Tears for fallen friends

Petty officer Adam Bamford and Vietnam veteran Geof Irwin lay a wreath.
Petty officer Adam Bamford and Vietnam veteran Geof Irwin lay a wreath.

The former 9th squadron RAAF member, who served in Vietnam in 1971 and Papua New Guinea in 1973, said he could not help but become emotional.

After joining aged 18, he went into engineering, working particularly on helicopters.

‘I lost a number of close friends,’ he said. ‘It is hard; I have a few tears, I can’t help it.’

The Kalamunda resident attended the Mazenod College Remembrance Day ceremony to pay his respects to fallen soldiers that fought in World War I.

Producing a photograph of his six-month-old grandson, his first, he said family support on these reflective days was paramount.

‘My family get involved, it is very important,’ he said.

‘I have been going to dawn services since the 1980s and more people go each year.

‘I think it is through education, which is important because if the young kids don’t remember, who will?’

Royal Australian Navy petty officer and former Mazenod College student Adam Bamford also attended the ceremony.

Mr Bamford joined the armed forces straight out of school in 1998 and has since served in Afghanistan.

‘My grandfather, Jack Kleinhanss, who lives in Maida Vale, fought for his country in the Korean War and his stories inspired me to join,’ he said.

The school band led the Mazenod service in the national anthem and The Last Post before wreaths were laid at the base of a flagpole as guests ” many of whom had served in the armed forces ” stood respectfully with their medals pinned on their uniforms.