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75 years on: War veterans reflect ahead of important anniversary

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A 102-year-old World War Two veteran who was a prisoner of war says he can’t comprehend the actions of those who continue to flout COVID-19 restrictions.

Jack Bell says Victorians doing the wrong thing “don’t have any guts”.

Mr Bell, pictured above during an interview last year, joined Neil Mitchell on Wednesday ahead of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Australia.

Mr Bell, who had his plane shot down over Libya, was held captive by Nazi Germany.

He was forced to share a “hut” with 250 others, with just one toilet for them all to use.

They were allowed outside once a day, purely to make sure they hadn’t escaped.

“You just had to do it,” Mr Bell told Neil Mitchell.

“I can’t get over these people who are bucking the system, really.

“It’s nothing, really, to stay in your area.

“Goodness gracious me.

“You’re not in jail.

“I feel for people in these high rise flats, certainly, that’s tough when you’ve only got a small area to live in.

“But people with houses … I think it’s shocking what they’re doing.

“I just can’t understand.

“They haven’t got any guts.”

Click PLAY below to hear Jack speak with Neil Mitchell

Neil also caught up with another veteran, John Hook, who is 94.

He is currently locked away by himself in a room at a residential aged care facility.

“It’s tedious, to put it mildly,” he said.

His message to those complaining, or breaking the rules?

“Just think of other people,” he said.

“So many people allow their own selfish motives to guide their actions and things like that when I think what they should be really doing is thinking what they can do for others, because other people do lots of things for them, or have in the past.”

Click PLAY below to hear more from John Hook

3AW will be broadcasting Saturday’s memorial service in Canberra in full from 10am.

You can WATCH the service here.

Visit the Vic Gov WWII 75th Anniversary website for all the details about how Victorians can mark this anniversary at home.