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75th Anniversary of the Battle of Milne Bay

Milne Bay Veterans

On 25 August, veterans of the Battle of Milne Bay attended a private service in Canberra, followed by a Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial to mark the 75th anniversary of the battle.

The Battle of Milne Bay, from 25 August to 7 September 1942, saw a Japanese amphibious landing defeated for the first time in the Second World War, and marked a turning point in the Papuan campaign.

Of some 7000 Australians who served at Milne Bay, more than 370 became casualties. Those more than 160 were killed or listed as missing.

Milne Bay, on the south-eastern tip of Papua, was a strategically significant Allied base with three airstrips close to Port Moresby. Allied air and ground forces, including Australian infantrymen and RAAF Kittyhawk fighters, repelled some 2000 Japanese troops, helping to halt the Japanese advance on Port Moresby.

The Australian Government supported the travel of a small contingent of Australian veterans of the Battle of Milne Bay to attend commemorations in Canberra.


Three new appointments to PMAC

Mrs Joy Jenkins, Ms Jocelyn Parsons and Dr Sheralyn Rose have recently been appointed to the Prime Ministerial Advisory Council on Veterans’ Mental Health (PMAC).
 
The PMAC advises the Prime Minister, the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and the Government on high-level strategic and complex matters relating to the mental health of veterans and their families.
 
Joy Jenkins is the Partners of Veterans Association representative on the Council and is the daughter of a Vietnam veteran and married to a serving Australian Defence Force member who is a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. She is a strong advocate of the value of small local associations to support the families of veterans.
 
Jocelyn Parsons served for more than 20 years in the Royal Australian Navy and saw operational deployment to the Middle East. Since leaving the permanent forces she has worked as a crisis and emergency response manager across a number of industries and has long been a supporter of veterans.
 
Dr Sheralyn Rose has held a variety of positions in consultation, policy formation and senior management over a long career in primary health care. She has a comprehensive background in assessing population health needs, including mental health and suicide prevention programs.
 
To find out more about PMAC and view member biographies please visit www.pmac.dva.gov.au.

Anzac Portal

Anzac Portal updated and expanded

DVA's Anzac Portal contains information and educational resources from the First World War to more modern operations.

The website has been updated to include interviews with veterans and family members. It has also recently been expanded, with eight other DVA commemorative websites being consolidated into the Portal.

The Anzac Portal contains resources for anyone planning events during the Anzac Centenary, including posters and wartime snapshots, veterans’ stories and publications relevant to various commemorations, music downloads and sample commemorative speeches. The portal is compatible with multiple devices and browsers.

The portal has been developed by DVA for teachers and students, with the educational resources aligning to the Australian Curriculum. The Anzac Portal website is available at www.anzacportal.dva.gov.au.

Letter

Private Roy Louis McGuire remembered

On a recent inspection tour of Western Australia, Ken Corke, Director War Graves, visited the final resting place of Private Roy Louis McGuire.

Roy, he discovered, was as eager to go to war as his mother was for him not to! But by 1918, at 19 years of age Roy no longer needed permission and joined up at Maryborough in Queensland.

On 17 July he departed Sydney bound for London with the 5th Reinforcements aboard the ship A30 Borda.

Roy was finally on his way, but his mother was still doing all she could in the hope that her son would come to no harm. On 25 June she wrote to the camp commandant at Enoggera asking that Roy be given work that would keep him out of the trenches.

The final words were ‘So I hope that he will have luck and that the war will be over before he gets to the other side'.

Sadly, Roy never made it. He collapsed on deck of the Borda on 22 July, just five days into his journey. He was taken to the Commonwealth Quarantine station at Albany, Western Australia where he died of meningitis on 24 July 1918.

On 25 July, Roy was buried in a small copse of trees alongside the sea. His grave is maintained in perpetuity by the Office of Australian War Graves.

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS)

A free and confidential counselling service for Australian veterans, peacekeepers and their families. For more information on VVCS services and eligibility, please visit the VVCS website or phone 1800 011 046.

Veterans' Affairs e-News is a regular service provided by the Department of Veterans' Affairs.

Comments or feedback on Veterans' Affairs e-News may be sent to AMBENEWS@dva.gov.au

Department of Veterans' Affairs

GPO box 9998

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