As 1940 starts and the “Phoney War” ends, Australian RAF Bomber Command pilot Jim Brough flies ever-more dangerous missions against the Nazis and faces death again and again — wondering how long it’ll be before his number is up and whether a fortune teller’s prediction will come true.

Jim carried this silk map on missions — it was his escape route from France if he should survive being shot down and bailing out.
Jim flew with Ferry Command, one of the least-known
but most-vital missions in World War II.
The wreckage from Jim’s Wellington bomber in February 1940.

Born in Perth and raised in Hobart, James Brough joined the RAAF as a cadet in 1936. The following year, he enlisted in the RAF, serving with the 99 Squadron in Bomber Command, which put him on the sharp end when World War II started in September 1939. He would be among the first to fight — and face the fury of the Luftwaffe. For part two, click here

Jim Brough flew a Vickers Wellington against German targets early in the war.
Jim Brough — front row, fourth from the leftwith other officers of 99 Squadron.
Wellingtons in flight.
Jim as a Point Cook cadet in 1936.
Jim and fellow cadets. The life expectancy of those who went to the RAF
was short after the war started in 1939.
This special issue highlighted the work done by Jim and other pilots.

From making pioneering bushranger films and launching the careers of Australia’s most famous early stars to a bitter business betrayal and a bloody murder in the remote wilderness, the conclusion to movie mogul Cosens Spencer’s story is like something from the silver screen. But it’s all true.

Cosens Spencer
Mary Stuart Cosens — aka Senora Spencer — alongside her husband.
The Senora at work.
Lottie Lyell, our first film star, given her first movie role by Spencer.
The Romantic Story of Margaret Catchpole: made in 1911, this 26 minutes of footage is all that remains of Spencer’s prodigious feature film career.
Lottie Lyell as lady convict Margaret Catchpole.
An early Kinemacolor film frame — this was the first colour film process,
introduced to Australia by Spencer in 1913.
Also in 1913: Spencer introduced Edison’s Kinetophone sound pictures.
Another of Spencer’s surviving films: a record of the 1913 naming
of Canberra as Australia’s future capital city.
Australia Calls was Spencer’s 1913 racist anti-invasion Asian-scare film.
The biggest set piece of Australia Calls was “The Burning Of Sydney”, achieved
via model work and trick photography.
Views of Spencer’s Rushcutters Bay studio after it had been rebranded by The Combine.