Why Anzac Day evokes fond memories

Chief Petty Officer Scott Clear with the hand-knitted poppy he will wear this year. Photo: Able Seaman Sittichai Sakonpoonpol

Why Anzac Day evokes fond memories

Since leaving Hobart to join the Navy in 1992, every Anzac Day morning Chief Petty Officer Scott Clear has messaged his Vietnam Veteran Dad to thank him for his service.

This year, Chief Petty Officer Clear will hold true to that personally significant tradition, but rather than join his HMAS Kuttabul colleagues to march down the streets of Sydney’s CBD afterwards, he will proudly commemorate the day from his balcony, standing at dawn wearing a hand-knitted poppy.

Chief Petty Officer Clear describes himself as an ‘army brat’ who was destined to join one of the services and follow his family’s strong military service history. 

“My Great-Uncle Jack Allen Clear served in WWII, was a POW in Burma, and sadly died whilst captured working on the Burma railway,” Chief Petty Officer Clear said.

“My father, who is named after my Great-Uncle Jack, served in Vietnam, namely the infamous battle of Long Tan.

“Growing up with this knowledge, I had – and continue to have – respect for their service from a very young age. So Anzac Day is very special to me.”

Chief Petty Officer Clear has his own service history to be proud of, having helped rebuild East Timor during the 1999 INTERFET campaign and being the recipient of a Unit Citation from his 2003 service in Iraq during the Gulf War and the international campaign against terrorism.

Chief Petty Officer Clear said one of his fondest Anzac Day memories was spent with his Dad in Hobart.

“Whilst on leave in Hobart once I was able to march with my father,” Chief Petty Officer Clear said.

“Being able to commemorate Anzac Day alongside him is something I cherish and hold very dear.”

The hand-knitted poppy Chief Petty Officer Clear will wear at dawn this Anzac Day also evokes a fond Anzac Day memory.

“On Anzac Day in 2017, a HMAS Kanimbla reunion was held in Jingellic, a little country town on the border of New South Wales and Victoria,” Chief Petty Officer Clear said.

“One of the hosts, a 97-year-old lady who had lost a large number of her family members in WWI and WWII, made hand-knitted poppies, which I purchased and will wear when I stand at dawn this Anzac Day.”

Seeing the public actively commemorating Anzac Day, especially when normal commemoration services and rituals cannot be undertaken this year, fills Chief Petty Officer Clear with gratitude.

“I am so proud the general public are finding a way to commemorate Anzac Day,” Chief Petty Officer Clear said.

“It shows the Anzac spirit still resonates with them and is alive and well with the general public. It’s just awesome to see posts on social media of what people are planning to do on this significant day.”

Australians are encouraged to mark Anzac Day by watching the commemorative service televised from the Australian War Memorial and pledging to #StandAtDawn.

Australians can also participate by sharing stories, photos and videos via social media channels.


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