Korean War veterans remembered

SERVICEPEOPLE from the Korean War were remembered in Bega on Sunday.

A small crowd of 12 turned up at the Bega Memorial Gates for the service, which was led by Bega RSL branch president Barry Stoney.

The war lasted from 1950-1953, beginning when North Korea attacked South Korea below the 38th parallel, brining 15 member nations of the United Nations to supply forces to support South Korea.

“When all Australian forces left Korea in 1957 over 17,000 Australians had been involved, with 340 killed, 1500 wounded and 29 prisoners of war,” Mr Stoney said.

“History will tell what was achieved with our involvement in Korea, but what we of the RSL can do is ensure that those remaining of those forces are cared for as they need and that those who did not return are remembered with pride.”

Allen Collins gave a prayer for the soldiers who served, and Roger Tetley played The Last Post.

A bouquet of flowers was laid by Rebecca Lamont, whose grandfather served in the RAAF, to pay her respects.

Burt Deacon came to the service to remember his brother Henry, the only person from the Bega Valley who was killed during the war.

Henry served in the 3rd Royal Australian Regiment, and was killed on January 25, 1952 when he was only 20 years old.

Henry had been too young to join the army during World War 2, so Burt said when the Korean War came around he just wanted to go.

“I was only 12 years old, in high school, when one day I got up and he had left,” Burt said.

He was born and bred in Bega, the second of 11 children and described by his brother as a “wild boy”.

He had been “a larrikin” during training at camp, but Burt said his family had been proud he served in the war.

Other people from Bega Valley who served in the Korean War were Laurie Brown, Eric Clynch, Lindsay Heffernan, Fred Rood, D Sheather and Fred Winson.

Mr Stoney said while there may be others, there were no records of who attended so those names are the only ones of the memorial plaque.

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