Veteran Gallipoli-bound to salute at his dad’s battleground

DUNDOWRAN Beach veteran Alf Dennis will begin his journey to Gallipoli on Friday to attend the Anzac centenary service from the beach where his father fought 100 years ago.

For Mr Dennis, this will be the first time he has ever worn a medal, and the second Anzac service he has ever attended, despite celebrating his 18th birthday on the Kokoda Track during the Second World War.

He said it was difficult for him to even discuss the horrors of war, but it was worth putting aside to travel to Gallipoli and pay tribute to those who had sacrificed their lives.

"My father never discussed the war and I never discussed the war," Mr Dennis said.

If I asked him a question about it he would say 'you don't want to know'.

"I never wore a medal or went to an Anzac service before last year because I didn't want to relive it all, but I'm proud that I will be displaying the medal this year because going to Gallipoli to remember all of those Australians who sacrificed their lives is worth putting it all aside."

Mr Dennis said it was extra significant that his father, Alfred Dennis, fought at Gallipoli.

"Thinking of my father being there as a stretcher-bearer, I can't help but get a shiver down my spine," he said.

"He returned from there, but it's far more than just about the returned soldiers - it was after Gallipoli that we were recognised as our own country and it gave us courage and independence."

Alf's wife and Second World War veteran Mary also planned to join Alf and the other 10,498 people selected to attend the service, but owing to health reasons, Alf's niece Jan will be going instead.

 



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