Cemetery grave-site restored

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Cemetery grave-site restored

Aneglected grave at the Port MacDonnell cemetery has received a full restoration thanks to the kindness of a young girl.

Former World War II naval officer Les Wolter’s grave caught the attention of 12-year-old Lily Foster, who discovered the grave on a trip to the cemetery with her grandfather Ted Habner.

“She had a walk around and came back and said ‘Pop, there’s a grave down there that does not look like it’s loved’,” Mr Habner said.

“All it was, was a pile of dirt and a limestone block with his name on it. The name was not even spelt right, mistaking Wolter for Wolters.

“We put some quartz on it and did some research on him through Veteran Affairs here in Mount Gambier.”

It was discovered that Les John Walter was a returned sailor from World War II who served on air corvettes.

Mr Wolter was born on June 21, 1922 in Queenstown, South Australia, passing away on February 1, 1985 in Port MacDonnell at the age of 62.

“The grave was not finished off and 1985 is a long time for someone that served our country to go unrecognised,” Mr Habner said.

With the help of Veteran Affairs Mr Habner applied through the Office of Australian War Graves to see what could be done.

Six months on and the grave has been lovingly restored with the efforts celebrated by a small service last Friday conducted by Navalman’s Association secretary Murray Wright and former Port MacDonnell RSL member Reverend Murray Earl.

Mr Habner said Mr Wolter’s family was something of a mystery.

“We do not know anything about his family. His war records say he was born in Queenstown north-west of Adelaide but that is all we know,” he said.

“Hopefully this leads to us finding his family, so they know his grave has been restored and he is at rest.”

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