in varous bird shows and the Royal Melbourne Show, but when trophies made in Japan were presented as prises, my dad stopped showing them.
My father was an Australian soldier from 1940 until the end of 1945. After World War Two, my dad went back to work, mainly as a labourer. The war brought excitement into his life and now it was all over. At the end of 1945, William Doughty met Edna Ford and after a very short engagement, they both married in early 1946. My dad, William was a twenty eight year old war veteran and his new wife Edna Ford was a very young seventeen year old girl with her first love interest. Their family and friends thought that they would never stay together but how they were all wrong. William and Edna were happily married until William's death in 1976.
We were always poor as my dad was an unskilled labourer and my mother worked at home, as most house wifes did in those days. My dad had a wonderful sense of humour and he was very popular amongst his many friends. I was born on the 29th of June 1954 at 42 Esplanade Place, Port Melbourne. Earlier in the pregnacy the doctors advised my mother and father to abort me, as Edna had a leaking valve in her heart, due to her suffering from rhumatic fever as a child. Both her and my father said no and I was born a healthy baby. I can remember as far back , when I was about two or three. I remember my mother pushing me every where in an old pram. Neather my mother or my father drove a car. My father rode a motor bike, a skill that he picked up during World War Two in the Middle East. Each night we would sit around the radio and along came television. My dad had very little money but he had to have one of those new televisions. It turned out that we were one of the very fsirst families to own a television in Port Melbourne. I must have been one of the first baby boomers to be baby sat by a television. To this day I can still hum all the early television themes and sing all the theme songs. I was very close to my brother Kevin and we would pretend that we had our own television show. We had lots of hand puppets, dolls and stuffed and rubber animals and they b, ecame charactors in our little plays. We both were obsessed with early television, and we pretended as young children that we had our own imaginary telelvision show, 'The Kevin and David Doughty Show". We began singing and we would wander into many of the corner hotels in Port Melbourne and we would sing for money. Christmas time was always a very special time for our family, even though my mother and father were poor. They put money aside to make Christmas as special as they could. Kevin and I just loved to play with our soft toys, a toy horse, a rubber penguin, and various teddy bears and our many hand puppets. One day we were walking to school and next to a dust bin we found a battered up dirty, old blue teddy bear. We both felt sorry forit but we didn't want to be seen by others having it, as we would have been teased at school, so we hid if in a secret place so we could collect it on the way home. On the way home we discovered that it had been taken away. We were both so upset when we bot got home and told our mother. She felt sad for us both, and she comforted us by telling us that maybe somebody nice found it and took it home. Three months later Christmas Day arrived and we jumped out of bed to see what Santa Clause had left us. On top of our stockings was a beautiful blue teddy bear with a note stuck to it. The note read, I took the teddy bear back to the North Pole and fixed it up for you both, Signed Santa. That was nearly sixty years ago, and I have four children and eight grand children, and I still get teary each time I think of what my beautiful mother did on that very special Christmas day.
Kevin and I sold newspapers on Station and Princess Pier, Port Melbourne, when we were eight and nine years old. I think back now as to how dangerous that was in those days, as I would be invited into the cabins of many of the old sailors to sell them papers. We had no protection at this time. We both had a life time dream of becoming full time entertainers. We would sing in Boy Scout concerts and finally we appeared on the very popular television show on HSV7, the Happy Show. The producer of the Happy Show was Doug McKenzie (Zag the clown) and it was live back in those days. The star was Happy Hammond and co - staring was Princess Panda, Lovely Anne, Funny Face Vic Gordon, John Darcy, Bob Horsfold and Roy Lyons.
My father William was a labour during his working day, and a part time barman in the afternoon. In those days we had the 'Six O'clock Swill'. At 5.45pm every patron would buy a final shout of beer and they would try and scull down as much beer as possible. We the pub was cleared there were glasses of undrunken beer still on the counter, so my dad saw the opportunity to get a cheap drink and he would go along the bar and drink each glass, one by one. David William Doughty www.ddoughty.com