Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Family Farewells Veteran

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Family Farewells Veteran

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Cumming stuart.cumming@thechronicle.com.au

A WICKED sense of humour and determination not to be impeded by disability were traits celebrated during the farewell of Rat of Tobruk Don Reaves.

His son Gordon yesterday delivered a eulogy to a packed house at Burstows funeral home chapel.

Gordon said his father, whose arm was blown off while serving at the Siege of Tobruk, used to enjoy telling stories to school children who asked him about the injury.

"Do you chew your fingernails," Gordon said, imitating his father's response.

Gordon said Mr Reaves also had a response ready to go if he heard of anyone visiting the Syrian city in which he was injured.

He would ask them to keep an eye out for his missing limb.

"I had a good watch on it and would like it back."

Mr Reaves died at his care facility on November 17.

He was 94.

His military service in the 2nd 7th Field Company during the famed 1941 Battle of Tobruk was said to have defined him. …

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