HONOURED: Norman McCullough will be honoured in a ceremony at Gympie Cemetery next week.
HONOURED: Norman McCullough will be honoured in a ceremony at Gympie Cemetery next week. Contributed

War hero buried in an unmarked Gympie grave

AN ELITE Australian soldier who is buried in an unmarked grave at Gympie Cemetery will be formerly honoured in a ceremony next week.

A tombstone to Corporal Norman Herbert McCullough will be dedicated on Saturday, November 18.

Corporal McCullough served as part of Australia's Special Air Service Regiment.

He died in Western Australia in 1983 and his ashes were brought to Gympie and interred with his Mother, Ada Mathear Meiers in the unmarked grave.

Corporal McCullough enlisted in the Army in 1962 when Australia was involved in confrontation - the undeclared war with Indonesia under President Sukarno.

The Indonesians invaded the new Malaysian Federation and began cross-border raids into Sabah and Sarawak in north-west Borneo.

Australia sent the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment and then the 4th Battalion in a jungle war that lasted four years.

Corporal McCullough served on the border between Singapore and Malaysia and then Thailand.

He then served two tours of duty in Vietnam between 1967 and 1971 before being discharged from the SAS.

The Gympie Sub-Branch of the RSL has restored the grave and erected a black granite tombstone.

Members of his family and Vietnam veterans will attend the dedication of the tombstone at 10am on November 18.

The Gympie Sub-Branch also organised the restoration of the grave of a World War 1 Digger Captain Gilbert Harry, who has the distinction of being awarded the Military Medal and then the Military Cross twice - in effect the Military Medal and then the Military Cross and Bar - on the Western Front.

Gympie will hold a Remembrance Day service this morning starting at 10.30am at Memorial Park.