World War II veteran Ted’s a de­clared trea­sure at his RSL

Central and North Burnett Times - - LIFE­STYLE -

LIKE all of us, 96-year-old Ted Tun­ley, of Dor­rigo, will be spend­ing An­zac Day away from the usual crowds and wreath lay­ing but he will have plenty of mem­o­ries to keep him com­pany.

Ted, who still en­joys a quiet tip­ple at the Dor­rigo RSL when it’s open, was born and raised in the UK and en­listed, as did many of his coun­try­men at that time, in the army dur­ing World War II.

His ser­vice was recog­nised by the French Gov­ern­ment in 2018 when he was awarded the Le­gion of Hon­our Medal – some­thing that he said he found “quite sur­pris­ing”, par­tic­u­larly for some­one who started in the army in his teens.

“I en­listed in the Bri­tish Army when I was very young. I was one of the ‘boy sol­diers’,” Ted re­called, a slight Bri­tish ac­cent still ev­i­dent de­spite al­most a life­time here in Aus­tralia.

“I was in­volved in the D-Day Land­ings at Nor­mandy, but I was wounded – I think it was Septem­ber 1944 – so they shipped me back to Eng­land.”

He stayed in the Bri­tish Army af­ter the war and took a post­ing in post-war Ger­many where he spent four years.

Af­ter leav­ing the army he even­tu­ally em­i­grated to Aus­tralia in 1970.

He moved to Bris­bane, which, ac­cord­ing to Ted, was “more like a big coun­try town back then”.

Spend­ing most of his work­ing life in sales in Bris­bane, he and his wife opted for the qui­eter life away from the grow­ing city and re­tired to Dor­rigo where Ted still lives and be­lieves is “just lovely”.

Th­ese days he lives in as­sisted care ad­join­ing Dor­rigo Hospi­tal but most days Ted jumps on his trusty scooter and heads down to the Dor­rigo Memo­rial RSL Club where club man­ager An­drew Gawne says un­der nor­mal cir­cum­stances the veteran liked to “sit and watch the ABC news while sip­ping on a glass of dry sherry’’.

“Ted is a real trea­sure here at Dor­rigo RSL, and the staff are un­der in­struc­tions to make sure he is looked af­ter,” Mr Gawne said be­fore the coro­n­avirus lock­down.

“It was the sac­ri­fices made by peo­ple like Ted that al­low us all to en­joy the life­style we have to­day, and that should never be for­got­ten.”

Pic­ture: Con­tributed

BOY SOL­DIER: Ted Tun­ley re­lives his army days.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.