Memories flood on Anzac Day for Mercy Place Mandurah resident Leslie Williams

Anzac Day triggers many memories for Mandurah resident Leslie Williams. Photo: Jon Hewson
Anzac Day triggers many memories for Mandurah resident Leslie Williams. Photo: Jon Hewson

MORE than 100 years on from the birth of the Anzac legend, Mercy Place Mandurah will commemorate the Anzac heroes and other ex-servicemen and women in its midst ahead of Anzac Day.

As one of several World War II returned servicemen now living at the aged care home, 95-year old Leslie Williams will be one of those commemorating his fallen mates at a ceremony at the retirement home.

Mr Williams enlisted in the 10th Australian Light Horse Regiment in 1942 and after completing training, was deployed to Borneo where he served as an ambulance driver in the Army Medical Corps.

“I was still deployed in Borneo when the Japanese capitulated but they didn’t surrender straight away and kept fighting for another few months,’’ he recalls.

“As they retreated we advanced and there was a great deal of heavy combat taking place, so it was certainly a busy time collecting those injured and taking them back to the hospital we had established.

“Anzac Day triggers all those memories and its an opportunity to pay my respects to everyone who lost their lives during World War II.

“For me, it’s also a time to remember my stepfather who was a prisoner of war for three years after being taken when Singapore fell.

“He worked in very harsh conditions on the Burma Railway and although he survived, he was a shadow of his former self when he made it back home to Australia.

“Anzac Day is certainly the time to remember and pay respect.”

Residents will commemorate Anzac Day by holding a small service on April 23 and a number of residents will visit Mandurah War Memorial to lay a wreath made by seniors at the home.

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