Letters to the Editor


Sir,- Late last week we viewed the original television interview conducted by an ABC Reporter and Bob Liddle, which refers to the Liddle family, and how members of the family defied service bans to defend Darwin during the Second World War.
Of particular concern are the claims made by Bob Liddle during the course of the interview, about our father Corporal Harold Liddle, who served our country with distinction during this encounter against the Japanese.
In the first instance, he makes serious claims about the treatment our father is alleged to have committed towards an opponent in the field of battle.
Secondly he refers to events that transpired which prevented our father from achieving a promotion to Sergeant, whilst allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
We are unsure of what Bob Liddle’s motives are or were, for making these extraordinary claims but we believe they are disrespectful, irresponsible, insensitive, and lacking thoughtful consideration.
We are perplexed by Bob Liddle’s comments, particularly as he has never been an enlisted member of the armed forces. To discuss battlefield conflicts is rare and disrespectful and is seldom practiced by our returning service men and women.
Our father never sought to glorify or sensationalise his contribution to the war effort. He was a highly respectable soldier who rose through the ranks to become a Corporal and served his country, and represented his family and people with distinction.
Friends and family who knew dad well would vouch that he was a man of honour, highly disciplined, with excellent leadership qualities and a good all round bloke and friend to many. To his 12 children and several grandchildren, he was our father and grandfather, and a fine gentleman who did his family and his country proud.
Bob Liddle is not authorised to speak, or represent the views of the family of Harold Liddle, nor did he have the courtesy or decency to seek permission to do so prior to the television interview.
Family of Emily and Harold Liddle
A member of my family and his wife were recently travelling from Coober Pedy to Uluru. They came upon a vehicle that had rolled with a Sri Lankan family of eight occupants.
The senior male – father? – was deceased. The senior lady – mother? – was unconscious, the younger occupants were severely shocked and had various injuries.
My family comforted the survivors until help arrived and have asked us to help trace the younger people as they were from Victoria as my family are.
My family are still travelling extensively, Alice, Mitchell, Bali, Broome, Kalgoorlie, Mildura then home to Melbourne, and shall not be able to enquire as to where and the condition of the those that they became so close to for a short and critical time.
I would appreciate any news that you may have of this incident as we would like to offer any assistance to the unfortunate family.
William Cecil. 03 8848 1445, 0407 804788.


  1. I stand by the my comments as they were based on discussions over the years with ex diggers, H. Liddle, M. Liddle, R. Dubois, M. Conway and others.
    I wont be dishing the dirt with family members. It is puerile, vacuous and nasty.
    Bob Liddle, OAM


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