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Roy “Doc” Savages’ Diaries


Roy Savage 1947

1943 TO 1960

In April of 1982 I journeyed to Sydney as my father had been admitted to hospital with cancer and was not expected to live. I spent a week down there spending as much time as was allowed with him. I found out more about this man in a week than I had known in my life to date.

I had already decided to put pen to paper years earlier but that week convinced me to do so. I was born in Manchester England in 1943 and started my schooling there.


R M S ORMONDE

 

In 1951 our family migrated to Australia. The Ship we came out on was the R.M.S. Ormonde this was the same ship that took the first pilgrims to Gallipoli in 1922 on board was the New Zealand high commissioner.

For the first few years we were moved from migrant hostel to migrant hostel, finally being evicted along with most of the occupant from Bunnerong hostel. The reason was due to the standard of living in the hostel. After that we spent a short period in a tent at Little Bay in Sydney before my father was offered work in Gladstone Queensland at the Meatworks. My father, Sisters Margaret and Sheila and myself joined the Gladstone Municipal Band. From Gladstone we moved to Southport from Southport to Gladesville (in Sydney) and finally to Blacktown in Sydney.

From left to right Shiela, Margaret at back
Dad sitting with Anne on his lap, Mum & Me

In 1957 when my Mother had an accident I applied for and received an exemption from Meadowbank Junior Tech. In that year I worked as a telegram boy with the PMG in Seven Hills Sydney until I was offered an apprenticeship as a Metallurgist with Turner & Company in Parramatta. I stuck that out for eight months then went to work as a station hand on Redmount Cattle Station near Monto in Queensland.

I soon found out that horses and I did not get along, and so after six months I headed back to Sydney where I took up my apprenticeship again. In early 1960 I passed all the tests for the Navy, however when told I had to sign on for nine or twelve years I decided against the Navy.

In November 1960 a mate of mine, Burnie Malloy, talked me into applying for the Army so off we went down to Rushcutters Bay to enlist. Out of the thirty-two people who sat for the test only three of us passed, Burnie was not one of them. He was to die in a car accident a year later in Western Australia.

Being only seventeen, I had to forge my parent's signature to enlist, as my father who was a pacifist would not have let me join. Because it was so close to Christmas I had to wait until the 9th of February 1961 before reporting to Eastern Command Personnel Depot at Watson's Bay. When there was enough to form a platoon we were moved to the Recruit Training Battalion at Kapooka near Wagga Wagga NSW. My military career was about to start.



Photo of me in Kapooka with .303 Bren Gun
Note- Khaki uniform with 37 pattern webbing

 
 
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ęDoc Savage 2004

 
     
 

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