Dad’s ser­vice a source of pride

Daugh­ter hon­ours vet­eran’s mem­ory

Sunshine Coast Daily - - NEWS - STU­ART CUM­MING stu­art.cum­ming@sc­news.com.au

TIME has not worn down a daugh­ter’s pride in her fa­ther’s mil­i­tary achieve­ments of more than a cen­tury ago.

Bud­erim res­i­dent Percy Myles Sawrey was 19 when he and his older brother David signed up to join Aus­tralian Im­pe­rial Force sol­diers in Eu­rope.

World War I had been rag­ing for two years when the sib­lings set sail for the West­ern Front.

Percy’s ef­forts fill­ing wa­ter tanks while un­der en­emy fire in 1917 earned him a Mil­i­tary Medal – an award his daugh­ter Dorothy Allen proudly trea­sures.

Her fa­ther re­turned home in 1919 to marry her mother El­iz­a­beth in 1921.

They had four sons and Dorothy.

Now 92, Mrs Allen lives with her hus­band of more than 70 years, Stephen, in Nam­bour.

Two of her broth­ers served in World War II and two of her 14 grand­chil­dren have also served in their coun­try’s de­fence.

She said she had read some let­ters her dad had sent while serv­ing but other than that, hadn’t learnt much of his wartime ex­pe­ri­ences.

“He never men­tioned the war, re­ally,” Mrs Allen said.

“He just worked and worked.

“My broth­ers never talked about the war much, ei­ther.

“I sup­pose they put it in the back of their minds.”

Mr Allen said he was able to get some sto­ries out of one of his two broth­ers who served in World War II.

“He didn’t brag about any­thing but he was happy to re­late sto­ries,” Mr Allen said.

“The other fel­low, he couldn’t get away from the place quick enough.”

Mrs Allen said to­mor­row’s cen­te­nary of the Ar­mistice was an im­por­tant mile­stone for her.

“I’ve al­ways been in­ter­ested,” Mrs Allen said. “We al­ways go to the An­zac Day ser­vices.”

She said it was im­por­tant for the next gen­er­a­tion to keep up that tra­di­tion.

“I don’t want to see an­other war,” she said.

“We went through the Sec­ond World War.”

Photo: Stu­art Cum­ming (main) and con­tributed

TREA­SURES: Dorothy Allen keeps her fa­ther’s World War I medals safe at her home. INSET: Percy Sawrey.

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