Vietnam sacrifice honoured

Vietnam sacrifice honoured

Vietnam Veterans Day is on Sunday, August 18 welcoming the community to honour those who served in Vietnam and reflect on the sacrifice that war brings.

The local service will be held at ANZAC Park, Smithton, Sunday morning at 11am.

The Vietnam Veterans Service was first held in 2016 by the Circular Head RSL Centenary Committee, and it marked the 50th Anniversary of the Battle for Long Tan. 

The service concluded with a certificate of recognition being presented to each of the local veterans in attendance, which was a long overdue acknowledgment for their service said David Chatwin, President of the Circular Head RSL Club.

“This service is important to honour those for fought for our country, and make sure they are not forgotten.

“These soldiers were pretty much forgotten when they got back from the war, days like this make sure they are remembered.

“The first couple of years of our Vietnams Veterans Day service have been great, and this year it falls on a Sunday giving more people the opportunity to attend,” said David.
 This year special guest,
Warrant Officer Class Two Nicole de Bomford, will deliver a speach at the service.

Born in Darwin in 1978, educated in Victoria and then enlisted into the Army in 1996, Warrant Officer de Bomford spent her service in the Royal Australian Army Ordnance Corps.

On completion of her initial employment training, Warrant Officer de Bomford was posted to the 1st Aviation Regiment and was employed as a clerk administrator within 171 Operational Support Squadron. 

Warrant Officer de Bomford was posted on promotion to corporal to the 13th Combat Service Support Battalion in 2000. 

During this time, she deployed to East Timor and worked with the Australian National Command Element.

During her time in the Army, Warrant Officer de Bomford has been awarded the 

Australian Defence Medal, Defence Long Service Medal, United Nations Medal and 

Australian Active Service Medal – East Timor.

Starting Friday, August 16 the Vietnam Veterans Display was open to public at the Circular Head RSL Club.

The display includes photos and information on each of the Circular Head locals who served in Vietnam. 

The display was researched by Elizabeth Gale and Sue Popowski, and will be up for around a week.

Circular Head had a proportionally large representation in the Vietnam War, with 44 men from the area enlisted, which included one set of three brothers and two sets of two brothers. 

Out of those enlisted, 39 were in the Army and five were in the Navy. 

Positions across Army and Navy included sappers, engineers, cooks, craftsman, gunners, tactical operators, and signal men. 

Some notable mentions included Wayne Edward Shennan who received Order of the British Empire, OBE and Stephen James Cocker received an Order of Australian Medal, OAM.

Geoffrey Coombs was the single local fatality in Vietnam, who was killed on March 22, 1968.

The Coombs family received his military combat badge and in 2017. RSL Australia president, Robert Dick attended the 2017 Smithton Vietnam Veterans Day service where a tree was planted and plaque instated in the memory of Geoffrey Coombs.

“The Circular Head Community is extremely proud of each veteran for their sacrifice courage and commitment,” said Elizabeth Gale, Circular Head RSL Committee.