Remembrance Day 2017 in Hervey Bay - Barry English.
Remembrance Day 2017 in Hervey Bay - Barry English. Alistair Brightman

'My son was born eight days after I left for Vietnam'

EIGHT days after arriving in Vietnam, Barry English's son was born.

It was 12 months later when he met his son for the first time.

"There were no phones or anything then but we could send each other letters," he said.

"Our daughter was born while I was in rookie training and then my son was born eight days after I left for Vietnam."

Mr English was one of many who paid tribute to fallen soldiers at a Remembrance Day service held at Freedom Park in Hervey Bay Saturday morning.


The mood sombre, community members and leaders stepped forward to lay wreaths in memory of those who died in the line of duty.

Wearing medals he earned during his service, Mr English reflected on a time which shaped who he is today.

At 21-years-old, Mr English joined the army spending his special day in rookie training.

Despite the experiences he lived through, to Mr English, "war is war".

"You go over there, do what you have to do, do what the government tells you to do," he said.

"You try and leave it all behind but it didn't work that way for us when we came back home."

As well as serving in Vietnam, Mr English served in Singapore and spent 20 years in the army as a regular soldier.

In total, he gave the military 30 years spending much of it as a dispatch rider.

While speaking with the Chronicle, Mr English said not many people would recognise his name.

However, they would remember the name 'Rhino' which was his nickname in the army.

"I think it was because I never took a step back and if I believed someone was wrong, I would tell them," he said.

"I've also got a big chest like a rhino."

Although dubbed as the "war to end all wars", Mr English didn't believe it would be the end.

Speaking of world events currently taking place in the world, he said he was afraid for his grandkids and afraid for his children.

"I think the whole world has gone mad," he said.

"If we had known how the world turned out today we probably wouldn't have gone into war (but) unfortunately we did.

"Australia is now what we remember (and) I think we had the best of it."

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