The Story of a Valorous War-Widow



The Story of a Valorous War-Widow


It was the Australian country town of Muttaburra where young Barbara first arrived as a bride.

When she departed from her ancestral English town of Sussex, there was no time for goodbyes. Hers was a sudden nuptial with an Australian digger Richard, who was boarding the next fleet heading back Down-Under.

Young Richie was based in a colony within a remote Aboriginal village. He was enthralled to have a lovely wife, for she so brightened up his drab life.  But the couple couldn’t get to live with each other for long.

When the World War started, there was a call to join RAAF forces heading towards Gallipoli. Richard volunteered without a second thought.  All by herself, Barbara bade him good-bye as the steam-train puffed into oblivion.

That was the last she saw of Richie.  While she cried tears of self-pity, she didn’t go back to England. She wanted to wait for him in Australia.

Years rolled by. She stayed in Muttaburra, whose Aboriginal language and culture she was completely alien to.

More recently, the 90 year old Barbara was awarded an Order-of-Australia medal.  All major national newspapers highlighted her life-long services towards the care and education of the poor natives all over Australia.

Looking at the pictures of this prim and serious lady, no one can imagine she once was a very sloppy girl who hated books, served in a tavern and wanted to be a ballet-dancer.

 © 2015 Alka Girdhar

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That was my short story for Flash Fiction For Aspiring Writers (FFfAW)  where based on a photo prompt provided, we write a fiction of around 175 words.

This week’s photo prompt was provided by Louise from “The Storyteller’s Abode.

RAAF stands for Royal Australian Air Force


I’ll also share this hit song by ‘Men at Work’ about land Down Under, that is Australia.

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Thanks for reading! Do feel free to share your views via your comments.

14 thoughts on “The Story of a Valorous War-Widow

  1. That is so sad that her love never returned but at least she turned the time into doing good for others. Very admirable! Great story and well done, thank you for participating in Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers Challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joy! Time played up but she took it in her stride. Moreover, little decisions mattered and it became her fate if not her calling. Some people are not meant to love only one person.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Poor woman, left a widow in a strange land in the midst of an alien culture. At least she lived a meaningful life. An interesting response to the prompt. 🙂 I like your final paragraph – even if it does fall outside the word limit!


    • Actually, not really his fault as men like to be heroic and respond to the call of their nation. People sacrifice so much due to wars, that those left behind have to re-define their lives.
      I mentioned the last paragraph as I’ll include it if I rewrite a larger version.
      Thanks for your insight 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is a lovely story about perseverance and determination. Despite the sad loss of her husband in a war that claimed so many lives, Barbara not only made a life for herself, but worked for the good of others. Inspiring and heartwarming.

    Liked by 1 person

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