Statue to honour Hamilton’s VC hero

Published in The Standard, March 6, 2013

A STATUE of an award-winning Australian World War Two soldier will be unveiled in Hamilton this month.

The statue will pay tribute to Edward ‘Ted’ Kenna, who was the last living Australian Second World War recipient of the Victorian Cross.

“Edward ‘Ted’ Kenna was a great man who served his country so proudly during WWII,” Southern Grampians Shire Council Mayor Albert Calvano said.

“This statue is a fitting tribute to Ted and I invite all interested members of the public to come along to the statue unveiling.”

He was one of 20 Australians who served in WWII and who received the award, which is the highest award for acts of bravery during wartime.

Born in Hamilton, Mr Kenna enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1940 and served in the 23/21st Battalion in Victoria.

It was for his actions on May 15, 1945, during his time in Papua New Guinea, that he received the Victoria Cross. Under heavy fire he took down a Japanese machine gun crew, making it possible for his troop’s attack to succeed.

After the war, he returned to Hamilton, where the community raised money to build Mr Kenna and his wife a house. He passed away at the age of 90.

Hamilton RSL President John Lowcock said years of planning and preparation had gone into creating the statue.

“The statue will be located in a highly visible spot in Hamilton that will attract visitors from near and far,” Mr Lowcock said.

The unveiling will take place at 11am on March 22 at the Sam Fitzpatrick Gardens.

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Brianna Piazza

Journalist and travel writer.

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