Proud of high points and heart­break

Dubbo Photo News - - News - By JOHN RYAN

STEVEN Kelly is as proud as can be every AN­ZAC Day, and he’s got plenty of rea­sons to wear his grand­fa­ther’s medals with such pride.

The story of Wil­fred Henry Stevens could be the ba­sis of a movie, such is the heart­break and high points of his life.

“My grand­fa­ther served in the first and the sec­ond world wars and I like to com­mem­o­rate him every year by go­ing to the AN­ZAC Day marches,” Mr Kelly told

“I’m very, very proud. I never met the man but it just makes me feel proud – he ac­tu­ally put his age up to get into the First World War and he put his age down to get into the Sec­ond World War, so that’s the sort of a man he was – that makes me feel pretty proud.”

Mr Kelly’s ma­ter­nal grand­fa­ther, Wil­fred Henry Stevens, was a farm labourer around Co­bar when he en­listed to serve in World War I.

“He re­ceived a Mil­i­tary Medal at Vil­liers-bre­ton­neux (Somme). Ap­par­ently he and an­other bloke seized eight or 10 Ger­mans in a ma­chine-gun dugout,” Mr Kelly said.

Wil­fred Henry Stevens met his fu­ture wife while he was re­cu­per­at­ing from in­juries in hos­pi­tal – she was a nurse in one of the hospi­tals he was sent to.

“He met an English­woman over there and he got mar­ried and had two kids over there, my mum was their sec­ond, and then they came back to Aus­tralia when she was six months old.

He then worked on farms around Dubbo be­fore sign­ing up to go a sec­ond round in World War II.

“He was in Sig­nals in the sec­ond world war, he died in To­bruk. He’s buried in the To­bruk ceme­tery in Libya from World War II,” Mr Kelly said.

“His wife, my grand­mother, had died in Fe­bru­ary 1941 and he died at To­bruk in May, just a cou­ple of months later, leav­ing four or­phans un­der the age of 20 – it’s an in­cred­i­ble story.

“My son and I go to Can­berra as of­ten as we can for AN­ZAC Day and it’s to com­mem­o­rate him,” Mr Kelly said proudly. THEY’RE the thirsty Mercs of the non-singing kind and they’re re­turn­ing to Dubbo for the first time for 42 years. Aus­tralia’s first Na­tional Mercedes Benz Rally was held in Dubbo in 1976 and the Na­tional Trust’s Dun­dul­li­mal Homestead will host their re­turn this Satur­day, May 4.

Seventy beau­ti­ful Mercedes Benz cars and 150 rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Queens­land, NSW and Vic­to­rian Mercedes Benz Clubs will be on show be­tween 11am and 1pm.

“We are very ex­cited to re­turn to Dubbo and have been de­lighted by the warm wel­come we have re­ceived,” Mercedes Benz Club NSW pres­i­dent John As­sara­pin said.

Dun­dul­li­mal Homestead is lo­cated at 23L Ob­ley Road, just past the zoo, and is open Tues­day to Satur­day, 11am to 3pm.

Steven Kelly proudly wore the medals of his grand­fa­ther, Wil­fred Henry Stevens, whose life story could be made into a movie. PHOTO: DUBBO PHOTO NEWS

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