Too young to enlist at the outbreak of World War II, Gavin joined the Civilian Military Forces. Later he volunteered for the AIF and for the greater part of the war was based in Geraldton and other parts of Western Australia. Interestingly his brother, Dr John McGlashan was also at Geraldton, and the index photograph shows the brothers with Bill Bolger, John's "batman". [Officers enjoyed certain perks, and were entitled to be attended upon. On numerous occasions, Gavin borrowed John's uniform to enjoy the facilities of the Officers' Mess].
Later Gavin's company was sent to the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland for jungle training. Alan Dodd, my husbands father, was also posted to Queensland before being posted to New Guinea. Both met and later married girls from Brisbane, so had it not been for World War II, my husband and I would not have been born!
In April 1945 Gavin was posted to Morotai and later British North Borneo. The sending of Australian troops to these Japanese held areas at such a late stage of the war was considered by many as unnecessarily risking lives. By preventing Japanese supply ships from landing, the remaining Japanese could have been starved out.
Gavin said that the funniest incident he witnessed happened when he was attending an outdoors picture show at Morotai. An American suddenly noticed a Japanese watching the movie, yelled and let loose with his rifle. This cleared the theatre pretty quickly!