The photos speak for themselves: three generations of the Clark family who have all served for their country in the Australian Defence Force.
Ken Clark is Surf Life Saving Queensland’s General Manager Commercial and is proud of his family’s history with Anzac Day.
“I’ve got a long history with Anzac Day,” Clark told Surf Life Saving Queensland.
“My grandfather William Henry Clark was joined the 6th Battalion Australian Imperial Forces who were in the second wave of boats that went to Gallipoli.
“He landed in the early morning of the 25th April 1915, which later became Anzac Day.
“He was shot down a month later and had to have a piece of lead removed from his heart.
“He later turned that into a brooch for my grandmother.
“He lived until he was 84 years old.”
Ken’s father Kenneth James Clark served Australia in the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II. He was discharged and then years later decided to enlist in the Army where he served in Korea.
Ken himself enlisted in the RAAF on April 22, 1975 and would go on to serve six years; including two years in Malaysia where he worked on maintaining jet fighters.
“When I returned to Australia I worked on helicopters and now I’m Chief Executive Officer of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service which is pretty fitting,” he said.
“My time in the ADF was very good, it set me up for life in terms of discipline and mateship.
“Many soldiers after they returned from active service in the war started Surf Life Saving Clubs – so there’s always been a strong link between the two.”
Half of the eight pilots who are part of the Westpac Lifesaver Rescue Helicopter Service have also had extensive experience in the ADF, including:
Chief Pilot Paul Gibson served in the Army for ten years.
Pilot Kurt Brumley spent 10 years in the Army in transport and served in the Middle East.
Pilot Geoff Thompson started his career in the Army Reserves in Brisbane before transferring to become a helicopter pilot in the Army, where he served for 16 years. He has been deployed to Timor and Afghanistan.
Alternate Chief Pilot Dave O’Brien also served in the Army as a helicopter pilot.
Article by Josie Fielding.