Mosman Voices - oral histories online

John Steel

Interviewed by Rosemary Christmas on 10 May 2000
Subject: ,

John Steel. Well this is really during the war years. I remember, we were talking about Balmoral beach earlier on. I remember Balmoral was completely wired against the Japanese invasion, and gun emplacements were put on The Esplanade. That was certainly very difficult, although they would have barriers, which were removed and you were allowed to go through them to swim, but it was barbed wire right along the whole beach. You can’t imagine what it was like with sandbag emplacements along there with guns and so on. It was well fortified against any Japanese attacks. I also remember the first spitfire flying over Mosman school. Britain, I think, sold to Australia some spitfires and the first one came out, and I remember it flying over Mosman school. Also, of course, The Queen Mary and The Queen Elizabeth and many other famous ocean liners coming in and out of Sydney. We used to go down to Bradleys Head, and watch them move in and out of the harbour. We also entertained British sailors off aircraft carriers later in the war when the British fleet came out and helped in the Pacific War.