A day to remember
This year’s dawn service was unforgettable for one member, who stood next to her grandfather in her uniform for the first time on Anzac Day – his 80th birthday.
CAPTION: Lieutenant Sarah Rohweder reflects in front of the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. Story by Sergeant Sebastian Beurich. Photo by Leading Seaman Kayla Jackson.
Although she’s joined a different service, Lieutenant Sarah Rohweder said her grandfather, Ronald Butcher, was “over the moon” when she told him she would be coming home to spend the day with him.
Mr Butcher followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Edward Butcher, who served as an Army medic in World War I.
Mr Butcher served in the Army for 20 years, including as 1 Transport Platoon’s Sergeant during the Vietnam War, before commissioning.
“This was the first time my grandfather and I stood side by side, as both former and current commissioned officers, since I joined Navy last July,” Lieutenant Rohweder said.
“Anzac Day means a lot to him – not only as a reminder of his service and that of his comrades, but also the fact it is his birthday. He shares this birthday with his first grandson, my cousin.
“His father before him was also in the Army and so too was my youngest cousin so it’s a special time for our family, being able to come together.”
Lieutenant Rohweder and her family marked the day with the usual gunfire breakfast and ceremony at Greenbank RSL, before the march through Brisbane, which she said reminded her of her childhood.
She is the first person in her family to join Navy, despite applying for Army at the same time, saying she found it to be “a better fit”.
“Anzac Day has always meant a lot to me, especially with my grandfather and his grandfather’s service,” Lieutenant Rohweder said.
“This year felt extra special because I’m now one of those serving members and my family extends to my Navy colleagues.
“Anzac Day is a time to pause and reflect on all the servicemen and women who sacrificed so much for the protection and prosperity of our nation, and particularly our loved ones.”