Veterans honoured

By Ashleigh Fielding | posted on August 15, 2019

VETERANS, families and friends will gather at Albany Forts this weekend to honour and remember Australian soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1972.

August 18 is known as Vietnam Veterans Day after a welcome home parade was held in honour of soldiers in Sydney on that date in 1987.

It is also recognised as the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, fought in 1966.

The Albany RSL Vietnam Veteran Day service will commence at 2pm on Sunday after a march and Guard of Honour from the Convoy Lookout.

Albany RSL Services Director Michael Tugwell said everyone was welcome to attend the service, which would include a change of plans from previous years.

“In the past, after the service, RSL members would travel to Allambie Park Cemetery to pay their respects to the three young soldiers resting there,” he said.

“After RSL discussions last year, I am pleased to announce that the paying of respects to these three soldiers will be conducted as part of the service at the Forts.”

The three soldiers in question are John McQuat, Allan Duncuff and Ron Bell, all killed in action during the Vietnam War.

For Albany RSL members John Benson, Geoff McNeill and Phil Maguire, this addition to the service will have extra special meaning.

Mr Benson’s cousin, Pauline, was engaged to Mr Bell before he was killed.

Mr McNeill and Mr Maguire were called up for National Service and deployed to Vietnam alongside Mr McQuat.

However, Mr McQuat’s name is not listed on the war memorial in York Street and Mr Tugwell is on a mission to find out why.

He is working alongside City of Albany Historian Sue Lefroy in the hope that Mr McQuat is added to the memorial before the 2020 Vietnam Veterans Day service.

Mr Tugwell encourages people to contact him if they know any information.

Mr Tugwell can be reached via email – metco03@outlook.com