Hunt for PoWs’ fam­i­lies

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today - by Emily Mac­don­ald emily. mac­don­ald@ townsville­bul­letin. com. au

A NORTH Queens­land war hero will be among 20 Prisoners of War who were ex­e­cuted dur­ing es­cape at­tempts to be posthu­mously awarded the Com­men­da­tion for Gal­lantry.

The De­fence Hon­ours and Awards Tri­bunal are search­ing for the next of kin of the 20 men to present the pres­ti­gious medal to on their de­ceased an­ces­tor’s be­half.

S i g n a l m a n H o w a r d Fred­er­ick Harvey was born on Oc­to­ber 12, 1921 and en­listed in the army when he was only 20-years-old on O c t o b e r 2 1 1 9 4 1 i n Padding­ton NSW in 1941.

Mr Harvey was born in Cairns but was liv­ing in Ing­ham at the time he went to de­fend the coun­try in World War II. While posted to 8 Divi­sion Sig­nals, Sig­nal­man Harvey was cap­tured by Ja­panese forces. He was ex­e­cuted while try­ing to es­cape on May 11, 1943 in San­dakan, Bor­neo.

Sig­nal­man Harvey’s name is listed on the Roll of Hon­our in Townsville.

Par­lia­men­tary Sec­re­tary for De­fence Sen­a­tor David Feeney ac­cepted the unan­i­mous rec­om­men­da­tions of t he i nde­pen­dent De­fence Hon­ours and Awards Tri­bunal at the week­end and called on the next of kin of those hon­oured to come for­ward and re­ceive the Com­men­da­tion for Gal­lantry.

A m o n g t h e t w e n t y ser­vice­men are the Tavoy Eight, mem­bers of the 4th Anti-Tank Reg­i­ment who were ex­e­cuted by f i r i ng squad in Burma on June 6, 1942.

The tri­bunal’s full re­port is avail­able at: www. de­fence­honours-tri­bunal. gov. au.

The tri­bunal’s direc­torate may be con­tacted by call­ing 1800 111 321.

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