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World War II veteran shares importance of Anzac Day


World War II veteran Alf Carpenter has shared the importance of commemorating Anzac Day as Australians seek to pay tribute to soldiers both past and present.

During the war, Mr Carpenter fought in Europe and the Middle East before being stationed in the Pacific towards the end of the conflict.

He was honoured by the Greek government in 2015 for his role in the Battle of Crete, in which Nazi Germany launched an airborne invasion in May 1941.

The Georgetown resident, who celebrated his 103rd birthday this week, met with Charlestown State MP Jodie Harrison to explain what Anzac Day meant to him.

Mr Carpenter is a long-time president of the 2/4th Australian Infantry Battalion Association, which has been operating continuously since its formation in 1943.

He usually marches in Sydney on Anzac Day, but will be confined to his home this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“[Anzac Day] is most important as far as I’m concerned, being president of our association for many years,” he says.

“I remember all those wonderful and brave soldiers, not only from Australia, but also German and Russian who we fought against at different times.

“I [went to] a ceremony that we did in Athens, Greece, and there was a German soldier there.

“I had an interview with him and he said: ‘We did what our government wanted us to do’ and I piped in and said: ‘Yes, and we’ve done what our government wanted us to do.’

“So, that’s how I met a German soldier that came down on me and lost one of his arms in the Battle of Crete.”

Mr Carpenter has also served as a Justice of the Peace (JP) for more than 50 years, is a former zone supervisor for surf life saving, and a life member of the Merewether Mackerels winter swimming club.

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