Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 6, 2011 1:54:40 GMT 12
Some while back I met WWII veteran Charlie Honeycombe, who had been one of my Great-Uncle Ted's best mates in WWII and they're still great mates nowadays. Charlie was telling me all about his war days and showing me his memorabilia, and he pulled out this article which briefly mentions him. I photographed it at the time with the aim of reading it later, but forgot about it till tonight. I just had a read and found it hugely amazing and fascinating. What an incredible character Gregory Dodunski MM was/perhaps still is.
I want to share the article here, but it's not the best in terms of photos and the magazine is very old and well worn, so I have cut it u into bits to ensure maximum resolution here. Hopefully you can read it ok. It's well worth a read, just to remember one of our great characters of history who is forgotten these days.
The article is from People magazine dated 24 October 1951.
Fascinating, no doubt written with a view to not spoiling a good story but Dodunski was obviously one out of the box. It would be interesting to know his eventual fate or maybe hes giving some retirement home merry hell. Steve.
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 6, 2011 11:19:40 GMT 12
I tried to find out. There's no probate in the National Archive, and there is actually a G.A. Dodunski living in Timaru, so it's possible he's still with us. There's very little about him on the internet at all, the London Gazette and the Official History of 21 Battalion mention his Military Medal award so it's a true story at least. There doesn't seem to be any mention of him in the body of text though of the OH, which I guess is not surprising if he was that universally disliked. I wonder what the men under him thought of him.
I love the bit when asked about the act where he was awarded the MM, he remarked he was sobre at the time, and the writer infers it was a lament because it was a wasted period of his life. Brilliant.
Post by Dave Homewood on Mar 6, 2011 12:33:47 GMT 12
I'm glad others are enjoying the read as much as me. He was probably kicked out of school too. Or he may have left at a very young age which was often the case then. I love the way he called officers Sport and Cock etc, according to rank.
He would make a great subject for a film. Funny, irreverent, heroic, one for the ladies, etc.
Author: Swift to the Sky – New Zealand’s Military Aviation History Author/publisher: For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 & A Passion For Flight - New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Publisher of Gp Capt C M Hanson’s By Such Deeds - Honours and Awards in the Royal New Zealand Air Force, 1923-1999
I've just decided to start searching out my family history....my mother told me about her Uncle who was apparently a bit of a character...first search for my Great Uncle Greg and I found this forum! I would love to get a photocopy of this article and to hear any more stories about this great man...The story I have heard from family is that he should have received a Victoria Cross but because of his hijinks got demoted instead. My email is email@example.com
Post by ngatimozart on Jan 31, 2013 10:59:51 GMT 12
What a character. ;D He wouldn't lasted long in the Navy. The senior rates (WOs & SNCOs) would have lowered him over the side on a dark and stormy night using a thin piece of string Man I would've loved to been around when he as in fine form with the officers & senior rates. Would've been first class entertainment. Mind you that could be my class prejudices coming out ;D ;D Thanks for sharing that Dave. I had visions of him and Windsor Davies WO from It Aint Half Hot Mum.
“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” ― George Orwell
Welcome Carolyn - it's always good to have family members visit here and share some more insight into these brave mens' lives. The Photobucket account for these images has exceeded its monthly viewing allowance - too many of them viewed from here!!! After a certain monthly acct renewal date, they will become visible again.
Post by heather123 on May 17, 2015 17:04:59 GMT 12
Hi there Michelle, uncle Greg died in a rest home some years back. I met him when he was living with grandad. He carried on with his drinking habit and never married or had kids that we know of. Was a real hard case and the only remains brother uncle tommy is in a rest home in Opotiki. I am going to write to Karen to see if she can give us any more information on Greg Cheers Heather