A Fortunate Life: episode guide

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Part IV: Providence (1914-1916)


Part 3
Screenplay by Ken Kelso
Directed by Henri Safran

At nineteen, powerfully built from his years of manual labour, Bert joins Mickey Finn's Boxing Troupe as a prize fighter. Touring Australia as a heavyweight, he never loses a bout.

When World War I breaks out, Bert rushes to enlist. He serves in Gallipoli, where Australian and allied troops suffer thousands of casualties in their attempt to wrest control of the peninsula from the Turks. Bert takes part in bayonet charges and hand-to-hand combat in trenches, and sees his companions dying around him. His own brother Roy is killed by a shell, and Bert helps to bury him.

Then an exploding shell crushes one of his legs and causes internal injuries. Bert is sent back to Perth to recuperate. While there, Bert meets a young woman, Evelyn Gibson. After a short courtship, they marry, and Bert settles down to a life of relative peace and contentment like he never knew in the struggles and hardships of his early life.


  • Bill Kerr as Narrator
  • Dominic Sweeney as Bert
  • Nikki Coghill as Evelyn [Gibson]
  • Dale Randall as Roy Facey
  • John Ley as Eric Facey
  • Geoffrey Rhoe as Jock McKay
  • Jerry Thomas as Mick Flynn
  • Michael Winchester as Brindley
  • John Stone as Harry
  • Jaye Paul as John
  • Simon Gratton as Sergeant
  • Bob Hensley as Archie
  • Michael Horrocks as Fred
  • Nicholas Flanagan as Dave
  • Brett Climo as Terry
  • Popi Leppard as Mary [Henderson]
  • Steve Jodrell as Captain Leanne
  • Ray Long as Doctor
  • Mark Allen as Chaplain
  • Suzanne Peverill as Shop Owner
  • John O'Donnell as Specialist
  • James Beattie as Manager
  • Rev. Bazely as Minister
  • Colin McEwan as English Officer
  • Geoffrey Gibbs as Colonel

also appearing:

  • Graig Robertson
  • Frank Johnson
  • Terry Danks
  • John Low
  • Nigel Davenport
  • John Bailey
  • David Haviland
  • William Kerr
  • Robert Mosely
  • Jeremy Higgins
  • Robert Wilcox
  • Andrew Lewis
  • Robert Taylor
  • John Rose
  • James Bean
  • Alistair Cummings
  • Peter Stewart
  • Lee Bowman
  • Andrew Kovacevich
  • John Palmer
  • Marcus Graham
  • Shane McNamara
  • Sid Plummer
  • Tony Kentuck
  • Simon Hailwood
  • Sally Martin
  • Dane Carson
  • Richard Bishop
  • Glenn Hayden
  • Adrian Mulraney