A Junee soldier has been honoured with a heartfelt memorial service 50 years to the day after he was killed in action in Vietnam.
Peter James Lyons was just 24-years-old when he was killed in South Vietnam on March 2, 1968.
Last Friday, more than 20 surviving members from Peter’s regiment traveled from all around Australia for a moving service by his grave at the Old Junee Cemetary.
It was a service fit for a true hero, with bagpipes, wreaths, the last post, and a minute’s silence shared by those in attendance.
Peter’s brother-in-law, John Curtis, delivered one of two poignant eulogies.
Mr Curtis, whose wife Barbara is the only surviving member of the Lyons family, recounted the sad day Peter’s family discovered he would not be coming home.
“On Saturday the 2nd of March, Peter’s family were sitting around in the lounge room reading a letter from Peter and were very happy, because Peter said ‘dear mum and dad, I'll be coming home in June’,” Mr Curtis said.
“12 hours later, Father Fitzgerald arrived in Thomas street and informed Peter's family that he had been killed in Vietnam the day before.”
Norm Devereux, Peter’s section commander, gave a touching eulogy that spoke to Peter’s character during his time serving in Vietnam.
“As Peter's section commander, it was a pleasure to have a digger such as peter who was so keen and enthusiastic and fitted in so well with all members of the section and the platoon,” Mr Deveraux said.
“In the four months he served with us, he proved to be a great asset to the section and the platoon – he was a professional soldier and always carried out his duties willingly without complaint.”
After the memorial, the congregation shared memories of Peter over lunch at the Junee Ex-Services Club.