Rev. Bill Crews’ piece on Rememberance Day was both wonderful and sad. Somehow this year, 11th November was more important than ever. We need to remember our heroes!
This morning shopping at our Newport Coles, they played at 11.00 am the Last Post. Lest we Forget. A brief silence came over the store. Many, many stood to attention beside the shopping aisles. One man was on his phone, checking to see his family were at attention.
I had hung my Australian Flags across my balcony as I do on Anzac day. I remembered that my father Bill Tebbutt, had just turned 17 years, on that morning when at 5am he landed on Gallipoli beach. He was later wounded at Ypres not far from Mennen gate. I too have stood there. My father came home, a lawyer. Then in WWII in Malaya, at the surrender, he was on the Vyner Brooke to look after the nurses, but washed up separately. A POW of the Japs in Palembang, in horrific conditions, far worse than Changi.
He tried at all times, to keep tabs on the nurses from the Vyner Brooke, who had become POW’s. These were the ones had left the beach early, taking, up to Muntok, the women, children and wounded who could walk. This was before the massacre of the other nurses. He was responsible for those nurses being found and rescued, as in the excitement of the Japanese surrender, no one seemed to be worrying about them.
He taught us to be prepared, to stock up on essentials, I too keep supplies of water, and tinned food. He passed away just after he had nursed his first grandson, just a few days old, my eldest son, Robert; whose other grandfather Charles Scharkie, also served in WWI.
I am remembering my late dear Don Wilson. He was a Lieut. Commander and DSC. His bravery and service was as a submariner, mostly based in Malta in the Mediterranean. His father also was in WWI. (Don and I would often come and help pack your food parcels!)
Last week I was at the birthday – well hardly a party – but celebrating Mike Hickie ’s 98th Birthday – also a Lieut. Commander and DSC, also a Submariner.
In this strange time in the world, somehow remembering our heroes is even more important. It is not all bad times, people are looking after each other, and finding time to contact old friends. I have had several in the street, knowing I live alone, offer help.
You see young men, enjoying so much, playing with their small children, when normally they would be in their offices and away from family!
Keep strong Bill, your service is needed more than ever!