HONOUR: Vietnam veteran Ray Hiddlestone with a photograph of WW1 troops from his father's war album. Photo: Frances Klein
HONOUR: Vietnam veteran Ray Hiddlestone with a photograph of WW1 troops from his father's war album. Photo: Frances Klein

We will remember them: Gympie veteran pays tribute

LONG-TIME friendships was one thing to come out of the time that Gympie man Ray Hiddlestone served in the Vietnam War in 1967.

The other things that came out of it are too hard to talk about, the returned serviceman said.

Ray said his time serving in Vietnam for 10 months as a 21-year-old “changed him a lot”.

“Some of my mates lost legs and arms.”

The rest is too difficult to reflect on, he said.

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HONOUR: Vietnam veteran Ray Hiddlestone with photographs of WW1 troops from his father's war album that he is donating to Gympie RSL. Photo: Frances Klein
HONOUR: Vietnam veteran Ray Hiddlestone with photographs of WW1 troops from his father's war album that he is donating to Gympie RSL. Photo: Frances Klein

He said the RSL had been a fantastic support and he was now hoping to donate family war photographs to Gympie RSL.

In particular are two photographs of English troops that came from his father’s war album – a group of fresh-faced young men before they depart to serve in World War I.

English troops gathered prior to embarkation to serve in WW1. This photograph belonged to the father of Gympie veteran Ray Hiddlestone. Photo: Frances Klein
English troops gathered prior to embarkation to serve in WW1. This photograph belonged to the father of Gympie veteran Ray Hiddlestone. Photo: Frances Klein

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Ray’s English father served in World War 1 – using one of his deceased brother’s birth certificates to sign up after they were both killed in Gallipoli.

He was 17 at the time and joined the Navy.

"Blue Jackets on Southsea Common". This photograph belonged to the English father of Gympie man Ray Hiddlestone. Ray's father served in WW1 and Ray served in Vietnam. Photo: Frances Klein

Today Ray will be remembering his father, his uncles and those he fought beside, some of whom he is still in contact with and has formed life-long bonds with.

He will also be passing a legacy onto his four-year-old grandson – using his collection of medals, photographs and tales to make an album for him.

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