I think that you have written before that you were interested in the sidelights I pick up in my racehorse research as to the way life was in the days of World War 2. At present I'm tracking down the deeds of a horse named Industry, a slightly-better-than-average sprinter of the period. It's a more than difficult job to follow his career with the search for "industry" turning up thousands of non-racing references in my search of newspapers records at the National Library Trove site.
This horse turns out to be more interesting for the things that happened to him and around him (like being walked by Harry Plant from Melbourne to Sydney and on to Newcastle). The "nice" story I stumbled across last week is as follows and refers to the race-train from Sydney to Newcastle for the running of the Cameron Handicap on May 27, 1943; the report comes from the Sydney Morning Herald the next Monday.
RACE TRAIN RAIDED
Man-power officers raided the Newcastle express train soon after it left Hornsby on its journey to Newcastle on Saturday, and questioned 217 men in order to check up on absenteeism.
The Deputy Director-General of Manpower, Mr. Bellemore, said last night that any case of absenteeism discovered would be recommended for prosecution.
Thirty-seven passengers who were Without identity cards were directed to report at National Service offices in Sydney or Newcastle to-morrow night.
The raid took place after the train had left Hornsby and was not to stop for quite a period of time, so there was plently of time for the Manpower inspectors to check indentity cards.
"Investigations into the cases of men who were without identity cards, and of other cases, will begin tomorrow," Mr. Bellemore said. "On the result of these will depend the future activities of the men concerned. Officers who took part in the raid reported to me that everybody inter- viewed co-operated and took the raid in good part."
Mr. Bellemore said the fact this the raid was to take place was known, apart from himself, "only to the Railway Department, two newspaper reporters, and one man-power officiai. The consent of the railway authorities to make the raid had to be obtained, and they promised to keep it secret. The police did not know the raid was to be made."
Many Sydney racegoers were on the train to attend the Newcastle meeting, because the Rosehill meeting had been abandoned. These included trainers, jockeys, bookmakers, and bookmakers' clerks.
I guess this was the reverse side of the coin from the free admittance to service in uniform on all racetracks. Note that there were no racehorses on board the train; in those war years any Sydney horse set for a Newcastle race was walked there or travelled by streamer.