Lt Col Harry Smith signs his book for veteran Tad Prasolik at the RSL.
Lt Col Harry Smith signs his book for veteran Tad Prasolik at the RSL.

They will always be remembered

THEIR name liveth for evermore.

The solemn epitaph is one the Fraser Coast has taken to heart to ensure the sacrifices of our veterans are not squandered or forgotten.

The Chronicle was humbled to play a part in helping Long Tan veteran Harry Smith in his decades long battle to get the heroic deeds of his colleagues recognised with a medal or citation.

Victory was finally won in March 2011 when Lieutenant Colonel Smith was awarded the Star of Gallantry medal after 45 years of bureaucratic flip-flopping.

But Lt Col Smith did not stop there.

In August 2011, Lt Col Smith's entire company 6RAR Delta were awarded a unit citation for extraordinary gallantry in action.

The medals recognised Lt Col Smith's leadership during a fierce fire fight against 2500 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese at Long Tan in August 1966.

The vastly outnumbered unit lost 18 soldiers with a further 24 wounded.

Editor Clementine Norton reported on Lt Col Smith's bureaucratic victory when it was first announced.

"The Chronicle values all of our veterans, but there's no doubt that Harry Smith is a stand-out.

"The hell that he and his company went through can barely be imagined, but Harry's battle continued back in Australia, when he was denied his medals," Ms Norton said.

"He campaigned tirelessly on behalf of his men, and the Chronicle backed him all the way. It was a moving moment to see that wrong righted, when Harry received recognition, it's a campaign this paper is proud to have supported."



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