Andy Wright takes World War II digger Laurie Fraser for a ride during the Anzac Day parade on Quay St in Rockhampton yesterday.
Andy Wright takes World War II digger Laurie Fraser for a ride during the Anzac Day parade on Quay St in Rockhampton yesterday. Allan Reinikka

Parade brings back memories

AS Rockhampton's Laurie Fraser proudly waved to the crowd in yesterday's Anzac Day parade, the World War II veteran couldn't help but let his mind wander back.

"It brings back a lot of memories," he said.

The digger, who was ferried along Quay St in the sidecar of a military motorbike during yesterday's march, was one of many who joined the Anzac Day commemorations.

Born and bred in Rockhampton, Laurie was conscripted to the Australian Army when he was just 18 years old, serving in New Guinea and New Britain between 1939 and 1945.

"It certainly made a man of me," Laurie said.

"At that age you're meant to be telling other people what to do, not taking orders.

"It was an adventure."

Laurie said the two-and-a-half years he spent in New Guinea were his scariest.

"In the jungles there, the scrub was that thick that the enemy could be anywhere," he said.

"They almost walked on top of you.

"It was a dangerous place."

Laurie said he sent many love letters during the war to a girl back in Rockhampton, whom he eventually married when he returned home.

"There were a lot of American soldiers here when I got back, but lucky she wasn't seeing any of them."

With four medals and many memories, Laurie said he looked forward to the Anzac Day parade each year.

"It's good to be a part of it all," he said.



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