GILBERT Bennion stands proud in his uniform during his World War I service
GILBERT Bennion stands proud in his uniform during his World War I service

Last post for Tweed digger



TWEED Heads' World War I veteran Gilbert Bennion died yesterday, leaving alive just three Australians who served during the bloody conflict.

Mr Bennion died yesterday afternoon at his Tweed Heads home, leaving only three known Australian World War I veterans alive. He was 106.

NSW Premier Bob Carr said Mr Bennion's passing brought an end to "a chapter of NSW history".

"He was NSW's last living link to World War I," Mr Carr said in a statement.

"I offer my deepest condolences to the Bennion family and his relatives."

Mr Bennion was born in North Queensland and enlisted on August 1, 1918, at the age of 19 and 10 months.

He was working on the railways before enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force.

The Commonwealth Department of Veteran Affairs said Mr Bennion was classified as a veteran, although he did not serve overseas.

After the war, Mr Bennion rejoined Queensland Rail and later served as the last stationmaster at Tweed Heads station.

There are now just three surviving World War I diggers in Australia. They are Victorians John Ross, 105, William Allan, 105, and Peter Casserly, 106, of Western Australia.

World War I veteran Marcel Caux died last August aged 105.



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