ANZAC DAY TRADITIONS, Part 1
Air Force Cadets from No 6 Wing (South Australia and Mildura) are currently preparing for their involvement in various Anzac Day commemorative activities – busy confirming that their service dress uniforms fit properly, their hat fur felt brims are flat, and their medals are ready for wear.
CAPTION: Cadet Sergeant Lucy Tassell and Cadet Charlotte Tassell with the World War 2 medals of their great-grandfather, Leading Aircraftman Owen Forrest, RAAF.
Cadets wearing medals? Yes, this is possible in certain circumstances according to time-honoured traditions.
Flying Officer (AAFC) Paul Rosenzweig, 6 Wing Public Affairs and Communication Officer, said decorations and war service medals were linked inextricably with the service of veterans who have seen warlike or non-warlike operational service, so wearing someone else’s medals was not something to be done lightly.
Cadets and AAFC staff participating in an Anzac Day activities are encouraged to honour the service of a deceased family member by wearing their medals on their service dress uniform.
The medals are worn on the right breast, to show that the wearer is not the original recipient.
This privilege does not apply however when a Cadet is participating in an official capacity, such as in a Guard of Honour or Catafalque Party.
Only the medals of a deceased relative, passed down in a direct line from grandparents to parents, should be worn.
The medals of a relative who is still living may not be worn, other than by the original recipient.
Cadet Sergeant Lucy Tassell and her sister Cadet Charlotte Tassell intend honouring the service of their great-grandfather during and immediately after World War 2.
Owen William Forrest served in the Australian Military Forces from 1942, and then in the Royal Australian Air Force from 1943, deploying as a 19-year-old on operational service in the South West Pacific theatre.
Leading Aircraftman Forrest was awarded the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal 1939-1945 and Australia Service Medal 1939-1945, and he received the Returned from Active Service Badge.
For his continued operational service after the end of hostilities until his discharge on 22 May 1946 he was awarded the Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 with the clasp “S.W. PACIFIC”.
During her participation in Anzac Day activities this year, Leading Aircraftwoman (AAFC) Lisa Dibben will honour the World War 2 service of her maternal grandfather Private Geoffrey Whiteman (1922-1985).
Private Whiteman saw service in the Citizens Military Forces (CMF) from 1941 with a garrison battalion, on full-time duty during the bombing of Darwin, and then as a 20-year-old in Port Moresby with the 6th Australian Division Workshops, AIF.
For his war service in New Guinea, Private Whiteman was awarded the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal 1939-1945 and Australia Service Medal 1939-1945, and he received the Returned From Active Service Badge.
“Through participating in these community commemorative events, our Air Force Cadets not only learn self-discipline and teamwork, but also develop a sense of pride and belonging to the broader community,” Flying Officer (AAFC) Paul Rosenzweig said.