World War II veteran Henry Preston prepares for the start of the Anzac Day march in Maroochydore.
World War II veteran Henry Preston prepares for the start of the Anzac Day march in Maroochydore. Craig Warhurst

WWII veterans look to youth to carry Anzac spirit

THE sight of hundreds of children marching behind his Jeep was World War II army veteran Henry Preston's source of Anzac Day satisfaction.

Mr Preston rode in a lead vehicle at Wednesday morning's Maroochydore march, receiving the first applause of the parade as it headed to Cotton Tree Park.

"The main thing now is seeing the number of schoolchildren," Mr Preston, 92, said.

He recalled a different attitude in 1963 when he wanted to have children under his tutelage march in an Anzac Day parade in Parramatta.

"I wasn't allowed to."

He instead had the children march alongside the parade on the footpath.

This morning's march also raised memories of his late wife Veronica, who served her country by working on war films.

She died from cancer in 2009.

Mr Preston, of Buderim, said the films were Australia's war propaganda.

"They used to cut the bad parts out," Mr Preston said.

"You wouldn't see an Australian being killed."

 

Bill White (left) and Bill Hayward catch up at the Maroochydore Anzac Day morning service. Anzac Day 2018 at Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast
Bill White (left) and Bill Hayward catch up at the Maroochydore Anzac Day morning service. Anzac Day 2018 at Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast Craig Warhurst

World War II navy veteran Bill White, 95, said his father's military career, then his own, had led to his involvement in Anzac Day marches throughout his life.

Mr White, of Sippy Downs, said marches seemed to be growing larger every year.

"This is probably the biggest one we've had so far," Mr White said.


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