Anzac Day: Vivid memories of war still haunt Gosnells RSL members

Harry Rosielle, Fred Flor, Pierre Yang, Des Hayes & Fred Batt. Picture: Jon Hewson d452631
Harry Rosielle, Fred Flor, Pierre Yang, Des Hayes & Fred Batt. Picture: Jon Hewson d452631

ANZAC Day means different things to different members of the Gosnells RSL.

Gosnells RSL member Des Hayes still has nightmares about some of the events that happened when he was at war.

He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and said his wife used to call it the black mood.

“She used to tell the kids ‘don’t go near daddy he is in a black mood’,” he said.

“I didn’t even realise it was going. It’s something you don’t realise you have.”

He vividly recalls when he was sitting at a hut in Vietnam when it was attacked by mortars.

“We dived into the bunkers by the time the siren went off,” he said.

“You don’t forget anything like that.”

Gosnells RSL vice-president Fred Flor will lead the Anzac Day march this year, with the president away.

The march will leave from 6.30am from the carpark of Coles in Gosnells.

Mr Flor said Anzac Day was all about “commemorating what our forefathers did”.

Harry Rosielle went to Vietnam in the 1960s.

He said his job was to have aircraft ready and armed for a moment’s notice to go.

“On Anzac Day I march with the same troops I served with in Thailand and it brings back a lot of memories,” he said.

“In some ways it humbles me (to march) because I am suddenly classed as a Digger among the Anzacs. Whether I am worthy of that I am not sure, but it is really humbling to be put in that sort of field.”

Fred Batt said he enjoyed Anzac Day, especially getting the opportunity to catch up with people.

“It is a military day,” he said.

“You get back into it and catch up a lot of people you don’t see year to year. I enjoy it, I do march in Gosnells and go into the city and do the march.”

He never went away but was in Sydney loading HMAS Sydney with supplies for Vietnam.

He proudly wears his father’s medals, which he received after being involved in the Darwin bombing during WWII.

City of Gosnells councillor and Army reserves member Pierre Yang is one of the youngest members of the Gosnells RSL.

At only 33, Mr Yang said the support from fellow RSL members was important.

He encouraged younger people to join the armed services and younger people to join RSLs around WA.