RSLWA has paid tribute to one of its most loved and respected members, John ‘JJ’ Wade who passed away peacefully over the weekend, aged 100 years.
John James Joseph Wade, who was one of the few remaining Rats of Tobruk, often reflected on the futility of war but often turnout out on Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day to remember his mates and commemorate those who never made it home.
RSLWA Chief Executive Officer, John McCourt, said today the League’s thoughts were with Mr. Wade’s family at this difficult time.
“JJ would have turned 101 years of age on 20th of November this year and, as a special mark of respect, we will include his memory in our plans for the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day on the 11th of November,” Mr. McCourt said.
JJ Wade left the Port of Fremantle in January 1941 bound for the Middle East and saw action in Tobruk, Libya as a driver-mechanic, and El Alamein in Egypt.
During the Siege of Tobruk, he received shrapnel wounds to the foot and wrist and was sent to the 63rd British General Hospital in Cairo for treatment. He returned to WA in January 1943 before his battalion was sent to Queensland for jungle training to help them prepare for battle in New Guinea.
Like many Australian soldiers in New Guinea, Mr. Wade contracted malaria and was sent home where he helped run his family’s dairy farm at Yarloop. He was discharged with the rank of Corporal in October 1944.
Of his wartime experiences, JJ once said: “I always try to look on the bright side, if you can find one. It’s not good looking on the crook side, it gets you nowhere.”
His beloved wife, Pat, died seven years ago and, at the time, “JJ” took great strength from his close-knit family.
Media Contact: John McCourt 0429 946 777