World War II 75th anniversary: how newspapers reported war's end

Read all about it: how papers reported war's end

Back in August 1945 newspapers' role in the Australian psyche was far different than today.

The new of Japan's surrender was pored over, consumed endlessly as life changed in an instant.

Radio, more likely referred to as the wireless, also played a significant role. Australian Prime Minister of the day, Ben Chifley, addressed the nation at 9.30am:

"The war is over," the PM began.

"The Japanese Government has accepted the terms of surrender imposed by the Allied nations. Hostilities will now cease. The reply by the Japanese Government to the United Nations, Britain, the United States, UUSR and China has been received and accepted."


Check out how some of the metro papers recorded the moment.

The Maitland Mercury, in the NSW Hunter region, had been up and running for more than 100 years and was already entrenched in its community.

Here's how the Mercury, one of Australia's oldest regional newspapers reported the news:

You can read more about those front pages right here.

Port Macquarie, a penal settlement built by convicts and overseen by military officers of the 48th Regiment, has a long and deep association with all things historical.

Here's how the Port Macquarie News of the day reported:

"Speedily after receipt of Japan's surrender, business houses closed for the two days' gazetted holidays.

"Cars and lorries, with flags flying, thronged with happy individuals, toured round the town, letting loose in joyous pleasure and pent-up feelings of almost six years of war."

That's how the Port Macquarie News reported the announcement that "Japan had capitulated on 15th inst.,(ant) and the cease fire in the Pacific was ordered by the allies at 9.15am that day."

In Taree, just south, the news came via the motherland - well, the Manning River Times said it was British PM Clement Attlee who was first heard on the radio at 9am. This is from the records

At the primary school Mr H B Lloyd-Owen (headmaster) had the children assembled in a hollow square on the playground and the school loud speaker was brought out so that they might hear the speech of the Prime Minister of Australia (Mr J B Chifley) announce the triumph. After that they were dismissed until next Monday morning. There was a somewhat similar procedure at the high school, where Mr F J Gallagher (principal) had charge of proceedings. There, too, the students were allowed a holiday for the remainder of the week.

This story Read all about it: how papers reported war's end first appeared on Port Macquarie News.