Australian Women's Register

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Heywood, Irene Teresa (1923 - 2004)

27 August 1923
Port Fairy, Victoria, Australia
22 June 2004
Watonsia, Victoria, Australia
Alternative Names
  • Pye, Irene (maiden name, 27 August 1923 - 5 October 1948)


Irene Pye enlisted in the Australian Women's Army Service (AWAS) on 8 September 1943. Following basic training she worked in a number of administrative positions and was posted with the 3rd Psychology unit at the time of her discharge on 11 February 1947. A member of the Australian Women's Army Service Association ( Victoria.) Inc., since its inception, she attends functions and reunions.


Irene Pye, the fifth of Timothy and Catherine (née Cain) Pye's six children, was raised in the Victorian western district farming area of Bessiebelle. She attended the local school and after achieving her School Merit Certificate, the highest grade available at the school, she worked at a variety of positions in the district.

In 1943, Pye was given permission by her father and Mrs Milliard, the local school mistress for whom she worked, to join the AWAS. On 8 September 1943 Irene Pye and her older sister Mary (later Goddé) enlisted in the Australian Army together. After attending basic training together Irene was posted to administration and Mary to transportation. Irene Pye served in a number of administrative positions before being discharged on 11 February 1947.

Following the war Irene Pye established herself in Melbourne, the capital of Victoria, and worked for the Commonwealth Government at the Australian Taxation Office. She married James Henry Heywood (1922-1963) a serviceman she met during the war on 5 October 1948. They had five children. After her husband's death, Heywood called upon the skills she obtained during war to help raise her children.

A member of the AWAS Association of Victoria she attends functions, reunions and keeps in contact with other members of her unit. Heywood is also a member of the Blackburn Legacy Widows Club.

Sources used to compile this entry: Information for this entry was supplied by Irene Heywood's second daughter, Anne Heywood and researched and written by her granddaughter Jane Wilkinson.

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Jane Wilkinson

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