COVID-19 updates for the AnglicareSA community | Read more

Camaraderie, rigour, and discipline – these are words we commonly associate with the military, but for Deane, they were part of his daily routine when he joined the army in 1954 for National Service. 

“We were trained as soldiers,” Deane said.

“We were taught how to fire guns, dig trenches, ruck march, and throw grenades.”

The 89-year-old ‘Nasho’, who lives at our Westbourne Park residential aged care site, was just 19 when he was conscripted to three months of compulsory military training at Woodside Barracks.

“I wasn’t upset that I was conscripted – I would have signed up even if it was voluntary,” he said.

“I was proud of having the duty to join the National Service and do something for my country.”

While it wasn’t always easy living and training at the barracks, Deane looks back at his time in the National Service with fond memories.  

“There were a lot of larrikins, bad language, and bending of the rules at the barracks,” he said with a laugh.

“Underneath it all, however, we were young men who believed in our country and our role in protecting its future.”

Black and white image  from Deane's days in the army.

Every year, the serviceman dons his medals, a symbol of his gallantry, with pride.

“Anzac Day has always been an important day to me. I attend dawn services where I can and wear my medals,” he said.

“It’s a day to reflect and remember old traditions and ways of life so they are not lost. We should all try to embody the values that the Anzacs represented, such as camaraderie, helping others, courage, and dedication.”

Deane said commemorating the sacrifices made by the Anzacs past and present in the early dawn light, it was important to consider the fallen soldiers who never made it home.  

“I feel fortunate that, during my time as a Nasho, I did not experience the same horrors as some soldiers past and present did. ”

Deane will lead the Anzac Day service for residents, their loved ones and staff at Westbourne Park, reading the ‘Ode to Remembrance’ and ‘In Flanders Fields’ poems.   

Each of our six residential care sites will mark Anzac Day with various celebrations honouring those who have served and are still serving our country.