Edith and Arthur

I mentioned elsewhere that I assist war veterans through the maze of bureaucratic forms and procedures when they are seeking compensation for war caused injuries or disease from DVA.

I am constantly in awe of the WWII people who had to endure horrendous stuff and yet they go about their lives in such a humble way that could teach us younger folk a thing or two.  I am talking about a way of life that respects others, where people have manners and common decency; and where they would rather put them selves out than inconvenience others.

Yesterday I visited such a couple: Edith who is 94 and her husband of over 60 years, Arthur, who is 92.  I accused Edith of cradle snatching.  They met during the war when they were both serving in New Guinea.  Edith was a nursing sister looking after wounded soldiers of course, but she also attended to the local natives whom she says had no idea what toilets were for, or bed sheets for that matter.  Arthur interrupts, sometimes he says he can't get a word in because Edith never stops talking, he mentioned that the natives were so small that he could carry one on each arm.  Arthur held the rank of corporal and he was a despatch rider.  He said he used to help out at the hospital (I'm guessin' he had an eye for Edith - that was the real reason he was at the hospital).  Later he was in charge of a large group responsible for evacuation of the dead and wounded.

They showed me photos of themselves in their youth.  Edith was quite a good sort and Arthur was a tall strapping bloke and quite handsome.  You could write a book or make a movie about this couple I'm sure.

I was there to help them apply for a review of their disability pensions from DVA.  Edith made me a nice cuppa with a slice of homemade fruit cake.  When I was leaving she gave me another slice sealed in plastic wrap.

War veterans are very gracious and appreciative when you help them and I get a lot of thanks from them for doing this volunteer work, but meeting and helping a couple like Edith and Arthur was an absolute pleasure.

If the delegates from the Repatriation Commission give either of them a hard time, heads will roll at that establishment.


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