WWII Veteran Celebrates 100th Birthday

24 February 2023
  • Veteran stories
  • Media release

The living legend served in New Guinea and Morotai with the Australian Army during WWII.

Keith Buck 100th birthday RSL Queensland

WWII veteran Keith Buck

Best described as a devout family man, loyal friend, sports enthusiast and honourable serviceman, Brisbane-based decorated former Commando, Keith Buck, celebrated his 100th birthday with his nearest and dearest on Friday 24 February. 

Coming from a family line with a deep connection to the Australian Defence Force, the intergenerational influence of the Buck lineage extends back to the shores of Gallipoli where Keith’s farther, William Henry Buck, was a member of the 5th Light Horse Regiment.   

Following in his father’s footsteps, Keith’s career in the Australian Army began at the age of 19 and took him far beyond his own backyard as he was called to serve across the globe.  

From undertaking deployments in New Guinea and Morotai during WWII and serving in the Japanese Occupational Forces, Keith had a robust career in the Army that spanned multiple decades, despite originally having his sights set on serving in the Navy. Both of his sons, Dennis and Raymond also went on to join the Navy and Air Force.  

During his distinguished career, Keith was awarded the 1939–1945 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal 1939–1945, Australian Service Medal 1939-1945, Australian Service Medal 1945 - 1975 (Japan), Australian Defence Medal, and Efficiency Medal with two clasps.  

A highlight of his career, Keith took part in a ceremony in 1963, laying-up of the colours of the WWI 5th and 11th Light Horse Regiments in Brisbane's St. John’s Cathedral. 

Keith Buck WWII veteran RSL Queensland

Keith as a young man in the Australian Army

As Keith now reflects on his 100th birthday, he said that his number one life achievement is his family.  

“There were many opportunities that made my experience in the ADF incredibly memorable, but without a doubt, my greatest achievement was and always will be, my family,” Keith said.  

“For me, my time in service definitely instilled the value of mateship, and that is a quality which has stood the test of time and shaped my life in a very real way.”   

Now, Keith is the last surviving member of his section, making commemorations such as ANZAC Day profoundly meaningful as he takes the time to pause and reflect on his time in service and remember his mates who are no longer here with him.  

“ANZAC Day means a lot to me because of the memories that I’ve had. They’ve been terrific. It’s something that you don’t lose,” he said.  

As a long-standing member of the Centenary RSL Sub Branch, Keith has led a life of unwavering commitment to his country, community and family.


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