MARCH: Emra Burkit Marxsen rides in an army Jeep in the Ubobo Anzac Day Service March.
MARCH: Emra Burkit Marxsen rides in an army Jeep in the Ubobo Anzac Day Service March. Campbell Gellie

Boyne Valley hails its wartime heroes

THE Boyne Valley was home to many First World War veterans because of the soldier settlement program.

And those soldiers would have been proud to have known more than 300 people attended the Anzac Day commemorative service at Ubobo on Saturday.

The service started with a march, led by a horseman, from Ubobo State School to the packed memorial hall.

The contribution from the soldiers of the Boyne Valley was not forgotten by the locals who were scrolling through 70 dossiers, each on a serviceman or woman from the valley.

Emra Burkitt Marxsen grew up in the valley and came from Rockhampton for the service.

The WWII veteran proudly displayed his Order of Australia Medal, South West Pacific Medal and Australian Service Medal.

The 92-year-old was in the aerodrome defence squad for four years - and had many stories to share.

"When we were on the island of Morotai, the Australians were told they were allowed to go and watch the American show 'This is the Army Mr Jones'," he said.

"We all went crazy and started running down the street to the show. A Negroe Squadron thought something must have gotten out, or the tracks had broken because everyone was running towards them.

"They panicked and ran straight through the show and ruined it. It was a funny show and I can still remember some of the songs."

He said they also had to learn some of the local dialect.

"We had to learn some Malay or we would have been in trouble," he said.

"If you didn't pronounce baby right, you might be calling someone's baby a pig.

"If you did that they'd want to cut your head off."

Mr Marxsen was one of many servicemen from the Boyne Valley and the local community yesterday showed their respect for what he and others like him had done.