21st Oct, 2017

Aussie army chiefs looking to honour Stratford Vietnam War soldier

Stratford Editorial 19th Mar, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

ARMY chiefs in Australia are trying to trace the family of a solider from Stratford killed in the Vietnam war.

The War Graves Authority of Australia (WGAA) wants to honour Eric George Gould – who lost his life action against the enemy in south Vietnam on December 21, 1969 – in a new Memorial library being built in the US capital Washington DC, which will feature stories on all those killed in the war.

Being built by the US and Australian governments, the library will feature a wall of photos of those who lost their lives.

And the WGAA wants to include two photos it has of Private Gould, but needs to get permission from his next of kin.

Private Gould, who was born in Stratford in 1947, was serving with The Royal Australian Regiment. His ashes were returned to Stratford.

During the war he became a section machine gunner carrying an M60 US machine gun, who the enemy always targeted first in clashes, which was how Private Gould met his death.

It was reported in the 8th battalion’s war diaries he was in a bunker when he was shot in the chest. His under-fire colleagues were unable to reach him before he died.

A single man, it is not known exactly what drove Private Gould to join in the war in South East Asia – where he served for only 110 days before his death.

Rick Bigwood, who is trying to trace relatives of Private Gould, explained many men from Britain had simply travelled to Australia to join the Army in order to fight in the war.

Anyone with information about Eric Gould can contact the newdesk by emailing editor@stratfordobserver.co.uk.

Private Gould was killed in action just before Christmas in 1969. (s)

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