Richard Michael Shepherd.
Richard Michael Shepherd.

Brothers on battlefield and by blood

IN the lead-up to Anzac Day, Warwick's Robyn Fraser delved into the family archives and found these photos of brothers Joseph and Richard Shepherd, who served the cause of Australia's freedom in the Second World War.

Joseph Edward and Richard Michael Shepherd were the sons of Dick and Bridget Shepherd, of Wildash.

Joe was part of 2/25 Battalion trained at Cabarlah, Brisbane and Atherton for overseas duty in New Guinea and he saw active service fighting in campaigns throughout New Guinea.

Robyn said his greatest achievement during his service was being part of the defeat of the Japanese at Milne Bay.

"He was discharged in October 1944 and returned to his homeland to lead his life as a farmer for the next 68 years," Mr Fraser said.

"Ritchie was not to be so lucky.

"He originally joined the 11th Light Horse, which later became the 11th Motor Regiment, and from there transferred to 2/4th Battalion fighting in New Guinea. In late 1944, the government decided to annihilate the Japanese Army Base at Wewak.

"It took until May 1945 for 2/4th to take Wewak and in the interim a total of 5000 Japanese troops and 450 Australians were killed. Richie was one of those killed in action."

Richard Michael Shepherd is buried in the War Cemetery at Lae in New Guinea - he was just 23 years old when he paid the ultimate sacrifice.


Our thanks from the Daily News to all those who contributed material ahead of Anzac Day.

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