Sister Maureen Hummerston remembers life in Sydney during World War II

Sr Maureen Hummerston with a photo of some of her family including her father who served in WWII.
Sr Maureen Hummerston with a photo of some of her family including her father who served in WWII.

Remembrance Day is a sad time of the year for Sister Maureen Hummerston.

Sr Maureen's grandfather was in the Light Horse in WWI and served in the battle of Beersheba. Her father was part of the AIF in WWII.

She witnessed HMAS Kuttabul get blown out of Sydney Harbour by a Japanese midget submarine in 1942, and recalls life in Sydney following the attack.

She moved to Goulburn soon after, became a Sister of Mercy and spent many years at Corowa and Albury.

She's now a resident at Mercy Place Mount St Joseph's, Young.

Sr Maureen was living at Cremorne Point when the Japanese Navy sunk the Kuttabul.

"We had a big stone fence around our place and a lot of people came and sat on the fence to watch it all because we had a good view, but it was a terrible night, I'll never forget. I think it was around my 10th birthday," she said.

"Thinking back, it's all so senseless, and yet such wonderful people made the ultimate sacrifice, many of them."

Sr Maureen recalls life in Sydney following the attack.

"There were trenches in the school playgrounds. If you heard a siren you'd go for your life into a trench to be protected from bombs, fortunately they didn't drop.

"At night time you'd see the search lights, searching for a plane that might be up there. The whole place was on alert, we were all involved in one way or another.

"They didn't tell us much of what was going on, we had no idea that Darwin had been bombed. That all came out later.

"There were restrictions on food. It was all a very serious time."

This Monday, Remembrance Day, she said she'll think and pray.

"There wouldn't be many people who lived through it who'd remember it as a happy occasion. They [my grandfather and father] were both wonderful men, but it's [the war] brought nothing but sorrow for most people," she said.

"Everybody and everything suffered, and it's still going on. What's it proven? What's it solved?"

A Remembrance Day service will be held at Young's Anderson Park at 11am on Monday, November 11.