UNCLE Geoff is a hero I never had the chance to meet. He was from Nambour and enlisted in the Army & soon became a Lieutenant.
When he returned from the Middle East he was to be promoted to Captain, but he wanted to join his mates from Nambour in PNG.
Unfortunately this was his last deployment. In Sananandra. on December 7th 1942 he made the ultimate sacrifice. Geoff took a grenade and blew up a Japanese nest that had his men pinned down.
This action could only be described as the greatest act of sacrifice a man could ever make. To give up his life for his men..
The saddest part is that there were no remaining officers to witness this act of bravery as he was the last officer standing at the time.
My Grandmother was told that if an officer had witnessed this, that he would have earned a Victoria Cross.
This would have given the family great closure.
But instead they had to endure an agonizing wait to find out what happened, as they were only told that he was missing in action.
It wasn't until some of the men that saw what really happened returned & told the story that the family, that they finally knew what happened.
My mother June Dowdell is the only living relative of that generation left and is now 85 and living in a nursing home.
Anzac day is a very sad day for her as the memory is always there. What will happen when she passes ? Will the memory die with her? I hope not.
I hope that someone will take this story and print it so that future generations of the Unsworth family will remember the bravery of this man forever.
There is something driving me to get this story told , because every time I hear the stories of the hero's that return to receive their medals, I feel a churning in my chest, a welling up of emotion, because one of those men could have been my Uncle Geoff.
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