Sam Sturt

I meet a lot of war veterans in my volunteer work.

Some that immediately come to mind are the bloke who was a tail gunner in a Lancaster Bomber shot down over France and spent 12 months in a German prisoner of war camp.

I had a Korean veteran who was shot twice,  in each leg.

A bloke who provided artillery support for the Rats of Tobruk.

And many Vietnam Veterans of course.

But today I want to tell you about Paula's uncle, Sam Sturt who served in New Guinea during WWII.

Sam is not well.  He is in his late 80s and I have known him for about 10-15 years meeting him occasionally during that period.  I have his war medals. I just arranged for them to be mounted.  He never did get around to having them mounted properly.  For those that don't know, the medals are given to exservice men and women individually, it is their responsibility to get them mounted.  This is best left to an expert as there are rules in which the order of the medals are set, the length of ribbon; that kinda thing.

These are Sam's medals

Sam is a bit of a character and he has certainly led a full and exciting life.  He caught Dengue Fever in New Guinea during the war.  They thought he was dead and they placed him in a makeshift morgue.  He tells the story about how he smelt some cooking, he sat up and asked where was his breakfast was.  I'd like to hear the story from the guys that were doing the cooking!

He also was involved with the search team looking for the Southern Cloud.  Here he is with some of the wreckage from that crash.
Sam followed the horses and often he would tell you about his great bets or he would name horses for you to back so you could make a fortune.  Unfortunately Sam was never a wealthy man.  I met him in the street one day and I said to him, "Hi Sam, they tell me you had a big win on Saturday?"

As quick as a flash Sam said, "Who told you that?" in a concerned voice.

Gotcha Sam

This picture was taken at the races about ten years ago.
Sam is a non drinker.

He's come a long way since he joined the RAAF at age 18
I'll give him his medals in a couple of weeks time.  He said he wants to wear them on Anzac Day.  It will be the first time he will wear them.

I hope his health holds out for him.


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