A Casino man lied about his age to enlist in the army in World War II. He was 17 but said he was 21.
Private Raymond Leslie Geraghty was captured by the Imperial Japanese military and held in Singapore’s Changi Prison on February 15, 1942.
With five other men, he stole a boat and attempted to escape.
They were recaptured by Japanese forces while wading ashore on the Malay Peninsula side of Johor Strait.
They were executed on March 17, 1942.
In his honour, his niece Marlene Jordan received a Commendation for Gallantry medal at NSW Government House.
Marlene has lived in Casino all her life and she travelled to Sydney with her husband and daughter to receive the medal on behalf of Ray’s deceased mother – her grandmother.
“Grandma used to keep Ray’s medals in her hand-bag,” Marlene said.
After Ray’s death, Grandma never put up a Christmas tree again.
“We know what this medal means to our grandma,” Marlene said.
This article appeared in the Richmond River Independent, 21 April 2021.