Fred Daly

‘His popularity and his contribution to Australia were such that his passing was almost like a major defeat in the war.’

16 July 2020

Today we remember John Curtin, our wartime Prime Minister, who passed away just a month before War’s end. Fred Daly, who was a Member of Parliament under Curtin from 1943-1945, recalls his fond memories about John Curtin.

Fred Daly — His popularity and his contribution to Australia were such that his passing was almost like a major defeat in the war.

Fred Daly audio file (MP4 23.95 MB)

Fred Daly audio script

75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War

Audio actuality

“Fellow Citizens, the War is over” — (The Hon J B Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia)

Australia remembers John Curtin, our wartime Prime Minister, who passed away just a month before war’s end.

He’d been a strength and comfort to all Australians and showed true leadership in difficult times. Fred Daly, who was an MP under Curtin from ‘43 to ‘45, had some fine memories.

Fred Daly

His popularity, and his contribution to Australia were such that his passing was almost like a major defeat in the war. His support for the people was immense. It’s hard to visualise how great was the feeling, not so much of dismay, but of loss for the Australian people. Curtin’s great ability was his sincerity and honesty and integrity. And that stood out like a beacon. And he was able to impress that on the Australian people because of his magnificent oratory, which was sincere and effective.

He set an example of sacrifice. I’ve seen him come into the Caucus when he was under attack and say, “It’s all right for you fellows, but I haven’t slept for a week. There’s about eight or ten thousand men on the water and they’ve got no protection.

Saturday, August 15 marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War. Let’s pay our respects to that amazing generation of Australians.