Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, has awarded veterans in Tamworth with commemorative medallions to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.
Among the Tamworth recipients was Corporal Agnes Richardson.
The now 96-year-old enlisted into Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) aged just 18 but not before a stint in Women's Australian National Service (WANS).
Recruited in Newcastle in October 1942, Mrs Richardson recalled relaying coded messages as a punch card operator, the art of mastering parade drill and the camaraderie of military service.
Later she married husband, Keith, who was in the Navy and specialised as an anti-submarine detector. On moving to Tamworth, Keith retrained as a plumber and became the city’s first plumbing inspector.
Three children followed soon after, which has grown into a family of nine grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.
Despite nearing her 100th birthday, Mrs Richardson rarely misses an Anzac Day service and still holds a driver’s licence – she even drove herself from the family farm into town for today’s presentation with Mr Joyce.
Also receiving medallions from Tamworth were former Army Sergeant Jack Woolaston, Robert Croker, Corporal Douglas Plante, Earl Shephard and Lance Corporal Elijah Rogers. Edna Sherwood and Joyce Abra were also received medallions as did Navy veteran Keith Power.
The medallion, available to all living Second World War veterans who apply, is presented in a display case and is a gesture of appreciation from a grateful nation to those veterans who fought to protect our way of life in the terrible conflict that ended 75 years ago.
Mr Joyce acknowledged the service and sacrifice of the Tamworth veterans.
“I thank all Tamworth men and women for their service to this country,” Mr Joyce said.
“We are forever grateful for your contribution to the war effort and in defence of this nation.”
More than one million Australian men and women fought to protect our country and our allies during the Second World War, fighting in theatres of war from Europe to North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, to Asia and the Pacific, with the conflict also reaching Australian shores.