'He was there when the bombs hit Townsville': Veteran remembers

‘He was there when the bombs hit Townsville’: Veteran remembers

For Bolton Clarke Rowes Bay resident John Richard Martin, 95, Anzac Day is a time to remember service on the home front.

While his memory lacks some of the details these days, daughter Bev Buchanan says he was stationed at Townsville when it was bombed in July, 1942.

“He served in Darwin and Townsville,” she said.

“He was here when the bombs hit Townsville.”

Bev said her dad served in the Australian Army for a total of five years, and among many positions was in the 101-tank attack regiment.

“He was a gunner in the tank at the regiment,” she said.

“He was also the driver.”

In a time where John was committed to serving his country, he was lucky enough to meet his wife Jean when he was posted to Sydney.

“She taught him to dance at one of the soldier’s functions,”  says Bev.

Bolton Clarke Rowes Bay Veteran John Richard Martin remembers the bombing of Townsville

Jean was also a driver in the Army, and after being discharged the pair went on to marry in 1946 and have a family.

They raised two daughters, and their family continued to expand, with eight grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

Outside his service to his nation and his family, John had many other hobbies including playing soccer for the Ayr Rovers and participating in a pipe band as a drummer.

“When we were in Sydney he worked for the railway and studied part time for 13 years,” Bev said.

“When qualified he taught teaching instruction and architectural drawings.”

When he retired, he moved to the Sunshine Coast before ill health brought him back to his home in Townsville.

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