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.