News

30 years in the army, and he’d do it all again

STANDING PROUD: Barry De Bomford with his daughter Kathy Gunning at Yamba Anzac Day dawn service.
STANDING PROUD: Barry De Bomford with his daughter Kathy Gunning at Yamba Anzac Day dawn service.

"I LOVED it. I would do it again tomorrow" aren't always the words you hear from diggers who saw so much bloodshed, felt so much pain and fought within inches of their lives.

But as they come from the mouth of Barry De Bomford, his words paint a picture of pride and it becomes clear that feeling of knowing you made a difference trumps all.

At age 26, Mr De Bomford was one of the "older fellas" to join the army.

He enlisted in his home state of Tasmania in 1966 and did not retire until they forced him to, 29 years and seven months later.

A former motor mechanic, the parts and machinery he soon learnt to handle were a world away from what he knew in his early 20s.

"It was pretty different, but a few of my mates had joined up and I just thought well, that looks like me too," he said.

He was posted to the 7th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment where he did two tours of Vietnam.

"On the second tour I was wounded in a mining incident and they sent me back home," Mr De Bomford said.

He was soon promoted to Sergeant Major and later relocated to Townsville to the second 4th Battalion where he became a warrant officer.

Between that, and afterwards, Mr De Bomford and his family moved every few years, from Holsworthy, Singleton, Bathurst, Rockhampton, Hobart and back to Sydney.

In 1995 he reached compulsory retiring age of 55 and was forced to leave the order and structured life he knew.

And while his medals leave a lasting memory for the now Yamba resident, they remind him, and all of us, of the mates that never made it back to home soil.

"I lost three fairly close mates, but you just learn to live with it. Life goes on," he said.

"When you're out there everything just happens so fast and sudden, then before you know it it's all over.

"That's why Australian soldiers are so good, they are so well-trained that when something happens, their training just kicks in."

With a smile on his face and his proud daughter, Kathy Gunning, by his side, Mr De Bomford told The Daily Examiner just what the 2015 Anzac Day centenary meant to him.

"This is one of the most important days of our lives."

Mr De Bomford received two Vietnam War medals, two long service medals, one active service medal and an ADF medal.

Topics:  anzac day army editors picks veteran



It all started with one random act of kindness

ACTS OF KINDNESS: A Clarence Valley community member has started Feathers in the Clarence, in which they give out gifts to random, or sometimes particular people as an act of kindness.

New movement to build community spirit grows momentum

The decision that could cost council $20M

Clarence Valley Council mayor Jim Simmons and general manager Scott Greensill.

Clarence Valley Council at risk of sliding further into debt

Moss scorches track in extreme heat to uncover more gold

WINNER: Grafton track cyclist Laurelea Moss has more golds to add to her cabinet after tasting success five times at the QLD Masters Championships.

Grafton cyclist turns up the heat on the velodrome

Local Partners

UPDATE: Pacific Highway water works postponed

THE relocation of a water main for the new Pacific Highway will result in a disruption to the residential supply in Lower Clarence.


Share a cuppa coffee with a cop

Coffee and conversation go hand in hand in the Clarence whether you like it or not.

Chance to come along and meet your local police officers

Deputy premier on his way to the Clarence Valley

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro during question time at NSW Parliament in Sydney, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017.  Berejiklian was elected Premier by her party room after Mike Baird announced his shock resignation.(AAP Image/Dean Lewins) NO ARCHIVING

John Barilaro's first visit at NSW deputy

OUR SAY: Perfect opportunity for people with passion

The Mouldy Lovers get the crowd dancing at the Surfing the Coldstream Festival.  Photo Clair Morton / Daily Examiner

Events large or small require helping hands of volunteers

Why Hollywood’s siding with Brad Pitt over Angelina Jolie

TOWARD the end of last month’s Golden Globes ceremony, the producer of the nominated drama Moonlight made a surprise onstage appearance: Brad Pitt.

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

Things are really heating up on My Kitchen Rules.

Games are being played around the My Kitchen Rules table

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Kids' game "full of f**king paedophiles" according to dad

A mortified dad has expressed serious concerns over an online game

Lisa Marie Presley's ex caught with child pics: court

Lisa Marie Presley, at right, and her husband, Michael Lockwood back in 2010. FILE

Lisa Marie, 49, claimed she was left “sick to her stomach”

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

Living with river view

LABOUR OF LOVE: Peter and Narelle Cauldwell are selling Bemuda Estate in Great Marlow (pictured below).

A rare opportunity to own a luxury estate

Clarence River island paradise selling for $5M

Former Ballina councillor Margaret Howes is selling her island getaway.

GALLERY: Tropical getaway with beaches and airstrip put on market.

Bidding could start at $1.4M for sought after property

Farrell McCrohon's Jojo Newby rides on a property recently listed at Buccarumbi

One of largest rural properties on market to go under hammer today

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!