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Veteran on the mend after nasty fall

88-year-old Royal Australian Navy veteran and Frankston local John Boyer was trying to put his slippers on when he had a bad fall at home, alone.

“The rubber back on my slippers was caught so I reached down to pull it out and that’s when I fell,” explained John.

“It was 10.10pm on a Saturday night so I decided not to go to hospital but by Sunday morning the pain was just too bad.”

John had broken three ribs. After hospital, he was transferred to Peninsula Health’s The Mornington Centre to recover and undergo some rehabilitation.

The Mornington Centre is an aged care and rehabilitation unit, which provides specialised care to mostly older patients with complex conditions such as dementia, orthopaedic, neurological and respiratory issues as well as many people recovering from a stroke.

John joined the Navy as soon as he was of age.

 “I joined up in 1945 – World War Two finished in August and I signed up in December because I wasn’t old enough to sign up earlier,” recalled John.

“I worked as a stoker, in the engine room of the ship.”

John’s work took him all around the south pacific islands and then to Japan as part of the occupation forces.

“We were on our way up to Japan for an occupation stint when the Korean War broke out and we were straight in – we were the first Australian war ship to go into action,” explained John.

He spent eleven months in Korea on the Bataan.

“The worst feature was the Korean winter. We were in the boiler room and we had icicles in the boiler room inside,” said John.

“I said to my mate while we were there, if ever we get out of this I’ll never complain about hot weather again and I haven’t.”

Every ANZAC Day John goes to the dawn service at Frankston and hopefully he will have made a full recovery from his fall to go again this year.

“I’m doing physiotherapy, remembering to take deep breaths and do my breathing exercises every day so I’ll be going home soon,” said John.

John praised the care of the team at Peninsula Health.

“All of them are very good and do a great job as far as I’m concerned, I can’t complain.”


Jessica Mills