Julie honoured to lead father?s wartime mates
JULIE Kellow's only memory of her dad, who died in the Vietnam War, is a dream.
She relies on what his colleagues can tell her, so when her sister, Kathryn Hawkins, and herself were invited to meet them and lead the march in Melbourne on Anzac day this year, they were rapt.
Julie was just over a year old when her father, Anthony "Tony'' Lisle, an engineer and sapper with the first field squadron of the Royal Engineers, left for Vietnam in 1969.
"I had one really good dream. I was upset and trying to figure things out. You know those dreams that are just real, like you're there,'' Ms Kellow said. "I can remember he came up and kissed me and I could feel the stubble on his cheek. It was so real. It's the only memory I have of him.''
Tony Lisle used to sit out the front of the tanks to make the path safe by looking for mines.
Bruce Cameron, author of an unpublished book on the Anzacs in Vietnam, wrote of the gratitude of fellow Anzacs for Tony saving their lives.
Four months after he arrived in Vietnam, November 12, 1969, a rocket propelled grenade hit the ar-moured personnel carrier he was travelling in.
Six of the men died instantly, but Tony survived another two weeks and Julie told the story of a man asking Tony how he was and he replied: "My finger hurts''.
Tony had his middle finger missing from one hand. He didn't realise that his other arm and leg had been blown off.
Julie had been told by her mother that her father had died in the war in a tank, but living on a farm, Julie had thought she meant a concrete water tank.
"I'd always grown up with this vision. All I had was what my mother told me, so it was good to meet the guys,'' Julie said.
"Then I had 10 to 12 guys standing in front of me bawling. For me to turn up 20 to 25 years later meant so much. They'd felt so bad about coming back and him dying.
"We're rapt that they want us down there. It's more an experience for them to have us down there.
"It's really emotional for them ... they were like family.