Rat of Tobruk honours mates killed in sand

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Cutted in cursive writing on the back of the violin he went to war, are the names of Bob Semple's gun crew member.

For more than 70 years, his violin saga still contains grains of desert sand from its time in Libya, North Africa.

It is the same sand, where 10 of his fellows were buried after being killed by a single shell.

One of the last surviving Rat of Tobruk, Semple, will be 98 next month, reflecting on his experience in World War II at Anzac Day National Service in Canberra Wednesday.

"May I humbly say that Anzac Day remains sacred to all of us … let us continue to refer to the past, but go forward in the future with honesty and courage," he told the service.

He brought his beloved violin to Canberra from his home in Melbourne and shot that his skill level had fallen for the past 75 years.

Mr Semple said fear and fear factor were overcome as experience increased with each engagement. [19659003] "I am living alive about the experience and the strength and loyalty and faith experienced by El Alamein (Egypt). During German bombing and periodic protection of the enemy's position, taking refuge in the shiny sliding limit adjacent to the gun holds hands over the shoulders and mumbles, if that is the case, we all go. "[19659003] New Australian governor and former minister of defense Kim Beazley will also attend the assembly.

Governor General Peter Cosgrove, serving in Vietnam and East Timor, and continued to be the head of the defense, was among the dignitaries on duty and undergoing parade veterans marched.

A rider-free horse led in March.

This year marks the 103th anniversary of the landing in Gallipoli in Turkey and the century of the Battle of Villers-Bretonneux on the western front of France.

Ten thousands of people turned out to see the service on a sunny canberra morning.

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