Wednesday, February 13, 2008


My grandfather enlisted in the RAAF in the second half of the second world war - he'd spent the first half in the 30th Battalion AIF in Sydney and Western Australia, but transferred. I've had the Australian Archives digitise his RAAF service record, which is 167 pages long!

This means it'll take quite a while to sift through and summarise, however it includes a fantastic enlistment photo, and an educational summary which both give a lot of information.

RAAF Application photos

RAAF application educational history

Extract from his educational experience:

Extract from RAAF Service Record

Application for Air Crew
Pte J Hall
Motor Trasport
HQ Coy
30th Aust. Inf. Bn.

Date of birth: 30 . 8 . 20
Next of kin: Norman Hall, 37 Stanley St, Burwood N.S.W.
Father: Australian, Mother: Australian

Give particulars of the schools at which you were educated from age 12:
St Joseph's Convent, Enfield, NSW, 1927 - 1933
Marist Bros. High School, Darlinghurst NSW, 1934 - 1938

Have you sat for the Merit Intermediate or Junior Public Examination?
Name of examining body: NSW Dept of Education
Description of certificate: Intermediate Certificate
Date of examination: 1936
Was certificate obtained? Yes
Subjects pass in: English, Latin, French, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics I, Mathematics II, History.
Subjects failed: NIL
Subjects in which a first-class pass was obtained: Mathematics II, Chemistry, Latin, French

Have you sat for any other educational examination?
Name of examining body: NSW Dept of Education
Description of certificate: Leaving Certificate
Date of examination: 1938
Was examination passed? Yes
Subjects pass in: Maths I, Maths II, Physics, Chemistry, English, Latin, French
(Qualified for entrance to University of Sydney)

Occupation since leaving school, including nature of work in which now engaged:
Clerk (Staff and Records) NSW P.M.G. Dept, Commonwealth Public Service


Note: Other application forms mention 6 months of analytical chemistry training. I'd always known that Pa started training in chemistry, but that the war had ended it. I certainly didn't know he'd qualified to study at Sydney University (my alma mater)... I'd like to know why he didn't attend. The family didn't have a great deal of money when he finished school (it was the tail end of the depression) so it's possible that was the main reason. His mother was also unwell and died on cancer in 1940. I imagine the stability of a public service job would have been too enticing for him. His father didn't study chemistry until quite a way into his career, and i'm sure Pa figured he could do the same. The war stopped that.

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