10:10pm – Sunday, April 24 on ABC1
Anzac Day is a time to commemorate the men and women who fought and died; the battles won and lost. But there’s another story rarely told, about the women who waited at home, and were left bereft and alone. Around 100, 000 Australian women are classified as ‘war widows’. Many lost their husbands in wartime; others in war-related circumstances afterwards.
This program follows the stories of four women whose husbands fought in different conflicts – World War Two, Korea, Vietnam, the first Gulf War and Afghanistan. Although from different eras, their stories of anguish and loss transcend time and place.
How they coped – then and now; how they were supported and where they turned to in their anguish and loss will all be explored in this poignant story to screen on the eve of Anzac Day.
Victoria Hopkins is Australia’s youngest war widow at just 24. Her husband Mathew was killed in Afghanistan in 2009. Her grief is raw and ever present; “There is no way that you can turn those feelings of grief off, there is no switch there.” Olywn Green is 87 and has been a widow for over 60 years. Her husband Charlie was killed in Korea in 1950. She coped by withdrawing into herself; “When Charlie died, I completely shut down. It was all I could do to cope with the next day.” Other widows like Lisa Cooper and Meg Green had husbands who were casualties of war in a different way. Their husbands returned home but were deeply traumatised by their war time service.