David Ling

Ship name / Flight number: Largs Bay

Arrival date: 21/06/1928

I arrived in Melbourne on 21st June 1928 on the Largs Bay. We left London on the 15th of May 1928.

Upon arrival I worked for a Mr. R.T. Gepp at Blackburn on an orchard.  I stayed there for 3.5 years and then moved to Stanhope in Victoria to work on a dairy farm. I was there through the remainder of the depression and then in 1934 got another job through BBM. This time I went to a wheat and sheep property in Eugowra NSW. It was whilst I was there that I met a girl whom I eventually married in March 1940.

In June 1940 I joined the A.I.F. and sailed overseas in October 1940. We sailed on the Queen Mary. We have been captured just outside Athens, Greece in April 1941. The Germans kept us there till December 1941 and then sent us north and we eventually arrived in a P.O.W camp in Thorn, Poland on New Years Eve 1941. It was freezing cold and I was pretty hungry.

It was rumored round that camps in August 1943 that some of us were due for repatriation by means of an exchange of prisoners and that we would arrive in the port of Leiyh Scotland on the 23rd of October. Of all things it proved correct to the very day. A party of 27 Australians all from my unit and all born in England were exchanged. There were also many Pommies in the party from various British units. Many were sick or wounded. We 27 Australians were kept in the U.K. (me staying with my parents in Cambridge) till New Years Eve 1941, after we were taken by train to the port of Gourock (Glasgow) Scotland. Coincidently we embarked on the Queen Mary again and taken, unescorted to New York. From there we went by train across USA to San Francisco and then by ship across the Pacific to Brisbane. After arrival I had some leave and was hospitalised. Sometime later I was discharged from the army and classified as fit for no further service.

I went back to the farm which was my wife’s share of her father’s fairly extensive property, in the Eurora district. We farmed there until 1972, when it became obvious that I would be unable to run the property on my own anymore. We sold up and moved to Port Macquarie. We lived in another part of the town till 1988 when, after a lot of tests, it became obvious that my wife was suffering from Alzheimers Disease. We sold that home and were fortunate enough to get into a retirement village.

Looking back, I have to say that I pulled my weight in Eugowra. I was a member of the Vestry of the Church of England for 21 years. Hon.Sec. of the R.S.L Sub-branch for 19 years, during which I was made a Life Member of the R.S.L. Also, I was Hon. Sec. of the War Memorial Committee, president of the Bowling Club for 2 years and on various other committees to do with the welfare of the town and district. Also, I have been a Welfare Officer for BBM in the Eugowra district for some time.

 

 

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