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FAIRBAIRN, William Thomas (Bill)

Enlisted in Gayndah 24/03/1942 age 20 years. His address on enlistment, Wetheron Gayndah. His next of kin Father Mr Thomas Fairbairn, Wetheron Gayndah. He discharged 19/05/1943. The following information was supplied by Mrs Margaret Farrell.


Bill was sent to Warwick for training, during this time he contracted measles and further complications of the virus, he also acquired a facial injury when a tent pole speared the inside of his mouth. The combination of the two events left Bill with chronic lung and sinus conditions which prevented him from being fit for active service.


Bill’s brother Jim was killed in action in PNG on the 26th December 1942 and Bill was given early discharged to return to work the family farm as his father Tom’s health was rapidly deteriorating.  Tom died in 1946 leaving the responsibility of the family farm to Bill and his mother.


Bill married Dorothy Sedgwick in 1953. Dorothy was a teacher at the Gayndah State School, she had grown up in Lower Branch Creek. Bill and Dorothy continued the family dairy farm expanding and improving the herd, sending their cream to the Gayndah Butter Factory.


Bill was on the Board of Directors for many years. Pig farming was also part of their enterprise. They grew cotton up until the 1960’s. They irrigated from the Burnett to grow their own lucerne and they dry cropped sorghum for milling for the herd and pigs.  They had three daughters Lynne (Towart), Kaye (Albrand) and Margaret (Farrell).


Dorothy returned to teaching in 1971, a few years later they ceased dairying. Bill died at home in Gayndah.  He had lived in Gayndah all his life. Anzac Day was especially important to Bill in remembrance of his brother Jim who had died too young (18.5 years) in the Battle of Buna. Bill was an active member of the Gayndah RSL and honouring the fallen and those who had served one of his highest priorities. (Information provided by daughter Margaret as remembered through oral family history).

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