Collie Senior High School student Lauren Cook will be honouring her fallen great-uncle during the school’s Anzac Tour of Vietnam and Cambodia.
Lauren’s great-uncle, James White a.k.a, ‘uncle Jimmy’, was killed in action during the Vietnam War when he was only 21 years-old.
Private James White was born and raised in Collie, the oldest of five children, and was conscripted to fight in the Vietnam War.
He served in the 5th Battalion, and was in Vietnam from March 10, 1969, to the day he was killed in action on April 4, 1969 during Federal Operation Overlander.
“They were fired on and had rocket propelled grenades fired at them. Jimmy was one of two soldiers killed in this action,” Lauren said.
Private James White was repatriated, and his official burial is in Soldiers’ Park where there is a plaque dedicated to his memory.
“I didn’t know the details of uncle Jimmy’s service, but granddad has always worn the medals on Anzac Day and one of my cousins is named after him and also Granddad’s boat is named after him,” Lauren said.
Lauren will be part of the Collie Senior High School Tour group who will spend 20 days touring significant sites in Cambodia and Vietnam.
During the tour the students will be paying tribute to soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War.
“Vietnam doesn’t have memorials like we do here, so we will pay tribute in other ways,” Lauren said.
Collie Senior High School Deputy Principal and tour leader Adam Blackmore said the students would be taking part in various memorials to honour the fallen.
“We are covering most of Vietnam we are going from the north, right down the middle to the south, we will be holding various ceremonies along the way at significant places,” he said.
“As part of the tour each of the students has got a significant poem or article of the Vietnam War, we will read it at the start of each day to remind us why we are there.”
You can follow the students on their tour by visiting the blog- 2017anzactour.blogspot.com.au