Stories of service and sacrifice may cause distress.
See this resource list for help.

Wally and Connie Alberts

Gunner Wally Alberts (right) a Gunditjmara man from Lake Condah, Western Victoria, is pictured with his siblings Connie and Angus Alberts. 

Wally served with the 4th Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery during the Second World War. He was captured by the Japanese at Singapore and transferred to Sandakan prisoner of war camp in North Borneo in July 1942. Wally died of malaria at Sandakan in March 1945. 

Connie worked in the Maribyrnong munitions factory during the war manufacturing bullets. She learnt new skills and how to operate machinery in a highly dangerous environment.

You had to dry your hair if your hair was wet... Cordite explodes when it’s wet, if you go in there when you’re wet you might just blow it all up. In the cordite room you see these boxes, big slabs with the bullets in. We had to put the powder in with little weeny scoops. 

Connie Hart (nee Alberts), interview, 1992 

She enjoyed the camaraderie with other women and was sad to leave the job when the war ended and men returned to the workforce. 

Gunner Wally and Connie Alberts 1940–41 
photographer unknown

View the video series In our words, to hear first hand accounts of First Peoples service from the veterans themselves, and their families.

There's more to this story: