Reg Saunders MBE
Reg Saunders was born in 1920 in Victoria. Both his father, Walter (Chris) Saunders and his uncle, William Reginald Rawlings MM fought in WWI. Following this family military tradition Reg and his brother Harry, enlisted in WWII. Tragically, Harry was killed in action on the Kokoda Trail.
Reg proved to be a natural soldier and became a popular NCO in the 2/7th Battalion. He saw action in Libya, Greece and Crete. During the British evacuation of Crete in May 1941, Reg was one of several hundred left behind. He eventually rejoined his battalion in New Guinea and in late 1944 attended officer training in Victoria. Reg was commissioned Lieutenant and went back to New Guinea as a platoon commander in the 2/7th Battalion.
Reg returned to the Army when the Korean War began. He was promoted to Captain and led C Company, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment through fierce fighting, including the battle at Kapyong in April 1951. Reg left Korea in October 1952 and resigned from the Regular Army in 1954.
In 1969 Reg became one of the first Aboriginal Liaison Officers for the Office of Aboriginal Affairs. In 1971 he was awarded an MBE and in 1985 was appointed to the Council of the Australian War Memorial.