Commemorating the making of a nation

REMEMBERING MATES: Warwick veteran Gordon Nielson will honour the fallen at today's ANZAC Day services.
REMEMBERING MATES: Warwick veteran Gordon Nielson will honour the fallen at today's ANZAC Day services. Elyse Wurm

TWENTY-six years of service in the Australian Army has given Gordon Nielson plenty to reflect on this Anzac Day.

Currently a committee member at the Warwick RSL, Mr Nielson completed two tours in Vietnam starting out as a private solider and ending up as a warrant officer.

Embarking on his first tour in June 1965, he spent 12 months with the American 173rd Airborne Brigade.

After furthering his study, he moved into training national servicemen and then completed further courses before joining the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam in 1972.

"I saw Vietnam and some stuff over there in the beginning and also we were the last combat troops out of Vietnam,” Mr Nielson said.

For Nielson, Anzac Day gives an opportunity to honour the role the soldiers and the battles they fought during the nation's formative years played in shaping our national identity.

"Anzac Day is the main defence force day that is commemorated by Australia,” Mr Nielson said.

"It's there to commemorate basically the making of a young nation of Australia as a separate entity, as a separate country.

"Even at the time we were still also looked at as being the colonials of England. But Anzac and the battles of Anzac, then further when they moved over into France and Belgium and the battles there, that really put the run on of Australia as a separate nation.”

One of the most renowned aspects of the Australian identity, the Anzac spirit, which is said to have flowed through these battlefields, was the culmination of a value system that had long been forming on home soil, according to Mr Nielson.

"The Anzac spirit comes in from the mateship business which was already established in Australia out in the rural areas in particular.”

"You would always help out and look after your mate.”

Mr Nielson fulfilled many roles during his time with the army, including being posted to Warwick in 1984 with the army reserves.

After exiting the service, Mr Nielson has racked up 17 years of additional service with the Veterans Support and Advocacy Service and Warwick RSL Club.

Today he plans to attend the dawn and 11am services in Warwick and catch up with old and new mates.

"Meeting others that have been through the same environment as what I have and so you have a bunch of things in common,” Mr Nielson said.

"It's good to see some of the fellows you haven't seen for quite a long while.”

Guidelines and procedures are in place to ensure Anzac Day services are carried out in due process, but Mr Nielson revealed that attendees at the 11am Leslie Park service will witness a unique display.

A fade away ceremony is included in the program which symbolises handing over the reins.

"That's what's got to happen in the future. Not just military wise but in every aspect, you've got to look at the younger generation and you've got to handover to them,” Mr Nielson said.

Topics:  anzac day anzac service gordon nielson warwick rsl club

Winds and frost to chill Warwick

GET YOUR COAT ON: Winter makes a return this weekend.

Winter weather makes an unglorious return this weekend.

Redefining marriage 'an attack on freedom': Shelton

Lyle Shelton from the Australian Christian Lobby. Photo Contributed

'I will always believe the truth about marriage'

Winds prompt bushfire warnings for Southern Downs

FIRE DANGER: Residents are warned to be bushfire ready

Region facing very high fire danger

Local Partners

Festival to honour man in black

Stanthorpe could be on to a Cash cow, with organisers of a new festival confident the event could become a major drawcard for the area.

Warwick sticks with same combination for Rose Bowl

POSSESSION: Warwick Fraser in possession for Warwick in the Gold Racquet Polocrosse Carnival at Killarney this season.

Top polocrosse all weekend at Morgan Park

Rose Bowl turns 50 at this weekend's carnival

ACTION: Byron Davison (Tansey) is challenged by Braydon Beck (Warwick) in a final in the Rose Bowl carnival.

Eighty four teams in Warwick for Rose Bowl

Cowboys colts side at full strength for semi final

FINALS: Aden Howard in possession for Warwick Cowboys in under-18 rugby league this season.

Cowboys in two finals in Toowoomba on Saturday afternoon

Taylor Swift wipes presence off social media

TAYLOR Swift has completely disappeared off social media — and her fans don’t know what to think.

Swedish TV drama turns up heat

Louise Nyvall stars in the Swedish TV series Farang.

Scandinavian crime thriller goes troppo

Aboriginal artists' call to action

Anwar Young, winner of this year's overall prize and last year's young artist prize.

Important messages of survival and healing

Radio host Matt Okine leaps to small screen

Valene Kane, Matt Okine and Harriet Dyer star in the TV series The Other Guy.

First foray into acting a long time in the making

Hollywood’s new highest paid actress

Jennifer Lawrence had to settle for third this year behind Emma Stone and Jennifer Aniston.

CAN you guess who has dethroned Jennifer Lawrence?

Movie trailer dubbed too racy for TV

Alicia Vikander stars in Tulip Fever.

THE trailer for Tulip Fever is so saucy some networks have banned it

Liz Hurley, 52, has never looked better

She’s definitely not shy to pose in a bikini.

Life in your 50s has never looked as good as it does on Liz Hurley.

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry