Farmer, war veteran was gentle giant

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
Battle of Kapyong veteran Richard Woodhams.
Camera IconBattle of Kapyong veteran Richard Woodhams. Credit: Hampton, Shannon Hampton

One of Albany’s last surviving Korean War veterans, Richard Allen Woodhams, has died aged 87.

Mr Woodhams, the cherished husband of Patricia Woodhams and father of Grant, died on Sunday, February 10. He was a farmer who loved the land, and has been described as a gentle giant, kind and compassionate.

Mr Woodhams, or Dick as he was commonly known, served in the Korean War, in the Battle of Kapyong. His wife Pat said her husband was a kind man who loved farming.

Pat and Richard married in New South Wales in 1967.

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“Richard was from here but I came from Sydney,” she said.

“I had family farming on Bremer Road and I came over for an Anzac event, there was an evening meal in Gardiner and that’s where I met him. We were married 12 months later and we moved to a farm on Devils Creek Road, Gairdner.

“We were farmers. Dick loved his farming. His mother died when he was two and he was brought up by his grandparents and then his aunt and uncle.

“He had never had a home of his own until we married.”

Richard and Pat Woodhams
Camera IconRichard and Pat Woodhams

Mrs Woodhams said her husband joined the army when he was 19 and fought in Korea in 1951.

“That became his life, and then when he came back he worked on farms and then got a farm of his own, our farm, and we stayed there for more than 15 years,” she said.

“We had sheep, wheat and dogs.

“We farmed for many years and we had a good life together.

“We went to England for a Korean tour with the other fellows he had been in the war with, and they threw their arms around one another.

It was really wonderful to think that all these years had passed and they were still so close. I think all those gentlemen have passed now.”

The couple farmed in Gairdner, Manypeaks, Kalgan, and Cheynes and gradually moved to Albany.

Mrs Woodhams said her husband loved people.

“I’ve had phone calls from many people who Richard touched the hearts of,” she said.

“We never had an argument, I’ve never heard an unkind world said by him.”

“My Richard was wonderful.”

A service will be held at Amity Rose Chapel Tuesday at 11am.

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