Bill Stone was one of just three surviving veterans of the First World War in Britain, having joined the Royal Navy on his 18th birthday and followed his three older brothers by serving as a Stoker.

As well as taking part in a round-the-world 'Empire Cruise' visiting the Colonies onboard HMS Hood, he took part in the evacuation of Dunkirk, served in the 1943 Sicily landings, experienced first-hand the horrors of the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic and cut the hair of General Franco's brother on rescuing him from a stricken plane.

During the Second World War he was appointed chief demolition officer for the western half of Australia.

If Japan had succeeded in invading Australia it would have been his responsibility to blow up the key strategic harbour of Fremantle, near Perth, Western Australia, to make it useless to the enemy.

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