A Lifetime of Service for Australia

A Lifetime of Service

6 December 2018 - April 2019
Mezzanine Gallery, Anzac Hall

A Lifetime of Service for Australia tells a selection of personal stories of some remarkable Australians who have dedicated their lives to serving in Australia’s military forces in multiple conflicts.

While many Australians have served their country during wartime, fewer have followed the call of duty to serve in more than one conflict. This exhibition tells the stories of those who served their country, and then chose to redeploy in subsequent conflicts or theatres of operation, from the Boer War through to Afghanistan. 

Some stories from the exhibition

Corporal George Paul (c.1848–1937) British colonial conflicts, Boer War, and First World War

Enlisting for the First World War in 1915, Scottish-born George Paul claimed to be 48 years old; he was actually about 69. One of the oldest recruits of the First Australian Imperial Force, he was made a corporal and embarked for France with a tunnelling company. His time in France was short, however, as he was soon admitted to hospital and was sent back to Australia after a medical discharge. 

Newspapers in 1918 reported Paul’s claim of having served in the Third Anglo-Ashanti War, the Anglo-Zulu War, and at the Battle of Tel el Kebir. While these details are difficult to confirm, his service with two Australian units in the Boer War is clearly documented. The Sydney Mail described him as “an example for young Australians who have not answered the call”.

Corporal George Paul

 

Warrant Officer Class I James Geedrick

Warrant Officer Class I James Geedrick (1924–2018) Second World War, British Commonwealth Occupation Force, Korean War, Malayan Emergency, Indonesian Confrontation, and Vietnam War

Born in Queensland, with Ceylonese and Aboriginal ancestry, James Geedrick enlisted in the Second Australian Imperial Force in 1943 at the age of 19. At the end of the Second World War he enlisted in the Australian Regular Army and was sent to Japan as part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Forces.

In 1951 Sergeant Geedrick joined the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), in Korea, before fighting in significant battles at Kapyong and Maryang San. Geedrick continued to serve with 3RAR during the Malayan Emergency and Confrontation with Indonesia before returning to Borneo where he had served during the Second World War. In 1968 Warrant Officer Class II Geedrick joined the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam. He was severely wounded by mortar fire during an armoured assault but recovered to return to Vietnam in 1969 for a further period of service.

 

Warrant Officer First Class Trudy Casey, East Timor, and Middle East

In 2011 Warrant Officer First Class Trudy Casey became the first female Regimental Sergeant Major at the 1st Recruit Training Battalion. Prior to this, she had served on deployments to East Timor and the Middle East.

Image courtesy of Department of Defence.

Warrant Officer First Class Trudy Casey

 

See these stories and more in the exhibition from 6 December 2018 until April 2019.