WW II veteran Peggy Martin shares her memories…

Peggy and the soldiers

Margaret ‘Peggy’ Martin is 98 years old yet her memories of driving troop trucks in the British Army during World War II are clear. She served for three years and attained the rank of Lance Corporal.

Peggy recalls the three-tonner and 1500-weight CWT vehicles loaded with as many soldiers as she could fit into them. She always wanted to drive and even soldiers misbehaving in the back of the truck did not faze her – she just stopped and threw them out. She also revealed that ‘not one night went by without a date’.

Hearing of her service during WWII, wellbeing manager of Maurice Zeffert Home Sharon Cherny organised a visit to Irwin Barracks so that Peggy could look over some of the vehicles used by the 13th Combat Service Support Battalion (13CSSB), the primary logistics unit of WA’s 13th Brigade based at Karrakatta and meet today’s serving soldiers. Accompanied by Sharon, occupational therapist Naz Aspandiar and Peggy’s son Kevin, residents Peggy, Phil, Margaret and Hilly, all of whom had connections with the armed forces, enjoyed morning tea and a tour of the workshop and the opportunity to see some of the modern equipment and speak with personnel.

For the soldiers, hearing Peggy’s exploits and the descriptions of her army career was fascinating, offering an insight into the pivotal role women played in the armed forces during WWII. It also gave them an opportunity to answer Peggy’s insightful questions into how the 13CSSB operates and show off their workshop. 

It was a very special event by the soldiers and received good coverage in the media. You can check the story on the 13th Brigade Facebook page or the Australian Government Defence website at www.defence.gov.au/news-events/news/2024–04–02/ww2-vet-takes-trip-down-memory-lane.

And Peggy’s comment after her visit? “I have had the best day!”