Carinity will pay respect to past and present Australian defence personnel – including our aged care residents who served during World War II – on ANZAC Day.
Beryl Boorman, David Edgar and Reginald Miller are amongst a number of seniors living in Carinity communities whose military history we honour on the national day of commemoration on April 25.
Beryl Boorman followed the lead of her husband and enlisted to be part of Australia’s war effort in the 1940s.
Her husband Private Ray Boorman was with the Australian Light Horse and was later a gunner during World War II, serving two deployments in Papua New Guinea and Europe.
During the war, Beryl was based in Brisbane where she served in the Australian Army Ordnance Corps.
“Mum always told us how proud she was of her war service. She felt like it was a sense of duty to serve,” Beryl’s daughter Adele Arthur explained.
Serving in the Australian Defence Force continues to be a family affair for the Boormans. Beryl’s son Peter and son-in-law Jim served in the Vietnam War, her daughter Kym was also in the army, and in recent years her grandson Sean served with the Australian Navy in Iraq.
Beryl, 95, now lives at the Carinity Hilltop aged care community in Brisbane.
Carinity Hilltop resident David Edgar, 99, experienced a lot of close shaves while serving in the Australian Navy during World War II.
Able Seaman Edgar spent his early-20s aboard the ships HMAS Kybra, HMAS Koopa and HMAS Burnie in convoy escort, depot ship, minesweeping and anti-submarine patrol roles.
The ships sailed the waters off Australia, Papua New Guinea, China, Japan and Hong Kong and Able Seaman Edgar was involved in the liberation of the Philippines.
“The thing that stands out for me is he never tried to side-step a draft. A lot of places he dodged a bullet, where he missed a draft to a ship that was subsequently sunk,” his son Garry Edgar said.
After the surrender of Japan in 1945, HMAS Burnie was tasked to clear mines on the approaches to Hong Kong, resulting in Able Seaman Edgar and fellow crew returning home six months after the war ended.
“I am extremely proud of these ordinary blokes doing what had to be done,” Garry said.
Following the path of his father William who fought in World War I, Reginald Miller served in the Australian Army Reserve and Royal Australian Air Force for five years.
Reginald said one of the most difficult things about serving in the Australian Defence Force was being away from home.
“Thinking if I’m going to make it home and how much I miss the love, support and comfort of my family and loved ones. I was so happy to be back home safely reunited with them,” he said.
Reginald, 92, who lives at the Carinity Wishart Gardens aged care community, is very proud of his late father who was an original ANZAC.
“We are thankful and grateful for everyone who has served and defended for this country,” Reginald said.