Ruth Conlan's interview in Tweed Heads

Ruth Conlan discusses her father, Private Arthur Conlan’s service. Arthur was taken from his mother as a child, and raised in an orphanage before being sent to work at aged 12 on dairy farms north of Brisbane, where he worked 7 days a week for board only, no wages. Arthur signed up when he was 18 and served in the 9th Battalion in New Guinea and the South West Pacific between 1942 and 1946. Arthur contracted malaria during his service which troubled him later in life, as did memories and trauma from the war. Arthur commemorated Anzac Day - ‘it was his day’ says Ruth, and she marched with him. Arthur had little trouble receiving his Army pension, which Ruth organised for him. Arthur died aged 84 and Ruth expresses a great deal of pride in his service.

This interview took place on 23 April 2015 in Tweed Heads and was conducted by Dr Allison Cadzow with Craig Greene as part of the Australian Research Council-funded research project Serving our Country: a history of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the defence of Australia. Jackie McDonald was also present at this interview.

The interview recording above is made available to be viewed here by permission of the interviewee(s), Ruth Conlan. The recording may not be copied, reproduced or communicated in whole or in part without the prior permission of the interviewee(s). Requests for permission for use of this material should be made to the Serving our Country research project: our contact details.

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Updated:  16 July 2015/Responsible Officer:  Director, Serving our Country/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team