East Bundaberg’s memorial.
East Bundaberg’s memorial. ROSS EASTGATE

Private Anzac Day commemoration

ALAN Tummon was just 22 when he was killed by the Japanese on July 1, 1942.

His is one of the names that appears on a memorial on Princess Street in East Bundaberg that is to be the focus of a private commemoration on Anzac Day this year.

Private Tummon enlisted in the AIF in Bundaberg on June 18, 1941, just seven weeks after his 21st birthday.

According to Ross Eastgate, one of the organisers of the Anzac Day commemoration, Pvte Tummon was posted to Headquarters New Guinea Area in Rabaul.

In January 1942 Rabaul came under heavy attack by carrier based Japanese aircraft, followed by a seaborne invasion on January 23.

Within hours the Japanese had overwhelmed the small garrison.

Some of the troops escaped across New Britain and were rescued, but about 1050 were captured and made prisoners of war, among them Pvte Tummon.

His father Stan Tummon eventually discovered his son had been beheaded by the Japanese.

He vowed never to tell his wife the details, and she went to her grave grieving for the son she had lost.

Pvte Tummon’s 82-year-old cousin Alma Kuhn, who lives in Millbank, plans to be at the Anzac Day commemoration.

The service will not be part of the official civic commemorations but will be open to members of the public.

The names that appear on the memorial are: Aitkenhead, James AIF; Barritt, Leonard AIF; Christsen, Walter Irvine RAAF; Eastgate, Mervyn Louis RAAF; Highland, Charles AIF; Jones N AIF; Massey, John James AIF; Orr, Thomas Allan RAAF; Row, Frederick Nicholas AIF; Row, L; Scotton, John Norman RAAF; Tomlinson, P M AIF, Tummon, Alan Stanley AIF; Watkin, Albert Ernest RAAF.

For more information about the service phone Ross Eastgate on 0400 766 350.

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