Queen's Birthday honour for Ronald

A VIETNAM War veteran who grew up on a farm near Gympie has been awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Rodney Beattie, 63, who is also a brother and nephew of Australian diggers, said he understood the importance of closure, of knowing what happened to loved ones who served their country.

He spends his days in Thailand researching the Thailand-Burma railway and taking the descendants of diggers on pilgrimages to show them where their relatives worked and died.

Mr Beattie began researching the railway 17 years ago, after moving to Thailand for an engineering job.

He was honoured for his service to former prisoners of war and their families through his roles with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum.