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Airmen’s Sacrifice Honoured

Monday 27 April, 2015

Source: Brett Kennedy - The Border Watch

The ultimate sacrifice made by four World War II airmen who died near Mount Gambier continues to be honoured on Anzac Day.

A small crowd gathered early Saturday morning (April 25) at the historic Lake Terrace cemetery to pay their respects to the men who were lost in tragic circumstances.

RAAF Flight Sergeant Henry (Mick) Lord, from St Kilda, tragically lost his life 12 days after WWII ended when he crashed into scrub after taking off from the Mount Gambier Airport.

He is laid to rest alongside RAAF Flying Officer J.T. Walton, Flight Sergeant B.J. Eaton and RAAF Sergeant Geoffrey Abbott from Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales respectively.

They formed the crew of a Beaufort Bomber which crashed near Mount Gambier.

Former spitfighter pilot and World War II veteran Charlie Miller led the service, which was attended by Wing Commander Martin Ball, who ventured from Adelaide to pay his respects.

“This all just started out as a few of us, four or five I think, about 10 years ago,” Mr Miller said.

“We persisted in coming up and honouring these four fellows.

“The RSL got wind of it and I think they contacted the War Service Grave Commission and eventually these wonderful surrounds were built.

“It seems to be that as this (site) has grown, so has the number of participants in the ceremony.”

Mr Miller said the annual service was an important feature on the Anzac Day calendar.

“We are very happy to come up and pay our tributes to these unfortunate blokes who weren’t and aren’t able to experience the joys of our lives,” he said.

“We have a wonderful life and it always saddens me that they were unable to share it with us.

“That’s one of the tragedies of war, these young blokes who lose their lives.”

The service has previously attracted family of Sgt Lord, who praised the immaculately presented grave site.

Mount Gambier City Council and the Mount Gambier Community RSL have been integral in the development, restoration and upkeep of the graves site.

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