The Author

Julie Bayl was born in 1950 in Sydney, Australia, the second child of Bruce and Betty Judd. Both her parents’ families came from farming backgrounds, having properties in Victoria and New South Wales.

Circumstances after World War II led to her family settling outside Parramatta, where she and her siblings grew up. She has always had an intense interest in history.

In 1971 she married Charles Bayl (originally spelt Bijl) whose family had emigrated from The Netherlands in 1953 seeking a better life. They settled at Marmong Point on beautiful Lake Macquarie, north of Sydney.
After her marriage, Julie also lived there for three years until she and Charles moved to Cowra in Central New South Wales in 1974 and later had three children, Anita, Paul and David. They now have two delightful grandsons, Lennon and Banjo.

Soon after her marriage to Charles, her mother-in-law, Marlene (Em) shared with her stories of their family’s experiences during World War II, which really intrigued Julie. Sadly Ben, Em’s husband died just eighteen months after Julie’s marriage.

Em expressed pleasure in Julie’s suggestion that she would like to write their story. After many long conversations, note-taking and much research, Julie began to pen their exciting and heart-warming story – a story that needs to be told, not simply as an historical record but as an inspiring true story of courage, resilience and ingenuity.

Focus on Survival

Focus on Survival