David Smith MP
FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BEAN
By David Smith MP
08 October 2020
Constituent Statement, Federation Chamber, House of Representatives, Australian Parliament House
This year marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War. It also marks another significant milestone—the 100th birthday of Joe Mullins, a decorated World War II veteran, who now resides in the electorate of Bean.
Joe's time in Myanmar as a British soldier in the final weeks of World War II is a remarkable story.
When Joe was 25, he was shot at three times by a Japanese sniper. The first two pierced his steel helmet and exited out the back. The third deflected off his helmet. Due to the chaos of the battle, Joe was unaware of what had happened. It was only after the Japanese had retreated that he noticed the damage to his helmet.
Astonishingly, Joe escaped the battle with only a scratch less than an inch long. However, non-combative injuries eventually caught up with Joe, and he was hospitalised for eight weeks after leech bites went septic.
After recovering and after his service was complete, Joe was awarded the Military Cross for his courage in the battle.
In 1974 he arrived in Canberra with his wife and six children. Joe's story is a stark example of many such stories in World War II, and I'm honoured to be catching up with Joe and his family in coming days.
Authorised by David Smith, Australian Labor Party, Canberra