On 10 November 1945, the Sydney Morning Herald told stories of inventive Australian soldiers who made instruments of necessity.
For example, a digger at Milne Bay was heading back to camp on the back of a truck, holding his ‘splendid ukulele’. It fell from his hands onto the road, and the truck following ran over said uke, leaving nothing but splinters.
To get by until a new instrument could be bought, he made a substitute from an empty emergency ration tin, a piece of bamboo and some left-over signal wire. The result, we are told, was a ‘fine’ instrument.
There you go. A few bits and piece and Bob’s your parent’s sibling, a ukulele!