SPECIAL DAY: Second World War veteran Fred Bainbridge looks forward to today's Anzac Day services.
SPECIAL DAY: Second World War veteran Fred Bainbridge looks forward to today's Anzac Day services. Mike Knott BUN240419FRED6

Veteran, 95, tells of life as a teen in the army

TODAY we stop to remember the sacrifices of those who have served our country and fought for our freedom.

We recognise the efforts of everyday heroes. Heroes like Fred Bainbridge.

Fred, 95, was only 16 when he enlisted to the Australian Army.

The Walkervale man was one of five brothers who served. Fred spent time in Papua New Guinea during World War II.

He is one of only a small group of WWII veterans still active in the Bundaberg RSL sub branch.

Today, Mr Bainbridge and fellow veteran Herbie Woodward will join Bundaberg Mayor Jack Dempsey for the salute at the Anzac Day service.

He said it was an honour to be part of today's proceedings on what was always an important day on the region's calendar.

Yesterday he explained to the NewsMail what Anzac Day was like through the eyes of a Bundaberg veteran.

Mr Bainbridge said for him Anzac Day was about remembrance.

"I can remember what happened to myself and all the other people around me and how we went out on patrols," he said.

Mr Bainbridge said while most veterans don't go into detail about their experiences, it was always special to catch up with old friends.

He has veteran friends from all corners of the state.

"We just think about all of those times and have a laugh," he said. "There's a lot of memories and it's good to see the others.

"I've met a lot of people."

His story of enlisting demonstrates what it meant to be a teenage boy serving his country in the 1940s.

"It was good to just to join up," Mr Bainbridge said.

"I was working at the meatworks and I put my age up so I could get in (to the army)." The Bundaberg Dawn Service will assemble outside the Bundaberg RSL at 4.10am, with a gunfire breakfast for veterans and the community following the service.

The Civic Service will start with a march at 8.30am from Bourbong St to the Cenotaph and through Anzac Park.



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