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By Ann Baldwin
13 October 2008

British Army School

I can't remember much about the building only it was a big old place. No-one seems to have a photo. I spoke to my mother and she things it was off Peele Street (?). I do however, remember going to school on an old yellow bus, it would stop on the way at a Chinese store and we would buy lollies.

I was driven home from school with my friend Victoria WHITE whose father was in the Australian Army. Lessons were formal. We sat at desks with inkwells and pens. Writing was formal - big trouble if you made too many blots. English lessons included elocution, grammar and reading. If you were out shopping and any of the teachers were around they would correct you.

Arithmetic was advanced. We had to do our times-tables, adding and subtraction although only in grade 2.

Transfer to RAAF School Penang

School was in the Mayor's house, a beautiful old building with a lovely big green lawn. We played here. The uniform was a white dress with a map of Australia with a kangaroo. We had flavoured powdered milk: chocolate or strawberry. It was a shock to the system when I was given a lead pencil. Hold to print, also the arithmetic was only adding up and take-away. I became very bored.

School was only half a day because it was too hot. In the afternoons we would go swimming, ballet classes, Brownies or play with our pet white rabbits or baby ducklings.

We did not have radio, tennis courts etc.

I spoke to my mother who related that when we went to Malaya it was Qantas to Singapore, then local plane to Penang, picked up in a ute and taken to supposed accommodation which was a hotel. It was only after a lot of negotation that we moved to our first place which happened to be substandard and I got pneumonia and ended up in the local general hospital.

(When we docked in Indonesia because there was a conflict with the Dutch, we were boarded by the Indian army, eventually sailed away to experience more trauma when the the ship nearly sunk in Australian Bight because of storms and limped its way to port with many casualities.)

We then moved to the two-storey house on the hill.

Also: Someone might remember a cheeky little girl when told by the RAAF bus driver to sit down, told him her dad was in charge of the bus and she could do what she wanted. This got back to dad. I was marched up to front the driver and told to apologise! I will never forget this and I'm sure the bus driver didn't. I learnt my lesson.


Walkden children

The Walkden children on first arriving.

First house

First house

Second House

Second house

Scouts and Cubs

Cubs and Scouts

Picking orchids

Ann picking Orchids on the deck of the Oranje before setting sail for home.



Ann Walkden

Leaving for home

Leaving for home

Mr and Mrs Walkden New Year's Eve Party New Year's Eve Party Does anyone know these people?
New Year's Eve Party (above)
Passenger List Cover Passenger List Inside Cvr Oranje news article Oranje news article p2
Map Map