HAFS Journal Vol 15 No 3 – May 2020 – From circus life to Vietnam


Editorial, Charles Sherlock;

Dr Arndell Neil Lewis: Lawyer, Geologist, Politician, Academic and Author, by Brett Harvey;

Our circus cousins: the St Leon family, by Lesley Abrahams;

Field operations in Vietnam 1967-68, by John (Jack) Hungerford

Duty as “Saigon Guard”, by John (Jack) Hungerford.


Events of the past linger long in the memory, often being re-interpreted as years go on. John (Jack) Hungerford [B.3a.4b.1c] has written of his Vietnam experiences previously in our Journals and in this issue adds two more accounts of his 1967-1968 Tour.

As with John’s earlier writing, these two articles make interesting and telling reading, not least for his reflections on the way memory works – or does not! As well as words, John has provided a wide range of photographs, some from his own camera, some from the Australian War Museum that relate directly to the soldiers he served with.

Circus life is about as far distant from military conflict as can be imagined! The St Leon family circus pioneered this form of entertainment in Australia, which research by HAFS President, Lesley Abrahams [H.4a.1b.1c.1d/E.6.5a.1b.1c.1d)], shows has Hungerford links.

As well as these – aided by a superb chart of how the Hungerford and St Leon descendants interact – Lesley’s write-up tells a truly interesting tale of one family’s life and heritage. As she acknowledges, this owes much to the academic research of a present-day St Leon descendant, Mark Valentine St Leon.

Brett Harvey [E.1.1a.15b.1c.1d.1e=] picks up another strand in the HAFS tradition, the life of a particular person. In this case it is Dr Arndell Neil Lewis [E.6.10a.1b=], a Tasmanian and a “lawyer, geologist, politician, academic and author”, as Brett summarises his long and active career. In 2009, HAFS earlier published a book of his wife’s experiences covering the period 1898-1943: AMY – A Mosaic of the Recollections of Amy Stewart Lewis (née Hungerford), ISBN 9790980676402, which remains available.

Enjoy reading this varied collection. You would not be doing so without a lot of research leading to words by our writers, who keep on keeping on! Their words may lead you to reflect on your own recollections and memories, how you find yourself entertained, and perhaps one or two people whose lives have contributed to and even shaped your own.

And if these articles inspire you to tell a story of your own, or to follow up on something that provoked your curiosity, don’t hesitate to contact the Society: the easiest way is via the website, hafssandbox1.wordifysites.com.

Charles Sherlock AM


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