Local heroes revieve long-overdue medals

Local heroes revieve long-overdue medals

Riverton RSL sub-branch president Bill Collidge with Korean War medal recipient Ian Raymond and Member for Riverton Mike Nahan.

A Korean War veteran was last week finally given the right to wear a medal more than six decades after he rightfully earned it.

On April 21 Riverton RSL sub-branch warden and Korean War veteran Ian Raymond was awarded the Korean War Service Medal at the club’s annual ANZAC dinner.

Mr Raymond, who served as a Petty Officer in the Korean conflict, was eligible to receive the award following the 1950-53 war but could not accept it due to archaic medal rules.

The rules stated veterans could only be awarded a single foreign medal, and Mr Raymond had already received the United Nations Medal KOREA.

Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, who announced an exemption to the rule for the Republic of Korea War Service medal, cleared up the issue in February.

Mr Raymond enlisted in the navy in World War II as a 16-year-old boy and served until he was found out, then re-enlisted in 1944 when he was old enough.

When the Korean War broke out in 1950, Mr Raymond was again keen to volunteer and after training served on a destroyer in Korean waters.

RSL WA’s Bill Collidge and Riverton MP Mike Nahan presented his medal on April 23.

Mr Collidge was glad to have been involved in the event for a good friend.

“Ian is a real stalwart of the Riverton RSL sub-branch,” he said.

“He is very community minded, having also been a member of Lions for 56 years, and is a genuinely nice guy.”

At the same meeting Willetton resident Sylvia Carmody received a replica Australian Service Medal for her service in World War II.

Mrs Carmody had been eligible to receive the award since 1996, but was not aware. Mr Collidge praised Mrs Carmody’s service and said she was not alone in being unaware she could apply for the medal.

“Veterans like Sylvia don’t seek out this time of recognition, in fact she seemed a bit embarrassed to receive the attention on Saturday night,” he said.

“I often wondered why Sylvia would only wear the War Medal 1939-45 to dinners at the Sub-branch, and never the Australian Service Medal.

“It then occurred to me that Sylvia was like many other veterans who didn’t know they were now eligible, and so as a proud supporter of the Sub- Branch for many years we need to make sure Sylvia received the acknowledgement that she deserves.”

Mrs Carmody received a replica medal in place of the original, which Mr Collidge said they would try to locate.