5 May 2023
Lieutenant Sarah Lucinsky was honoured to stand on the same land her grandfather and two great-uncles fought on during World War 2.
The Royal Australian Navy officer learnt of her rich military family history after a freedom of information request to the New Zealand Defence Force.
“My grandfather, Maurice French Lucinsky, served with the New Zealand Defence Force in the 25th Battalion in Egypt in 1942,” Lieutenant Lucinsky said.
“He saw action in the Second Battle of El Alamein and the Battle of Alam el Halfa.
“In 1943 he fought in Tunisia and Italy, where he became a prisoner of war for a number of months before getting sent home due to medical reasons, finishing his service in 1944.”
Her grandfather’s three brothers also served in Egypt in the First Battle of El Alamein and the Pacific Campaign across Japan, Korea and the Pacific Islands.
“I've been fortunate enough to visit the Commonwealth war graves at El Alamein while deployed, and I took my grandfather’s medals with me,” Lieutenant Lucinsky said.
“It was special seeing the memorials with the names of those that fought alongside my family and did not make it home.
“It was humbling to reflect on the fallen and their contribution in war.”
Lieutenant Lucinsky represented the ADF on Anzac Day while wearing her grandfather’s replica medals in Cairo this year, at the Heliopolis War Cemetery.
She wasn’t far from Maadi Military Camp where Private Lucinsky trained.
Although Lieutenant Lucinsky’s family served in the Army, she forged her own path and joined the Navy in 2014.
“I grew up in south-east Queensland with a strong affinity to the water, loving the beach, surfing and getting out on a boat, so it seemed natural for me to go down the Navy path,” she said.
The special link with her grandfather inspired her to deploy on Operation Mazurka as part of the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt.
Lieutenant Lucinsky monitors the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, as part of Australia’s commitment to the mission in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.
“I can see first-hand how we are strengthening relationships with the other 13 troop nations here at the Multinational Force and Observers,” Lieutenant Lucinsky said.
Further information on Operation Mazurka is available here.