Off to war for 18th birthday

Colac’s Ken Spurrell said Anzac Day was about “remembrance”.

COLAC’S Ken Spurrell says he didn’t spare a thought for his own safety when he went to war.

Ken and his two older brothers Walter and Douglas enlisted for service in the Second World War.

“I joined up basically on my 18th birthday,” Mr Spurrell said.

“My first choice would have been the navy, but Mum wouldn’t sign me on for the navy, she said ‘I’ll sign you on for the air force but not the navy’,” he said.

Mr Spurrell shared his story as Colac and district prepares for Anzac Day on April 25.

Mr Spurrell trained in ground control and aircraft maintenance and went to Morotai in Indonesia.

“Just took it for granted what was going to happen,” he said.

“To me I never really had felt any worries about

getting injured or anything like that.

“Just thought ‘we’re doing a job here’, never thought of the other side of it.”

Mr Spurrell’s brother Walter started in the army but transferred to the air force, spending most of his war service in England.

“The war finished before he actually had a combat mission,” he said.

“Probably one of the lucky ones.”

Douglas Spurrell joined the air force “when Japan came into the war”.

“Spent basically all of his war service in the north of Australia in a signals unit,” Mr Spurrell said.

The three Colac brothers didn’t see each other again until “some time” after the war finished.

“It was always up on the families I suppose that things like that happened,” Mr Spurrell said.

“But that’s what you call war; it’s not very convenient most of the time.”

Mr Spurrell joined the RSL when he returned from war, and served as Colac president in 1953.

He said Anzac Day was about “remembrance”.

Comments are closed.