November 7, 2019
The memory of a former Murgon resident who served in New Guinea during World War II won’t be forgotten, thanks to a generous donation to the Murgon RSL Sub-Branch by his daughter.
Shirly Frawley, 72, travelled from South Australia to hand over her father’s dog tags, war medals, uniforms and other memorabilia to add to the sub-branch’s collection.
Her father, Lloyd McDonald Hancock, was born in Murgon on October 4, 1924, and was living in the town when he enlisted in the RAAF in October 1941.
Interestingly, his service record show his birth date as 1921, which means the young Lloyd possibly changed his age to enlist.
Lloyd served at Milne Bay with 10 RSU and was discharged in 1945.
He married a South Australian girl, Jean Hand, and moved to Adelaide where he lived until his death in 1990.
Lloyd grew up on a farm near Boat Mountain with his parents, Lillian and Edward Hancock.
Shirly has fond memories of visiting her grandmother, who was by then living in Thorn Street, Murgon, during the 1950s and 1960s.
“I used to come up and stay with the rellies as a primary school child,” she said.
“I would be put with an air hostess at one end of the flight and then handed over to my relations after we arrived in Brisbane.”
The young Shirly also visited relatives in Kingaroy, Goomeri and Bundaberg during these school holiday adventures away from South Australia.
Her memories of Murgon are scanty: the divided road, the Town Hall and lot fewer shops.
After her father died, Shirly kept her father’s medals in a bedside cabinet for years.
Then one day she thought: “If I don’t do something with them, then they will end up in a skip.”
Looking on Facebook, she found the Murgon RSL and contacted them.
“(Murgon RSL Sub-Branch Citizens Auxiliary secretary) Liz Williamson said they’d love to have them,” Shirly said.
She mentioned the plan to a friend in the South Australian CWA, Sharyn Muller, who originally came from Wondai, and the pair decided to travel together.
Shirly and Sharyn have been in the South Burnett since Monday.
Shirly visited the old house in Thorn Street and the cemetery where her grandmother is buried.
“It’s been very emotional but very rewarding,” Shirly said. “I have convinced myself I am doing the right thing with Dad’s things.”
The pair were invited to share lunch with members of the Murgon Sub-Branch and Sub-Branch Citizens Auxiliary on Thursday at Murgon RSL Club.
Shirly presented her father’s dog tags (which she used to wear as a child), medals, paperwork, photographs plus his dress blue and work tops to the Sub-Branch where they will now be kept safely.