Re­mem­brance Day

Southern Gazette (Belmont) - - NEWS -

FOR Mercy Place Lath­lain res­i­dent Ivy Bal­len­tine, Re­mem­brance Day holds par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance. The 99-year-old im­me­di­ately joined the army dur­ing World War II, af­ter she re­ceived news that her child­hood sweet­heart had been killed on HMAS Syd­ney. The war­ship was sunk in bat­tle on Novem­ber 19, 1941 off the coast of West­ern Aus­tralia, in what re­mains the most ter­ri­ble loss ever suf­fered by the Royal Aus­tralian Navy. Ivy un­der­took her train­ing at Northam Army Camp in 1942 and went to work at Mon­u­ment Hill in Fre­man­tle on an­ti­air­craft as­sign­ments, plot­ting where en­emy planes were fly­ing, and pass­ing on the co-or­di­nates to gun­ners to tar­get. In her early 20s, Ivy met her fu­ture hus­band, Ge­orge, at the An­zac Club and the cou­ple married soon af­ter. Heartbreak struck again when Ge­orge was posted over­seas and be­came a pris­oner of war. Ivy did not see Ge­orge for four years and when he re­turned he was a very un­well man. “Both Re­mem­brance Day and An­zac Day hold a spe­cial place in mum’s heart,” said Ivy’s daugh­ter Margaret Grant.

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