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Margaret Appleton earns her Medal

As seen in The Tailem Bend Progress Association.

Margaret Yeo (now Margaret Appleton) has been an almost lifetime resident of Tailem Bend. First coming to the town when her father, Joseph Yeo, was transferred with ‘The Railways’ from Peterborough sometime during the early 1930s.

Margaret has largely lived in Tailem Bend for most of her 89 years except for a small time when she lived in Adelaide working at the Central Telephone Exchange and then with the Australian Army in the Transport Division stationed at Woodside Barracks.

Margaret married her first husband, Sidney Jones, in January 1954 at the Tailem Bend Catholic Church. Whilst it was a happy occasion, Margaret had to endure the same indignity which all married women working for the government (and quite often private industry as well) had to adhere to in those less enlightened days, and that was resignation from their employment upon marriage. Margaret has often said that she would have stayed in the army if she had been allowed.

It was a short time ago that Margaret’s family learned that she was entitled to the Australian Defence Medal. Unfortunately, years pass and memory fade so it was with some skulduggery and the help of a federal member of parliament that the family received her medal earlier this year just prior to the Covid-19 isolation period.

A quick internet search reveals that the Australian Defence Medal is an Australian military decoration which recognises current and former Australian Defence Force personnel who completed an initial enlistment period, or four years’ service.

The Australian Defence Medal is an Australian military decoration which recognises current and former Australian Defence Force personnel

The ribbon is red with black edges, the colours of the Flanders poppy that represent the Anzac spirit of the Australian armed forces. The white stripes divide the ribbon into three, to denote the three Services and represent service contributing to the peace of Australia.

On July 4th Margaret was surprised at home, overwhelming both her and husband Don, when her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren descended for a celebratory lunch and presented her with her medal. It was a joyous and lovely occasion recognising her service to Australia


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