Hilda Margaret Allen Born 1919 Wagga Wagga Hilda was one of seven children, the middle child and only girl, she saw all six of her brothers go to war. Hilda recounted to me the vivid memory of returning from church to find her mother Hazel, an otherwise staunch woman, weeping at the news that war had been declared on Germany; "she had not raised her children to be gun fodder". All of Hilda's brothers thankfully did return from war but tragically she lost both her parents at a young age, which Hilda considers the greatest sadness of her life. She was only 24 years old when her father died from a heart attack, and 27 when her mother succumbed to a brain tumour. Hilda's childhood was a happy one and the time before the war, the 1930s and memories of dances, are amongst her fondest. Hilda married in 1944 in Penguin, a small town on the north-west coast of Tasmania, and went on to have two children. I spoke with her daughter Anne just recently and was pleased to learn that Hilda is still well. When taking Hilda's portrait I was overcome with sadness; how would I have coped with the truly tough times she had experienced? But Hilda believes in finding the silver lining to every situation, in saying grace, and that family (not just your own) is of the utmost importance. I gained so much from my short time with Hilda.
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