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Last man standing from unit

Written on the 19 April 2017 by scotch

At 97 YEARS old, Charles Short was his World War II unit's only veteran at its Anzac Day ceremony this year.

As a former 2/27th Battalion soldier, Mr Short attends the Scotch College-hosted event each year.

"Every year there's one or two missing," Mr Short said. "You meet some mighty good folks in the army ... (many of them) aren't here any more."

Mr Short enlisted in 1939, saw active service in the Middle East, then then left for New Guinea in 1942 where a life-threatening wound brought his fighting days to an end.

"A Japanese sniper was up in a palm tree, he lined me up and shot me in the middle ... I survived that," Mr Short said.

He was gradually transported back to Australia, stopping at various hospitals along the way, and eventually ended up in the repatriation hospital at Northfield. The injury confined Mr Short to a hospital room for 12 months where he was visited regularly by his dedicated wife-to-be, Pat.

"She worked at the munitions factory down at Hendon, making the bullets for us to fire," Mr Short said.

"She was living on Norwood Parade. She'd ride her bike down to Northfield, visit me, then she'd ride her bike down to Hendon, work for eight hours, take her bike on the train to the Adelaide station, then ride back out to Norwood." Mrs Short died 27 years ago aged in her 70s.

The Centennial Park Cemetery ceremony was held on April 18 for the Scotch College school community.


-- Original article by Cathryn McLauchlan appeared in HillsValley Weekly, 19 April 2017. PICTURE: War veteran Charles Short with Scotch College students Ruby Stobart and Henry Hollams, both 17, at Centennial Park Cemetery. By ROGER WYMAN.

Author: scotch

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