Margaret River Poppy Day appeal

POPPIES and a minute of silence this week will help support the Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen Relief Trust Fund and remember those who fought in WWI.

Local Isabella McSweeney, 3, will remember her great-grandfather, a prisoner of war in WWII, and her great-great-uncle who fought in WWI.

The annual Poppy Day appeal in support of the Returned Sailors, Soldiers and Airmen Relief Trust Fund will be held Margaret River on Friday, November 9 commencing at 8am.

Collection points include the Newsagent, River Fresh IGA and Coles. Funds collected are used to assist veterans in need or necessitous circumstances.

The Margaret River RSL Sub Branch will hold their Remembrance Day Service at Memorial Park, Willmott Street, Margaret River commencing at 10.45am on Sunday,

November 11. All veterans, citizens and children are encouraged to attend.

This year marks the 50 anniversary of Australia’s commitment to the Vietnam War.

A poster commemorating this features an image of Royal Australian Air Force and Australian Army servicemen rushing a wounded soldier from an Iroquois helicopter for treatment at the 8th Field Ambulance in Nui Dat, Vietnam.

The casualty is a member of 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, wounded in the battle of Suoi Chau Pha on August 6 1967.

Between August 1962 and May 1975 nearly 60,000 Australian men and women including navy, army and air force personnel served in the Vietnam War.

Of that number, 521 died and more than 3000 were evacuated with wounds, injuries or illnesses in what ranks alongside Afghanistan as one of the longest operational commitments in Australian military history.

A small number of Australian service personnel continued to serve in Vietnam as Embassy guards after 1972 and in 1975 the Royal Australian Air Force was involved in evacuating civilians and Australian diplomats during the war’s final days.

The fall of Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, in April 1975 brought an end to the war, which by then had spilled over into neighbouring Cambodia and Laos.

Millions lost their lives, millions and more were made refugees.

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