Remembering our brave veterans on Anzac Day

Published 12:00pm 2 April 2024

Remembering our brave veterans on Anzac Day
Words by Ashleigh Howarth

As a veteran who served in the British Armed Forces and the Australian Army, taking time to remember those who have fought for freedom is important to Ron Court.

The president of the Caboolture-Morayfield RSL Sub Branch will pay tribute to all past and present service men and women when the community commemorates Anzac Day.

“A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank cheque made payable to Australia for an amount up to and including his or her life,” Ron says.

“Every Anzac Day, I think about those who were brave enough to write that cheque.

“I think about those who gave their lives, those who were injured, and their families, who also felt the impact and pain of war and conflicts.

“Some gave all, and all gave some – which is how we have the freedoms we enjoy today.”

The history of Anzac Day began in the darkness before dawn on April 25, 1915, as Australian and New Zealand soldiers rowed towards Gallipoli.

This was the first military action fought by Australian forces during World War I, with the landing at Gallipoli anticipated to be a quick action that would remove Turkey from the war.

Instead, it escalated into an eight-month battle where more than 8700 Australian soldiers lost their lives and another 19,441 were wounded.

After that fateful day 109 years ago, we still remember them.

“Can you imagine coming off a landing craft knowing you probably aren’t going to make it to the beach?” Ron says.

“But when that whistle blew, they still went because that was their duty.

“Those brave soldiers set the benchmark of what courage and determination looks like.”

Born in Germany after World War II ended, Ron’s family was impacted by war in multiple ways.

Several of his German relatives, including his mother, were arrested and sent to prison by Hitler for refusing to fly the Swastika because “they did not agree with the Nazi party”.

He also had relatives impacted by the rise of the Berlin Wall who were separated from their families and never seen again.

Ron grew up in England and enlisted in the British Armed Forces when he was 17.

“My dad was in the British Armed Forces (Battle of the Rhine), and I only found out a couple of years ago my grandfather was too - he never spoke about the war,” Ron says.

After serving a short time, Ron immigrated to Australia in 1970 and joined the Australian Army in 1977.

“I am so proud to be an Australian,” Ron says.

“When I did my pass out parade at Kapooka (in Wagga Wagga), I was looking out over the mountains and the blue sky and that’s when I knew what it felt like to be proud of something. That feeling has never left me.”

Ron has called Moreton Bay home for more than four decades and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

He was elected president of the Caboolture-Morayfield RSL Sub Branch in 2023, with his main passion being the welfare of all veterans.

Ron and other members of the Sub -Branch often visit veterans in nursing homes and hospitals and make it their mission to call every single member on their birthday to personally sing Happy Birthday.

As a celebrant, Ron also conducts Poppy Services for veterans who have passed away, including his son.

“My son did 12 years in the army, and I sadly had to do his Poppy Service six years ago just before his sister’s wedding,” Ron says.

A Poppy Service includes a eulogy detailing the veteran’s service followed by reciting The Ode, sounding The Last Post and Rouse, and placing poppies on the casket.

Remembering our brave veterans on Anzac Day

Pay your respects

Ron is once again hoping to see a big turnout at this year’s Anzac Day service.

“The last two years we had big crowds come down, even when it rained,” Ron says.

“Anzac Day is a chance for all of us – regardless of your background or what branch of the military you were in – to come together and pay our respects.”

To see a full list of Anzac Day services in Moreton Bay, click here.

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