The Journal of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Association (NSW Branch) Inc
Building 96, Victoria Barracks, Paddington NSW 2021. web-site: www.black-berets.asn.au
email:email@example.com, tel: 9339 3209, fax: 9339 2764 abn 49 709 547 198
ARMOUR Patron: Major General K W Latchford AO
DECEMBER 2007 issue no. 452 President Col John Haynes OAM, Editor: Ron Baikie
The Mounted Soldiers of Australia Taken from the series "Australians at War"
On the occasion of the 90th Anniversary of the Battle for Beersheba, we present this excellent account of our forbears on
horseback courtesy the Light Horse Association web-site.
Originally thought to be the actual charge of 4 Australian Light Horse Brigade taken by a Turk whose camera was captured ,
the above picture was eventually revealed to be taken when the brigade conducted a re-enactment for a cinematographer in
Feb 1918 Courtesy AWM web-site.
Horses have played a special role in the story of Australia. For the first hundred years of European settlement they were the
only means of transport across most of our huge country. Outside the few cities, ability to ride a horse was almost as basic as
the ability to walk.
The value of the mounted soldier in Australia was first
shown in 1804 when redcoats of the New South Wales Inside this edition:
Corps set out in pursuit of a large force of rebel convicts Coming events Page 2
who had broken out of the Castle Hill Prison Farm. Beasts in Broken Hill – reunion Page 2
HISTORIC FEATURE – Mounted Soldiers of Australia Pages 1,3-5
IN THE NEWS – UK moves of Challenger 2 upgrades Page 6
Riding with the commanding officer of the Corps was a IN THE NEWS – 2007 Reserve Forces National Parade Page 6
trooper called Thomas Anelzark, a member of Governor 2007 1 Armoured Regiment’s 57th Birthday Celebrations Page 7
King's mounted convict bodyguard. Anelzark scouted the Progress with Centurion display at AWM Page 7
rebels' movements, helped capture their leaders and was 2007 Cambrai Dinner Page 8
slightly wounded in the Battle of Vinegar Hill that followed. Message Board Page 9-11
He won a pardon and a land grant. New Members, Lest we Forget, donations Page 11,12
Vale Tpr Pearce, Brig Geddes Page 13,14
Correspondence Received Page 15,16
After this, men of the "bodyguard", already described as
"lighthorsemen", played an increasingly important role and were fore-runners of a semi-military mounted police force
. … CONTINUED page 3
5 February, 2008 RAACA committee/members meeting Gallipoli Club, Loftus st, Sydney
18 30 hrs
1 April, 2008 RAACA committee/members meeting Gallipoli Club, Loftus st, Sydney
18 30 hrs
25 April, 2008 ANZAC Day – NSW RAAC Reunion Civic Hotel, Crn Pitt and George
23 to 26 April Black Hat Reunion Canberra – contact John Sheean 03
9846 4225 for details
“Beasts in Broken Hill” – Report on last Anzac Day
A belated report on the reunion of FSV crews in Vietnam. What an incredible
occasion! Never before has there been so many ‘Black Hats’ leading a Broken Hill
Anzac Day Parade.
Crews (and partners) attending included Rolly Wood, Dave & Leslie Lester, Max &
Maureen Farr, Phillip & (‘that woman’) Caroline Ramsay, Darryl & Lee Wilson,
Jack Hannah, Nick Riley (from Ohio USA), John Fisher, Greg & Carol Kirk, Ted
Beasley, Bob McDonough, Brian Marshall, Ken Johnson, Laurie & Lorelle Smith,
and Tony & Nora Fryer. All Australian States (except Tasmania) and New Zealand
Other Black Hats included
in all the celebrations were
Grant Sheehan, Tex
Condon and Allen Turner,
Beast on patrol with Fwrd Del Troop 1971 and wives. Being locals,
Pic courtesy Rod Ward (FDT)
Tex and Allen gave fantastic on-site support to Rolly in organising and
seeing the Reunion through to a great success. Snow Marshall’s
specially designed shirts helped create a welcome feeling of
Broken Hill RSL gave us a memorable welcome on the Monday
evening. On Tuesday we were then honoured with a civic reception on
Tuesday morning hosted by the City Manager; then a specially guided
tour of the City sights with a look at its history (the Penrose Picnic Train affair); and finally, a superb Reunion Dinner (attractive
function room set-up, quality food and entertainment) at the Barrier Social Democratic Club in the evening. We experienced a
full but highly enjoyable Anzac Day commencing with the Dawn Service, followed by breakfast at the Legion Club, the Anzac
March (where Dave Lester led us and we marched at the front of the parade), lunch at Anzac Hall with many of the local
community, and topped off with an unforgettable BBQ dinner and drinks at the Silver Spade Hotel. On Thursday we all said our
farewells then dispersed to some tourist sights or back home.
All who attended will vouch for Broken Hill as a most friendly city in which to hold a reunion. ‘Thank you’ Broken Hill. And ‘thank
you’ RAACA for your support of our memorable week.
The Mounted Soldiers of Australia….cont. from page 1
Some of the British infantry regiments stationed in Australia RECRUITING THE LIGHT
found the need to create special mounted units. One of these HORSE
units took part in the attack on the Eureka Stockade at Ballarat By 1914, when Australia
in 1854. joined the war against
Germany, there were 23 Light
That same year, three colonial governments created their own Horse regiments of militia
small cavalry forces, partly from fear of Russian invasion. This volunteers. Many men from
began the tradition of Australia's mounted citizen soldiers - these units joined the Light
men who rode their own horses and trained in their spare time. Horse regiments of the
Australian Imperial Force
When war broke out in 1899 between Britain and the Boers of (AIF).
South Africa ("Boer" was Dutch for "farmer") the Australian
colonies sent troops to fight in the Imperial cause. Initially Australia promised four
regiments of Light Horse, 2000
At first Britain was wary of using untried, unprofessional men, to fight in the British
colonial cavalrymen. But she quickly saw that the slouch- cause. By the end of the war,
hatted Australian "bushmen" were a match for the fast-moving 16 regiments would be in
and unconventional mounted commandoes of the Boers. Soon action.
even Australian infantry were put on horseback.
The Light Horse were seen as
The Australians proved themselves to be expert rough-riding the "national arm of Australia's
horsemen and good shots. Bush life had hardened them to go defence" and young men,
for long periods with little food and water. They also showed most from the country, flocked
remarkable ability to find their way in strange country and use to join. Many brought their own horses and some even brought
its features for cover, in both attack and defence. their dogs. It all seemed like a great adventure.
When a squadron of England's famous 17th Lancers was The recruits took a riding test which varied from place to place.
wiped out by Boers, this was seen as part of a noble "death or At one camp they had to take a bareback army horse over a
glory" tradition. When a few hundred Australians and some water jump and a sod wall. In another, they had to jump a log
Rhodesians held out successfully against several thousand fence.
encircling Boers at Elands River, they were helping create a
new and better tradition. Recruits had to pass a very strict medical test before they
Lord Kitchener who commanded the relieving troops
commented, "Only colonials could have held out and survived They were then sworn in and issued with their uniforms - the
in such impossible circumstances." normal AIF jacket, handsome cord riding breeches, and
leather "puttee" leggings bound by a spiral strap. They wore
the famous Australian slouch hat and a distinctive leather
bandolier that carried 90 rounds of ammunition.
If a man's horse met Army standards, it was bought by the
Commonwealth for about £30. Many men were given
remounts - army horses bought by Commonwealth purchasing
officers from graziers and breeders.
These were called "walers" because they were a New South
Wales stockhorse type - strong, great-hearted animals with the
strains of the thoroughbred and semi-draught to give them
speed, strength and stamina. Each horse was branded with
the Government broad arrow and initials of the purchasing
officer, and an army number on one hoof.
In camp, the horses were tethered by head and heel ropes
between long ropes called picket lines.
In front of each horse was placed its saddle and equipment.
The men slept close by in bell tents - eight men to a tent, feet
Elevated view over the Elands River and its valley, a year after the to the centre like the spokes of a wheel.
the siege of the nearby Elands River Post. A small force composed
mainly of Australians and Rhodesians had held out for thirteen days At the start of each day, the lighthorsemen watered, fed and
against far stronger Boer forces until a British relief column arrived. groomed their horses and cleaned the horse lines before
(Donor I. Craig). Courtesy AWM web-site. breakfast. Then they did their training. Most were already
expert horsemen and riflemen. The rest was drill and mastery
Australia became a Commonwealth in 1901 and the of the mounted infantry fighting technique.
foundations were soon laid for the Commonwealth military
The Mounted Soldiers of Australia
Each regiment lived and fought as a series of four-man In the first days of the war, even men who had owned horses
"sections". When they went into action, three men would since early childhood could hardly imagine the bond that
dismount to fight as infantry while the fourth man led the four would grow between man and horse as each came to depend
horses to cover until they were needed for a further advance on the other for their very lives.
TO EGYPT AND ANZAC
The effectiveness of this fighting method had been shown in On 1 November, 1914, Australia's First Infantry Division and
the Boer War. But some of Britain's highest ranking officers the first four Light Horse regiments sailed for England in a fleet
opposed the technique - perhaps because other high-ranking of transport ships.
officers supported it.
Special stalls were built for the horses below decks and the
Meanwhile, the Light Horse eagerly awaited their chance to lighthorsemen worked very hard to care for their mounts and
fight on the battlefields of France and Belgium - where exercise them in the limited space available.
cavalrymen were already dying in their hundreds, true to the
terrible old "death or glory" tradition. Some walers died on the voyage and all of them suffered
terribly in the tropics. Each man spent much of his spare time
MAN AND HORSE tending his horse. This helped reduce the death rate and
Everything the Light Horse trooper needed for living and strengthened the relationship between them.
fighting had to be carried by him and his horse.
Plans were changed and the Australians landed in Egypt to
His extra clothing, food and personal possessions were in a complete their training there. They were soon joined by
canvas haversack carried over the shoulder. Across the other another two brigades - six regiments - of Light Horse.
shoulder hung a one-litre water bottle. As well as the 90
rounds of ammunition in his bandolier, he carried ten rounds in When the Australian infantry left to take part in the invasion of
the .303 ("three-oh-three") rifle slung over his shoulder and Germany's ally Turkey, the lighthorsemen remained in Egypt.
another 50 rounds in pouches on his belt, which also But soon afterwards, they too sailed for Gallipoli as
supported the bayonet and scabbard. infantrymen, leaving their horses behind.
The horse was carefully fitted with the special military saddle, A trooper wrote: "We were hoping that in a couple of weeks at
designed to carry a remarkable array of equipment with the the latest, once more mounted, we would canter gaily along
least possible discomfort. the Gallipoli road to Constantinople (capital of Turkey). We
were mostly young and optimistic! We were soon to find what
The saddle was built on a pair of felt-padded wooden "bars" a long, long road it was."
which sat on either side of the horse's spine. These were
joined by steel arches with a shaped leather seat laced The first of the Light Horse arrived at Gallipoli in May. Anzac
between them. The same basic design had been used by the Cove, scene of the first infantry landing, was already a bustling
British army for many hundreds of years. Each century had little port. Hundreds of men swam in the cove, ignoring the
improved it. Turkish shells that burst over them.
Now, when many experts believed that the day of the mounted As the lighthorsemen clambered to their camping areas up the
soldier was past, this saddle would help men and horses steep, winding ravine of Shrapnel Gully, Turkish bullets
achieve what had seemed impossible. cracked high over their heads. Infantrymen, who were old
hands by now, laughed when the newcomers ducked.
Across the front was strapped a rolled greatcoat and Very soon, they too were old hands. They quickly proved
waterproof ground sheet. Mess tin, canvas water bucket and themselves to be excellent soldiers and readily adapted to the
nosebag with a day's grain ration, were slung at the back of dreadful living conditions at the Anzac front.
the saddle. There was also a heel rope, removable length of
picket line and a leather case with two horseshoes and nails. By August, when a huge attack was launched on the Turks,
there were ten regiments of Light Horse at Anzac.
The man's blanket was sometimes carried in a roll, more ofter The 3rd Brigade - the 8th, 9th and 10th Regiments - was to
spread under the saddle on top of the saddle blanket or "rug". make a dawn charge across a narrow ridge called The Nek.
Most men added to this collection of equipment a billy and a Plans went horribly wrong and nine tiers of Turkish trenches
tin or enamel plate. packed with riflemen and machinegunners waited for the
Later in the war, troopers were issued with leather saddle
wallets to strap at the front of the saddle. Some also received The first line of the 8th Light Horse charged and was shot to
swords and leather rifle "buckets" or scabbards. Often, the pieces. Most men ran only a few yards before they fell.
horse carried an extra bandolier of ammunition around its The second line of the 8th went over the top and they too were
neck, a large grain sack (called a "sandbag") strapped across cut down.
the saddle wallets, and an extra nosebag slung behind.
The first line of the 10th Regiment went to their deaths in the
When fully loaded, walers often carried between 130 and 150 same way. The second line waited for the attack to be
kilos. And, in the years of war to come, they would have to cancelled. Then, through an error, they too charged.
carry these huge loads for long distances, in searing heat,
sometimes at the gallop, sometimes without water for 60 and In three quarters of an hour 234 lighthorsemen were dead and
even 70 hours at a stretch. 138 wounded in a futile action. They had shown remarkable
The Mounted Soldiers of Australia
courage and discipline. Never again would these qualities be
wasted so tragically.
ACROSS THE SINAI
Re-united with their horses in Egypt after the evacuation of
Anzac, the Light Horse regiments watched the Australian
infantry leave for France. They were envious. But only two
regiments - the 13th Light Horse and part of the 4th - were
sent to the Western Front in Europe.
The rest of the Light Horse endured further training and
patrols and outpost duty. Many felt they were missing out on
"the real war". But there were good reasons for keeping them
Egypt was of great strategic importance to England and Four Krupp guns captured by the Anzac Mounted Division at
France because of the Suez Canal linking the Red Sea with Magdhaba on 23 December 1916, on the beach at El Arish.
the Mediterranean. And Palestine, (present-day Israel) which
had been part of Turkey's empire for hundreds of years, lay at Division made a long, night march and at dawn attacked the
Egypt's north-eastern border, across the Sinai Desert. big Turkish post at Magdhaba.
Before the Australians left for Gallipoli, the Turks had Unless Magdhaba fell in one day, the attackers would be
launched an unsuccessful attack on the Canal from across without water.
the Sinai. Now, in August of 1916, a massive Turkish force
prepared for a second attack on the vital waterway. The Turks fought stubbornly and, almost at sunset, Chauvel
ordered withdrawal. When shown the order, Brigadier Cox of
British forces headed out into the Sinai to block the Turks the 1st Brigade said: "Take that damn thing away. And let me
from Romani - a crucial group of oases in a great waste of see it for the first time in half an hour."
A dismounted bayonet charge saved the day and Magdhabe
The Turks struck on the night of 3 August and tried to sneak fell.
around the end of the British line. But their move had been
anticipate by General Chauvel, commander of the Anzac Two weeks later there was an almost identical attack at Rafa.
Mounted Division (three brigades of Light Horse and one of Again, near sunset, the retreat to water was ordered.
New Zealand mounted riflemen). He had placed the 1st Light
Horse Brigade across their path. Again, the order was ignored and a final bayonet charge won
Out numbering the
Australians by more than Observers noted a remarkable thing. As the final charge of
ten to one, the Turks fiercely yelling troopers was almost on top of the trenches, the
pushed them back. But Turks dropped their guns and surrendered. It seemed too late
the lighthorsemen made to stop the apparently crazed Australians.
fighting withdrawals in
classic mounted infantry But the lighthorsemen jumped down into the trenches and
style. Another Brigade shook hands with the startled Turks.
took up the fight at
daybreak. Towards They were delighted not to have to kill the enemy they had
sunset, the Australians learned to respect at Anzac.
were so close to their
camp that cooks were "The Kings of the Feathers"
serving tea straight to The lighthorsemen who now rode into Palestine along the
men in the firing line. desert battle paths of Napoleon and the Crusaders and the
ancient Romans and Egyptians, were very different from the
Brig “Galloping” Jack Roylston
eager young men who had flocked to the muddy training
camps of winter Australia.
Almost at nightfall, New Zealanders, British cavalry and
infantry struck at the Turkish flank and by dawn the Turks They were quickly developing their own "style" - something
were in full retreat. very different from their early attempts to imitate British military
During the Battle of Romani, Brigadier "Galloping Jack"
Royston, one of the great "characters" of the Light Horse, had One observer found them "tired-looking" as they moved around
gone through 14 horses. Once, when Chauvel tried to find "with the slouching gait of the Australian countryman at home".
Royston, he was told: "He's wounded and gone to get another But when ready for action, he saw the same men show "an
horse." almost miraculous note of expectant eagerness".
Now came two actions which set the pattern for the desert
battles to follow. On 22 December the Anzac Mounted ………..to be continued in the next issue of ARMOUR
IN THE NEWS… UK moves on Challenger 2 upgrades
Courtesy: www.janes.com May 25, 2007
The UK has begun a Challenger 2 main battle
tank (MBT) Capability Sustainment Programme
(C2 CSP), which aims to keep the vehicles viable
until their projected out-of-service date in about
Part of the UK's recently formed Defence
Equipment and Support organisation, the Future
Systems Group (FSG), has issued an invitation to
tender (ITT) for the C2 CSP to BAE Systems
Land Systems, which is the design authority for
the Challenger 2. The short-term aim is to
continue to derisk the programme before
additional funding is released.
The Challenger Lethality Improvement
Programme (CLIP), which includes the
replacement of the current 120 mm L30 series
rifled tank gun with a 120 mm L/55 smoothbore
gun, will be rolled into the C2 CSP. The FSG has
been funding CLIP for several years, and the first
unmanned firing of the weapon installed in a Challenger 2 MBT took place in early 2006.
Of the original 386 Challenger 2 MBTs, one has been lost due to friendly fire in Iraq and at least two have also been damaged.
The Challenger 2 Main Battle Tank
The superb Challenger 2 (CR2) is the British Army’s Main Battle Tank. CR2 is based on the Challenger 1 that served with
distinction on operations in the Gulf War and the Balkans.
Only 5 per cent of Challenger 2 components are interchangeable with its predecessor; over 150 major modifications include a
completely new turret, L30 CHARM 120mm gun and second generation Chobham armour.
Challenger 2’s Thermal Observation and Gunnery (TOGS) displays a magnified image for the commander and gunner. The
commander has a gyro-stabilised fully panoramic sight with laser range finder and thermal imager. The gunner is equipped with
a gyro-stabilised primary sight with a laser range finder and coaxially mounted auxiliary sight. The driver’s position has an
image-intensifying day and night periscope, and the loader has a day sight.
IN THE NEWS… 2007 Reserve Forces National Parade
Sydney 1 July 2007
Lancers Association with guidon on parade at the National Reserve Forces Parade, Sydney
This year, the Reserve Forces Parade celebrated the 90th anniversary of the Battle for Beersheba and the 100th anniversary of
the Australian Intelligence Corps. In NSW, the heritage of the 12 Light Horse Regiment in preserved by the 12/16 Hunter River
The parade was reviewed by Her Excellency the Governor of NSW, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO and Vice Chief of the
Defence Force, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie AO DSC CSM. The Hon Bronwyn Bishop represented the Prime Minister.
2007 1 Armour Regiment’s 57th Birthday Celebrations
July 7, Robertson Barracks, Darwin
Thank you to Barry Hodges for forwarding these shots of our new Abrams Tanks on show at this year’s 1AR birthday
Progress with Centurion 169056 at the Australian War Memorial
Thanks to Bruce Cameron MC and Mike Cecil from the AWM for this update
From Mike Cecil. We have a team working on the tank to get it ready for movement to its resting place adjacent to ANZAC Hall.
The new stand area for the tank is under construction, and is well advanced. The tank is undergoing treatment and is currently
looking rather black due to the derusting solution that has been applied as part of the preparatory work before painting. Once
painted, with the tracks put back on and some replacement bins fitted, it will be getting close to complete. The mantlet cover will
go on at that time.
From Bruce Cameron. Herewith a photo of the prepared site
for 169056 at the AWM. The gravelled area is that directly
below where the tank will be standing. (The thinking here is
that any rust run-off will be absorbed, rather than staining the
surrounding concrete walkway.) The landscaped bank to the
side includes native grass plantings.
2007 CAMBRAI DINNER
Saturday, November 17 Royal Automobile Club, Sydney
This years guest speaker, Col Keith Schollum , gave a most enlightening account of his experiences post 9/11 attached to the
US as part of the Iraq Reconstruction Team.
The function was well attended by the following members:
Tom Arrowsmith John Colvin Jim Gellett John Leneham Michael Phillips
Ron Baikie Bill Cross Bill Gilbert Lee Long Peter Rosemond
Brenden Beckett Horie Cross Warren Grant Don McMillan Keith Schollum
Lester Bootes Patrick Donovan John Haynes Dan Miscamble Peter Serle
Phillip Bridie Jim Drummitt Bernie Hill Neville Modystack Graham Stewart
Wayne Burton Dave Ferguson Frank Holles Robert Muller Ron Ulick
Mike Butler Bob Ferrari John Howells Gordon Murphy Gerritt Wagner
Alby Chirichilli Shane Fernie Kevin Latchford Sandy Pearson Peter Whiteman
Charles Clasper Barry Follington Paul Lemercier Les Perrett Paul LeMercier
Our thanks to John Howells, Pat Donavan and Peter Whiteman for an excellent series of pictures, more of which will be published in future
editions of ARMOUR throughout 2008.
Warren Grant, Dave Ferguson, Ron Baikie & Mike Phillips Kevin Latchford, Pat Donovan, Guest Speaker Col Keith Schollum,
In the background Peter Rosemond and John Haynes
John Haynes and Sandy Pearson Mike Butler and Mike Phillips
Ironsides, the RAAC Magazine, is now available in generous
quantities thanks to our friends at the Corps Directorate in
Puckapunyal. This year, as usual, it is a great read with all the
up-to-date news on the Corps in 2007.
Please ring the office on 9339 3209 if you would like a copy.
Aussie Soldier – Up Close and Personal
Dear Black Berets
We are currently working on publishing a book Aussie Soldier – Up Close and Personal. From WW1 to the modern day conflict
this book explores the different perspectives and varying personal accounts regarding Army’s values and what each means to
our soldiers during their time in service.
I am writing this letter to ask for your support and assistance with contacting as many past and present serving members as
possible to allow us to capture their thoughts with a view to publishing them for the benefit of all to read.
We are looking for anyone who wishes to complete the attached questionnaire or who has personal diaries or letters of their
own or of a family member that they wish to share. All will assist in capturing a small part of our history.
The three authors, Robert Weir, Craig Smith and myself, who collectively have nearly 70 years military service, are passionate
about writing a book that through the stories of our military men and women will allow the general public to see the human side
of a very high profile and often misconstrued field of expertise.
Aussie Soldier will be launched in March 2008 and a percentage of all books sales will be donated to Legacy. We will also be
working closely with Legacy on the promotion of the book nationally.
If you can be of any assistance it would be appreciated.
I thank you in advance. Denny Neave Big Sky Publishing mob: 0407615490 fax: 02-99182396
Bequests to RAACA
You are aware of the very active role that your Association undertakes in relation to the welfare of families of members. Support
may be in the form of financial assistance for those who have fallen on hard times, educational assistance for family members
through scholarships, and assistance to widows.
One excellent way to support the Association in its welfare work is by means of a bequest. If you have already made a will, you
do not have to change it, simply make a codicil.
The Association can assist with the provision of will or codicil forms, or referral to a solicitor.
For further information, please phone the office on (02)93393209
RAACA Tie $35 Pocket Badge $18
Decals $3 Lapel Badge $15
Stubby Holder $7 Cuff Links $30
Tie Clip $20 Video Tape Vietnam War $20
Army Combat Badge, Large, Silver $20 Army Combat Badge, Miniature, Silver $20
Army Combat Badge, set of both sizes, Silver $30 Armoured Antics $10
Post cheque or money order to: Royal Australian Armoured Corps Association (NSW Branch)
Building 96, Victoria Barracks, Paddington, NSW 2021
Name……………….. Address………………………………………Post Code…………Payment enclosed $..............
DVA Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans
The Nominal Roll of Vietnam Veterans lists approximately 61 000 men and women who served in the Royal Australian Navy,
Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force in Vietnam, or in the waters adjacent to Vietnam, during the conflict between 23
May 1962 and 29 April 1975. You can seek information on these members using the Search function.
The Boer War Memorial Progress Report
All members are reminded that the BWM project has 3 years to either succeed or fail.
As failure is not a word we use in the RAACA we will need every one of our members to help spread the word of this sizable
challenge. Your Association seeks to commemorate our predecessor troopers who fought in Australia’s first war.
Just to remind, we have to collect about $3M as the Government has not committed itself to any donation at this stage, although
this may come later. Whether you are able to donate or not, please help to advertise the cause with every one you can contact.
A brochure was supplied in the last issue of ARMOUR, if you can help distribute more of these please call the office on
(02)93393309 and they will be mailed to you.
In addition to the above we could do with more assistance on the various committees which are all set up both nationally and in
the all states and territories. If you can give time or thought to the BWM, please give a call or send your ideas into the office.
Well that’s all for now and I do hope every member can do something to help.
With best wishes
Federal and NSW State President Chairman BWM VISIT THE BWM WEB-SITE: www. bwm.org.au
Boer War Memorial – Donations Received
Many thanks to the following, who have generously donated to the Memorial.
4/19 PWLH D Craven R Harris Jean McDonald RAOB Club Darwin
Auburn RSL H S Cross J.S.Haynes Miranda RSL Rudana Pty Ltd
Avard family Davistown RSL C Hill G Murphy I Scott
Avard family Doyalson Wyee RSL E Holland P Murray P Sharpe
R B Baikie P Duncan D Hutton Oatley RSL L Shearwin
Botany RSL Elisprint Pty Ltd Ingleburn RSL K O’Dempsay Sherwood/Indooroopilly
E.R.Brown B Evans T & B Irwin W O’neil RSL
Callala Beach RSL Fairfield RSL D Jackson Orange Ex-service Club C Sutten
J Cameron M Farmer A E Jones Orange RSL Taralga RSL
Central Coast RSL J Finlayson K J Jones C M I Pearson Peek Hill The Hungerford &
Chatswood RSL A Ford S Keevers RSL Associated Families
City of Wollongong J Ford Knoll Cardiff Pty Ltd L & S. Perrett Society
D J Clark Geebung & Zillmere RSL R Lane L & S. Perrett D & D Thomson
Clovely RSL B Gerdson S & G Lewis L & S. Perrett M Vandyke
J Coleman G Gill S & G Lewis RAACA NSW Branch War Windows Guild Vic
Collaroy RSL R Hagerty G Lucas RAACA NT Branch B F Waterhouse
Concord RSL G Hall F & F Maloney RAANC Watsonville RSL
Cooktown RSL H J Halstead B McDonnell RAANC (WA) Inc Wellington RSL
Corrimal RSL Memorial Hall Trust, M Wood
Letter received from Mrs Jean Macdonald (widow of General JML Macdonald) regarding her father in the Boer War.
Dear Col. Haynes,
I enclose a cheque towards your fund, which plans to build a memorial to the Australians, who fought and died in the Boer War
at the beginning of last century.
My father, George Richmond, then 18, was a regular soldier in the Highland Regiment, the Black Watch. I believe his mother
had questions asked in the House of Commons about soldiers under 21 being sent overseas ! ( Incidentally, I believe it was the
last campaign fought in kilts!)
My father had a great admiration for the Boers; he thought they were incredibly brave, tough soldiers; sometimes they would
creep up under cover of darkness and infiltrate the British lines, doing much damage. My father went to Baden Powell who was
then commanding the British Forces with an innovative suggestion – a line of strong wire would be stretched around the camp
sites. Buried in the undergrowth, it couldn’t be seen in the darkness. When the Boer troops crept up, the noise would alert the
British soldiers. History, and my memory, does not recall how long, and how successfully this scheme worked. Its real boy-scout
stuff isn’t it! No wonder it appealed to Baden Powell.
But apparently it was very successful initially and the General was recorded as having said “George Richmond was the only
soldier he had, strong enough to carry out the setting up the scheme.” ( My father was 6feet 4inches and very tough!)
When the Boer War was satisfactorily concluded, my father decided he didn’t care for peace time soldiery, left the Army, and
returned to his birthplace, Australia, were his father, James Richmond had migrated in the middle of the nineteenth century,
when so many young men came out to seek their fortune in the new and exciting country that was opening up. James
Richmond had some years before established a merino stud at Haddon Rig, near Warren, and to this he came.
Later, he himself bought sheep country near Goodooga, which his son, another James Richmond eventually sold.
I don’t know if any of this information is relevant to your current project, and, indeed, I hope it is totally correct. I am just turning
85, and one’s memory is sometimes a little faulty!
At all events, I do commend your wish to remember with gratitude the young men who died and the families who lost them. May
your project have a great deal of success.
Yours sincerely. Jean Macdonald
Did you know?
The Royal Automobile Club, Incorporating the Imperial Service Club offers reduced rates for membership to serving Defence
members. These same rates are now being offered by the Club to Retired service people .
This means that the entrance fee of $250 is waived, the annual fee is only $375 per annum which is about half the normal rate.
There is a minimum spend of $350 per annum. The Club facilities, in its magnificent heritage building, with valet parking in this
prime Sydney location, are better than any other big city in the world.
Further, if you are planning to travel, you can save the cost of membership within a few days, by using some of the dozens of
reciprocal clubs in the world’s great capitals and other sought after spots. Call the Club for a brochure on (02) 8273 2300.
1 Armoured Regt LAD now included on AWM Vietnam War list
From Bruce Cameron MC
Because of an oversight by Defence, the first C Sqn and B Sqn 1 Armd Regt LADs were both left off the list
of units which served in Vietnam as provided to the AWM and published in the last volume of the Official
History. This oversight has now been rectified and the LADs will be included in the last volume of the Official
History Series (which deals with the period from mid '68 to the end of the Vietnam War and is to be published
soon), as well in any reprint of the earlier volume.
HEARTY WELCOME TO THESE NEW MEMBERS SINCE OUR MAY ISSUE
Capt Lindsay A Adams, A Sqn 3 Cav LAD Roger K Hyman, 1/15 RNSWL
Sgt John (Rusty) Gates, 1/15 RNSWL Robert McDonald, 2 Cav, 8/12 VMR, 4/19 PWLH
Geoff Gill, 4/19 PWLH, 2/14 QMI
VALE - S/Sgt Leslie Denis Gunner
Past President, RAACA Orange Sub-Branch 29 Apr 1944 - 16 Apr 2007
Served with 17 Batt RNSWR Mar 1964 – Dec 1984. Joined RAACA 1985, committee since 1988, elected President 2001.
A Cub Scout from a young age, progressing to Cub Leader and District Cub Leader, awarded National long Service Medal for
“Services to the Cub Scout Movement “, also started as a church alter boy at the Holy Trinity Church which is the Garrison
Church. Les served the Church for 50 years and was Church Verger at the time of his death.
Les was a very likable person who would help anyone where ever he could to the best of his ability. - Les McGaw, Secretary
LEST WE FORGET
Barry Batt, 2/4 Armd Regt Allan Hoad, 1AR (AIF) Don Roach, 12/16 HRL
F Buckland, 2/7 Armd Regt F Hopwood, 2/7 Armd Regt G E Sanders, 2/6 Armd Regt
E Butson, 2/1 Tank Transport Co Doug Jasprizza, 1AR (AIF) R D Schofield, 2/9 Armd Regt
K J Doyle Alan Keys, 1/15 RNSWL K A Sewell, 1 Aust Armd Bde ASC
Phillip Edwards, 1 Armd Regt AIF WO1 Ray Keen ex RSM 1 Armd Regt R H H Steele, 1
Brig I A Geddes Tpr David Pearce, KIA, Afghanistan WO2 Reg Swadling, various RAAC units
Les Gunner – Orange sub-branch R J Pemberton, 6Div CavRgt,2/6CavCo E Winberg, 2/7 Armd Regt
THE RAACA (NSW) GRATEFULLY ACKNOWLEDGES DONATIONS FROM THE
FOLLOWING MEMBERS – since the last issue of ARMOUR
J Abernathy P Best D J Clark D Erington D Papes
Mrs N Aussel P Cashin C Creighton K J Jones B Tilligardis
M J Barcley J Cameron R C Cullen Col R Noble S D Stewart
VALE - Trooper David Pearce
Courtesy www.defence.gov.au (extract only, go to the web-site for full article)
Trooper Pearce, 41, was born in Liverpool, New South
Wales, and enlisted in the Australian Army Reserve in 2002.
Following a period of Reserve service he transferred to the
Australian Regular Army in July 2006.
Trooper Pearce had previous operational experience, having
deployed to the Solomon Islands with the 9th Battalion of the
Royal Queensland Regiment in 2005-2006.
Trooper Pearce was posted to the Brisbane-based 2nd/14th
Light Horse Regiment in October 2006. He was serving with
the Reconstruction Task Force when he died.
Trooper Pearce was the driver of a patrol returning from an
engineer reconnaissance task and was six kilometres from
base at Tarin Kowt when the incident occurred. The security
element to which he belonged was protecting engineers who
undertake important reconstruction work in the province.
In a personal statement, David's family recalled that he joined friendly KIA” and my heart sank as I saw Poppy lying there at
the Army relatively late in life but quickly developed a the back of his car at peace.
comradeship with his mates.
He must never be forgotten, like all Australian soldiers before
David's family said: “David spent 18 wonderful years with his him who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to better other
wife and had two beautiful daughters aged 11 and 6 years, people’s lives. Poppy you brought wisdom to our Troop. Your
who were the love and centre of his life. commitment to your buddies and your humour will be sadly
missed. I will miss your cheese spread sandwiches and our
“After three years with the Army Reserve, including a tour of many conversations we had not as soldiers but as proud
Solomon Islands, he joined the Regular Army at the age of fathers of young girls.
39. With his life experience, outgoing personality and ability to I cannot speak any words to ease the pain for your family and
relate to people of all ages, he was a popular and respected friends mate, but be sure to know that we as a Troop will
member of his unit.” forever honour you and your family as part of our family."
Personal tributes from Trooper Pearce's colleagues: Lance Corporal Michael Crossley (Vehicle Commander
Lieutenant Gavin Vague (Troop Leader, Cavalry Troop, V30E RTF-3)
RTF 3) Poppy always said that if he died tomorrow he would be happy
"Trooper David Ronald Pearce, but known as Poppy to his because he had lived such a great life. While no one likes
close mates. You could not find any other individual who death or dying, Poppy never had any regrets about his life.
adequately sums up the legacy of the Australian soldier. A Poppy always lived life to the full.
brave, motivated, hardworking and loyal soldier. A true
character that could bring a smile to the men during the Poppy loved his family and the Army, and I know that he was
hardest of times. He will be dearly missed by all who have had doing what he loved when he died. He was an inspiration to
the privilege and pleasure of working with him. From the men all he met and no words can describe the loss that will be felt
of the 2/14th Light Horse Regiment, his sacrifice will never be by all that had the honour of knowing him. Our thoughts will
forgotten, his commitment to the job will be carried on, and always be with your family and we will always be there for
above all, his love for his family will always be remembered. them. Gone but never forgotten.
Other tributes at the web-site:
This tragic incident will not blur our focus; will not prevent us
from helping others nor looking after our mates. Poppy’s drive Speeches were also made by the following (not included
to do what is good and what is right will ensure the men of the here due to space limitations): Lieutenant Colonel David
2/14th Light Horse Regiment will succeed in completing our Wainwright (Commanding Officer Reconstruction Task
mission. Force (RTF-3), Major Michael Freeman (Officer
Commanding B Squadron 2/14 Light Horse Regiment),
My thoughts are with the family and friends of Pops throughout Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus
this difficult time. I am proud to have served with such a man." Houston Lieutenant Colonel Chris Websdane
(Commanding Officer, 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment
Sergeant Justin Smith (Troop Sergeant, Cavalry Troop, Queensland Mounted Infantry), Chief of Army Lieutenant
RTF-3) General Peter Leahy, The Embassy of the Islamic
"Poppy’s sacrifice will forever be remembered. I personally, as Republic of Afghanistan, the 9th Battalion, The Royal
his Troop Sergeant and commander of the patrol that was hit, Queensland Regiment (Blue, Bully, Johnny, Howy,
will never forget that moment when I heard the words “one Webby, Shawy, Crowy, Pauly, Cookie and Spike)
VALE - Brigadier Ian Aubrey Geddes
“Father of Scheyville” 4 Feb 1921 - 27 Jul 2007
Brigadier Ian Geddes was born in Tamworth, New South
Wales on 4 February 1921. He enlisted in the CMF (Sydney
University Regiment) in early 1939. After initial training he
was transferred to the Regiment’s Field Battery and then in
early 1940 was sent to the Royal Military College, Duntroon,
from which he graduated in 1942. Allotted to the Royal
Australian Armoured Corps, he subsequently served with the
2nd/12th Commando Squadron on active service in Borneo in
World War II.
He then served with the 66th Australian Infantry Battalion
(which was to become the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Australian
Regiment (2 RAR)) with the British Commonwealth
Occupation Force in Japan.
Saigon, South Vietnam. 4 March 1972. The Commander of the
He later saw active service again during the Korean War with Australian Army Assistance Group in South Vietnam, Brigadier I. A.
the UK’s 1st Royal Tank Regiment and again in Malaya in the Geddes of Canberra, ACT, is invited to inspect a Vietnamese Guard
1950s with 2 RAR as Officer Commanding Support Company of Honour on his arrival in Saigon. The Group, commanded by
and, finally, as Commander of the Australian Army Assistance Brigadier Geddes, will help train Vietnamese and Cambodian troops
Group Vietnam in 1972. in Phuoc Tuy Province, the home of the 1st Australian Task Force
(1ATF) in Vietnam for more than five years. Courtesy AWM web-site
After attending the first course of the Army’s Staff College to
be conducted at Queenscliff, after its post-war relocation from In 1965 he raised and was the founding Commandant of the
Sydney, he was attached to the British Army for two years, in Army’s Officer Training Unit at Scheyville near Windsor in New
both the UK and Germany. His more senior appointments South Wales (established primarily, but not exclusively, to
included Senior Instructor, Tactics Wing, at the Jungle produce National Service Officers). This unit produced over
Training Centre, Canungra; Army Member of Joint Planning 1800 officers many of whom served in Vietnam and/or
Staff, Department of Defence; and Commanding Officer and reached senior rank in the Regular Army. Following this
Chief Instructor (CO/CI) of the Armoured Centre, appointment he attended the Imperial Defence College (now
Puckapunyal. In 1958-59 he attended Course 20 of the United the Royal College of Defence Studies) in the UK in 1968.
Kingdom’s Joint Services Staff College at Latimer.
On his return to Australia the following year he was appointed In 1995 he presented to the JSSC a prize - “The Geddes
to raise, and was the founding Director of, the Joint Services Gavel” - to be awarded to the student who consistently asks of
Wing (JSW) of what was then intended to be the Australian speakers the most incisive and perceptive questions. Award
Services Staff College at Weston Creek. (The JSW was of “The Geddes Gavel” has since been reinstituted under the
redesignated the Australian Joint Services Staff College auspices of the Australian Defence College.
(JSSC) in July 1972 when it first admitted students from
countries other than Australia and New Zealand.) While His contribution to military education in Australia was, quite
Director of the JSW he established an association of its alumni simply, profound, and this was finally acknowledged when the
which survives to this day as the Australian Defence Colleges main JSSC lecture theatre was named after him at a College
Association (ADCA). function marking its Silver Anniversary in 1995.
Within weeks of handing over the JSW to Commodore Ken This recognition has now been permanently embedded at
Shands, RAN on 11 February 1972, he proceeded to Vietnam Weston Creek as, although the Geddes Lecture Theatre is no
to command the Australian Army Assistance Group and on his more, the naming proposal was successful and approval has
return to Australia was appointed to command of the 1st Task been given for the complex which will house the Australian
Force. His final appointment, prior to leaving the Army in Command and Staff College to be known as The Geddes
1976, was as Chief of Staff of the Army’s Training Command. Building. It was officially named at a formal ceremony in
We’re pleased to announce the return of the BLACK – BERETS website.
Created and maintained by Trevor Hyde in South Australia.
The Black-Berets Website covers all units of the Royal Australian
Armoured Corps, plus supporting Corps.
All positive input from former, present day members and others who
worked with the RAAC during their years of service is welcome
From: Bruce Cameron MC – ex I Armoured Regt, regarding 169036 & Bunker contact reported in Sept ARMOUR
Many thanks for forwarding the copy of Armour. A credit to Ron and the RAACA as usual.
Re the photo of 3 Alpha on page 6...there are often
inaccuracies in the captions of photos held by the AWM. (They
are compiled by the person donating the photos. I inform the
AWM when I come across such errors.) With this one, the
circles are of the one RPG. (The barrel is lowered to reveal
the penetration behind the mantlet. I'm not sure that
the mantlet cover was "blown away"; often they would catch
alight in such circumstances. I think remains may also have
been ripped away by the person taking photos to
accompany the Operational Damage Report.)
The caption that I'll suggest to the AWM photogrpahic section
is: "The mantlet and turret of a Centurion Mk V/1 (Aust) tank
with the Army Registration Number 169036, which was hit by a
rocket propelled grenade fired by Viet Cong fighters on 21 May 1970. The tank was part of a combined armour/infantry
force attacking an enemy bunker system. The outline of the double penetration is circled with chalk. The canvas manlet cover
is likely to have caught on fire, leaving only tattered remains. The driver's hatch can be seen in the open position (lower right
corner). The driver and gunner were both wounded by shrapnel from the strike; the crew commander had been hit by shrapnel
from an earlier RPG. Donor C Woolmer
The following 'intro' might be better: A combined arms force of tanks, cav and infantry assaulted an enemy bunker system. An
RPG penetrated the mantlet and turret of Centurion tank Callsign 3A, wounding the gunner. Shrapnel from the strike also
entered the driver's compartment, badly wounding the driver. The commander had been hit by shrapnel from an earlier RPG.
The tank was recovered from the bunker system by an ARV.
I'm always happy to 'check' any material related to Centurions in Vietnam if Ron wishes me to do so. (Other than Mike Cecil's
contributions, of course...fortunately Mike's donated his expertise to help me with the book I am writing, Canister-On-Fire.)
From: Neville Modystack, regarding plkans for a new book:
'Vietnam-the Armoured Experience in Pictures'
Hi! John Haynes has just rung me about an item I asked to be included in the next edition of ARMOUR. I'm damned if I can find
it, so I'll try to reproduce it here.
I have just finished a picture essay called 'Vietnam-the Armoured Experience in Pictures'. The collection of images I have
obtained from the net and from a disc given me by Trevor Hyde as well as others, contains photos of many men, and incidents
that I don't know, as well as images of tanks etc in various situations and times.
I hope to have the essay published, with royaltys going to the relative associations, eg. 3Cav and 1AR. My cut-$0. What I ask is
that any member, past or present, who has photos that have been published (or not) who will object to my use of them to email
me and describe the pic. Where ever possible, I'll acknowledge any author and delete any pic not wanted to be published. My
email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Cheers, Nev Modystack
Ironsides, the RAAC Magazine, is now available in
generous quantities thanks to our friends at the
Corps Directorate in Puckapunyal. This year, as
usual, it is a great read with all the up-to-date news
on the Corps in 2007.
Please ring the office on 9339 3209 if you would like
BLACK HATS AT WAR
2007 CHRISTMAS APPEAL
YOUR TAX DEDUCTABLE DONATION NEEDED NOW
For some years now your association has been sending
a Christmas present to each and every Armoured
Corps soldier deployed on operations overseas. You
may have noticed a thank you letter from the adjacent
troops in Iraq which was published in August ARMOUR.
Until now we have managed to meet the cost from your
subscriptions, but now we’re struggling. You see, there
are now more than 500 Black Hats serving in Iraq,
Afganistan etc, so this worthy thought of a year or so ago has built into a fairly large
Our Western Australian Branch does all the hard work
of assembling and packing.
All the other branches have to do is pay there share of
the costs based on membership numbers. NSW being
the biggest branch, with about 80% of the total RAACA
membership, has to find the bulk of the finance.
Please try to find a few dollars as a tax free donation
for this Christmas gifts for overseas troops appeal.
Donations should be sent to the office or via the www
to BSB803205 ACD 20539747.
Post to: RAACA (NSW) Building 96, Victoria Barracks, Paddington NSW 2021
Cheque or money order only (no cash)
Name_______________ Address_______________________ Post code_____ Amount_________
From: Peter De Jong– ex I Armoured Regt
Editor: 1AR going to some trouble for the kids. Unfortunately, details of the occasion were not passed through, however
I’d say it was sometime in the ‘70’s
From: S/Sgt J L Hicks – ex 2/4 Armd Regt
Enclosed are some WW2 photos taken mainly in the Madang, New Guinea area that may be of interest to members.
C Sqn tanks being loaded for Atapi to US Liberty Ship “Francis Parguini” - Abandoned Japanese light tank on road
join 6 Div. Loading was off water was equipped to load tanks and store to Wewak
transport. them belowdeck. Very few of these ships
had the heavy cranes needed.
B Sqn manoeuvres in the Madang area prior to deployment to Bouganville Matilda tank engine change
From: Jim Hull – ex I Armoured Regt, regarding “Atomic Tank” article in Sept ARMOUR
I read with interest the story of my old tank 169041.
She was indeed unique and she still maintained her tenacity and stubbiness throughout
She required those characteristics to withstand an atomic explosion, Joe Harlow RAEME
as its driver when she was a Tug Tank and the late Ernie Karl as her driver 1Tp B Sqn I
Armoured Regiment , 1962-63.
She was also unique in that she was the first tank issued to the Regiment with a reworked
motor, the infamous "Black Engine", I believe, by De Havilin in Australia. She used to go
like the clappers! Yet Ernie could go from one end of the hangar and back again engaging
all gears including low and high reverse by just using his thumb and forefinger on the gear
stick doing stick changes
I next came across parts of her in the United Kingdom, her optics, head and tail lights had
been removed from her after the tests and were on display at the then RAC School of
Tank Technology at Bovington, Dorset, UK., where I was attending as a student.
She arrived in SVN a month before I did in 1968 and she saw a lot of operational work in 2,500 miles including being WIA and
continuing to fight on.
And I had the privilege of seeing her drive off the CAMBRAI DAY PARADE in 1976
Now if ever there was a tank that needed to be maintained in working order at the RAAC Museum at PUCKAPUNYAL it is
169041 she is unique amongst her peers.
Cheers Jim Hull
From: John Scales – ex C Sqn (SVN), I Armoured Regt, regarding Peter “Punchy” Bourke & John Bodinnar
I wish to comment on two matters mentioned in Armour Sept Issue. First, Peter Bourke (Lest We Forget page 14) was a
LTCol. He was promoted on RTA in November 1971(I was his 2i/c in SVN in 1971). Second, re John Bodinnar (Lost
Souls page 14) John died in Victoria on 29 August 2007. He served with B/3Cav in SVN in 1971 and was the LO at
Xuyen Moc. He did NOT serve with AATTV. Few details of his death are available - just a short notice in the Canberra paper.
He was 74 years old. John was my Troop Officer in prep tng in 1970. Regards, John Scales