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Last WWI digger 'won't be forgotten'


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caskurô
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« on: June 03, 2009, 04:23:10 am »
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Last WWI digger 'won't be forgotten'

Posted 4 hours 0 minutes ago
Updated 3 hours 18 minutes ago

 
'Extraordinary generation': Jack Ross enlisted to fight in two world wars. (AAP: Department of Veteran Affairs)

 Related Story: Last WWI digger dies at 110 Both sides of politics have paid tribute to Australia's oldest man and last surviving World War I digger, Jack Ross, who has died at the age of 110.



'Extraordinary generation': Jack Ross enlisted to fight in two world wars. (AAP: Department of Veteran Affairs)


A spokesman at the Golden Oaks Nursing Home in the central Victorian city of Bendigo has confirmed that Mr Ross passed away in his sleep.

Mr Ross was 18 when he joined the Australian Imperial Force in January 1918 and trained at the wireless training school before he was posted to the 1st Battalion at Broadmeadows camp in Victoria.

But the war ended before he could be posted overseas and he was demobilised on Christmas Eve 1918.

He served Australia again in World War II as a member of the volunteer defence corps.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says Mr Ross' contribution to Australia will not be forgotten.

"In civilian life, Jack Ross worked for the Victorian railways for more than 45 years, retiring in 1964, and Jack was a life member of the Australian Labor Party," he said.

"It has been more than 90 years since the end of the first world war [but] we remain grateful to those like Jack Ross who volunteered to serve our country."

Federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull says Mr Ross belonged to an extraordinary generation of Australians.

"They were the generation who built modern Australia," he said.

"From federation only a few years before, these men answered the call in their hundreds of thousands and shipped halfway round the world and saw service in some of the most horrific, brutal circumstances that humanity had ever seen fit to visit upon itself."

Victorian Premier John Brumby has told State Parliament Mr Ross was a remarkable Australian.

"Jack Ross was one of those who volunteered," Mr Brumby said.

"He was a great family man, he made a great contribution to his working life, he made a great contribution to his nation.

"On behalf of all Victorians and behalf of this Parliament, I wish to express our deepest condolences to the family and the the friends of Jack Ross."

Mr Ross was awarded the 80th Anniversary Armistice Remembrance medal in 1998 to commemorate the end of World War I.

He also received the Centenary Medal for his contribution to Australian society in the 100 years since federation.

Mr Ross celebrated his 110th birthday on March 11.

He is survived by his daughter Peggy, son Robert, four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

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RIP Mate....





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