The air-raid siren of Woodleigh

It was I, apparently, having well-developed lungs in July 1943.


Woodleigh seems to have been the place everyone was born in those days – something I may have in common with actor Jackie Weaver, though she is four years younger.

Much Love, Jac includes this very specific tale:

“[My parents] were living in Sans Souci when I was born on 25 May 1947 in a Hurstville private hospital, in the foyer just inside the busy front door. My mother had had little warning of my impending birth, so when I emerged she was still wearing all her clothes. She never forgave me for the embarrassment.”

“Air-raid siren” wasn’t my only nickname at Woodleigh. Apparently because I was given something to keep my head warm, some of the staff called me “Dopey” – as in the Seven Dwarves:


I don’t have any baby pictures for comparison. This is the nearest, maybe two years or so later. The wings on my clothing suggest my dad was still in the RAAF when this was taken.


Perhaps Matron Saunders herself gave my those nicknames. Now there’s a name I haven’t thought of in decades. It only came back to me when I was trawling through Trove and found this sad story from July 1938.