Sunday, March 27

RAAF Glee Singers Recording

This is a recording of the RAAF Glee Singers Australia Day concert in London January 1943, which includes my late father shown in the portrait below located third from the right. The concert apparently was received with great enthusiasm as was the many recordings the group performed for the BBC when serving in England as part of the RAAF offensive.

The Group portrait below is of the eight RAAF Glee Party members. Identified from left to right: pianist 416307 Pilot Officer (PO) Hamilton Roland Dacre Budd (pilot) from Broken Hill, NSW (died 1 August 1943 on operations over the Atlantic Ocean); 413150 PO Frank Sutton Walker (observer) from Wellington, NSW; Squadron Leader (Sqn Ldr) Harry Clifford Thrush (chaplain) from Adelaide, South Australia; Sqn Ldr Gordon Gladstone Wood (chaplain) from Wellington, NSW who conducted the choir (died 18 June 1944 in UK); 412396 Sergeant (Sgt) Charles Keith Byrnes (pilot) from Moree, NSW; 401317 Sgt George Claud Notman (observer) from Skipton, Victoria; 408511 PO Donald Zalva Pile (pilot) from Melbourne, Victoria (died 26 October 1943 in Scotland); and 409597 PO Leslie Walter Roper (pilot) from Melbourne (died 4 September 1943 on operations over Germany).

A playlist of 6 songs is below. Enjoy:  


susan said...

It was lovely to listen to the concert, Lindsay, a little eerie too, since of the seven four died during the war and I'm fairly certain the stress of the conflict hurried your father's passing.

When I was young it seemed to me Heaven was taken for granted as a place we'd meet again. It should be such a core intuition that the notion of asking whether it’s real ought to appear ridiculous.

Thanks for posting this.
All best wishes

♥ N o v a said...

I think it is wonderful that the recording has survived all these years. It's a beautiful piece of history. I have this concert playing in the background as I sit in my office and work.

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Susan
Indeed I have always found it a little eerie too. No doubt the idea we'd meet again was in the minds and hearts of those brave souls who lived and died together.

" They will always remain the true friends I was so proud to know", my father recorded in his wartime diaries.

Best wishes

Lindsay Byrnes said...

Hi Nova
I agree it is amazing the old tapes survived in such good shape and I was thrilled to receive the CD made specially for me by the war memorial archivist. Initially she phoned me saying she was very nervous about copying from the original old tapes held in storage for all that time but a few days later in a gush of excitement told me she was delighted with the result.
Pleased to hear you have the concert playing in the background as you sit in your office.
Best wishes

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