Thursday 4 May 2023

The End of an Era

As the fog of the Covid pandemic has lifted, we have been discovering things we missed, just before or during the worst of Covid times. One of these, was the passing of Thomas Joseph Dreha, the last of the Dreadnought Boys. (See story posted 26 March 2017).

                                                                        Tom Dreha (2011)

Tom Dreha and his wife Eileen were in aged care, when Eileen passed away in 2018. With the winding up of the Dreadnought Association, we missed hearing of Tom's death on 11th September 2019, a few days after turning 97 years of age. Tom was buried at Rouse Hill NSW, just a few kilometres from where he began his life in Australia, over 80 years earlier. A few months later, Covid spread across the world.

The passing of Tom Dreha marks the end of an era. The Dreadnought Youth Migration Scheme has finally run its course; the era of pre-World War 2 youth migration is complete.

Yet, for the 7,500 Dreadnought Boys brought to Australia under the Scheme, relatively few of their stories have been told. There is more to do.

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