Olwyn Dodemaide (nee Moore) – Community Interviews 2020

Olwyn Dodemaide (nee Moore) was born in Bacchus Marsh in 1928 and she lived in Lerderderg Street with her mother and sister. She went to State School No 28 and then went onto high school. When the Darley Army Camp was first being built in 1940 she was about 12 years old.

While the Camp was being built locals took in workers as borders … our mother took in two borders, one was called Jimmy McGinty, the other Butch(?)“.

We all had autograph books.   We would stop the soldiers or airmen down the Main St. and ask for their autograph.”

Autograph Book owned by Olwyn Dodemaide (nee Moore)
Autograph Book signed by Australian and American Soldiers – Courtesy of Olwyn Dodemaide Private Collection

Information collected seventy-nine years ago can now be linked to the service record of Australian solider Donald Ian Hamilton Mathieson (VX42954/V21974/V17935) who was a Bootmaker and Saddler born at Nirranda Victoria in 1915. Donald was stationed at Darley Military Camp as a Lance Sergeant when he signed Olwyn’s autograph book and drew the famous slouch hat. He clearly enjoyed her yodelling.

WWII Service and Casualty Form for Donald Ian Hamilton Mathieson
WWII Service and Casualty Form for Donald Ian Hamilton Mathieson – Courtesy of the National Archives of Australia NAA B884, V17935

In the case of the American serviceman, research suggests that he may have been William Leroy Kintner who was born on the 21st MAY 1914 in Harrison, Indiana, USA, and died in Yucaipa, San Bernardino, California, USA on the 27th September 1992. Check out the signature on the following U.S. WWII Draft Card with the one collected by Olwyn all those years ago. The similarities are uncanny.

William Leroy Kintner in the U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947
William Leroy Kintner, U.S. WWII Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947 – Courtesy of Ancestry.com

To read about Olwyn’s amazing recollections of Bacchus Marsh during WWII and her singing group the ‘Younger Set’ check out our Facebook page now.