Diana Parkhouse Bpqdmrj91u8 Unsplash Diana Parkhouse Bpqdmrj91u8 Unsplash

We will remember them

This year on ANZAC Day, we take the time to remember all who have served for our country. While those who participated in active service were heavily impacted by the sites of war, often the effects were felt by family members as well.

Cumberland View Aged Care resident, Gladys Clayton, tells us about her husband and father who were both members of the navy. ‘My Father was a naval officer in the first world war,’ she says. ‘My husband was on the corvette HMAS Bathurst in the second world war and travelled to the Coral Sea, Singapore, East indies, the Red Sea, Alexandria, the Suez Canal and more.

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Growing up as an only child, Gladys recalls that her father was often away from home, but when he was home, he was a strict father. Gladys said he would say things to her as a young girl, such as, ‘Jump to it girl,’ and her mother had to remind him she was not part of his naval ratings.

Gladys tells us that later when she met her husband, Roy, he was well-liked by her father because of their mutual naval backgrounds. ‘I think Roy was a bit in awe and fear of him when he first met his future father-in-law,’ says Gladys. ‘I also think I became a good Headmistress because I knew how to run a tight ship and keep it ship shape.’

Gladys recalls that Roy never spoke about his active service saying, ‘I know it was a terrible time for him.’ She said that he wanted everything to go back to normal and only chose to remember in his own time and space. ‘He was too much of a gentleman to speak of such things to me, but I do remember him experiencing night terrors which we never spoke about.’

Gladys tells us that Roy became an active member of the Doncaster RSL where he also served as president for a period of time. ‘The RSL was his place to honour his memories along with his friends who had experienced similar situations,’ says Gladys. ‘He and his friends there were a great support for each other. They always marched together on ANZAC Day, and he was proud to do this with his fellow service men.’

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