Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Digger Never Got a Chance to March with His Medals

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Digger Never Got a Chance to March with His Medals

Article excerpt

Byline: Luke Mortimer

MORE than 70 years after he fought in the Second World War, a Mackay veteran has finally been recognised for his brave service.

Sadly, William Kynaston's widow, Gwendolyne Kynaston, 94, died about five weeks before her husband was posthumously awarded three medals.

The late couple's children, daughters Sheryl Miles, Diane Myles and sons John and Allen Kynaston, fought with the Federal Government for at least three years before a fateful letter dropped into Sheryl Miles' mailbox on April 14.

The sudden but welcome news proved bittersweet after her mum's passing, Mrs Miles said.

"I hadn't heard a word since last year. I was emailing the (Federal) government and heard nothing back," she said.

"When I first got the letter out I wondered if it was going to be a refusal. But no, when I got it out I could have kissed the first person I saw. I was ecstatic.

"Dad wouldn't talk to us about this. I think he was ashamed, he couldn't march or go to the parade. But I think he would have been very, very happy.

"The grandkids and great grandkids all thought it was awesome too. They know how hard we fought for this.

"But unfortunately Mum never got to see it."

The Department of Defence confirmed in the letter Mr Kynaston's service record had been reviewed and medals approved, as the department sifts through "historical cases of former Australian Defence Personnel who had their honours or awards withheld or refused"

It followed the completion of a Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal inquiry late last year, which will likely see scores of Australian soldiers given the respect they deserve years on. Mrs Miles spoke before the tribunal in 2015.

The family are now waiting on William Kynaston's 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star and War Medal 1939-45, which represents his time as an infantryman between 1942 and 1946. …

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