Ted Turn­stall reaches a mile­stone

Southern Telegraph - - News - Clare Ne­gus

Port Kennedy’s Ed­ward Tun­stall cred­its years of hard work and eat­ing straight from the farm for his longevity as he turns 95 this week.

Ed­ward — bet­ter known as Ted — was born in Mur­gon, Queens­land, into a big dairy farm­ing fam­ily of 13 sib­lings.

Ted said there was al­ways work on the farm to keep him mov­ing and he went years with­out a break or a hol­i­day.

Then at 20 years old, when World War II broke out, Ted en­listed to serve as a soldier — tak­ing him far away from farm life, to Pa­pua New Guinea where he joined the al­lied de­fence against the ad­vanc­ing Ja­panese forces.

Ted said he would track Ja­panese troops in the Ai­tape-We­wak area, much of the time on his own, in dif­fi­cult jun­gle ter­rain and harsh con­di­tions.

He said his fa­ther taught him to shoot at age 11, a skill which served him well dur­ing his ser­vice. Ted said he met his late wife May, her sis­ter Gla­dys and girl­friend Merle while in Northam on leave from the war.

“They said to us, ‘go and have a look around but don’t go far be­cause we might need to pick up and go’,” he said.

“So I thought I’d go for a walk and there she was, with her friend and sis­ter, they had come out af­ter find­ing out their brother, Arthur, was miss­ing, he must have died or been killed.

“And I thought; ‘Aww gee, that’s pretty bad’, and they were re­ally up­set about it, it was re­ally hard on them, af­ter he (Arthur) went out on plane (from Bougainville) and never came back.

“I thought; ‘Gee, that was a nice kind of girl’.”

Ted said he wasn’t al­lowed to tell May where the army was send­ing him when he had to re­turn to New Guinea, but they ex­changed letters.

“I was over there for quite a while and I thought I’d like to see them when I got back,” he said.

“And they were wait­ing for me and I thought; ‘By joe, that’s all right’, I was with five of my blokes who weren’t killed over­seas.”

The cou­ple mar­ried in WA and moved to Queens­land, back to the fam­ily farm, where they had five of their own chil­dren.

Ted is now a grand­fa­ther of 11 and great-grand­fa­ther to an ever-grow­ing fam­ily brood.

He cel­e­brated his birth­day, Oc­to­ber 13, with friends and fam­ily at the Se­cret Har­bour Golf Club at the week­end.

Pic­ture: Clare Ne­gus

Ted Tun­stall turns 95 this week and cred­its years of farm work on his fam­ily’s dairy farm (pic­tured) just out­side Mur­gon, Queens­land, for his longevity.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.