TAMWORTH’S Ted Carter and his 20 fellow World War II veterans have arrived safely in Egypt as part of an emotional World War II commemoration.
The 21 veterans visited the El Alamein Military Museum on Thursday and yesterday visited a battlefield and attended a commemorative service to honour their New Zealand comrades.
Mr Carter is our only local veteran on the commemorative journey marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein and the North Africa campaigns.
The 93-year-old served in the army as a member of the 2/3rd Pioneer Batallion.
On the first night of the Battle of El Alamein, Mr Carter was part of a section that went ahead to find a passage through the minefield.
The soldier he was with, who had the mine detector, was badly hurt, so as the officer commanding the section, Mr Carter had to find his way through the minefield relying solely on his eyes.
He was also a Rat of Tobruk.
“Today we marked the 70th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the North Africa campaigns, including the decisive Battle of El Alamein, at memorial services at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission El Alamein War Cemetery and the Australian 9th Division Memorial,” Minister for Veterans Affairs Warren Snowden said yesterday.
“We paid tribute to the efforts of the Australian servicemen and women in North Africa; their great victory alongside Allied counterparts; and the loss of some great mates-in-arms they left behind 70 years ago.”
Thousands of Australians served in the campaigns in North Africa and Syria during WWII, in major actions at Bardia, Libya, and the capture of Tobruk in January 1941 and the siege of Tobruk from April to December 1941, Syria from June to July 1941 and El Alamein from August to November 1942.
Tomorrow the veterans depart for Dubai, where they will visit a defence base and meet current service members of the Australian Defence Force, before arriving back in Australia on Wednesday.