NSW National Servicemen's Association hosts Remembrance Day Service

The Hawkesbury District Sub-branch of the NSW National Servicemen's Association held its Remembrance Day Service at their Ham Common Memorial and Remembrance Wall on Sunday, February 14.

It was to remember past members of the organisation who have passed away.

This year four new plaques were added to the Memorial Wall: William 'Bluey' Bannister, Michael Dwyer, Ronald Harrold and John Larven.

Australia's National Service Scheme was introduced in 1951 to 1959. It is estimated that 300 18-year-old Hawkesbury residents were conscripted for military service in the Army, Navy and Airforce. This was mainly as a result of the Korean War which ran 1950-1953 and several other military engagements in Borneo, Malaya and Indonesia.

Again in 1964 the National Service Act introduced for 20-year-olds a scheme of selective conscription in Australia to create military personnel of some 40,000, many of whom were sent on active service to Vietnam between 1965 and 1972. Two hundred and two were killed and 1279 were wounded.

Family members of the 32 deceased National Service members gathered to remember their service and lay a tribute to their family member or loved one.

Dignitaries who attended were the Hawkesbury City Mayor, Patrick Connolly; Susan Templeman, MP for Macquarie; Robyn Preston, MLA for Hawkesbury; Hawkesbury RSLs Richmond and Windsor, Presidents Ron Gray and Geoff Brand. Both politicians gave addresses about the conflicts of that time.

The parade was led by the Sub-Branch President, Merv Ward, ably assisted by Secretary, Narelle Ward, and members of the Sub-branch. Lady members, friends, families and associates provided morning tea, tributes and general preparations.