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World War 2 Veterans Photography
Yesterday we visited the home of Arthur William Fuller to photograph him for the Australian Institute of Professional Photography's Reflections: Honouring our World War II Veterans project. Arthur served in the Navy as an Able Seaman, enlisting at age 17 in November 1942 and serving until April 1946. He served on the HMAS Wilcannia which mainly did convoy work. Arthur also served on the HMAS Swan in the south west Pacific area and was onboard in September 1945 when the Swan embarked General Eather, General Officer Commanding the Australian 11th Division, and his staff. On board on the same day at Namatani, General Eather accepted the surrender of Japanese forces in New Ireland from General Ito, the Japanese Commander-in-Chief.
When asked about his war experience, Arthur said that he was more fortunate than many service people. On shore leave, he saw soldiers whose experiences were horrendous and he didn't know how they did it. After the war, Arthur returned to study and became a barrister and solicitor. He lives with his lovely second wife, Judith and they have been married for 25 years with 9 children between them.
At age 89 (almost 90), Arthur is deaf (a consequence of his war service) and uses a stick for walking but it is his direct gaze and innate strength of character that struck both Sue and myself when we met. His appreciation of our efforts to visit his home on behalf of the AIPP was humbling, particularly in light of the sacrifices he and his fellow service people made for all Australians. It is we who say thank you and again, we are delighted to be a small part of this project.
Not all of the estimated 14,000 World War II servicemen and women from allied forces now living in Australia have heard of the offer to receive a free portrait to commemorate their service in World War II. These portraits will also be donated to the Australian War Memorial. AIPP members are keen to photograph as many of these veterans as possible. If you know of anyone in your family or circle of friends, please tell them about this project and help them get in touch with us or register online at http://www.aipp.com.au/reflections For those in the Epping NSW vicinity, with the support of the Epping RSL we will be photographing registered veterans attending the Epping Club's VP Day lunch on 12th August 2015. The Epping RSL has also kindly agreed to us arranging an alternate day on 28th July 2015 for other veterans. Please contact me on 0421 057 693 to arrange a booking.