When Darwin was bombed in February 1940 and Australia was threatened Ayneslie Steeles a resident of Grange decided to join the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS). Following initial training, she was posted to the Northern Territory (NT) and was stationed in Alice Springs, Adelaide River, and Darwin from November 1942 through to May 1945. During that time she also undertook signals courses in August 1943 and in March 1944.

Ayneslie was a trained singer, and while in the AWAS, she became the lead singer in Wheels Within Wheels, a concert held for service personnel in Alice Springs. Ayneslie sang to 7,000 service men and women each night for 5 nights. She was also the first person to sing on the first radio station in Darwin, 5DR. Ayneslie appreciated serving and being able to do her part when necessary.

She reached the rank of signalwoman and was discharged in February 1946.

Ayneslie Dawson – The War Years, (recorded April 2024)