Prue Brinkley stood proud wearing her father’s medals for Anzac Day at Agnes Water.
Prue Brinkley stood proud wearing her father’s medals for Anzac Day at Agnes Water. Mike Richards

Prue follows in veteran father's footsteps

PRUE Brinkley held her father's six medals from serving in World War II close to her heart this Anzac Day.

She was at the Agnes Water dawn service on Saturday; she came from Bundaberg to pay her respects.

Her father, Arthur Brinkley, was a machine gunner in WWII, serving in the Middle East, Borneo and Papua New Guinea.

She said Anzac Day was a reminder of the bravery her father showed when he put his life on the line.

"I am a bit emotional today," she said, with tears in her eyes. "My dad died 14 years go. He never talked about it (the war)."

Mr Brinkley was 28 when he joined after working in north Queensland.

"He was cutting cane and he heard about the war breaking out so he joined," Mrs Brinkley said.

While serving he met a nurse, Aileen, and the pair fell in love.

"He got tuberculosis and my mum looked after him in the hospital," Mrs Brinkley said.

"He passed away the day before their 50th wedding anniversary."

Mr Brinkley lived until he was 92.

"My dad loved footy, fishing and drinking beer," Mrs Brinkley said. "He was a sweetie."

She followed in his footsteps, joining the airforce, working in environmental health.

"I went to East Timor and the Middle East, making sure the water was suitable for drinking and to monitor mosquito control," she said. "I worked at the UN military hospital in East Timor."

Originally, she was a mechanic in the airforce.

"I wanted to work with my hands but females weren't usually accepted to be mechanics in the '80s," she said. "I was one of the first female aircraft mechanics to be accepted."

Coincidentally, Mrs Brinkley and her dad enlisted on the same day, exactly 40 years apart.

"I was going through his pay books and I came across his enlisting and discharged dates," she said.

"I joined on March 24, 1980 and he joined on March 24, 1940."