Remembrance services big and small commemorate fallen

Edward ScownMidwest Times
Veterans remember those who fell.
Camera IconVeterans remember those who fell. Credit: Edward Scown

On the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, services commenced throughout the Mid West to commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Marking the 100th anniversary of the RAAF, Birdwood House enjoyed a flyover from the Geraldton Aero Club — the first ever on Remembrance Day — last Thursday.

Workers stood outside their offices, and passing kids stopped on their bikes to hear speeches from RSL president Barry Stinson and local veteran April Herbert, who shared her experiences deploying in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

Poppies decorated Memorial Park in Carnarvon, adorned with messages from local people and businesses paying their respects.

The small town lost a son just eight years ago. Lance Corporal Mervyn McDonald was serving with the 2nd Commando Regiment on his sixth tour of Afghanistan, when the helicopter he was riding in crashed.

He is remembered by his comrades as quick witted, and a dedicated soldier who always made sure his mates got the credit they deserved.

Three Springs-Arrino RSL’s service also saw the exit of president Ray Morgan.

Members of the public were invited to lay a wreath at the Three Springs memorial at the ceremony, headed by incoming club president Bruce Clampett.

Cue’s modest memorial, and the park that surrounds it, was dedicated to Pte. Arthur Stanley Gurney. The locally born man served during WWII and became one of the Rats of Tobruk. During the first battle of El Alamein, Gurney stormed three machine gun posts which had his company pinned down.

Having taken out the first two, Gurney was knocked down by a grenade as he approached the third. He picked himself up and charged the remaining machine gun, using his bayonet to attack the German post until he was eventually killed.

For this action he was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.

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