World War II veteran Cecil Boland, 91, is speaking at Fairfield Hospital’s Anzac commemoration service today at 11.30am.
The day after his 18th birthday, Mr Boland joined the army and went to war. Today, he now a regular visitor to Fairfield Hospital for dialysis. Paul Bryant from Fairfield RSL will also be one of the guest speakers.
See below for a full transcript of Mr Boland’s speech. The Champion will also have a live stream of the event.
Fairfield Hospital General Manager Arnold Tammekand, Paul Bryant from Fairfield R.S.L and Renal Dialysis Unit Manager BinBIn Yi. Ladies and Gentleman.
Morning everyone and thanks for attending,
I would like to say a few words today. About my Military Service, serving in the Australian Army, fighting the Second World War.
I joined up to Australian Army at 18 yrs of age, in the year 1944.
After training, I was sent off to Port Moresby. To stop the advancement of the Japanese soldiers invading Australia.
It was a horrible time. Every minute, you were scared of being attacked and killed by enemy soldiers. It was difficult to sleep. And they would hide out in the trees. I was shot at quite regularly.and lucky, not to be injured or killed. My job was in the engineers. Repairing bridges, that where damaged. It was sad to see. a few mates, that where killed, but that sadly was war. A lot of the island inhabitants where injured and killed as well, that was very hard to take. And still get upset thinking about that. They where such great people.
In September 1945, Japan formally surrenders, ending WW2.
I was finally on the way back to Australia, following the end of the war. I returned by ship to get home. Most of the crew become sea sick. I decided to help run the vessel, by loading the boilers with coal. To keep it running.
It was an honour to have served in the Army. And to fight and defend my country, from possible invasion, by the enemy.
I stand here today, feeling humble to be able to tell my story.
And looking forward to attending this Anzac ceremony, again next year, and many years to come.
Thank you all.