The American War Bride Experience

GI Brides of World War II

Aug. 20, 1944 - Herald America, Syracuse (NY)

Looks Like A Good Country

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Mrs. Rudolph Frey Glad Trip From ‘Down Under' Is Completed

The first war brides from “Down Under” arrived in Syracuse Friday when Mrs. Rudolph Frey of Sidney, Australia stepped from the train into Syracuse’s hottest spell of weather, to be welcomed by her husband’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Rudolf Frey of Buckley Road.

The wife of Petty Officer Frey, who has been overseas with the Navy for four years was frankly bewildered. Her first surprise was the weather, which she had thought would be winter. “It’s winter in Australia,” she said, “at least all the winter we ever have. I wanted to see some snow, which we never have there. What am I going to do with all these clothes?” and she indicated the ample supply of heavy clothes, sweaters hand knit of Australian wool and the wardrobe of her seven-months-old daughter, who was completely clad in knitted clothes.

“My husband should be here any day,” she said hopefully. “He has leave and he told us to come along and he would follow. That’ll be the day;” and the young wife thousands of miles from her home, getting acquainted with a strange family and a strange country, smile joyfully when she spoke of her sailor husband.

Mrs. Frey came from Sidney to San Francisco on a troop transport, with 200 other Australian brides, many causalities, and a few civilians. The trip by sea was tiresome, but the train trip across the country with the baby was the worst, she said. “All I want is a cup of tea and bed,” she said. “It was impossible to sleep on the train, and we are both pretty worn out.” Her mother-in-law chimed in sympathetically on the difficulties of ocean travel with a baby, and related that when she and her husband came to American from Zurich, Switzerland 25 years ago, Rudolf, Jr. was two years old. “She is very tired and it is all very strange,” she said, with a glance at the new daughter holding the beaming baby.

Mrs. Frey met her husband at a dance in Sidney, “only he doesn’t dance,” she said with a smile. “Anyhow, we got acquainted and were married in February, 1943. Our baby was born last Christmas Eve. It all seems quite far away now.”

“You will be surprised when you see Rudolf,” she said to her mother-in-law. “He looked quote boyish then, but now he wears a beard and a mustache. Maybe he will shave them off when he comes home. It is quite a fad in the Army out there.”

Mrs. Frey is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bertram Spedding of Sidney and prior to her marriage was employed as a stenographer.

NOTE: Shirley Rae Frey and daughter Wendy arrived on the Lurline on 12 August 1944

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