‘One of the lucky ones’ — Vietnam War vet Brig. Duncan Warren honoured to give Albany Remembrance Day address

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Tom ShanahanAlbany Advertiser
Brigadier (retd) Duncan Warren, a Vietnam War veteran, will give the keynote address at Albany's Remembrance Day service.
Camera IconBrigadier (retd) Duncan Warren, a Vietnam War veteran, will give the keynote address at Albany's Remembrance Day service.

Honouring those who served and those who didn’t come back, Vietnam War veteran brigadier (retd) Duncan Warren says he is “very fortunate” to be able to pay his respects on Remembrance Day.

Brig. Warren has travelled to Albany to share a message of remembrance as the keynote speaker at Albany’s Remembrance Day service on Thursday.

A national serviceman, he served with the 8th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment as the commander of a 34-man platoon during the Vietnam War from November 1969 to June 1970.

“Our job was basically to go out and search for the enemy,” he said.

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“We used to go out on operations, usually around about a month at a time in the bush.

“We would have a resupply of rations and water every five days ... by helicopter usually.”

After the war, he joined the Army Reserve, rising through the ranks to serve as the commander of the 13th Brigade.

Brig. Warren was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1998 for service to the army in the fields of operations and training.

He was due to be the keynote speaker at Albany’s Anzac Day commemorative service earlier this year, but a snap COVID lockdown prevented him giving his first formal address in the city.

Thursday’s Remembrance Day service will start at 10.30am at the Albany War Memorial on York Street.

The city will observe a minute’s silence at 11am on November 11, 103 years after the guns fell silent on the Western Front in 1918 during World War I.

Brig. Warren will give the keynote address after a Royal Australian Air Force fly-past and the Rouse.

He said Remembrance Day was an opportunity to pay tribute to those who made “the ultimate sacrifice” serving our country, particularly in World War I.

“It’s about the sacrifice of all those who went before,” he said.

“In almost any little town in Australia you’ll find a war memorial, usually listing the names of those from that area who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“The battalion I was in, we always hold a service to honour the day nine soldiers were killed in action and 16 were wounded on two mines. That was the biggest loss of life.

“It’s a time for us to think about those who served and those who didn’t come back.”

Remembrance Day service attendees are urged to arrive at the York Street war memorial by 10.15am.

A public function will be held at Albany RSL headquarters on Stirling Terrace from noon.

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