The idea for this intriguing book was born in the Australian War Memorial in 1993 when Brenda discovered the Second World War diaries of Albert Moore, Salvation Army Welfare Officer to the 2/14th Battalion. Brenda's father 'Jock', became Albert Moore's Batman and together they worked tirelessly for soldiers in the Middle East and on the Kokoda Track.
While caring for her mother Ivy in her old age, Brenda spent many hours recording Ivy's story; from her childhood, through to her days as a Salvation Army Officer in Queensland and on into the early years of her marriage. A treasure of documents came to light and just had to be published.
This book had a humble beginning. Brenda simply longed to understand her own childhood. What started out as a quest to understand herself and her family, blossomed into this stirring memoir. The remarkable story of Ivy and Jock shows how they faced life with all its challenges: poverty, war, illness, tyranny of distance, and won.
However, the prize was not what they expected.
After a childhood and youth in abject poverty in Glasgow, Jock arrived in Melbourne at the age of 18 years. Like so many others, he was in search of a better life. In sunny Australia there was the prospect of work for everyone. His mother hoped her third son would find the right woman, settle down and provide her with grandchildren.
The Great Depression soon had Jock and thousands of others, walking the length of Victoria looking for work. The Second World War offered these hungry men 'the King's shilling' and Jock enlisted as a bandsman in the 2/14th Battalion AIF. He served his adoped country in the Middle East and New Guinea. Despite the tragedy of his wounds, this bandy legged Scotsman kept going for his adopted country. But the ghosts of war would never leave him.
The fifth child of a hard working farming family in Forbes, Australia, Ivy's goal was education. She loved learning, achieving first place in most subjects in high school and she was the first of her family to obtain the Intermediate Certificate.
During the Second World War Ivy served as a Salvation Army Officer in the South Queensland Division where she came face to face with the poverty, loneliness and grief of the women left behind.