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Watch In Their Footsteps online: Episode 9 Les Semken Darwin, WWII

When the Japanese bombed Darwin on February 19, 1942, the damage was devastating and the silence deafening. News of the attack was limited and most Australians were oblivious to the devastation on our own shores. Not that Les Semken needed a newsreel to know what happened; he saw it all unfold first hand. As a civilian contractor working at Darwin aerodrome when the bombs fell, Les was so incensed he enlisted into the Army the very next day. This was a major turnaround for him. Until now, Les had no interest in joining up. The war had suddenly become very personal. Nearly 70 years later, his granddaughter Kathryn is also on a very personal mission - to learn about the war that came to her grandfather and to Australias shores. Kathryn knows that at 90, Les wont be around much longer to tell her the story himself about that moment in time, which changed his life and shaped the fate of his family. This is a tender tale about a 25-yearold woman, taking time out from her busy life to learn the lessons of an elder; to understand about the historic moments that shaped her grandfather at much the same age. It is a story about the wisdom of elders and the galvanising experiences of our youth.

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