Click on the arrow above to listen (In emails: click on the title above)
“Hello, perhaps you’d like to hear a little from my historical drama Under the Water, Under the Wire, and the Men who sank the Sydney.
I’m Grahame Wilson.
Heinrich Timm, unaware that he and his men were now completely on their own, continued south. Keeping about 450 miles away from the Australian coast, he was beyond the range of air patrols, and was able to remain on the surface, making a good speed.
It was early evening the next day as they sliced their way through gentle seas when Timm, for once wearing his uniform, climbed onto the tower. He spent a few minutes scanning the horizon and the sky above then nodded to the watch officer. A number of off-duty officers and men filed up through the after-hatch and lined up.
Timm held a microphone and addressed the crew, both those below and those on deck. “Men, as we continue our patrol, I remind you that today is not only a special day, but there is something special about this part of the ocean. It is the anniversary of a great battle. Exactly three years ago to the day, 19th November, 1941, one of the Kriegsmarine’s auxiliary cruisers, the Kormoran, engaged an Australian light cruiser only a few miles from where we are now. Our men won that battle, the HMAS Sydney was sunk, taking with it the entire crew of 645. The Kormoran was on fire and could not be saved, however, 340 of its crew survived.
“Somewhere below us 55 brave men of the Kriegsmarine lie in peace. Let us remember those men, and may we send more of our enemy’s ships to the bottom on this patrol. As men of the sea, together we share in this dedication.”
At that point, a junior officer, carrying a small wreath, walked through the compartments, the crew following his progress in silence. Timm knew that a few crewmen had relatives and friends on the Kormoran. The young officer made his way out of the rear hatch and walked to the stern. A nod from the captain, and the wreath was released.
Rocking in the gentle swell, it gradually drifted from view”
ABOUT GRAHAME WILSON:
Born in NZ, I began working as a Science teacher in Sydney, before spending most of my working life producing and directing educational films. Initially at London University, then for 20 years at Sydney University, the last 12 years in a wheelchair following a flying accident.
In 1978 I won an ANZAAS scientific film award and in 1981, two International TVA Gold Mobie Awards for educational films.
I was an enthusiastic scuba diver and during a dive in Sydney harbour, came across a strange object which I suspected to be part of a then missing Japanese submarine. My research led me to the story of U-862’s voyage to Australia just as 20 of the Germans who sank the HMAS Sydney tunnelled to freedom.
“In April 2010, I applied for the Reading, Review and Consultation Service. The staff, and in particular my mentor Helen Barnes-Bully, appreciated that a visit to Varuna was near impossible.
After carrying out the full 74,000 word manuscript reading Helen made her comments and suggestions by phone consultations & emails.
I was never really sure about my writing abilities, however Helen was helpful and understanding in many ways, and she gave me the confidence to carry on developing the story.
After many drafts, I engaged Caroline Webber, the director of Green Olive Press and an accredited editor, to carry out a comprehensive edit on the manuscript.
I have since changed the title by adding “…and the Men who Sank the Sydney.” The story now totals 80,000 words.
“A Simpler Approach to TV Production” in the British Audio Visual magazine.
Three technical articles in Australia’s Independent Living.
“Ballooning in Australia” in Australasian Engineer.
“Into the Wide Blue Yonder” in Sydney University’s 2010 alumni magazine.
I have built a large website, ‘Early Hot Air Ballooning in Australia’.
http://www.ozemail.com.au/~p0gwil/ While mainly an aviation resource,it includes a number of my short stories. Many were also in Australian Reader.
“Message to Earthlings” originally in Heckler.(SMH).
“Cunning Running”- Adventure
“Urkburk & Wotbot”-Childrens
“The Cave of Dreams”-Romance
“Marks in the Sand”-Anti-War
“Under the Bridge”-Author’s Experience
Varuna has been funded by the Australia Council to produce a Varuna Writer-a-Day “app”. When we have recorded 365 writers the app will be made available via the iTunes store. In the meantime, if you subscribe to this free blog, you can receive a daily reading delivered to your email inbox which can also be directed to your mobile phone. To find out more about Varuna’s programs, residencies, events and support services for writers click here.
If you would like to be part of Writer-a-Day submit your application via our online form.