60th anniversary Australian Government medals were presented to World War Two ex-servicemen and women in Grafton on Friday.
60th anniversary Australian Government medals were presented to World War Two ex-servicemen and women in Grafton on Friday.

Vivid memories of war



Sixty years after the end of World War Two memories of the conflict were still as vivid for the Clarence Valley veterans who received medallions commemorating the anniversary.

Federal Nationals Member for Page Ian Causley, for the Australian Government, presented 22 medallions to veterans or their relatives at the Grafton District Services Club.

"Congratulations, I know that it is a long time after the hostilities ... we all appreciate what was done," Mr Causley said. "The significance is these people are getting old and there are people here who won't be here on the 70th anniversary."

Gwen Deeps, of Grafton, received a medal for her husband John, who was in hospital.

Mrs Deeps said she still felt the toll of the war on her loved ones.

"I've lost my father, he's an Anzac, lost my two brothers in World War Two, so that's enough," Mrs Deeps said.

Elvie Weatherstone was 17 when she was left to look after the family farm when eight men in her family, including her brother Louis, joined the light horse brigade.

Ken Barnier, of Whiteman Creek, said the recognition of World War Two diggers was still important 60 years later.

Mr Barnier signed up to the light horse brigade in 1940 in Armidale.

"We knocked out a tank at Milne Bay (Papua New Guinea)," he said.

"One of my mates took the flag off the enemy tank. He got us all to sign our names on it."

Mr Barnier said he and wife Kath visited the War Memorial at Canberra and saw the flag on display.

He said he served in the Middle East with the former NSW Governor Sir Roden Cutler.

"I was there when he was shot and lost his leg," he said. "We had to carry him out."



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