Kathleen (Kath) NULTY

NULTY, Kathleen

Service Number: SF84385
Enlisted: 12 January 1943, Wayville, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: Searchlight Batteries
Born: Hamilton, Victoria, 29 March 1921
Home Town: Mount Gambier, Mount Gambier, South Australia
Schooling: Marist Brothers Convent
Occupation: Seamstress
Died: Natural causes, Mount Gambier, South Australia, date not yet discovered
Cemetery: Carinya Gardens Cemetery and Crematorium, Mt Gambier, SA
Memorials:
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World War 2 Service

12 Jan 1943: Enlisted Private, SN SF84385, Army Training Units, Wayville, South Australia
13 Jan 1943: Involvement Private, SN SF84385, Homeland Defence - Militia and non deployed forces
5 Nov 1945: Discharged Private, SN SF84385, Searchlight Batteries, 55 AA Searchlight Battery

My mum

Kath Newton (nee Nulty) was my mum, she had a challenging childhood being brought up in a single parent household then orphaned at 13 yrs of age. After leaving school early she lived with here brother & sisters and found employment in a tea room. WW2 presented an opportunity to do her bit and it also opened her eyes to a world outside Mount Gambier.
After enlisting with her younger sister Josie and doing her basic training in the AWAS in and around the east parklands of Adelaide (and later Glenelg) she and her mates were trained enroute to Perth to operate in the 55 Searchlight Battery - shining bright lights into the sky to spot enemy planes for the anti aircraft gunners.
Mum was both a searchlight operator and signaller. She also did her bit doing guard duty with the 303 rifle and 3 rounds in the magazine. There is an attached article about a story when they were called to action and they all believed they were about to be bombed by the Japanese.
Mum discharged in Nov 1945 & less than 2 weeks later married her bow Jack - they lived in Moutn Gambier region and had 5 sons. Jack was an avid member of the RSL and Kath joined the Legion of Exservicemen & Women initially then the RSL Auxillary. Kath was recognised as a Life Member of both organisations.
Mum was on the planning committee for the WW2 Womens Memorial plaque on the Torrens Parade Ground gardens adjacent in the SW corner adjacent King William Road.
Kath was extremely proud of her WW2 service, she wore her medals with pride and servced diligently for the Legion, the Auxillary and the Mount Gambier RSL for many years.

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Recollections from Kath

Kathleen Newton (nee Nulty), daughter of;
Sussanna Josephine and
Matthew John Nulty.

Born 29 March 1921 at Hamilton Victoria

Married on 14 November 1945 to Jack Newton

I last saw my father Matthew Nulty when I was aged about 3 ½ years old, he was a railway fettler who travelled a lot. I never knew my mothers parents but I well remember my Uncle’s Owen, James and William; and my Aunts Johanna, Anne, Nora and Bridget.

My mother moved us to Mount Gambier when I was about 3 ½ years of age along with my sisters Mary, Eileen, Josie and brother Matthew. We moved into the home of Lance Sims who was engaged to my sister Mary at the time, and we stayed there until they were married.

We were very lucky to have a home at this time in the early 1920’s as we used to live in a railway cottage in Victoria. Lance had a small acreage with a cow, a lovely vegie garden and a lot of fruit trees. Mother started dress making and with this income we managed to get by.

The older members of the family eventually got employment, so there was only my younger sister Josie and myself to look after at home. When Mary and Lance were about to marry Auntie Johanna came over for the wedding, she then decided to purchase a home in Crouch Street, Mt Gambier, and asked mother and the rest of us to move in with her. Auntie was a wonderful person who kept house and helped mother with the sewing when needed.

Mother did all the sewing for sisters Mary and Nora’s weddings and both Sue and Eileen were there bridesmaids.

My sister Eileen, met and married Edward Winterfield and moved to a farm about eighteen miles away. By this time my older sister Nora had died after her second child was born – she lost the first baby girl. Nora’s husband Allan died by accident a few weeks after Nora and mother was given custody of baby Mary who she intended to raise as her own – she was seven years younger than me.

Mother got ill when I was 10 and I learned to use the sewing machine so I could help and she could continue to sew when got better. Mother died in 1934 when I was 13 years old, I left school a few weeks later and went down to Eileen and Eddy on the farm. Eddy went out to work and I helped look after the 2 children, milked the cows with Eileen and also did the garden. I stayed there for 2 ½ years and eventually had to go to work as there were 2 more children and money was hard to get in those days.


Meanwhile, Matt had married but he still helped Sue with keeping sister Josie and niece Mary. When Josie left school she got a job looking after a little girl, and Sue got married herself. I have always been grateful for what my auntie, brother and sister did for us when mother died. I don’t know what we would have done without their help, but we were very lucky to have a wonderful Aunt and family. Later Auntie sold the home and moved back home to look after our uncles.

School days were spent at the convent. I was in grade 7 when I left, I managed to top the class a few times. I joined the church young members club and helped run the fortnightly dances. I had a lot of friends and kept them through my teens, we all loved dancing and going to the pictures depending on how full our purse was.

I lived and worked at the Gambier Hotel for a couple of years and then went to work in a bakery shop and tea rooms. When Sue’s husband joined the Army and went to New Guinea I went to live with her and her 2 children to keep her company.

In 1942 war news got worse. Josie and myself decided to join the AWAS – Australian Women’s Army Service. Josie was posted to signals in 1942 and worked a telephone switch board. As Eileen was pregnant, I was held back to help look after her 5 children or 5 weeks, I then put my papers in during November and received my call up on Jan 12th 1943. After 6 weeks rookie training I was sent with 14 other girls to a searchlight battery to learn to use the generator and light to pick up aircraft and follow them.

Eventually we were sent to Western Australia by troop train and there my job was plotting and following the path o planes and reporting to the Battery Operations room. This was done at night and we were lectured during the day. We girls all felt important as we also learnt to pick up lost or damaged craft and to lead them to their home base.

Jack and I both got our discharge from the Army on 5th November 1945, he was in the 9th Div Cav Regiment and served in the Middle East and Borneo for 5 years. We were married on the 14th November and had 5 sons. We lived on a small farm at Mount Schank and Jack worked on a cattle and sheep property where he remained til he died in 1978.

We were both on the committee of the Mount Schank Hall which held card evenings, shows, dances and Xmas, birthday farewell parties. Jack was secretary of the bowls team and we both played and won some trophies and I am still a life member. In 1974, I got the local Ex Servicewomen together and formed a club and was secretary, treasurer and president. I also joined the RSL, the RSL Ladies Auxiliary, Royal District Nursing Society and the Legion of Ex Servicemen and women.

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Showing 2 of 2 stories

Biography contributed by Leigh Newton

Kathleen Newton (nee Nulty), daughter of;

Sussanna Josephine and

Matthew John Nulty.

Born 29 March 1921 at Hamilton Victoria

 Married on 14 November 1945 to Jack Newton

 I last saw my father Matthew Nulty when I was aged about 3 ½ years old, he was a railway fettler who travelled a lot. I never knew my mothers parents but I well remember my Uncle’s Owen, James and William; and my Aunts Johanna, Anne, Nora and Bridget.

 My mother moved us to Mount Gambier when I was about 3 ½ years of age along with my sisters Mary, Eileen, Josie and brother Matthew. We moved into the home of Lance Sims who was engaged to my sister Mary at the time, and we stayed there until they were married.

We were very lucky to have a home at this time in the early 1920’s as we used to live in a railway cottage in Victoria. Lance had a small acreage with a cow, a lovely vegie garden and a lot of fruit trees. Mother started dress making and with this income we managed to get by.

 The older members of the family eventually got employment, so there was only my younger sister Josie and myself to look after at home. When Mary and Lance were about to marry Auntie Johanna came over for the wedding, she then decided to purchase a home in Crouch Street, Mt Gambier, and asked mother and the rest of us to move in with her. Auntie was a wonderful person who kept house and helped mother with the sewing when needed.

 Mother did all the sewing for sisters Mary and Nora’s weddings and both Sue and Eileen were there bridesmaids.

My sister Eileen, met and married Edward Winterfield and moved to a farm about eighteen miles away. By this time my older sister Nora had died after her second child was born – she lost the first baby girl. Nora’s husband Allan died by accident a few weeks after Nora and mother was given custody of baby Mary who she intended to raise as her own – she was seven years younger than me.

Mother got ill when I was 10 and I learned to use the sewing machine so I could help and she could continue to sew when got better. Mother died in 1934 when I was 13 years old, I left school a few weeks later and went down to Eileen and Eddy on the farm. Eddy went out to work and I helped look after the 2 children, milked the cows with Eileen and also did the garden. I stayed there for 2 ½ years and eventually had to go to work as there were 2 more children and money was hard to get in those days.

 Meanwhile, Matt had married but he still helped Sue with keeping sister Josie and niece Mary. When Josie left school she got a job looking after a little girl, and Sue got married herself. I have always been grateful for what my auntie, brother and sister did for us when mother died. I don’t know what we would have done without their help, but we were very lucky to have a wonderful Aunt and family. Later Auntie sold the home and moved back home to look after our uncles.

School days were spent at the convent. I was in grade 7 when I left, I managed to top the class a few times. I joined the church young members club and helped run the fortnightly dances. I had a lot of friends and kept them through my teens, we all loved dancing and going to the pictures depending on how full our purse was.

I lived and worked at the Gambier Hotel for a couple of years and then went to work in a bakery shop and tea rooms. When Sue’s husband joined the Army and went to New Guinea I went to live with her and her 2 children to keep her company.

In 1942 war news got worse. Josie and myself decided to join the AWAS – Australian Women’s Army Service. Josie was posted to signals in 1942 and worked a telephone switch board. As Eileen was pregnant, I was held back to help look after her 5 children or 5 weeks, I then put my papers in during November and received my call up on Jan 12th 1943. After 6 weeks rookie training I was sent with 14 other girls to a searchlight battery to learn to use the generator and light to pick up aircraft and follow them.

Read more...