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Widow's wishes to be buried with husband will be granted

The last letter Betty Wicks received from her father before he went missing in action in the Second World War.
The last letter Betty Wicks received from her father before he went missing in action in the Second World War. Robyne Cuerel

LIFE rarely creates a love story as pure as the classics but this week, one came close.

The Chronicle reported yesterday how grieving daughter Bette Wicks was upset with the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Bette Wicks is happy her mother's dying request will be fulfilled with her ashes being placed with her husband, Flight Sergeant John Lyon, who was killed in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War.
Bette Wicks is happy her mother's dying request will be fulfilled with her ashes being placed with her husband, Flight Sergeant John Lyon, who was killed in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War. Robyne Cuerel

Mrs Wicks had been asked to return part of her mother's pension after she had died halfway through her payment cycle.

While making it clear she was not upset about having to pay back the money, Mrs Wicks said it was instead how the events surrounding her father's death in the Second World War were handled.

Flight Sergeant John Lyon was taken prisoner, executed and buried in a shallow grave during the war.

Officers found his body five years later, reburied him, and sent his wife a letter and photo to notify her.

Ms Wicks said her mother - Georgina 'May' Larkin - never recovered and asked as her dying wish to be buried with the man she had promised her heart.

She confirmed a conversation had taken place with the Office of Australian War Graves (OAWG) to ensure her mother's final request would be carried out.

"I feel it's what she wanted. And we've done what she wanted all along," Mrs Wicks said.

"She didn't want a funeral. She didn't want services and all the rest of it. We've done everything she wanted and this was her final wish - she wanted to be with Dad.

As part of the arrangement May's ashes will be taken on AnzacDay to her husband's grave in Lae Cemetery in Papua New Guinea.

There she will be laid to rest. However, due to policy restrictions, no ceremony will take place and no identification plaque will be installed - but a war widow's final wish will be granted.

Topics:  ashes hervey bay husband papua new guinea war widow


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