Written 14th March 2013.
I was born to Joseph William Radford and Lena Merina Richmond in Whakatane, New Zealand and lived in Terendak Army Camp in Malacca from December 1967 to August 1969.
My father was Killed-in-Action by an enemy M16 mine in Lo Gom, Phuoc Tuy Province, Vietnam on 27th July 1969 while serving with W Company as part of the 6th Royal Australian Regiment Battalion. Five other soldiers were Wounded-in-Action during the same incident, two later died from their wounds Private Terrence Norman Hollows of Whangarei, and Private RA Hawthorne of Auckland.
On 5th August 1969, the military repatriated my father's deceased body from Malaysia to New Zealand by Airforce Hercules along with my mother (aged 27), my younger brother Gordon (aged 2) and me (aged 3 years). We were accompanied by my mother's uncle, Padre (Chaplain) Whakahuihui Vercoe (The Most Reverend Arch Bishop of Aotearoa) and Lieutenant Colonel James Wairata Brown.
My father was buried with full military honours in the Returned Services Section of the Whakatane Cemetery.
He was survived by my grandmother Phylis (McKearnan) Radford who died in December 2012 (aged 96) she is buried with my father at Whakatane Cemetery; and his sisters Mary (Whakatane) and Maureen (Thames).
My mother was remarried in Whakatane in 1992 to Royston Cecil Coles.
My brother Gordon served 20 years in the New Zealand Army 1RNZIR as an infantry soldier and now lives in Levin with his daughter Kiana.
I am just about to move back to Whakatane from Auckland. I have two sons living in Australia - Camran (aged 19) and Ammon (aged 17).
Everyday I remember my father.