Former Dalby serviceman the first in region to receive war medal
LIONEL Larsen still remembers the day he rode his bike three hours from Dalby to Toowoomba to enlist in the Second World War.
The 97-year-old served in the air force in New Guinea all those years ago, and this week was honoured with a special commemorative medallion to honour his service.
Maranoa MP David Littleproud said Mr Larsen was the first veteran from Maranoa to receive the medallion, and encouraged other Second World War veterans to apply too.
“Maranoa has a rich Second World War history and is proud to be the home to veterans from this remarkable generation of Australians who served our nation during the Second World War,” Mr Littleproud said.
“I was honoured to present 97-year-old Lionel Larsen with his medallion today to acknowledge his service and hear of his remarkable experiences.
“Lionel served in the air force in New Guinea during the Second World War and can still recount the day he rode his bicycle three hours from Dalby to Toowoomba to enlist.
“I sincerely thank Lionel and all Maranoa veterans for their service and the huge sacrifices they made for our country and way of life.
“As a community we must ensure the stories of our veterans live on, and that we never forgot the role of all Australians who served overseas or on the home front in the Second World War.”
Veterans’ Affairs minister Darren Chester said that of the one million Australian men and women who fought during the Second World War campaigns, incredibly, around 12,000 veterans who served during the Second World War are still with us today.
This will be one of the last opportunities we have as a nation to publicly acknowledge this special group of Australians.
“These brave Australians served our nation in the far corners of the world, fighting in theatres of war from Europe to North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, to Asia and the Pacific, with the conflict also reaching Australian shores,” Mr Chester said.
“Australia can never fully repay the debt we owe these amazing men and women but, to mark their service, the Federal Government is producing this Commemorative Medallion and Certificate of Commemoration for the remaining living Second World War veterans.”
“I encourage all veterans, or their family members on their behalf, to apply to receive a medallion and certificate as a special thank you from a grateful nation for all they have done.”
Second World War veterans, or their families on their behalf, can apply online at dva.gov.au/medallion or, for those without internet access, by phone on 02 61918217 during business hours.
The Commemorative Medallions and Certificates will be distributed throughout August.