Veterans provide a historic connection

November 15, 2017

Veterans Donald Anderson and John Warren in front of the WWII commemorative plaques at Undera Primary School.

Undera Primary School captains Aly Claridad and Keeija Butterworth-Slade unveil the commemorative plaques.

UNDERA Primary School unveiled its World War II Honour Roll on Remembrance Day.

Around 100 people attended to witness the presentation of the Memorial Wall, a combined effort of local residents and Undera Primary School principal David Farrell.

The three plaques feature 93 names of Undera and district servicemen and women who served in the war.

Veterans Don Anderson and John Warren, who fought in the war, were in attendance to watch as the covers were removed from the plaques that recognised their efforts.

Mr Warren served as part of the 58/59th Australian Infantry Battalion after leaving the family farm at St Germains.

After serving in France and Belgium, he returned home and now his family has witnessed the unveiling of a plaque commemorating his efforts.

Meredith Warren said her father is always happy to share his story.

“He doesn’t hesitate to talk to anyone about his experiences in the war, even with his family. He’s told us kids and the grandkids about a lot of it,” she said.

“Days such as this, and Anzac Day, are so important to him; it’s the recognition and the chance to have the family together.

“He’s one of two people still alive in the area, so for him to see his own name up there on the wall is a terrific thing to have.”

Undera Primary School principal David Farrell said the memorial was a vital part of Undera’s remembrance.

“There’s a growing interest in the commemorations around the district and having time for people to reflect upon the locals who have served our country,” Mr Farrell said.

“Days such as this provide a great sense of connection for everyone and there are a lot of people here who have travelled a great distance to see the unveiling and catch up with each other.

“It’s just as important for schools to remember the sacrifices our servicemen and women made and today we have the plaques to commemorate that.”

Guest speaker Graeme Bayley said Remembrance Day was especially important for him and his family.

He spoke of his grandfather Fred Rowe, who was a member of the 4th Lighthorse Brigade at Beersheba, and of his father, who fought in World War II.

“For me there’s a lot of personal history involved with today’s commemorations. Having two generations of servicemen come before me, I was called on for national service in Vietnam in 1968,” Mr Bayley said.

“It’s important to remember Australia is what it is today because of what the servicemen and women did.

“Remembrance Day is just as important as Anzac Day, it’s certainly one of the biggest days on our calendar and the sacrifices of all who served shouldn’t be forgotten.”

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