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Vale – Colin Richardson

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It is my sad duty to inform you that Colin Richardson has passed away.  Colin attended his last ANZAC Day service just over a week ago now and more than one person commented on how frail he was.  He was responsible for the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” plaque on our Kenmore memorial, something very dear to him as he owed his life to these men during the Kokoda campaign.

Rest Ye, Oh Warrior

You’ll battle no more

No longer to live

The horrors of war

Your duty was done

With honour and pride

Farewell! Oh Brother

Until we march by your side

Colin’s funeral will be conducted Monday, 11th May in the Christ Church Anglican Church at the corner of Central and 9th Avenues, St Lucia commencing at 1400 hours. The funeral notice will appear in the Courier Mail Friday 8th May. A poppy service will be included into the service.

Colin’s story is remarkable and we expect a large attendance – Kenmore Moggill sub-branch members are encouraged to attend.

TRUE HERO:

Kokoda Track veteran Colin Richardson, 91, was a lieutenant with the 3rd Battalion.

IT was a medical “miracle” which took place on the Kokoda Track during World War II.  Colin Richardson, a lieutenant with the 3rd Battalion, lay wounded at Templeton’s Crossing, between Port Moresby and Kokoda, after being shot by a Japanese sniper.  The bullet went through his left shoulder blade and out his lower back, destroying a lung. It was seven hours before the then 22-year-old was seen by army medic Geoff Mutton and Catholic priest James Lynch.

One thought he was dead, the other read him the last rites.  But seven decades on, 91-year-old Mr Richardson is alive to tell the tale.  “They thought I was dead because I had stopped breathing,” he said.  “When I heard one of them say: ‘This boy is dead’ and the priest said: ‘I’ll give him the last rites’ I think all that scared the life into me.”

Dr Mutton, who has since died, recalled the incident in a letter to Mr Richardson decades later.  “You had a bloody great hole in your chest,” he said.  “I found some cat gut in the bottom of my haversack and without any attempt to observe the good surgical principles of sterility, I closed the hole.  “I then rolled you over and to my horror found a bigger bloody hole coming out of your back. I had run out of gut. I found a few safety pins in my haversack and was successful in closing the wound.”

Mr Richardson spent more than a year recovering in hospitals in Australia.  He later married and had two “lovely daughters”.  Six weeks ago his cardiologist, Darren Walters, who is based at Brisbane’s Prince Charles Hospital, replaced the great grandfather’s aortic valve.  

After seeing Mr Richardson’s chest X-ray, Associate Professor Walters said: “It’s a miracle he survived Kokoda. It’s an amazing story. He’s a real hero.

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