One In A Million

Last updated: 
2 August 2020

#OneInAMillion

Wall of Respect

Almost one million Australians served during the Second World War, this makes each of their stories one in a million. Each memory from the largest global conflict of the 20th century is as unique as it is remarkable. In the lead up to the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Australians are encouraged to capture and share the stories of the nation’s Second World War veterans by holding an image of a relative, taking a picture and sharing it to social media using the hashtag #OneInAMillion.

A young, blonde boy dressed in a blue button-up, long-sleeve shirt and some decorative medals pinned to the left of his chest. He is holding an old, black-and-white photograph and medals of a veteran. There is a green garden hedge a tree trunk behind him. Accompanying the photograph are the words ‘Wall of Respect’ and the hashtag of: ‘# One In A Million’.

Join the Australian community in remembering this amazing generation.

Hearing their stories

Captures the compelling stories of eight Australians who served during the Second World War. Watch these animated videos to hear first-hand accounts of their war-time experiences.

Edith Edwards (née Cox).

Edith Edwards (née Cox)

Edith’s brother was taken prisoner of war (POW), her family feared the worst for Jimmy, but her father remained hopeful until the day he passed away.

Edith Edwards - One In A Million video transcript 

Smoky Dawson.

Smoky Dawson

Australian icon, Smoky Dawson, thought he’d never see his wife, Dot, again. He shares the moment of their final goodbye as he left for war.

Smoky Dawson - One In A Million video transcript

Sir Roden Cutler.

Sir Roden Cutler

The war was over and Australian streets were filled. Roden Cutler remembers the antics of the celebrations.

Sir Roden Cutler VC - One In A Million video transcript

Vivian Bullwinkel.

Vivian Bullwinkel

The boat she was on was attacked and sunk. Vivian and 21 nurses were able to make it to Bangka Island. They thought the Japanese would take them prisoners of war, but all except Vivian met a harrowing end.

Vivian Bullwinkel - One In A Million video transcript

Sir William Keys.

Sir William Keys

It was in Finschhafen, New Guinea that Sir William felt the full impact of active service.

Sir William Keys - One In A Million video transcript

Keith Roberts.

Keith Roberts

On board HMAS Australia, Keith remembers the heart-breaking moments after being attacked by the Japanese Kamikazes.

Keith Roberts - One In A Million video transcript

Father John Rogers.

Father John Rogers

The war was over, but some were still missing. After being stopped in the street by a woman searching for her brothers, Father Rogers recalls delivering some upsetting news.

Father John Brendan Rogers - One In A Million video transcript

Harry Nesbitt.

Harry Nesbitt

Taken out of hospital and hardly able to walk, Harry was sent to work in labour camps while he was a prisoner of war.

Harry Nesbitt - One In A Million video transcript

75 days, 75 stories

Radio stations across the country will be sharing a series of stories told by those who lived through the Second World War. These stories have also been featured daily, from 2 June up until 15 August, on Minister Chester’s and the Commemorations and War Graves Australia social media pages.

To listen to these stories, visit 75 days, 75 stories.