SELF-TAUGHT: South Lismore builder Mark Youngberry created this mural on his own backyard fence to commemorate the Anzac centenary.
SELF-TAUGHT: South Lismore builder Mark Youngberry created this mural on his own backyard fence to commemorate the Anzac centenary. Marc Stapelberg

Six family members in two world wars: mural honours heritage

SIX family members and two world wars - that's what the Youngberry family of South Lismore has to commemorate each Anzac Day.

This year, in honour of his relatives, Mark Youngberry decided to put his painting skills to good use and create a mural.

The highlight of the tribute art is a blazing sunrise illuminating a line of Anzacs below the words "Lest we forget".

And the corrugated iron gate it's painted on makes for a distinct piece of backyard Australiana.

Mr Youngberry described the work as a "family heirloom".

"We though we may as well do something for Anzac Day, being 100 years this year," he said.

He and wife Vickie only recently discovered two of their relatives, both great uncles, served in the First World War.

Vickie's great uncle, Archie Garred, served in the famous 13th Battalion which landed in Gallipoli on April 25 - he survived that but was killed three years later on the Western Front in France.

The history of Mark's great uncle, George Youngberry, is less certain, but he hailed from Tenterfield and it is understood he survived the conflict.

The family's involvement with world wars doesn't end there, however.

Mark's father Gordon and two of his uncles served in the Second World War, one who was tragically killed in action, while Vickie's father also served in the Second World War.

Gordon Youngberry served in Papua New Guinea, while the surviving uncle endured years as a prisoner of war at Changi and later worked on the notorious Thai-Burma Railway.

"He was a skeleton when he returned," Mark said.

"Not the same man ever again."

The mural took about a week to put together.

Today the family will lay a wreath at the dawn service at the Lismore cenotaph.


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