Aust & WWII

Impact of WWII on Australian Society

Impact on Women

War Brides – with the influx of American servicemen, approximately 15,000 Australian women became married to US soldiers, sailors and airmen. After the war, they left Australia with their husbands. ‘Bridal Train‘ by the Waifs tells part of this story.


From a transcript of ‘Enough Rope‘ on the ABC:

ANDREW DENTON: Can we talk about another song which, which you wrote, at around that time, which last year (2006) won the grand overall prize at the American song writing competition, the first time that’s ever been won by someone outside America — ‘Bridal Train’, which is about your family history. Can you maybe give us a burst and tell us a bit about it?

VIKKI THORN: Yeah, my my grandmother was a war bride, after the Second World War. She met Bob Cain, he was an American sailor. And they met in Perth, and after a very brief engagement, married and then he was sent away. She received a telegram at about midnight one night, saying pack your things, there’s a train, the US Navy is chartering a train to take war brides to Sydney, and from Sydney you can board a ship, and we’ll take you to America to be with your husbands, and I just wonder how those women must have felt as they were journeying across their country possibly for the last time you know to go and live in this, in this new place and you know with children.