Salute to a Fallen Soldier

Walter Gordon Wallace with Lincoln Whitehead, holding a plaque dedicated to his army battalion during the war

Walter Gordon Wallace was a WW2 ‘Rat of Tobruk’ and Pacific War veteran. He was a good friend of mine. I went around to his house on a regular basis, to hear his wisdom and war stories. Some of these included dodging bullets from a BF109 German plane and leading Prisoners of War across the Egyptian desert. In the Pacific, his stories consisted of a beached Japanese submarine dumping rice onto the shores in the dead of night, witnessing a posthumous American Medal of Honour action as well as talking about the jungle in New Guinea.

He lived in suburban Keperra along with his lovely wife. He was a man built tough, with previous history working on railways in the heat. If you shook his hand, he would have a stern grip with strength. He was a true-blue Australian and the type of friend you’d want by your side. He lived through the defining ages of last century, witnessing humanity at its best yet worst. 

Gordon, you were a great friend – good to anyone, kind and compassionate – who deserves peace. You were truly apart of the Greatest Generation. Thank you for the stories.

Your good friend, Lincoln Whitehead 

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