Weekend Courier - - Street Watch -

TWO lo­cal veter­ans, Veron­ica Roach and Peter Hack­ett, have been thanked for their ser­vice as gun­ners along the WA coast as part of the Fre­man­tle Fortress dur­ing World War II.

Pay­ing trib­ute to their con­tri­bu­tion, South Met­ro­pol­i­tan Re­gion MLC Phil Ed­man said Mrs Roach was one of the brave women who lied about her age to en­list at 17, pro­vid­ing sup­port to the coastal de­fence units.

She manned a pre­dic­tor that was used to cal­cu­late the tra­jec­tory of ar­tillery shells at the Leighton Bat­tery, a key com­po­nent of the 12 bat­ter­ies that pro­tected the Port of Fre­man­tle from at­tack.

“The women she served with were just like fam­ily and al­though her unit worked gru­elling hours, her time in the army was some of the best years of her life,” Mr Ed­man said.

Mr Hack­ett served in Rockingham and was one of the few re­main­ing sur­viv­ing gun­ners from the bomb­ing of Dar­win.

He said the de­tails about the bomb­ing of Dar­win were heav­ily cen­sored in the me­dia and peo­ple were still sur­prised to hear of the wide­spread de­struc­tion and loss of life.

“Peter and Ron­nie have both sac­ri­ficed for the de­fence of our na­tion and their story needs to be re­mem­bered,” Mr Ed­man said.

Their sto­ries are part of the Bat­tle for Aus­tralia Ex­hi­bi­tion on dis­play at the Gary Hol­land Com­mu­nity Cen­tre from April 22-28, open from 9am-4pm daily.

The ex­hi­bi­tion has been sup­ported by the City of Rockingham, Rockingham Vis­i­tors Cen­tre, De­fence Hous­ing Aus­tralia, and Cedar Woods Prop­er­ties Lim­ited.

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