Arthur Perfect in World War I 1917
Arthur Perfect in World War I 1917

‘Perfect’ war hero remembered for ANZAC Day

"I DON'T remember a lot, I'm 74 now, almost as old as he was."

"He" was Arthur Perfect, Lorrie Atkinson's late father who passed away at 81.

Despite her fading ­memory, Ms Atkinson is still able to recall the defining ­moments of her father's life and how they impacted her own and indeed, ours many years later.

Arthur Perfect grew up in Park Avenue, Rockhampton and worked as a railway cleaner until 1917.

That year, at the age of 19, he along with his two ­brothers Joe and Bill, enlisted in the Australian Army and left to fight for the Allies in World War I.

While fighting in Europe, Arthur was wounded in the upper groin and taken to ­England for treatment before being sent back home to Rockhampton.

According to Ms Atkinson, her father was told that had the wound been any higher, he would not have lived to tell the tale.

Joe also returned home injured, but alive after being shot in the lung.

Bill Perfect, however, was not so lucky.

According to Ms Atkinson, her father's brother was most likely killed in the trenches as his family never heard from him again.

Upon returning home Arthur Perfect became a steam engine driver and later, a family man.

He was 48 when Ms Atkinson was born and though a little older than most, according to his daughter he was a good father.

Lorrie Atkinson at 18 in the Women's Airforce
Lorrie Atkinson at 18 in the Women's Airforce

When it came time to choose a path for her own life at the age of 18, Ms Atkinson took inspiration from her ­father and joined the Women's Air Force as a ­communications officer.

She worked there for six years, encrypting and decrypting codes.

"I was definitely inspired by Dad to join," she said.

"It's good for people too I think, a good job to have."