304 Years Young

By Bev Jordan

It’s rare to meet people who served in World War 2 but last week three WW2 veterans met for a special morning tea at West Pennant Hills. Their combined age – 304 years.

The gathering was organised by Castle Hill RSL sub-branch which presented the trio, Dennis Davis, 100, Bruce Robertson, 100 and Dorice Noy 104 with Christmas hampers.

It was also a chance to show off the 75 year special service medal presented to veterans to mark the End of the Second World War.

The remarkable trio met at Uniting’s Wirreanda Retirement Village where Bruce lives in self-care and Dorice lives residential aged care. Dennis, who still enjoys a daily 4km walk, lives in self-care in Castle Ridge Retirement Resort at Castle Hill.

Bruce was in the militia before World War 2 broke out but joined the RAAF as soon as he could.

He trained as a wireless operator in Sydney and one night while helping to monitor wireless communications he picked up Morse code he couldn’t transcribe.

“I heard some strange signals in my headset and called the Signals Officer over. He got onto the Direction-Finding stations and got a fix; they confirmed my original suspicion that it was a Japanese transmission in Kani Code.”

He was later posted to the newly-formed 30 Squadron based at RAAF Richmond and headed to New Guinea for two years, where the Beaufighters were involved in Kokoda, Milne Bay and the Battle of Bismarck Sea.

Dennis Davis was working as a clerk with the State Tax Office in Sydney when war broke out.

He signed up for the AIF during his lunch break after news broke about the Battle of Dunkirk (May 26 to June 4, 1940) when nearly 340,000 British and Allied troops were evacuated from Dunkirk to England as German forces closed in on them.

“The war had got serious and I wanted to volunteer rather than be conscripted.”

He served in the 9thDivision AIF in the Middle East and is one of the few remaining famous “Rats of Tobruk”.

During his five years and four months of war service he took part in five different campaigns and says God was his constant companion while serving in Africa, the Middle East, New Guinea and Borneo.

Dorice Noy (then known as Doris Lown) was working in an engineering company in Britain when World War 2 was declared.

She joined the Women’s Auxiliary air force and served for four years. She was so good at assembling spark plugs for the aircraft that she became a trainer and was posted around the UK. It was during that time she met Queen Mary.

She migrated to Australia in 1957 and joined the Castle Hill RSL subbranch at age of 99. In January, she turns 105.

Castle Hill RSL Sub-branch President David Hand said: “ It’s so special to see three of our members who are centenarians getting together.

“They have given us so much that it’s nice for us to be able to present them with hampers.

“Dennis and Bruce were recently presented with medallions marking 75 years since the end of World War. It’s remarkable we can sit with them still and hear their stories. They are a wonderful example of endurance and service to us all.”

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