Horrors of WWII: 75 years on, our veterans fight a new battle
The coronavirus won't hamper today's celebrations for four veterans marking the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Claude Ryan, who turns 100 next month, along with fellow Diggers Bryan Anfield, James Tomlinson and James Skelton will all pay their respects for Victory in the Pacific or VP Day, sometimes referred to as VJ Day.
They will be remembering the day Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley officially announced the end of World War II on August 15, 1945.
But they will not be part of a gathering or a service, after ceremonies across Logan and south of Brisbane were cancelled when the coronavirus was at its peak and WWII veterans were considered in a high-risk category.
The pomp and ceremony will be left until all four receive commemorative medallions and certificates struck at the Australian Mint.
The Department of Veterans' Affairs will award every living veteran a medallion and certificate to acknowledge the Japanese surrender to the Allies.
Mr Ryan, who turns 100 on September 4, enlisted in the Army in 1941 and served in Darwin.
He was involved in building gun positions to protect the borders and was serving during the horrific Darwin Bombings.
He was called back to his family farm in 1944 when his father was ill but the member of the Beenleigh RSL still remembers vividly the relentless attacks from the Japanese.
Veteran Bryan Anfield, who turns 96 next month, will also receive a medallion.
Mr Anfield, who was born in Yorkshire, UK, was conscripted at the age of 17 to the Royal Air Force, RAF, in 1941.
He was trained as a navigator, radio operator, gunner and a radar operator and covered Atlantic convoys and participated in submarine detection, air bombing and soldier transportation.
He moved to Australia in 1953 and later released pages of his logbook which are now part of the war's historical archives.
It will be a special occasion for James Tomlinson, who wanted to play his part in the war so much he changed his birth date from September to March 1926 to qualify for the age requirement.
Mr Tomlinson, who was born in England, enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on March 29, 1944 at the Victoria Barracks in Sydney.
He completed training at Cowra and Canungra, serving as a private and sapper. He was qualified as a rifleman and a driver and mechanic, serving in Ambon and Morotai.
A medallion will also be awarded to James Skelton, who was in the Royal Australian Airforce serving in the ground equipment maintenance section, also known as GEMS.
Mr Skelton, who turned 94 last month, served in the RAAF for 32 years between 1944 and 1976, including a stint in the Malaysian Confrontation where he saw combat.
His family brought him into the Beenleigh RSL Club for his birthday lunch, which was his first outing after being in hard lockdown at his nursing home due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Some ex-service members met on Thursday for Diggers Day, however the majority of WWII veterans were still abiding by coronavirus restrictions and in isolation.
Originally published as Horrors of WWII: 75 years on, our veterans fight a new battle