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From secretary to WWII predictor operator

Cynthia was a Predictor Operator in the Army

Determined to make her own contribution during World War II, Bolton Clarke Fairview aged care resident Cynthia put her career aside to join the forces.

Cynthia, who was living at Fremantle in Western Australia at the time, said she knew she wanted to help as she watched war break out across the globe.

“Seeing as everyone was joining the Army, my girlfriend and I joined up as well and I’ve never regretted it,” Cynthia said.

“I did six weeks of rookie school in the Army and when I finished, they looked at my credentials to see what I could do.

“I was a secretary in an advertising firm so they thought it would be great because they needed more girls in the office. But if I was going to join the Army, I wasn’t going to be in an office!” she said.

The next thing Cynthia knew, she was placed in the anti-aircraft unit learning to be become a Predictor Operator.

“We used to predict what had to go into the 3.7 heavy anti-aircraft guns so the gun officer knew when it was right to shoot.

“When the guns went off, the noise was something we had never heard before – it was absolutely dreadful and we didn’t have earmuffs in those days.”  

Cynthia said she thoroughly enjoyed her time in the services and would do it all over again if she had the chance.

“Once the war ended in 1945, we got on a train across the Nullarbor to Melbourne and I finished up typing the discharge letters.

“I think it made you a better person because I suppose we never thought about our mothers’ washing and ironing for us.

“When you’re in the Army, you have to do it all yourself – I learnt how to make my bed and shine my shoes,” she said.

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