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A 99-year-old World War II veteran marches with pride on the last day of Anzac


April 25, 2019, 17:21:04

When the bagels were made this morning, World War II veteran Fay Parker stood up and took a step further.

The 99-year-old marched on Anzac's Day for what she says might be the last time, and the former Signal Corps member was determined to do it, even with a walker.

"They had been asked to ride a motorcycle, either a cart or a jeep, but I said no," she said at 7.30.

"As long as I can walk, I'll walk … I'll even crawl if I need to, because I have to think of all my friends I've done in the army.

"I loved being in the army"

Mrs. Parker joined the Australian Women's Army (AWAS) in 1943 as a telegraph operator and later worked in the administration.

"I just liked being in the army, it was such an experience," she said.

– The company was absolutely awesome.

Mrs. Parker gently remembers sleeping in tents with three dear friends who joined AWAS at the same time.

"We once had battles with our mattresses and everything with our straw palisades," she said.

"It was so nice to be in the army with these girls.

"I always think of them every day of Anzac and I have a lump in my throat.

Today she was accompanied by her son and grandchildren as they walked to Frankston's military memorial in the southeastern part of Melbourne.

"She thinks she's still 20

Mrs. Parker has been a member of Frankston RSL for 39 years and describes her as her second home.

Every Friday night you can find a table with your friends, check your tickets for the raffle and shake up to poker.

Franklin RSL President Kevin Hill said that Mrs. Parker is an institution and inspiration for members.

"I think it will be a quiet Friday night without Phoebe at the club because everybody is eager to come," he said at 7.30.

"She is so bright, she always sits right in the middle of the first row and she usually wins a prize for the lottery and we know when she wins, she reveals everyone."

Mrs. Parker's daughter, Judith Patterson, said her mother did not realize how old she was.

"She thinks she's still 20," she said.

The precious veterans disappear

Her time in the army was shaping up for Mrs. Parker, not least because she met her husband, Graham, when they both worked on signals.

"We used to call him Leggs Parker because he had good legs when he was in his shorts," she said, giggling.

They had three children, 10 grandchildren and 12 grandchildren and they went to the RPG every Friday night until his death seven years ago.

The Frankston Municipality is aware of the value of World War II veterans and their contribution to the country.

"It was a different generation and they were much stronger and more determined, I think," said Mrs. Patterson.

– We lose them and it will be sad.


World War 2,


Anzac day,


First published

April 25, 2019, 17:05:09

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