Jack Stevens

‘It didn’t sink in for a day or two that it was over, it was finished.’

29 July 2020

Today we remember Jack Stevens, who served with the ‘Mice of Moresby’ in Bougainville. Although most active troops knew the Allies were gaining the upper hand over the Japanese, few expected the sudden ending.

Jack Stevens — It didn’t sink in for a day or two that it was over, it was finished.

Jack Stevens audio file (MP4 23.85 MB)

Jack Stevens 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)

August the 15th marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War. Around one million Australians enlisted to serve from a population of just seven million. Australia remembers Jack Stevens, serving with the ‘Mice of Moresby’ in Bougainville.

Although most active troops knew the Allies were gaining the upper hand over the Japanese, few expected the sudden ending … especially Jack.

Jack Stevens

The way the war was going in the Pacific, you couldn’t see an end for at least 12 months. We were winning, we weren’t losing at that point, not like in New Guinea in the early part, where we couldn’t even see if we were going to win a battle. But at that point we knew that was only a matter of time, because of we had the full weight of the Yanks, and all the supplies and so forth that we’d never had before. But you couldn’t see an early end to it. And it was such a, I suppose a shock. It didn’t sink in for a day or two that it was over, it was finished.

It was rather peculiar, because when we left Greta beginning of ‘42 we had a platoon, and of that platoon there were four of us still in the platoon. We weren’t all killed, some were transferred and gone various ways. The four of us were standing there together at that very instant, so we all shook hands and agreed that we were extremely lucky.

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.