CQ war widow delves into family's military past
THE past has come flooding back for Rockhampton war widow Kitty Winyard.
As she sat down for a one-on-one chat with The Morning Bulletin to reflect on her family's involvement in war, the 81-year-old said she continued to serve her community in a different way.
Mrs Winyard is a volunteer at her local St Vincent de Paul Society four days a week.
She pondered the impact war had on her young life.
"It didn't really affect me when I was younger because my father left when I was either two or four years old and he was back again when I was six,” she said.
Mrs Winyard said her main recollection of war as a child was the loss of two cousins.
She attended Frenchville State School in North Rockhampton where staff and students would hear the air raid siren go off each morning.
"We all had to run up the mountain and hide in the trenches and that was sport to us because we were six or seven-year-old kids and we loved that,” she said.
Looking back on her father's service in World War II, Mrs Winyard said the thought of war had not occurred to her as a child.
"It never entered my mind that these people were bad people. We didn't have the radio or television and I didn't read a newspaper when I was that age,” she said.
"Dad was Dad, he was our protector, that was all there was to it.”
Mrs Winyard said her son, Martin, fought in Afghanistan and Iraq, making a third generation of service.
"I don't like the idea that we we have to send our young men overseas to fight for another country,” she said.
"We've all got to help one another. I'm just glad and happy that I live in this country.”
Mrs Winyard's father, Clarence Arthur Bondeson, was born on September 28, 1894.
Mr Bondeson served in the field ambulance in the First Light Horse Regiment during World War I.
He also take part in World War II, serving from December 29, 1939 to August 21, 1944.
Mrs Winyard's husband, Peter, who was born in England in 1930, served as a Squadron Leader in the Australian Royal Air Force from May 15, 1951 to June 1, 1979.
This came after his experience in the British Royal Air Force before he was transferred Down Under.
"Coming to Australia was the best thing he did,” she said.
"He never went out of Australia for all his service, he was a telecommunications technician and he ended up as a radio officer.
"I'm lucky for the 50 years my husband and I were married, he never went overseas.
"He was a mighty man.”
The Winyards' two sons, John and Martin, both carried on the family tradition, the former in the RAAF and the latter in the Australian Army.