Upholding Anzac spirit

LEST WE FORGET: Woodridge RSL members Jim Smith and Charles Hay will both be remembering their mates today.
LEST WE FORGET: Woodridge RSL members Jim Smith and Charles Hay will both be remembering their mates today.

ANZAC Day is a day of reflection to remember the sacrifices made by our brave men and women in both past and present battles.

It is an opportunity to look back on our nation's history and reflect on the events that helped shape our country, making us the Australian's we are today.

As the nation pauses to remember, two of Logan's war veterans will honour the memory of their comrades.

Both Jim Smith of Woodridge and Charles Hay from Windaroo served in World War II, but fought two very different battles.

Mr Smith, 92, served in the British Army and served in London, India, Burma and Sumatra from February, 1941 until September, 1946.

He was only 21 when he was conscripted to the armed forces.

The most chilling thing he remembers is the Stainer St bombing in London on February 17, 1941, when a bomb hit an air raid shelter.

He said 68 people died.

"I was one of the men who helped dig out the bodies," Mr Smith said.

"Thankfully, during my service, I never had to kill anyone.

"That was my biggest fear."

Throughout his service, Mr Smith also worked as a radio operator.

His fellow Woodridge RSL member and friend Charles Hay, 86, served on the Island of Bowenville with American troops against the Japanese.

He was 18 years old when he volunteered to serve.

He said one of his fondest memories was a humorous one.

"In the army we were on very hard biscuits and there was never any butter on the table," Mr Hay said.

"But one day, out of the corner of the tent I saw something glistening, and I started digging.

"In the hole there was a trench filled with tins of bacon, ham, cheese and lots of other things we never saw that the Americans had buried.

"We were living high for a few days until someone reported it and then I had to bury all that food again."

Today, the two mates will once again take part in the Woodridge RSL's annual march down Wembley Rd, beginning at 8.30am, with thoughts of their mates, who served alongside them, in the forefront of their minds.

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