Norm Eaton, one of the last surviving WA veterans who fought in the Greek and Crete campaigns in World War II, passed away last Saturday at the age of 101.
Mr Eaton was born in 1919 in Subiaco, Perth, and served in the 2/11 Battalion in 1939.
In 1940 he fought in Greece and he defended the island of Crete against the Germans. He was captured and held in Germany for four long years as a Prisoner of War, returning to Australia on ANZAC Day 1945.
Mr Eaton joined the RSL soon after his return and was a member for almost 75 years.
“Dad was just so happy. He was so full of energy that day,” his daughter Berni Clinch told Bunbury Mail.
“He said it made him feel wonderful to be thanked and respected by the people connected to where he fought and served.”
In an interview with South Western Times, nephew Kevin Eaton described his uncle as a man who loved to tell a story, was great at it, and had plenty to share.
“He always remembered things and he could tell a story, he could tell a story very, very well.
“The amazing thing was he never had to make them up, they were all fact and they were just from his life experiences.
“He always had that ability to inspire people, and he inspired me,” Kevin Eaton said.
The veteran recently attended feast day celebrations at the Chapel of St John the Theologian in Prevelly, presided by His Grace Bishop Elpidios of Kyaneon.
More than 100 people who attended the service clapped enthusiastically as Bishop Elpidios presented the former 2/11th battalion soldier to the congregation and thanked him for his efforts during the war.
Bunbury RSL President John Gelmi said Mr Eaton was one of a kind, a special person. “Everyone loved him; he had a good life and a loving family.”
“He never missed his Anzac days. We will miss him.”
Mr Eaton’s funeral will take place at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Bunbury on Friday May 28.