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No. 47 Spring 2012

Official publication for Returned & Services League of Australia Tasmanian State Branch (inc.)


Corporate Office

28 Davey Street

Hobart

6220 1200

Bishop Davies Court

27 Redwood Road

Kingston

6283 1100

The Manor

2 Guy Street

King Meadows

6345 2101

Rubicon Grove

89 Club Drive

Port Sorell

6427 5700

Umina Park

Mooreville Road

Burnie

6433 5166

or visit our website at www.onecare.org.au

Statewide

Community

Programs

6345 2124


Inside this

ISSUE:

From the Presidents Desk 2

Chief Executive Officer’s Comment 3

Vice President’s Reports 4

70Th Anniversary of the Battle of El Alamein 6

Remembrance Day at Home and Around the World 8

Remembrance Day – Contemporary Veterans 10

Emergency Services Affiliation 10

Frank MacDonald Memorial Prize Winners 2012 12

Headstones for Forgotten Heroes 14

Victoria Cross - Corporal Daniel Alan Keighran, VC 16

On Base Advisory Service 17

Public Debate 17

Around The Sub Branches 18

Australian War Memorial Helicopter 19

Veterans’ Gardening 20

Midlands Military Meet & Rendezvous 22

Notices 23

Just Ask A Blonde 23

VALE – Corporal Scott James Smith 24

Bellerive Memorial Not Forgotten 25

Book Reviews 26

Young Offenders Apologise 28

Our Soldiers’ Message from Timor

STOP PRESS

Membership renewals are due on the

1st January 2013

The On Service magazine is produced

by the Returned & Services League of

Australia (Tasmania Branch) Inc and

issued three times per year.

Submissions of articles of around

300 words, with accompanying

photographs (in digital format),

or items for the Notices section

are encouraged. Submissions

should be emailed to

rsltasceo@bigpond.com

or mailed to:

On Service, RSL (Tasmania

Branch), ANZAC House,

68 Davey Street

HOBART Tasmania 7000

Submissions should be free of personal views, political bias and must be

of interest to the wider membership of the RSL.

Short requests seeking information or contact with ex-Service

members are welcome for the Notices section.

All enquiries relating to On Service may be forwarded to RSL (Tasmania

Branch) Editorial Team of Phil Pyke on 0408 300 148 or to the Chief

Executive Officer, Noeleen Lincoln on (03) 6224 0881.”

We reserve the right to edit, include or refuse any submission. Articles based

on personal views will not be included unless in the form of Letters to the

Editor with name and address of the author.

Disclaimer: RSL (Tasmania) State Branch advises readers who are

contemplating agreements with advertisers in this magazine to seek

independent financial or legal advice.

Editorial Team

Phil Pyke – Editor

pjpyke@bigpond.net.au

Noeleen Lincoln OAM – Chief Executive Officer

RSL (Tasmania Branch) - (03) 6224 0881

Publisher and Advertising Layout

Resilience Marketing Pty Ltd Warren Leahy

Level 1 Leftside Media

19 Magnet Court 76 Wentworth Street

SANDY BAY Tasmania 7005 South HOBART Tasmania 7000

(03) 6224 6888 0404 097 188

General Manager: Gail McCulloch

gail@ resilience.com.au

Cover: Our own Australian Army Band – Tasmania bugler, Corporal

Ashley Thompson plays “The Last Post” at the Battle of El Alamein

Commemorations in Egypt.

RSL On Service

1


As we head towards a number of key

Greetings readers,

commemorations, including Vietnam

Hopefully Veterans Day all Sub (18 Branches Aug), Australian had an

excellent Peacekeeper’s Remembrance Day (14 Sept) Day, and Remembrance

and lots of

poppies Day (11 were Nov), sold. it is always The Two easy Dollar to overlook Poppy

coin one major was a date welcome – the recognition 5th of September by the or

Federal

the first

Government

Wednesday in

of

September.

the importance

of remembrance and by entering into

an While agreement I can image with many the RSL scratching nationally their

to heads, distribute it is the Battle coins for during Australia the Poppy – an

Appeal important time commemoration frame the Royal Australian around a

Mint significant ensured series that of the battles limited with strike 2012 of being the

coins the 70th reached anniversary the general of Battle public. of the Coral

Sea, The State Battle Branch of Milne still has Bay, a quantity Kokoda of Track the

coins Campaign which and we the have bombing been moving of Darwin. steadily.

I remember being at ANZAC House on the

public holiday (Hobart Show Day) when the

press release appeared in the papers telling

of the release of the coins. The phone simply

did not stop ringing. As I had to get to the

bottom of the in-tray, I could only let the

phone ring and have the answering machine

do the job. There was call after call wanting

multiple numbers of the coins. Hopefully

the Mint will produce other different coins

in the future which the RSL may be able

to link into our fund raising purposes. It

is likely to be quite a while before we see

another “coloured” coin, if ever.

Most readers will have seen either or all

of the TV ads for Remembrance Day and

membership, the reinforcing ads in the

Public Notices section of newspapers and

posters in RSL venues and other spots

around the State. We will not know until

we get into the New Year what affect this

effort has had.

One very beneficial recent event was the

meeting between representatives of the

Tasmanian Emergency Services (Police,

Fire, Ambulance and SES) and RSL for the

purpose of Emergency Services personnel

to join RSL Tasmania either as a Service

member, if they meet the criteria, as

Affiliate members which they are entitled

to do as per our Constitution. There were

also discussions about the mutual benefit

to both the Emergency Services and the

RSL with the possibility of our members,

especially in rural areas, considering giving

a hand to the Emergency Services in their

areas, making their venues available in

times of emergency. If a member feels they

2

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK

RSL On Service

The debate has always been about what

would

constituted

like to

the

help

Battle

but are

for

too

Australia

old or

as

not

it

well

wasn’t

enough

about

to

any

fight

single

fires

action

or the like,

or battle

you

may

but

be

more

welcomed

a series

to help

– including

man the radio

Timor.

or

some

Critics,

job

including

that is not

a former

too physically

Australian

taxing.

War

Again

Memorial

I point

historian,

out that any

believe

volunteer

there

work

was no

a

person

single

becomes

Japanese

involved

strategy,

in,

or

can

coordinated

only end

up

campaign,

helping

against

the volunteer

this country

feel better

and therefore

about

themselves and obviously your contribution

the commemoration is not relevant.

can only be a positive for your community.

In undertaking some research recently, I

During November last, I was invited to

found out that the predominantly Tasmanian

visit the RSL (Victorian Branch) at ANZAC

2nd/40th Battalion lost 53 members in the

House in Melbourne for a day of mentoring.

Japanese air-raid on Darwin - 53 casualties

This was an eye opener. RSL Victoria is

before the Battalion even set foot in Timor,

of course a much bigger organisation than

becoming prisoners of war.

RSL Tasmania. ANZAC House located

at 4 Collins Street, Melbourne is simply

stunning, with four floors of operations and

none of that space wasted. The building is

of course, heritage listed and the original

internal fittings are simply beautiful. The

whole place is a hive of activity and there

was much to learn. RSL Victoria State

Branch is happy to help us in any way they

can, and they do a lot for RSL Tasmania,

as do the other State Branches. My trip to

RSL Victoria reinforced the true meaning

of being an Australian. Nothing was out of

bounds and during the day I heeded much

advice and absorbed many ideas that will

be of great use to us in Tasmania. Some

of the advice and ideas are already being

implemented.

Two of the boys who were involved in the

graffiti attack on the Hobart Cenotaph

earlier this year who opted to go through

the Youth Justice system, have written

letters of apology and those letters appear

in this edition of “On Service”.

When I first heard of that two of the

offenders were to go through the Youth

Justice system, I took the cynical view that

this was a simple way for the offenders to

not have to face court and then end up

with no punishment. I was wrong. Having

attended the conference with Youth Justice,

the offenders and other aggrieved parties, I

now take the view that it took guts for the

boys to face me, the Hobart City Council

and others, and to apologise and answer

questions on the incident. In fact, I now

believe they had a lot more guts than those

who opted to go to court, as in a court room

they only face one person.

In many ways

The

the

two

day

boys

is

then relevant went as to it

tour commemorates Anglesea

Barracks the which long-

evidently o v e r l o ohad k e d a

great bombing impact on of

them. Darwin. Chris Munday

One Until thing next I time did ask was that the boys write

an apology which could be printed in “On

Phil Pyke

Service” and that they were to have no help

with the wording, spelling etc. I wanted all

readers to see these letters and hopefully

believe the letters came from the heart.

On a separate issue I would also point out

that one of the offenders involved in the

desecration of the Simpson and his donkey

carving at Scottsdale recently also opted

to apologise and speak at the Scottsdale

ANZAC Day service. I am told the offender

has become a different person. I believe that

the two youths whose letters appear in this

issue have a very good chance of changing

their ways. Everybody can make a mistake,

and everybody deserves the chance to put

things right.

My idea of “youth membership” was rolled

at the RSL National level and I was quite

saddened by that, but you can’t win them all

and you certainly cannot allow yourself to

become bitter and twisted - not in this job

anyway. All we can do now is keep trying

to get this concept up and I ask all readers

to contact me with any ideas on any matter

which may change us for the better in the

future, no matter how impossible the idea

may seem.

A new initiative I want to run with is

to get any members who are qualified

tradespersons of any kind, and are willing

to do work for members at a reduced rate,

to contact me. We should, in the short term,

be able to set up a network and this can only

be a win-win situation for all concerned.

Have a great Christmas and a very happy

New Year.

Regards

Chris Munday


CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER’S COMMENT

Well….Well!! What to write?

I have previously taken the opportunity in the

last issue of On Service for the year to outline

those achievements we have made during the

past 12 months.

However, I am struggling to put words on the

page as we have achieved most of those things

that we needed to and have spent the year

streamlining and maintaining the procedures

and plans that have been put in place over the

past couple of years.

We have of course had a very busy year at the

State Branch. We are progressing with our

RSL (Tasmania) Futures Committee, a direct

result of a State Congress 2012 motion, and

are presently drafting the Terms of Reference.

Shortly we will contact individuals inviting them

to participate on the Committee. At this point

I refer to the recent SWOT Analysis form that

was forwarded to all Sub Branches, requesting

a simple ‘tick and flick’ response. The purpose

was to obtain the Sub Branch view on what they

believed we needed the Futures Committee to

focus on. Unfortunately, the lack of response

was very disappointing. However, we shall press

on regardless.

The State Branch is still financially assisting many

Sub Branches, most of which now have their

heads above water and are moving forward in a

satisfactory financial position. Unfortunately the

year saw the closure of the Strahan Sub Branch

due to lack of numbers. We wish to thank the

former Sub Branch President, Mr Theo Van Balen

for all his efforts in trying to keep the Sub Branch

viable. The veterans and members in the Strahan

area will be looked after by our Sub Branches in

either Queenstown or Zeehan.

Next year we have a new State Executive

structure, with three Divisions only. The

Eastern Division will no longer exist and the Sub

Branches previously in Eastern Division will be

absorbed into either the Southern Division or the

Northern Division.

There will be three Divisional Vice President

positions which members in the respective

Divisions can nominate to fill. I would urge

those who may be considering nominating for

State Executive positions to ensure that they

have thought it through very carefully and:

a. have the time to devote

b. have their good health

c. understand fully the obligations they are

committing themselves to, and

d. have the skill set necessary to fulfill the

position.

With only three paid staff and a handful of

dedicated volunteers at the State Branch, we must

rely on the members of our State Executive to

accept some portfolio’s and undertake some tasks

in order that we remain across all facets of our

RSL Objects.

In late October this year, coinciding with the RSL

Poppy Appeal and Remembrance Day, the Royal

Australian Mint (RAM) struck a special coloured

two dollar coin. The coin is a circulating coin and

is not a commemorative coin. In an agreement

between the RAM and the RSL a large number

of the limited coins were purchased by the RSL

as a means of assisting us in our fund raising

efforts. The coins are available with a $10

Donation Certificate and have been distributed

to all State Branches. We still have good stocks

of the coin in Tasmania and if you haven’t already

obtained your coin, please ensure that you do so

very quickly as they certainly will not last.

The coin is unique. It is the first ever coloured

coin minted in Australia and has a red enamel

poppy in the centre. Around the edge of the coin

is the word ‘Remembrance’. Either contact your

local RSL Sub Branch or alternatively, the State

Branch may be contacted on (03)6224-0881 or

email rsltas@bigpond.com. Also please go to our

website at www.rsltas.org.au and read the article

relating to the coin. Many of our members have

obtained a number of the coins to gift to their

grandchildren which is a wonderful sentiment.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our

Editor, Phil Pyke for his efforts and advice as we

have put the On Service magazine together this

year. Phil is presently back in uniform and on

an overseas deployment and has been unable to

submit a column for this magazine. We are all

thinking of you and stay safe, Phil.

Thank you also to our colleagues from

the Australian Peacekeepers/Peacemakers

Association –

Tasmania Branch,

namely Colonel

Michael Romalis,

Phil Pyke, Nigel

McIntosh and Nick

Noeleen Lincoln OAM

Murnane who have

all assisted the RSL

in various ways this year.

We look forward to continuing our happy

liaison with you into the future.

Thank you to State President, Chris and to the

members of the State Executive for your support

and friendship during the year and a big thank

you to our dedicated staff - Tamara Harper and

David Skinner, our volunteers - Wayne Cargill

and Carol Batten and our helper elves - Elizabeth

Dolan and Imelda Cooper. You are a great team

and I couldn’t do my job without you all.

I would also like to acknowledge the continued

support we receive from the State Government,

and from our sister State Branches on the

mainland.

Thank you to my CEO counterparts in the other

State Branches for your valued friendship and

support to me throughout the year.

To all our readers, I wish you all a very safe and

very happy festive season and Merry Christmas

to you all.

Regards

Noeleen Lincoln

RSL On Service

3


4

REPORT FROM EASTERN VICE PRESIDENT -

HARRY JAGER

Greetings to you all. Over the past five

months I have visited the Fingal, Lindisfarne,

Oatlands, and Swansea RSL Sub Branches.

All are doing well. The Fingal Sub Branch

recently lost their President, Denis Sutton

who sadly passed away.

I had the privilege to join our local veterans

on a bus trip to Ledgerwood to see the WWI

carvings which are in desperate need of

repair. We travelled on to Scottsdale to a

barbecue lunch and a visit to the Scottsdale

carvings including Simpson and his donkey.

We visited the Museum at the Scottsdale

RSL Sub Branch which all arranged by the

President, Bruce Scott.

As you read this article, Remembrance

Day has come and gone. It seems to me

that the public is a lot more aware of what

it means and I think this is so because of

the work that Sub Branches are putting in

to have people become more aware of just

what sacrifices have been made on behalf of

Australia. That awareness is due in no small

part to those members who give up their

time to stand out in all sorts of weather to

sell poppies. To those of you who do that job

‘Thank You” not just from me but from the

RSL On Service

The entire trip was organized by Janet

Munday as part of Veterans’ Health Week.

Thank you, Janet for a most enjoyable

day. The two oldest gentlemen on the trip

were in their nineties and both had a great

day. I would encourage Sub Branches to

continue holding day trips for their veterans

and members with the purpose of getting

them out of their houses and providing a

valuable means of enjoying the company of

their mates.

Finally, as the festive season is upon us I

would like to wish one and all a very Merry

Christmas and a happy and prosperous

New Year.

REPORT FROM VICE PRESIDENT SOUTHERN

DIVISION – MEL COOPER

Greetings one and all. As the festive season

is upon us I wish you safe and prosperous

Christmas and New Year celebrations.

I have been impressed by the Sub Branches

I have visited recently and their compliance

with the Tax Concession Charity Status

requirements. It is a ‘must’ to keep our

financial records in order to ensure the

continued benefits that come from being

a recognized charity.

The RSL Life Members luncheon, hosted by

the Northern Midlands Sub Branch, was

RSL, because it is those acts of service that

help us to fulfill our role of helping those

in need.

Rob Dick and I are gradually getting around

the Sub Branches on our audit program

and it is pleasing to note the high standard

of work being achieved by committees in

running their organisations. Well Done.

If you are like me it is a bit of a shock that

Christmas is upon us. I thought it was

only a couple of months since the last one.

held at the Longford RSL Memorial Club

in October, with the State Minister for

Veterans’ Affairs, the Hon Scott Bacon MP

in attendance. The day was a resounding

success.

RSL Tasmania State Branch has produced

a “Recruiting Poster”, which will be

displayed in all Sub Branches. I urge all of

our members to encourage all those you

may know to be eligible to sign up as either

Service or Affiliate Members.

I hope the guy

in the red coat is

kind to us all.

You know where Harry Jager

we are if you

need any assistance. Keep well.

Regards

Harry Jager

It must be the

ageing process

(took forever

when we were

young).

REPORT FROM VICE PRESIDENT NORTH EAST

DIVISION - GEOFF LEITCH

Mel Cooper

To all members and your families, on behalf

of my wife and myself I wish you a very

happy Christmas. Enjoy the festivities and

please drive carefully over the break.

Cheers

Mel Cooper

I would like

to take this

opportunity to

Geoff Leitch

congratulate

Mr Bruce Scott OAM on his selection

as the RSL representative on the Frank

MacDonald Memorial Prize tour to the

battlefields of the Western Front in 2013.

Regards,

Geoff Leitch


REPORT FROM VICE PRESIDENT NORTH WEST

DIVISION – KEVIN KNIGHT

In recent months I have made visits to a

number of Sub Branches along the North

West and the West Coast. It appears as

though most Sub Branches have the welfare

of their members in mind. Smithton Sub

Branch is off to a new start and appears to

be progressing in the right direction.

Burnie Sub Branch has made a few changes

to their entertainment area which has

improved the outlook. The new committee

is making every effort to make the premises

more appealing for visitors and members and

I wish them all the best in their endeavor. If

you are in the Burnie area, take the time visit

the Burnie Sub Branch and stay for lunch or

dinner. Entertainment has been introduced

on some Saturdays. Support the RSL when

visiting other towns and head into the local

Sub Branch and introduce yourself.

I made a visit to the Devonport National

Service Association meeting on Sunday,

2nd September. It was a very good roll up

of around forty five and I caught up with a

few of my old friends. I again attended the

National Service Association meeting at

Devonport on the 7th October when there

were over fifty attendances. It would be nice

if Devonport Sub Branch could have a similar

attendance at their meetings. It is a problem

which we need to look at. Devonport has

entertainment on Friday evenings with

some very good guest artists. Attendance

is very good early in the evenings but falls

off rapidly after the club draws.

When visiting the Devonport Sub Branch

take time to have a look their memorabilia,

both the Sub Branch display and the

National Service corner. Doug Dick has

spent numerous hours making up folders

relating to individual intakes of National

Servicemen.

It was disappointing that the State Workshop

set down for the afternoon of 9th October

at Burnie was cancelled due to the lack of

response from some sub branches. These

workshops are conducted for the benefit of

the Sub Branch committees and members.

It ensures that important information is

passed on in a timely manner and gives

members a chance to meet with the State

Executive and voice their opinions on

matters relating to the RSL. I would urge

100% attendance from Sub Branches in the

North West when the Workshops take place

in 2013.

On the 6th October the Latrobe RSL

Sub Branch held its Annual Dinner with

very pleasing attendances of some eighty

members, visitors and guests.

Latrobe Sub

Branch has

returned to their

premises with a Kevin Knight

new vigor the

members I spoke with could not speak

highly enough of the new arrangements for

the members and the Sub Branch. It appears

as though Latrobe is on the right road to

recovery and I strongly encourage support

from their members.

Burnie RSL Sub Branch conducted the

Battle for Australia Day commemorative

service. Around 70 were in attendance from

all over the State. The service was followed

by a luncheon. A former Frank MacDonald

Memorial Prize winner, from Stanley, Miss

Jacqueline Smedley gave a presentation

about her trip to the Western Front, showing

a number of WW1 cemeteries and battle

grounds.

As this will be my last report for this year

I take this opportunity to wish one and all

a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New

Year from myself, my wife Marlene and

also from your State Executive Member,

Graham Deacon and his wife Sharyn.

Regards

Kevin Knight

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RSL On Service

5


SPECIAL FEATURE

70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF EL ALAMEIN

70 Year Gap Bridged Between El Alamein and MEAO Veterans

A seven decade gap was bridged when Australian Second World War

veterans recently visited an Australian Defence Force base in the Middle

East to meet current serving younger veterans. Members based in the

Middle East Area of Operations (MEAO) at Al Minhad Air Base in the

United Arab Emirates were pleased to meet with the twenty-one veterans

who had recently commemorated 70 years at El Alamein in Egypt. The

veterans, including Hobart’s Keith Hansen, paid respects to those who

had given their lives in the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq with a service

at the Memorial in the grounds of the base.

The younger veterans felt proud to meet these men and women who

helped defeat the Germans in North Africa in 1942, culminating in the

Battle of El Alamein.

Many thousands of Australians served in the campaigns in North Africa

and Syria during the Second World War, in major actions at Bardia, Libya,

in January 1941, the capture of Tobruk in January 1941 and the siege of

Tobruk from April to December 1941, Syria from June to July 1941 and

El Alamein from August to November 1942.

In Bardia, the Allies were victorious and captured some 40,000 Italian

troops. The Australians then took part in a successful and rapid advance

against Italian forces capturing Tobruk. After a successful counter-attack

by German and Italian forces, Australians, mostly of the 9th Division dug

in for a siege that would last eight months, achieving fame as the ‘Rats

of Tobruk’. In Syria Australians, mostly from the 7th Division, fought

against the Vichy French and captured Damour on 9 July.

At El Alamein the Allies launched a major offensive that would force the

Germans to ultimately abandon their campaign in North Africa. This

final action was not without cost – between July and November more

than 1,100 Australians were killed, almost 200 listed as missing in action

and more than 3,600 wounded.

“Today we marked the 70th anniversary of the end of Australia’s

involvement in the North Africa campaigns, including the decisive

Battle of El Alamein, at memorial services at the Commonwealth War

Graves Commission El Alamein War Cemetery and the Australian 9th

Division Memorial,” the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Warren Snowdon

said during the commemoration service at the battle site.

6

Padre Collin Acton holds a service for El Alamein veterans at the Al Minhad

Air Base memorial during their recent visit to Al Minhad Air Base in the

United Arab Emirates.

RSL On Service

“We paid tribute to the efforts of the Australian servicemen and women

in North Africa; their great victory alongside Allied counterparts; and the

loss of some great mates in arms they left behind 70 years ago.”

The twenty-one veterans were aged between 88 and 95, coming from

all over Australia. The group represented all arms of service involved in

the campaign and included a Prisoner of War, several ‘Rats of Tobruk’

and a nurse.

Australian veteran, Jack Bullen shakes hands with an Italian veteran during

the International memorial service for the 70th anniversary of the Battle of

El Alamein at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in El

Alamein, Egypt.

“The group represents the thousands of men and women who bravely

served in North Africa through some of the most ferocious fighting of the

Second World War. For most, it is their first time returning to the places

where they served 70 years ago and it was an honour and a privilege to

share their journey,” Mr Snowdon said.

The El Alamein veterans were also accompanied by the Australian

Federation Guard and the Repatriation Commissioner, Major-General

Mark Kelly, former Commander of Australian forces in the Middle East.

Keith Hansen of Geilston Bay was the sole Tasmanian on the El Alamein

trip. He served as an Air Traffic Controller in El Alamein; following some

time as a member of No. 113 Squadron filling the role of wireless operator/

air gunner on the squadron’s Hawker Hinds. His role for the most part

involved coordinating search and rescue efforts and sending out the fire

service in case of a crash. Keith followed the troops as they moved forward

as far as Tripoli, manning various landing strips as they did so. He was

also involved in establishing a secret airstrip from which a squadron of

American Lightening aircraft arrived, under the cover of darkness, in

preparation for the Allied attack on Sicily

Keith returned to Australia in December 1943, where he continued to

serve as an Air Traffic Controller in the RAAF, in various locations in

Australia, including Fishermans Bend, Laverton and Bankstown. After

discharge in 1945, he returned to civilian life he pursued a career as an

air traffic controller. During his career Keith worked initially for the Civil

Aviation Department in Melbourne; he later transferred to Launceston

Airport, then moved to Hobart Airport, where he became a senior air

traffic controller, and retired as the Airport Director in 1981.


Current Air Force members Flight Sergeant Colin Renton and Sergeant Ross

Tindale talk with retired Air Force El Alamein veteran Mr Keith Hansen

during his recent visit to Al Minhad Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.

Keith married his wife Mildred in March 1944. They had met when

Keith was training in Ballarat prior to being posted overseas. When

Mildred died in 2008 they had been married just over 64 years, and had

three daughters, six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Since

Mildred’s death, two more great-grandchildren have been born. In his

spare time, Keith was a keen deep sea sports fisherman and has held a

number of light line Australian records. He still enjoys maintaining his

vegetable garden.

Veterans Jack Bullen and Jack Caple read the 9th Division Battle Honours

at the Australian 9th Division Memorial in El Alamein, Egypt.

Local

In Hobart a small contingent of our remaining veterans of the Battle of El

Alamein and their families gathered for a commemorative service. The

service was organized by Mr John Wise and the Master of Ceremonies

for the event was Mr Reg Watson. The service was followed by a luncheon

at Parliament House provided by the RSL Tasmania State Branch and

hosted by the Hon Scott Bacon MP, State Minister for Veterans’ Affairs.

Australian Army Band – Tasmania Bugler Corporal Ashley Thompson plays

The Last Post during the Australian 9th Division Battle of El Alamein 70th

anniversary commemorative service.

Veterans gather at the Hobart Cenotaph

RSL On Service

7


REMEMBRANCE DAY AT HOME AND AROUND THE WORLD

From the Hobart Cenotaph to fifty other towns across the State, across

the Nation and to Australian Defence bases across the world,

Remembrance Day commemorations were held to honour the service

and sacrifice of Australians in wars and conflicts.

Marking the 94th anniversary of the end of WWII, the Hobart

commemoration was followed by a well attended concert by the Australian

Army Band – Tasmania at the Soldiers’ Memorial Oval, Queen’s Domain

where more plaques were unveiled beside their respective trees.

Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare joined Australian troops for a

ceremony at Multi-National Base Tarin Kot, Afghanistan. The Minister

was joined by Major General Michael Crane, Commander Joint Taskforce

633 and Australian Federal Police Assistant Commissioner Mandy

Newton, National Manager of the International Deployment Group.

Soldiers, sailors, and airmen commemorated Remembrance Day in a

number of locations throughout the Middle East. Services were held in

Afghanistan in Tarin Kot, Kandahar and Kabul as well as near Dubai,

Bahrain and at sea onboard HMAS ANZAC.

Deployed personnel marked a minutes’ silence to honour fallen comrades

from past and present conflicts. 39 soldiers have lost their lives in

Afghanistan since 2002 and two in Iraq in the same time frame.

ADF members in Dubai were joined not just by their Coalition colleagues

from Britain, New Zealand, the United States and the Netherlands,

but also by David and Mary McCarthy whose son, Sean, was killed in

Afghanistan in July 2008.

Australian Defence Force personnel also held a service in East Timor

for the final time and the Solomon Islands to mark the 94th anniversary

of the Armistice.

The national ceremony at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra

included a Commemorative address by Chief of the Defence Force,

8

RSL On Service

General David Hurley and wreath-laying by Governor-General Her

Excellency Quentin Bryce, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and other

dignitaries. One hundred and two students laid poppies symbolizing the

more than 102,000 Australian servicemen and women who have died in

wars and conflicts. Australia’s Federation Guard mounted the Tri-Service

Guard of Honour, accompanied by the Band of the Royal Military College.

Earlier families of servicemen who lost their lives in Afghanistan over

the past 12 months attended a private unveiling of additions to the Roll of

Honour. Nine new names were added to the Afghanistan panel of the Roll.

Mr David McCarthy, US Army Chaplain William Lutz, RAAF Chaplain

Mark Kleeman, and Mrs Mary McCarthy pause to reflect at the Al Minhad

Air Base stone of remembrance at the conclusion of the commemoration

service.

Afghanistan

Soldiers from 3 RAR Task Group push poppies into the name plates of

the fallen during Remembrance Day commemorations at Tarin Kot in

Afghanistan. The Task Group lost three members, who were killed when

an Afghan Army sergeant opened fire with his personal weapon on the

29th of August 2012.

Commander of the Combined Taskforce - Uruzgan, Colonel Simon Stuart,

delivers a speech during Remembrance Day services in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan


SORELL East Timor LAD MISSES LOCAL FOOTY CLUB

Australian and New Zealand members of ANZAC Company based in

Dili, East Timor, come together to commemorate those who not only

served in the former Portuguese colony in WWII but also those from

three weeks of joining the

both nations who have contributed to the transition to independence

Army, his brother, Cody

of East Timor since 1999.

Barratt (two years older),

was also signing up.

After completing their

basic trade courses, the

brothers were both posted

to the 3rd Combat Service

Support Battalion at

Townsville, Queensland,

as an Operator Supply

within the Field Supply

Company.

Two years ago Fred Barratt was wearing the

blue and gold of the Sorell Eagles Football

Club. Now he is in Army camouflage and is

earning his living working with ammunition

in Afghanistan.

However, it was Fred

who was lucky enough to

have been nominated for

deployment with Force

Fred joined the Australian Army less than

two Solomon years ago, Islands in March 2010, and already

he is on his first deployment to Afghanistan.

Commanding Officer of the Combined Task Force each 635, day Lieutenant – it is always different.”

Initially, Colonel Brenton Fred didn’t Gasteen, put too prepares much to thought lay a wreath at the Memorial at

into the Guadalcanal a career in the Beach Army. Resort. The memorial commemorates Police

and Defence personnel from Australia and Pacific nations who have lost

“It was a spur-of-the-moment decision - I

their lives during peacekeeping operations in this South Pacific nation

was looking for something different and Support Unit Five. The tri-service Unit

something exciting,” Fred said. But within provides logistic and distribution support

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to Australian force elements across the

Middle East.

Fred is currently based with Force Support

Team Kandahar Air Field, which is one of the

biggest US bases in Afghanistan. His role

encompasses data entry, issue and receipt

of ammunition in support of the Mentoring

Task Force – Three and Special Operations

Task Group. As part of his role Fred will also

have the opportunity to witness significant

amounts of demolitions and ammunition

disposal.

“I can’t believe how quick things can change.

Almost within one year and I’m deployed to

Afghanistan.”

While it is early days in his eight-month

deployment, Fred’s favourite experiences

so far have been his relationship with his

colleagues and the physical training.

“The people are great, really easy to get

along with. You don’t know what is going

to happen each day – it is always different.”

When Fred does get back home to Australia

next year, he is looking forward to spending

time with his mates in Townsville and also

making a trip home to Sorell during his post

deployment leave.

“I just want to catch up with friends and go

to the Sorell Football Club.

Supporting Tasmanian families

in their hour of need

Millingtons provides you with every

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19

9


CONTEMPORARY VETERANS USE REMEMBRANCE DAY TO

ENGAGE YOUNG AUSTRALIANS ABOUT MILITARY HISTORY

After the Remembrance Day service at the Domain in Hobart on the 11th

of November, nestled amongst the traditional wreaths and floral tributes

at the base of the Cenotaph was a book. Instead of laying the traditional

floral tribute, contemporary veterans had decided to lay a military history

volume. As Australian Peacekeeper & Peacemaker Veterans’ Association

representative Mr Andrew Smith went to retrieve the book, RSL State

President Mr Chris Munday approached him to find out more about the

book and where it was destined. Andrew advised Chris that the book was

about Women in the Defence Force, and that it would be presented to the

local Australian Army Cadet Battalion where it would be used as a prize for

a promotion or skills course.

When Chris sought more information about the use of a book as a tribute,

he was told there were several reasons which had led to this choice by

contemporary veterans. The primary reason was that it is a lasting tribute

which can be re-used and kept, unlike flowers. Books are also cheaper than

wreaths, and you can normally find a military history book which relates to a

particular commemoration. Building on the concept of the book as a lasting

tribute, the book is retrieved after the memorial service and is presented a

second time to a youth organisation so that younger community members

can be encouraged to learn about military history. It is also realised that a

book may not be a suitable tribute for every commemoration, so approval

to lay a book is sought from the organising committee prior to any service.

Once approval is received, a book appropriate to the commemoration and

suitable for a young reader is found, and a book plate is inserted on the title

page.

RSL (Tasmania Branch) has had both Service and Affiliate membership open

to members of the State Emergency Services for many years. This includes

members of Tasmania Police, Tasmania Fire Services, Ambulance Services

and the SES.

On Monday, 29th October 2012 the President of the Australian Institute of

Emergency Services Tasmania Division, Mr Ron Jones called a meeting of

representatives from all parties.

Representing RSL (Tasmania Branch) were the State President, Mr Chris

Munday, State CEO, Ms Noeleen Lincoln and Honorary State Treasurer,

Mr Wayne Cargill. At the meeting were representatives from all the above

services, with the exception of Tasmania Police, and an apology was tendered

for them.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the mutual benefits and assistance

to all involved.

Discussion included benefit to the RSL by increased membership and what

the RSL could offer the Emergency Services members by joining us. For our

part we were open to the possibility of some of our Sub Branches, particularly

those in country areas being made available as emergency centres during

a crisis such as bush fires. Also, there is the possibility that many of our

younger members may volunteer with the Emergency Services in one

capacity or the other which would also boost their ranks.

Mr Ron Jones has issued the attached letter to the Emergency Services via

their State magazine, which encourages their members to join the RSL. For

our part, our Sub Branches must embrace these people when they come in

and ask to join. Our Sub Branches have been made aware that the Emergency

10

RSL On Service

Mr C. Munday (Right) and Mr A. Smith (Left) at the Hobart Cenotaph

RSL TASMANIA WELCOMES THE STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES

TO JOIN US AS MEMBERS

Services personnel are eligible to be either Service or Affiliate members and

should not be simply joined up as a Social Member. As a Social Member

they will not receive the benefits we discussed during our meeting with

their representatives.

We look forward to a strong affiliation in the future and we wish to

acknowledge the work done by Mr Ron Jones, and his efforts to organize

the meeting.

Representatives of the Tasmanian Fire Services, SES, RSL (Tasmania)

and Ambulance Services.


RSL TASMANIA WELCOMES THE STATE EMERGENCY SERVICES

TO JOIN US AS MEMBERS

RSL On Service

11


FRANK MACDONALD MM MEMORIAL PRIzE WINNERS - 2012

Six Tasmanian students will visit significant

war sites in France and Belgium next year

after winning the 2012 Frank MacDonald MM

Memorial Prize. On the 12th October the

Minister for Education and Skills, the Hon Nick

McKim MP, announced the winners of the prize

The 2012 Frank MacDonald Memorial Prize Winners

The 2012 Frank MacDonald Memorial

Prize Winners are:

Students

Shaye Davies Launceston Church

Grammar School

Jarrah Day Taroona High School

Luke Dimsey Clarence High School

Alexandra Fuller Penguin High School

Dean Mainwaring Ulverstone High School

Joseph Short Rose Bay High School

Teachers

Ian Cordwell New Town High School

Julie Bird Ogilvie High School

RSL Representative

Bruce Scott OAM President, Scottsdale

RSL Sub Branch Inc.

Government Representative

Ruth Forrest MLC

Tour Manager

Anthony King - DPAC

Natalie Cooling - DPAC

Congratulations to all of the finalists and

winners on their outstanding entries.

12

RSL On Service

which honours Tasmanian’s last World War 1

veteran, Frank MacDonald MM who died in 2003

at the age of 107.

The group will tour the battlefields of the Western

Front during the period 20th April – 1st May 2013.

The prize was created by the State Government

and RSL Tasmania to honour Frank’s memory

and ensure that Tasmanian students learn more

about our history and keep the ANZAC spirit

alive. Through this prize, students come to

appreciate not only the historical time and dates

of important events, but the stories of courage,

mateship and the finer details of day to day life

on the battlefields.

The 2012 Prize was open to year 9 Tasmanian

students from government and non-government

schools, as well as home-schooled students in the

same year level.”


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• The Stamp Place

• Bridgestone Tyre Centres

• Foxhole Medals

• Man to Man Clothing Stores

• Ace Alarms & Security

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• Nature Zone Garden Centre – Ulverstone

• Robyn’s Hair Studio – Latrobe

• Essentially Mobile – Hobart

• Leap Health Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation

• Territory Discoveries

• Bagdad Quilting Supplies

• Kempton Old Books (30% discount)

Please remember, this list can only grow

if you, the readers recommend more

businesses to us!!!

Welcome to the following new participants:

Penguin Video – 56 Main St, Penguin

10% off hire or purchase

The Groovy Penguin Café – 74 Main St, Penguin

10% off all meals/coffee

Zvon’s Hair Dresser – 76 Main St, Penguin

See Linda Murphy for discount

Heath & Mykle’s Healthy Meats –

Main St, Penguin

Ask for the best member’s deal

Ben Newton’s Mechanical Services –

109 Main St, Penguin

5% discount on all servicing

Indulgence Gifts & Jewelry – St Helens

5% discount on total purchase

Wombat Burrow Frames – St Helens

10% discount

Shoreline Hotel Bistro – Howrah

10% discount off full priced meals

East Coast Auto Parts – St Helens

10% discount

Tasmania’s own REDLINE is the largest private coach operator in

the state. We offer a comprehensive range of charter vehicles to

business, schools, clubs, organisations and the individual.

Here are some reasons why you should charter our services:

• Accredited Passenger Transport

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• Our fl eet is backed by the company's

own workshop and mobile

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major centres.

• Drivers are fully accredited and we are

the only operator who employs its own

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RSL On Service

DVA Veterans Medical Transport

Do you have a medical

condition where nonurgent

ambulance

transport could assist

you with medical

appointments?

Ambulance Private is approved by DVA to provide

non-urgent ambulance transport statewide to Gold

Card holders and other elligible recipients requiring

transport for medical purposes

For the cost of a local call, speak

with an Ambulance Private

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to enquire about this service.

1300 363 911

Bookings

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cnr St John & Cimitiere Sts

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13


HEADSTONES FOR FORGOTTEN HEROES!

Percy Dransfield probably epitomized everything

that Charles Bean, the noted military historian

wrote about our ANZAC diggers. What Percy

lacked in the way of book learning, he more than

made up for in the ways of the bush and through

hard work. Percy enlisted too late to see action at

Gallipoli but not too late to be part of the newly

formed 40th Battalion.

On 8 August 1916 Private Dransfield embarked

with the first reinforcements on the Ballarat

sailing out of Hobart. While he survived his

initial experiences in the front line without a

scratch, he was wounded in action at Ploegsteert

Wood sustaining a slight head wound. Several

months later he was wounded for the second

time. In September 1918 as the battalion attacked

the Hindenburg Line Private Percy Dransfield

assisted by others helped to drive the enemy out

of Willow Trench. For his actions Percy was

awarded Military Medal.

Hedley Allen was a fresh-faced 22 year old

country boy from the East Coast when he enlisted.

Assigned to the Field Artillery Brigade as a driver

and served initially in Egypt and later in France,

Hedley Allen suffered several periods of illness,

including bronchitis and pneumonia. In 1918,

Hedley Allen’s ‘initiative and courage’ while in the

firing line was rewarded with the Belgian Croix

de Guerre. After the war he returned to farming,

married and had two children David and Judith.

At 21 years of age, John (Jack) Behan was working

as a packer. He had served 4 years with the senior

cadets and 5 months with the district guard,

leaving to join the AIF. Embarking on the Port

Darwin on 30 April, 1918, the tide of war was

just starting to turn in the favour of the Allies.

He served as a gunner with the 4th Divisional

Ammunition Column and in October 1918 was

taken on strength with the 10th Field Artillery

Brigade.

Jack Behan was not from Tasmania, but in the

years that he spent in this state he endeavoured

to put something back into the community. As

manager of the Strand Theatre in Hobart he

became well known for his efforts in raising

funds for the Australian Comforts Fund and other

organisations, something he had been doing since

well before the war.

While Jack sought to bring colour to the lives

of many in Tasmania, sadly in his later years he

suffered from Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome

which required hospitalization at the Royal

Derwent Hospital where he died in August 1963.

While these three men did not know each other,

enlisting in different states and serving in different

battalions or units, they would eventually have

one thing in common – that they would lie in

unmarked graves for many years until earlier this

year.

Having risked life and limb in the service of

their country and acted in the line of fire with

courage and distinction, each were buried and

later forgotten by society if not by their families.

To many, this may seem a shameful situation and

14

RSL On Service

one that should not be allowed to continue.

For each of the three families mentioned in

this story the situation was different and it was

probably not from choice but from necessity

that each man lay in an unmarked grave. Jack

Behan had no immediate family, his niece passing

away shortly after he did. Hedley Allen lost

everything in the 1967 Bushfires and later moved

to Remembrance House where he died in 1969.

Percy Dransfield’s family was not in a financial

position to afford a headstone, intending to do

it at a later date when things changed. To have

applied for a Commonwealth War Grave seemed

out of the question.

A small group of Tasmanian members of Families

and Friends of the First AIF have come together

and established the Headstone Project in the hope

of righting this shameful wrong.

The basic aims of the project are to identify

any First World War soldiers who currently lie

in unmarked graves in Tasmania and to place a

simple headstone and plaque on the grave. Each

plaque includes the Rising Sun and mentions

their service number, rank and unit along with

relevant personal information. While activities

are currently centred at Cornelian Bay Cemetery,

it is intended that this will change in the near

future with further research being undertaken to

identify others from around the state.

The first four were unveiled early this year (Edward

Albert Brockman, Percy Dransfield, Joseph Patrick

McSorley and Sydney Rupert Roland Higgins)

with two subsequent unveilings (Hedley Allen,

Arthur John Buckney, Cecil Mahoney, William

Henry Callaghan, William John Allen, Wilfred

Ernest George Williams, Edmund Geoffrey

Stanfield and John Patrick Behan). A total of 12

headstones were placed through the course of

the year which is quite an achievement given the

limited resources. While it has not been possible

The Headstone for Jack Behan

to make contact with families in each case, those

who have been involved are happy to see that their

relative has finally been given recognition.

At least sixteen more men have been identified

so far and these include Richard John Hart, who

died in January 1921, who served in the Australian

Bushman Contingent to South Africa as well as in

the 3rd Light Horse and Australian Flying Corps.

Bernard Stephen Lucas lost two brothers in the

war and died at the age of 24 years as the result

of an accident.

Michael Ahearne enlisted in September 1914 and

sailed with the original contingent in October

1914, serving as a driver with the 4th Division

Ammunition Column. He was wounded in action

in November 1917but lives to the age of 61 years.

Families and Friends of the First AIF have been

given considerable support by Millingtons

through providing maps, permits, marking out

the graves, liaising with the foundry as well as

forgoing some of their usual fees.

A substantial donation from Independent,

Andrew Wilkie MP helped get the project off

the ground, with other funding coming from

various sources including private donations and

the Hobart RSL Sub branch. Further donations

are urgently needed if this project is to continue

in 2013 and beyond.

Expenditure has been kept to the bare minimum

but each headstone (including plaque) costs

around $700.

The group would like to hear from any individual

or group willing to donate to this project as well

as anyone who knows of a First World War soldier

who lies in an unmarked grave.

Contact can be made with Mrs Andrea Gerrard

at agerrard@utas.edu.au.


FROM VIETNAM TO THE SOLOMON ISLANDS

Not many people can say they have deployed

on two operations over 40 years apart but

for Keith Moodie, it’s true.

Army Reservist, Keith celebrated his 61st

birthday on 14 July while deployed in the

Solomon Islands some 43 years after his

time as a Tank Gunner in Vietnam.

He said he could not compare the two

Above and below: Families unveil the headstones of their operations. relatives

“Vietnam was an undeclared war,” he said.

“You knew you could get hit because there

was an active war going on between the

north and south. Here in Solomon Islands

we are peace-keeping and trying to help the

country to become self-reliant.”

During his Vietnam tour Keith was a Tank

Gunner in C Squadron with the Centurion

tanks. During two different incidents in

1968 and 1969 his section was hit by land

mines.

“We had our share of good times and bad

times but no matter where you go freedom

costs. The day after the first incident in

1968, one of my mates, Mick Hannaford

was killed by a mine. The following year

Image and text courtesy of Department

in Long Hai, a guy in my tent, Jimmy Kerr

of Defence

P01388A 190x130 CMYK

Defence Service Homes

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Home & Contents insurance for Veterans (their widows

or widowers) or ADF personnel who are:

• Entitled to use a DSH loan (whether used or not),

• Entitled to benefits under the Veterans Entitlement

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• Using the Defence Housing Assistance Act loan.

cover

plus thecare

also died. War costs lives.”

Following Vietnam, Keith discharged from

the Regular Army but, feeling something

was missing, he joined the Reserves in

1987 and was posted back to C Squadron,

1 Armoured Regt.

“The recruiting officer told me they had

become a Reserve unit,” he said. “I was in

C Squadron in Vietnam — and I was one of

the first guys to go in as a Reserve member.”

Since re-enlisting in the Army, Keith has

spent time at Bandiana as an Everyman,

worked at the Olympics for ‘Operation

GOLD’ and is currently deployed to the

Solomon Islands.

“I’ve been blessed to be able to travel around

with the Army and do different things. I‘ve

had the privilege of doing things others have

never done. The cream on the cake for me

would be to also do a Timor deployment

because of what my dad went through there

during the Second World War. He didn’t

talk much about it, but one day he told me

he was ambushed by the Japanese and had

to throw his Bren gun away to escape — and

was lost in the bush for two days.”

RSL On Service

To see if you are eligible

and to compare the

features call

1300 552 662

www.dsh.gov.au

15 17


AUSTRALIAN ARMY AWARDED THE VICTORIA CROSS

FOR AUSTRALIA

Corporal Daniel Alan Keighran, VC Citation

For the most conspicuous acts of

gallantry and extreme devotion to

duty in action in circumstances

of great peril at Derapet, Uruzgan

Province, Afghanistan as part of

the Mentoring Task Force One on

Operation SLIPPER.

Corporal Keighran deployed to

Afghanistan in February 2010 with

the 6th Battalion Royal Australian

Regiment. On 24 August 2010

he was a member of a partnered

fighting patrol with soldiers of

the Afghan National Army’s

1st Kandak, 4th Brigade, 205th

(Hero) Corps which was engaged

by a numerically superior and

coordinated enemy attack from

multiple firing points in three

separate locations. The attack was initiated by a high volume of sustained

and accurate machine-gun and small-arms fire which pinned down the

combined Australian and Afghan patrol and caused a loss of momentum.

In the early stages of the attack, and upon realizing that the forward

elements of the patrol needed effective fire support, Corporal Keighran

and another patrol member moved under sustained and accurate enemy

fire to an exposed ridgeline to identify enemy locations and direct the

return fire of both Australian and Afghan machine guns.

On reaching this position and with complete disregard for his own

wellbeing, Corporal Keighran deliberately drew enemy fire by leaving the

limited cover he had and moved over the ridgeline in order to positively

identify targets for the machine gunners of the combined patrol. After

identifying some of the enemy firing positions, Corporal Keighran, under

persistent enemy fire continued to lead and mentor his team and move

around the ridge to both direct the fire of the Afghan and Australian

machine gunners and to move them to more effective firing positions.

As the intensity of enemy fire grew, Corporal Keighran returned to the

crest of the ridgeline to identify targets and adjust the fire of Australian

Light Armoured vehicles. His actions resulted in the effective suppression

of enemy firing points, which assisted in turning the fight in the favour

of the combined patrol. Moving to a new position, Corporal Keighran

deliberately and repeatedly again exposed himself to heavy enemy fire to

assist in target identification and the marking of the forward line of troops

for fire support elements whilst simultaneously engaging the enemy.

Realizing that the new position provided a better location for the patrol’s

joint fire controller, Corporal Keighran moved over 100 metres across

exposed parts of the ridgeline, attracting a high volume of accurate enemy

fire, to locate and move the fire controller to the new position. He then

rose from cover again to expose his position on four successive occasions,

each movement drawing more intense fire than the last in order to assist

in the identification of a further three enemy firing points that were

subsequently engaged by fire support elements.

During one of these occasions, when his patrol sustained an Australian

casualty, Corporal Keighran with complete disregard for his own safety,

left his position of cover on the ridgeline to deliberately draw fire away

from the team treating the casualty. Corporal Keighran remained

exposed and under heavy fire while traversing the ridgeline, in order

to direct suppressing fire and then assist in the clearance of the landing

zone to enable evacuation of the casualty.

16

RSL On Service

Corporal Keighran’s acts of the most conspicuous gallantry to repeatedly

expose himself to accurate and intense enemy fire, thereby placing himself

in grave danger, ultimately enabled the identification and suppression

of enemy firing positions by both Australian and Afghan fire support

elements. These deliberate acts of exceptional courage in circumstances

of great peril were instrumental in permitting the withdrawal of the

combined Australian and Afghan patrol with no further casualties. His

valour is in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army and

the Australian Defence Force.

Personal biography - Corporal Daniel Alan Keighran, VC

Daniel Alan Keighran was born in Nambour, Queensland on 18 June

1983 and spent his formative years in regional Queensland. He enlisted

in the Australian Army on 5 December 2000 and completed his Initial

Employment Training at the School of Infantry in Singleton, New South

Wales.

In 2001, Corporal Keighran was posted to the 6th Battalion, the Royal

Australian Regiment (6 RAR), where he served as a Rifleman in Delta

Company. He deployed to Rifle Company Butterworth Malaysia in 2001,

on Operation CITADEL - East Timor in 2003/2004 and again to Rifle

Company Butterworth Malaysia in 2004.

Corporal Keighran was promoted to Lance Corporal in 2005 and then

served within Mortar Platoon, Support Company, 6 RAR.

In 2006, he deployed on Operation CATALYST Iraq where he served as a

Bushmaster driver, a role he also filled on deployment to Afghanistan with

Operation SLIPPER in 2007, where he served in support of the Special

Operations Task Group Rotation 4/5.

In 2009, he was promoted to Corporal and posted back to Delta Company,

6 RAR.

In 2010, Corporal Keighran deployed to Afghanistan on Operation

SLIPPER with Mentoring Task Force 1 (MTF-1), becoming a mentor

midway through his tour.

For his actions carried at Derapet, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, he

was invested with the Victoria Cross for Australia by Her Excellency

the Governor-General of Australia at Government House, Canberra on

1 November 2012.

Corporal Keighran transferred to the Active Reserve in 2011, at the same

time commencing a civilian career in the mining industry. He is currently

posted to the 11th/28th Battalion, the Royal Western Australia Regiment

(11/28 RWAR), a Reserve infantry battalion of the Australian Army. He

is married to Kathryn.

Corporal Keighran has been awarded the following honours and awards:

• Victoria Cross for Australia

• Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp Iraq and Clasp ICAT

• Iraq Campaign Medal

• Afghanistan Campaign Medal

• Australian Service Medal with Clasp East Timor

• Australian Defence Medal

• United Nations Mission in Support of East Timor Medal

• NATO Non Article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF

• Meritorious Unit Citation for 1-MTF

• Infantry Combat Badge


ON BASE ADVISORY SERVICE

DVA’s On Base Advisory Service (OBAS) was

implemented on 1 October 2011 offering a

new channel for serving Australian Defence

Force (ADF) members to access advice and

information on DVA services.

HMAS Parramatta returned from a six-month

deployment to the Middle East on 31 March 2012.

191 crew members were on board. Parramatta

was relieved on station by HMAS Melbourne in

March

On Base Advisers are located on more than 35

selected ADF bases around Australia, either

on a full or part-time basis, depending on

local need. The majority are located at Defence

Health Centres or within the health precinct,

allowing all ADF members to access the service,

regardless of their location.

First Assistant Secretary of DVA’s Client and

Commemorations Division, Liz Cosson, said

PUBLIC DEBATE

A public debate will be held on the 10th March 2013 based on the

statement, “Breaker Morant and Hancock deserve a pardon”. Organised

by Tasmanian military historian, Reg A. Watson, it will be held at the

historic military building, the Powder Magazine, Queen’s Domain. Mr

Watson said that he has planned the event simply to “stimulate interest

and awareness in Australia’s military history”. Mr Watson said that

there will be four participants, two on each team, plus a judicator. Each

participant will speak for 15 minutes, and then later will have a five minute

opportunity for rebuttal.

Questions will come from the audience after formal proceedings. Those

who will participant must have the following: a thorough knowledge of

their subject; be able to communicate well verbally; and have a passion

for the subject. However, Mr Watson hastily adds that the debate, though

controversial, will be “civilised”. Mr Watson proposes to be a member

of the ‘negative’ team.

“Anyone who wishes to participate can let me know, bearing in mind the

abovementioned qualifications”, said Mr Watson.

Mr Watson added that he believes the debate will arouse national interest

and if successful, he plans to hold a similar one the following year on

the subject: “Simpson the Donkey man deserves a Victorian Cross”- also

controversial.

“I want the subject to be controversial so there is passion stimulating a

great deal of interest, otherwise, it is ho-hum. Nonetheless I also want

it to be, as stated, civilised, where participants and audience keep to the

the OBAS initiative was established as part

of the joint ADF/DVA Support for Wounded,

Injured or Ill Program.

“The Department of Defence and DVA have

been working closely to establish a whole of

life approach for the care of injured or ill ADF

members,” Liz said.

“As part of this approach, it is important to

make early contact with all ADF members so

they understand that DVA is here for them now

and also if they need us in the longer term. The

OBAS is allowing DVA to help ADF members

start the process towards accessing the support

and service they may need after they have

separated from the ADF.”

Many current serving members do not think of

themselves as veterans and are often not aware

of the benefits and services they may be entitled

to through DVA.

“The OBAS is helping them understand that

they can still be clients of DVA and serving

members of the ADF,” Liz said.

The network of On Base Advisers are specially

trained DVA staff selected for their experience

and understanding of DVA processes and

benefits. Their role includes:

• providing information about DVA services and

benefits such as compensation, rehabilitation,

health services and support;

• providing support for any current or

prospective compensation claims;

• assisting in the early identification of

health, rehabilitation and income support

requirements post separation;

• delivering presentations at transition

management seminars and information

sessions and events; and

• where requested, delivering presentations to

ADF personnel as part of their pre and post

deployment briefings.

For more information about the OBAS, email

GeneralEnquiries@dva.gov.au or contact DVA

on 133 254 or from regional Australia free call

1800 555 254 or visit www.dva.gov.au

This article was supplied by the Department

of Veterans’ Affairs. It appeared in the Spring

2012 issue of the Vetaffairs newspaper.

.DVA’s Gerard Courtenay (middle, left) and Michael

Lewis, pictured with ADF personnel from HMAS

Parramatta during an OBAS visit in August.

subject with no personal attacks.

“I am sure it will be highly successful,” he said. “The exact date will be

known soon.”

Those wishing to know more may contact Mr Watson via email:

reg@regwatson.com

Mr Watson is the organiser of the annual very successful Boer War

Commemorative Day held in June each year in both Hobart and

Launceston.

RSL On Service

17


AROUND THE SUB BRANCHES

ST HELENS – ST MARYS RSL SUB BRANCH

(Article and photographs by Janet Munday)

The theme for Veterans Health Week 2012 was ‘social inclusion’ so Welfare

Officer and committee member, Janet Munday organised a bus trip from

St Helens to Legerwood to look at the Memorial wood carvings and then

onto Scottsdale for a BBQ lunch and to look at the wood carvings there.

We also called into the Scottsdale RSL. A total of 14 people took part

including three WWII veterans over 90 years of age, the oldest being 93.

One WWII veteran aged 84, two National Servicemen who live on their

own, four Vietnam Veterans, two wives of Vietnam Veterans, one Rwanda

and Somalia veteran and his wife.

We were greeted at Legerwood with a hot drink and plates of cakes and

scones provided by the volunteers of the Legerwood Hall and Reserves

Committee. As it was a very cold day and the morning tea was much

appreciated as were the clean toilets. Volunteer, Cindy Walsh gave us a tour

and explanation of all the Memorial wood carvings which are a fantastic

tribute to the local Legerwood men who died in WWI. Maintenance work

was being carried out on the day and unfortunately they had found the

sap wood of one of the larger carvings was worse than expected so more

funding will be needed.

Janet presented an Australian National Flag to the Legerwood Hall

and Reserves Committee as a way of thanking them for their ongoing

18

The group move between the Memorial carvings at Ledgerwood

TASMAN SUB BRANCH

Tasman Sub Branch’s Remembrance Day Service was given a boost in

numbers this year, with the Sub Branch Padre holding the religious service

first and then bringing the congregation to the Remembrance Day Service.

The Sub Branch Annual Lunch followed with a good attendance by

members and guests, including the State President, Chris Munday.

A great day was had by all.

RSL On Service

commitment and dedication in looking after the unique memorial carvings

which attract local visitors and visitors from overseas. Attendees also gave

donations for the restoration fund and a cheque for $200.00 from our Sub

Branch welfare account was presented to Mrs Walsh.

On to Scottsdale Park where Scottsdale RSL Sub Branch President, Bruce

Scott OAM and his wife Deanna had already fired up the BBQs and had

a hot urn for another cuppa for us. We all enjoyed the sausages, vegetable

frittata, cakes and fruit and even the ducks joined us for some scraps.

We moved on to the Scottsdale RSL where we viewed the carving of

Simpson and his donkey located over the road and the large carving further

into the Park itself. Our oldest attendee decided he would like to visit his

younger sister in the aged wing of Scottsdale Hospital so the coaster bus

took him up there to see her. Meanwhile, Bruce Scott showed the others

the small Museum and memorabilia at the RSL.

Overall everyone enjoyed the day out - the majority had never seen the

wood carvings before and all would repeat a bus trip if available. Notably

the veterans sitting at the back of the bus were the noisiest and even

continued to kick on after the bus trip. The goal of social inclusion and

mateship was definitely well and truly achieved that day.

Attendees with the Simpson and his donkey carving, Scottsdale

Members and guests at the Tasman RSL Sub Branch


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HELICOPTER COWLING REMINDER OF

SACRIFICE

JUST ASK A

BLONDE...

During a small ceremony on Remembrance

Day, the Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant

General Ash Power, presented the Australian

War Memorial with an engine cowling from a

coalition helicopter that crashed in Southern

Afghanistan on 21 June 2010.

Quick-thinking It’s the time military of year personnel when had Blondie used a very safe, healthy and happy

the is engine all out cowling of anecdotes, as an improvised wise stretcher words Christmas Season and a wonderful

and details of life’s little moments.

to extract the wounded from the crash site. and prosperous New Year.

All that is left to do is for her to wish

Despite each aero-medical and every evacuation one of and her the readers heroic Until 2012…….

efforts by all involved in the incident, three

Australian Commandos, Private Benjamin

Chuck, Betty Private and Timothy Marj Aplin played and Private cards Scott every day at their Sunnyside Retirement

Palmer Home. from the They Special had Operations been Task playing Group cards every day for years and were

were both killed now as a well result into of the their crash, 80s. and eight This particular day, as usual, they had

The parents of Private Benjamin Chuck, (Gordon

others been were playing wounded. cards for an hour or so, chattering away and laughing as

and Susan Chuck) with the Chief of Joint Operations

they always did. Then all went silent. Lieutenant The General silence Ash Power, lasted and about the helicopter five

Several minutes. relatives Betty of those said killed, to Marj as well “are as you cowling alright? that was You’ve presented gone to the Australian very quiet” War

representatives from the Army, attended the Memorial on November 11.

Marj looked at her friend with a blank expression on her face and

ceremony at the Australian War Memorial. The makeshift stretcher hung in the hospital

eventually said “well yes and I know this sounds awful, but I can’t

trauma area in the ISAF Role 3 Medical Centre

Lieutenant remember General your Power name? said what the engine is it again?” There was another moment

at Kandahar as a memorial to those who lost

cowling of silence could and serve then as a reminder Betty said for “how all soon do you want to know?”

their lives and as a token of recognition to the

Australians of the valour and sacrifice of their

health staff involved in resuscitation efforts on

fellow countrymen.

that fateful day.

“The significance of the remnant lies not only

It is expected that the cowling will go on display

in representing the terrible loss of life that day,

at the Australian War Memorial.

but also reflects the heroic efforts of the rescue

personnel to transport the wounded, eventually

allowing for their return home,” Lieutenant

General Power said.

RSL On Service

RSL On 15 Service

13 Brisbane Street Launceston

Tasmania 7250

Tel +61 (03) 6332 4666

Fax: +61 (0)3 6331 5707

www.commodoreregent.com.au

Commodore

Regent and

Midcity Hotel

are very happy

to quote for

Vet’s Reunions

for groups.

As well as

offering free

room upgrades

to next room

type

(subject to availability)

Cnr Elizabeth and Bathurst Street

Hobart 7000

Tel: (03) 6234 6333

Fax: (03) 6231 0898

www.hobartmidcity.com.au

19

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VETERANS’ GARDENING

By Michael Romalis

What does a knitted doll, rain, sunshine,

dirt, farting caterpillars and Veterans

all have in common? The answer

is gardening guru Peter Cundall at

a Veterans’ Health Week (VHW)

gardening workshop in Tassie. This

year for VHW, Peter volunteered his time

and expertise to promote gardening as

therapy for veterans. Peter is the first to

admit that gardening is not everyone’s

cup of tea, but for this Korean War

veteran gardening is not only a practical

and healthy lifestyle, it is also a form of therapy that he has seen work for

many other veterans who have struggled to fit back in when they have

come back from operations.

For some gardening allows them to reorientate using the simple rhythms

of nature. For others the physical work followed by the fulfilment of the

harvest re-establishes their self-worth and ability to contribute. For yet

others the simple act of shared work in a community garden re-establishes

the service rapport and camaraderie which can allow them to talk and

share their problems.

For VHW this year Peter conducted two gardening workshops for

Veterans, War Widows, Serving Defence and Police Members and their

families. The first workshop was held at the Tresca Community Centre in

Exeter, just north of Launceston. On a beautiful spring day Peter shared

his gardening tips and expertise to over 30 participants, some having

travelled across half the state to be there. During the lunch break a class of

disabled children visited the workshop and presented vegetable seedlings

they had grown to the attendees. At the end of the day everyone left with

all the ingredients for their own vegetable garden - plants, seeds and an

information booklet written by Peter.

The second workshop was held two days later at the Royal Tasmanian

Botanical Gardens in Hobart. Over 50 people attended with media

Community Gardens which are prepared to assist Veterans in

establishing their own garden plot are:

20

RSL On Service

coverage provided by ABC local radio. Due to inclement weather the

workshop had to relocate to the Nursery after lunch, but no one was

disappointed as the Nursery staff had some surprises up their sleeves. The

glass house was full of advanced vegetable seedlings, 2 litre containers of

‘Tiger Worm Tea’; and for the ladies, large sprays of Orchid flowers from

the Gardens Conservatory – all free to take home!

A lot of positive feedback has been received since the gardening

workshops were conducted. VVCS has reported that several clients

they had recommended to attend had a great time. A regular Veteran’s

gardening group is being created with a horticultural therapist in the

Hobart area, while the Partners of Veterans Association have begun a

garden and coffee roster visiting their own member’s gardens. But what

is great news is that several established Community Gardens across the

state have offered to foster Veterans’ Plots in their existing facilities. So

instead of trying to create a new garden from scratch, Veterans who are

interested in gardening can contact one of these established gardens and

get assistance in establishing their own plot next to other community

plots.

Garden Address Contact Name Phone Email

Chigwell Community

Garden

Allunga Road, Chigwell Jodie 6216 6700

Kingston Community

Garden

Gormley Drive, Kingston Susie Kelleher kcgshed@gmail.com

Okines Community Garden 510 Old Forcett Road,

Dodges Ferry

Ravenswood Community

Garden

St John’s Community

Garden

St Matthew’s Community

Garden

Claire Boost, Gabe

Gartrell, or Nat Siggins

Peter Cundall with veterans at the Tresca Community Centre

6265 7016 garden@okinescommunityhouse.

com.au

40a Ravenswood Road,

Ravenswood

Sue Jacobs 6339 1569 gm@rcg.org.au

St John’s Avenue,

New Town

6228 9841

Bathurst St, New Norfolk Nicole Mackenzie 6261 4642 communitygardenstmatthews@

gmail.com

Sunshine Garden 85 Tollard Drive, Rokeby Anthony Stoyles 6247 6778 rokebync@bogpond.net.au

Tresca Community Garden Main Road, Exeter Ingrid O’Neill 6394 4231 Tresca7275@hotmail.com

Warrane Mornington 150a Bligh Street, Leanne Doherty 6244 6346 warranec@bigpond.com

Neighbourhood Centre Warrane

West Moonah

130 Springfield Road, David Stephen 6227 8390

Neighbourhood Garden Moonah

Wynyard Community Johnstone Place, Community

6443 8333

Garden

Wynyard

Development Officer


Mrs Joan White, winner of ‘Blooming Pete” Peter at the Royal Botanical Gardens with local veterans

The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (RTBG) has just commenced

a longer term re-development project for a ‘community of communities

garden’. The Greater Hobart RSL Sub-Branch is working with the RTBG

and hopes to establish a Veterans’ Plot as part of this project.

In addition to the Community Gardens listed above, three private land

owners have invited Veterans to establish gardens and/or work on their

property. Operating a garden on private land is more complex due to

insurance issues and being excluded from any government funding – but

private community gardens do exist and successfully operate. The three

private offers are located at Birralee, Snug, and Bellerive. If anyone is

interested in these offers they should contact Mike Romalis at the Greater

Hobart RSL Sub Branch.

Gardening can be therapeutic and provide much more than just fresh

vegetables. Our thanks are extended to Peter Cundall, Tresca Community

Centre, the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens and the Department of

Veterans Affairs for making the Gardening Workshops and benefits of

gardening available to all the Veterans and serving members in this state.

Photographs by Galina Romalis

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21


MIDLANDS MILITARY MEET & RENDEzVOUS - 24/25 NOVEMBER 2012

By Michael Romalis, Vice President, Greater Hobart RSL Sub Branch Inc. Photographs by Galina Romalis

Every two years in Tasmania, military re-enactors

and militaria buffs gather in historic Campbell

Town to polish their brass and show off their

latest acquisitions. Over the two day event,

militaria is displayed and traded, battles are refought

both on and off the field, and soldiers from

the Bronze Age through to current operations

strut their stuff. Not to be outdone, the Greater

Hobart RSL Sub-branch decided to enter the fray

by engaging all comers via that old military cliché

that an army marches on its stomach. And what

better to replace hard rations then a fresh sausage

sanger complete with grilled onions and sauce?

Oliver Breeze and Jason Ames-Smith at the BBQ

With the overall plan of attack decided, we

needed to maximise our chances of success by

bringing in some force multipliers. First off the

rank was the Ladies Auxiliary. Past masters of

barbecues and looking after hungry diggers, the

Auxiliary Ladies applied their culinary planning

skills and cooking expertise to execute a catering

plan that any self respecting WO Caterer/SAM/

SUPO would trade their proficiency badge for.

But even with the Ladies Auxiliary we knew we

might need more firepower, so we also invited our

comrades in arms the Australian Peacekeeper &

Peacemaker Veterans Association (APPVA) –

Tasmania Branch. And finally as a Commander’s

Reserve we invited the Partner’s of Veterans

Association (PVA) to join us.

22

RSL On Service

Newly formed as a separate branch in this state,

the ladies of the PVA were not going to take any

prisoners, and so it proved on the day.

Day one of our two phase operation started

with forces assembling from both the north

and south of the state. BBQs and sausages were

brought from Launceston and Longford, while

we supported local businesses in Campbell Town

by foraging for perishable items including fresh

bread and ice. Checking the great forecast for

the day we also realised that goffers would be in

great demand, so bottled water and soft drinks

were brought in by the esky load. By 1000h we

were up and barbecuing. While numbers were

slow to start, as military displays and battles were

fought on the nearby showground, the opposition

adopted wave tactics at the end of each activity

in a determined attempt to swamp us with their

superior numbers. The decisive point came about

1215h. With the queue stretching for over 20

metres and both BBQ deployed, the decision

was made to commit the reserve. Rising from

their information stand and abandoning their

raffle tickets, the ladies of the PVA descended

on the serving point while a resupply run was

made to the Campbell Town IGA for more goffers

and ice. This aggressive reinforcement broke

the opposition’s determination, and once they

realised no one was going to miss out we were

able to serve them at our leisure.

Elaine Nicholls, Val Cocker, Mike Romalis

and Clare McCarthy at the BBQ

Day two commenced with coffee and blood

shot eyes due to the 1940’s Swing Dance on

the Saturday night, but we were determined to

fight through Sunday lunch. An early morning

resupply of fresh bread, goffers, ice and LPG

made sure that we were fully armed for Phase

Two. As it turned out however, we had broken

the opposition the previous day. They abandoned

their wave tactics completely, and instead we had

a steady stream of customers which were well

within our battle hardened expertise. By 1330h

any credible opposition had evaporated, and

by 1430h we were able to commence clean up

operations having fully expended our sausage and

onion allocation.

The Midlands Military Meet & Rendezvous was

an opportunity not only to raise some funds but

to meet, greet and network with a wide range of

ex-serving and serving members, as well as a great

cross-section of the general community. It also

allowed us to combine forces with some kindred

ESO for a common goal while having some fun.

We exceeded all our expectations for fund raising

and had a great time – what more can you ask for?

The Greater Hobart RSL Sub-Branch would like

to thank the APPVA and PVA Tasmania Branches

and Campbell Town IGA for their support to the

weekend. And we mustn’t forget State President

Chris Munday’s fabulous spruiking over the PA

system who directed many customers our way.

Thank you Chris.

The RSL Tasmania State Branch also had a stall

in the pavilion on the Saturday where the unique

Two Dollar Poppy coins were available. The stock

of coins sold out over the weekend and the State

Branch would like to thank James and Meaghan

Grice from Foxhole Medals for assisting them

with the sales.

Congratulations to John Lennox and his very

capable team for putting together yet another

highly successful Midlands Military Meet and

Rendezvous

Chris Munday providing commentary


NOTICES

RSL MEMBERSHIP – RENEWALS FOR 2013

All members are reminded that their RSL membership renewal is due on the 1st January 2013.

Please remember to renew when you next visit your RSL Sub Branch. We value your continued

membership as you are very important to us

RSL (Tasmania Branch) ‘Centenary of

ANZAC’ Formal Dinner

The Greater Hobart RSL Sub Branch will be holding a formal RSL Tasmania ‘Centenary of ANZAC’

Dinner on the evening of Friday, the 17th of April 2015 at the Wrest Point Casino.

The dinner has been endorsed by the RSL (Tasmania Branch) State Executive as a function for the

benefit of all Tasmanian veterans, current serving and ex service members of the ADF and their

families.

All Tasmanian Branch members are requested to note this date in their diaries. As planning for the

dinner continues the Greater Hobart RSL Sub Branch Dinner Committee will provide updates and

engage other Sub Branches

JUST ASK A

BLONDE

Blondie would like to wish all her readers a very happy and safe Christmas

and New Year, and leave you with some musings and ponderings from

throughout the year.

********************************

Everyone has a stomach like an ironing board – some of us just have

bigger piles of ironing in ours

I went for a run but came back after two minutes because I forgot

something. I forgot I’m out of shape and can’t run for more than two

minutes!

I’ve reached that age where my brain went from “You probably shouldn’t

say that” to “What the hell – let’s see what happens”

Calories – tiny creatures that live in your closet and sew your clothes a

little bit tighter every night

It’s not about being the best – it’s about being better than you were

yesterday.

You’re a human being – you live once – so eat the damn cup cake

I dream of a better tomorrow – where chickens can cross the road and

not have their motives questioned

Life is like a hot bath – it feels good while you’re in it, but the longer you

stay in, the more wrinkled you get.

It’s not cellulite – it’s my body’s way of saying Im sexy – in Braille

If we were not meant to have midnight snacks – why is there a light in

the fridge?

And finally….

RSL On Service

DVA Veterans Medical Transport

Do you have a medical

condition where nonurgent

ambulance

transport could assist

you with medical

appointments?

Ambulance Private is approved by DVA to provide

non-urgent ambulance transport statewide to Gold

Card holders and other elligible recipients requiring

transport for medical purposes

For the cost of a local call, speak

with an Ambulance Private

operator to place your booking or

to enquire about this service.

1300 363 911

Bookings

& enquiries

24 hours a day,

7 days a week

Without men – the world would be overrun by giant spiders – remember

that, ladies

23


VALE CORPORAL SCOTT JAMES SMITH

A Special Operations Task Group member of the

Catafalque Party stands vigil during the Memorial

Service in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan for Corporal

Scott Smith.

It is with deep regret that the Australian Defence

Force announces the death of Corporal Scott

James Smith on operations in Afghanistan on 21

October 2012.

Details of Corporal Scott James Smith

Corporal Smith was a member of the Special

Operations Task Group and was from the

Special Operations Engineer Regiment based

at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney, New South

Wales. He is survived by his partner Liv, his

parents Katrina Paterson and Murray Smith and

sister, Roxanne.

Scott Smith was born in the Barossa Valley,

South Australia in 1988 and joined the Army

in February 2006. On completion of his initial

employment training, he was posted to the 1st

Combat Engineer Regiment, Darwin. In 2008,

Corporal Smith was posted to the then A Incident

Response Regiment as a search operator.

A Special Operations Task Group member of the

Catafalque Party stands vigil during the Memorial

Service in Tarin Kot, Afghanistan for Corporal

Scott Smith.

Corporal Smith was an exceptional soldier who

possessed all the qualities and charisma of a great

junior leader. He is described as a genuine, honest

and dedicated member who was probably one of

the best Junior Non-Commissioned Officers his

unit has seen. His loss will be deeply felt.

24

RSL On Service

Corporal Smith has been awarded the following

honours and awards:

• Australian Active Service Medal with clasp -

International Coalition Against Terrorism,

• Afghan Campaign Medal,

• Australian Service Medal with Clasp Solomon

Islands,

• Australian Service Medal with Clasp – Counter

Terrorism/Special Recovery,

• Australian Defence Medal,

• NATO International Stabilization Assistance

Force Medal with Multi-Tour Indicator 2,

• Army Soldiers Medallion,

• Army Combat Badge,

• Returned from Active Service Badge.

During Corporal Smith’s service in the Australian

Army he deployed on the following operations:

Operation ANODE (Solomon Islands) –

Nov 06 – Dec 06,

Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan) –

Feb 10 – July 10,

Operation NORWICH (Australia) – Nov 11,

Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan) –

July 12 – Oct 12.

Statement from the family of Corporal Scott

James Smith

Defence releases the following statement on behalf

of the family of Corporal Scott James Smith.

Scott was a tremendous soldier. It is openly

acknowledged that he was well respected within

his workplace and by those who knew him. We

knew the Army was Scott’s second family, his

home away from home. Scott truly believed his

actions made a difference; he was a truly dedicated

soldier, who also knew how to relax in his time

away from work. Scott lived life to the fullest.

He was born in the Barossa Valley and was water

skiing as soon as he could stand – it was one of his

great loves. Scott attended school in the local area

and used his school holidays to learn to barefoot

water ski.

Liv, Scott’s German princess, met him when she

was an exchange student in Australia. After that,

the pair could be found in all sorts of mischief

together. Scott loved being outdoors and keeping

fit throughout his lifetime and pursued many

sports - from long distance running, to cricket

and any sort of competition he could be involved

in. Scott had a great sense of humour and was very

much into practical jokes. He could also be very

relaxed when not at work - becoming renowned

for his cheeky smile and kind words. But mostly

Scott will always be renowned for being the

loveable character that held the family together.

Scott had a lot of time for those who had time for

him, and his generosity in all things was often

spoken about. One of the things you could rely

on Scott for was calling whenever he was able

and was thinking of you, at midday, midnight, or

anywhere in between. Scott had a larrikin charm

that endeared him to all those around him and

these qualities ensure he will always be held in

the hearts of those who knew him. Our family

is united in grief as we try to come to terms with

our loss. We thank everyone for their heartfelt

wishes and messages of condolences, but ask that

our privacy be respected during this difficult time.

Australian soldier killed

in ‘IED factory’

Defence has described the compound where

Australian soldier Corporal Scott James Smith

was killed as an “IED factory”. Corporal Smith,

24, was killed instantly on Sunday when an

improvised device exploded during a mission to

target insurgents in Uruzgan province. It has

been revealed he was leaving a compound filled

with bombs when he was killed.

Chief of Joint Operations General Ash Power

told ABC News that Corporal Smith had

been helping to clear the site, which had more

than 100 of the improvised explosive devices.

General Power says the compound, which is now

destroyed, was used by an insurgent network

funded by narcotics sales. Corporal Smith,

from the Barossa Valley in South Australia, was

a member of the Special Operations Engineer

Regiment based at Holsworthy Barracks in

Sydney. He had been in the army more than

six years and was on his second tour of duty in

Afghanistan, having previously served in the

Solomon Islands and is the 39th Australian

soldier killed in Afghanistan.


The Ramp Ceremony. Soldiers salute as a Long Range Patrol Vehicle carries

Corporal Scott Smith to the RAAF C-130 Aircraft that will carry him on his

last journey home from Tarin Kot, Afghanistan to Australia.

BELLERIVE MEMORIAL NOT FORGOTTEN

The Bellerive Boer War Memorial, situated in the

middle of the eastern shore village close to Hobart,

is the centre-point for a small annual ceremony.

On October 11th every year, the date which

coincides with the commencement of the war in

South Africa (1899-1902), historians John Sargent

and Reg A. Watson adorn the memorial with red,

white and blue ribbons while laying a small posy

on behalf of those Tasmanians who served.

For John, it has been the tenth time he has

attended the event.

“My mother use to tell me that when she attended

the Bellerive Primary school, the children use to

come to the memorial every year and lay a wreath.

I was inspired by her story, so I thought something

similar should be done,” he said.

Reg joined him about four years ago. “The

memorial has two Morrisby family members

listed who lost their lives in the war,” added Reg.

“I think it is important that small ceremonies like

this are re-activated as it shows a mark of respect,

particularly for that ‘forgotten’ war,’ he said.

John and Reg have both authored books on

Tasmania’s participation in The Anglo-Boer War

and intend to continue with the ceremony in 2013

L-R: John Sargent and Reg A. Watson

Australian Defence Force members salute as Corporal Scott Smith’s casket is

carried by Special Operations Task Group members onto the RAAF C-17 Aircraft

that will carry him on his last journey home from Al Minhad Air Base, United

Arab Emirates to Australia.

RSL On Service

25


BOOK REVIEW

Book Debunks ANZAC Myths

A Review by Phil Pyke

Was Beersheba the last great cavalry charge

in history? Did the AIF storm the red light

district of Cairo and burn it to the ground

while fighting running battles with the

military police? Was the AIF the only allvolunteer

army of World War I?

Graham Wilson’s Bully Beef and Balderdash

shines a critical light on these and other wellknown

myths of the AIF in World War I,

arguing that these spectacular legends simply

serve to diminish the hard-won reputation of

the AIF as a fighting force.

26

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Wilson asserts that the story of the AIF is

extraordinary in its own right, its fighting

record so well established that there has

never been a need to embellish that story.

However, as Bully Beef demonstrates, the

history of the AIF has become so shrouded

in misinformation that what is now generally

accepted as ‘history’ is often little more than

myth and legend.

Did the men of the Light Horse shoot their

horses rather than see them sold off to the

hated ‘Gippos’? Was Alfred Gaby VC’s eerie

studio portrait actually taken after his death?

Did the AIF fight the war on an unrelieved

diet of bully beef and biscuits?

Wilson painstakingly examines a number

of myths associated with the AIF, some

cherished and well seasoned others obscure

and even whimsical. With meticulous, at

times forensic analysis, he sets out to debunk

these myths, using a range of first-hand

accounts and official records to unravel the

facts and set the historical record straight.

Were Catholics in the AIF denied the VC

because of their religion? Was Gallipoli an

intelligence failure?

Author, Graham Wilson, mounts his own

campaign to rehabilitate the historical

reputation of the force free from hyperbole

and jingoism to demonstrate that misleading

and inaccurate embellishment does nothing

but hide the true story of Australia’s World

War I fighting army.

Bully Beef and Balderdash deliberately

targets some revered legends and, for those

who cherish the mythical story of the AIF,

this will be uncomfortable but essential

reading.

Yet, given the extraordinary truth of the AIF’s

history, it is certainly compelling reading. If

you’re not afraid of being challenged – then

read this book. It is certainly an absolute

eye-opener and sits alongside Wilson’s

other book on John Simpson Kirkpatrick –

which debunks the myth of the Man with

the Donkey.

Rather than being a journalist with a shallow

depth of knowledge of Australian military

history, Wilson is a former Warrant Officer

and uses detailed military records to support

his argument.

For example C.E.W. Bean’s founding legend

of the Digger as a natural warrior blessed

with the shooting and survival skills of the

bushman is destroyed by a detailed analysis

of the enlistment records and training

performance of recruits which saw most

come from the cities.

Wilson’s work sits alongside several other

books debunking the ANZAC myth and as

we approach the Centenary of ANZAC, it

is certainly time to divide the legend from

the reality.

Phone: 0418 297 052

Email: ron@etc.com.au


BOOK REVIEW

FLYING OFFICER’S WORLD WAR II

RECORDS REVEALED AFTER NEARLY

SEVEN DECADES

The story of a young Australian, a country

boy from New South Wales. He was one

of the many thousands who journeyed to

Canada to train as a fighter pilot. He was

good, very good, finally joining 66 Squadron

R.A.F. in Belgium at the end of November

1944.

The German High Command was desperate.

The Wehrmacht needed more fuel and more

time, believing their Vengeance Weapons

could still turn the tide for them. From

numerous bases they were firing thousands

of V1 flying bombs, V2 rockets and artillery

against targets in Britain and Holland. In the

bitterly cold winter of 1944 came the Battle of

the Bulge, a massive surprise attack against

the Western Allies. Their lines crumpled, but

did not break. They fell back, held the line,

then slowly moved forward.

Winter gave way to Spring. The snows

began to thaw and the skies to clear. With

the weather improving, came the reckoning.

The Russian Armies were advancing from the

East. In the West, the Allies had amassed a

mighty invasion force. It crossed the Rhine

and surged forward. The war ravaged and

depleted Germany could not stand in the face

of this onslaught. It was a country facing

total chaos and defeat. Our young Australian

was caught up in this frantic drive to victory.

A Note from the Author

Author Peter Fitton has used the Pilot’s

Flight Log, the Operational Records of 66

Squadron R.A.F., the diaries of Les Streete,

conversations and official war records to pen

this account of a fighter pilots’ experience.

Peter has placed Les’s experience and that

of 66 Squadron into the strategic overview

of the fight against Nazi Germany. Never

Been Hit presents the training, the pranks,

the adrenalin pumping rides into combat,

the triumphs, the losses, the despair and

Les’s eventual salvation in this memorable

presentation of the experiences of an

Australian Fighter Pilot during the final

months of the war in Europe.

The book, Never Been Hit ISBN 978-

1-4771-2356-0 can be purchased by

phoning 1800 618 969 or on-line at:

www.amazon.com, www.xlibris.com.au

and at www.barnesandnoble.com

~Flying Officer Les Streete~

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RSL On Service

27


YOUNG OFFENDERS APOLOGISE

from John Lennox

Like many RSL members I was upset when I heard that the Hobart

Cenotaph had been spray painted and my next thought was, I wonder if

I know the offenders? My work as a facilitator of Restorative Conferences

where young offenders and their family meet with victims, Police and

others affected by offending behaviours brings me into contact with many

troubled young people in Hobart.

The following Monday morning I was listening to the Radio as the jocks

were taking calls from many angry Hobartians whose ideas about what

should happen ranged from Ashley Youth Detention Centre to a variety

of consequences that were meant to shame them in a stigmatising way.

A couple of callers though suggested the offenders should meet the RSL

members and one even suggested that they should walk the Kokoda

Track so they would have some understanding of the significance of the

Cenotaph as a place of memorial.

Having been involved with students who have been successful applicants

for the Frank MacDonald Memorial Prize I knew that the suggestion that

the offenders visit a battlefield would be a great outcome but I suspected

that the offenders were not likely to be attending school, probably

struggling on their life’s journey and wouldn’t get the chance to achieve

a memorable life event as a young person.

Within days I was in receipt of the Police Report and sure enough I

knew some of those involved and I would be facilitating the conference.

The Youth Justice Act 1997 has a proviso that any person attending the

conference cannot be identified. I can reveal however that the Victim

and RSL Representative were able to talk to the offenders and also listen

to their story. The result was a visit to the Australian Army Museum

Tasmania and the letters attached below.

My only regret is that they will not have the opportunity to experience

what last year’s Frank MacDonald Memorial Prize winners achieved and

from that journey develop into confident young adults with a positive

pathway ahead of them.

John Lennox

JLD Restorative Practices

PO Box 92

NEW TOWN TAS 7008

www.jldrestore.com.au

Footnote: From CEO, RSL (Tasmania Branch)

Letters of apology from the two youths referred to by Mr Lennox

have been received at the State Branch and are reproduced below. In

accordance with the provisions of the Youth Justice Act 1997, their names

have been removed so as not to show their identity. We are of the opinion

that the two youths are indeed remorseful for their actions.

I also acknowledge and sincerely thank the staff of the Hobart City

Council and the officers of Tasmania Police who were all very quick to

respond to the incident at the Hobart Cenotaph on the day.

Noeleen Lincoln OAM JP

28

RSL On Service


OUR SOLDIERS’ MESSAGE FROM TIMOR

When news of the Afghanistan tragedies hit, we were with Australian

soldiers at a small military training facility for East Timorese soldiers

near Dili. All of the Australians were on deployment to help develop

skills within the Timorese army. Some had seen service in the Solomons,

some in the Middle East, some in Sudan and some had just returned

from Afghanistan.

A senior enlisted soldier who had just been cross posted from Afghanistan

to Timor fixed us with his gaze and said very simply: “We know the risks.

We choose to do this work. And we do it because we believe in it.”

Throughout the day, both enlisted soldiers and officers quietly sought us

out not just to express their sadness at the loss of these fine men, who were

known directly to some of those in Timor, and intuitively by all, but also to

send a clear message through us : Tell the folk back home that we believe

in what we are doing both here in Timor, as do those in Afghanistan.

The universal view, expressed one on one, was that while the work in

Timor, the Solomons, the Middle East and Afghanistan carried with it

real risks, most clearly in Afghanistan, Australia was making a profound

difference to both internal and external security. However imperfect, this

transformation not only contributes to international security but also

provides the platform for real human development. In short, without

this security, there is no real chance for girls in Afghanistan to receive

schooling, for improvements in infant mortality rates in East Timor, or

for stable governance and basic economic development in the Solomons.

It was this combination of the most intense understanding of risk, coupled

with a profound commitment to the broader task, which characterised

the Australian forces in East Timor and through them in Afghanistan.

As we review the more than 10 years Australia has been in East Timor, and

the ongoing aid commitment into the future, it is worth understanding

what has been achieved.

When Australian forces first entered East Timor in 1999, after the chaos

and bloodshed which followed the 30 August plebiscite on Independence

that year, security had collapsed, relations with Indonesia were war

like, the entire national record system for land and policing had been

torched and there was simply no national infrastructure. There was

every prospect of Timor becoming a failed State on our own doorstep,

with all of the human and security implications which that would bring.

Under the leadership first of General Cosgrove and later, successive waves

of Australian troops and commanders, the East Timorese have set about

creating a new country. Stage 1 was stabilisation of security and relations

with Indonesia. Remarkably, the East Timorese Indonesian relationship

has become a strength. This speaks volumes for both the Timorese

leadership and for Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudiyono.

Stage 2 of East Timor’s journey has been consolidation of the police,

the military, and the bureaucracy. Australia has been the driving

international force in Stages 1 and 2. Australian troops are teaching

Timorese soldiers to weld, operate diggers, build bridges and to be a

critical part of nation building rather than just to be a security force.

Australian Federal Police are training both officers and recruits in the

Timorese National Police force in everything from basic policing to

advanced investigation techniques.

It is now time for Stage 3, for East Timor to assume full control of its

own security and to embark on its full economic development. And

so Australian troops will later this year start drawing down from East

Timor with, in their words, a sense that “the job is done”.

There will of course be huge difficulties and inevitable set backs for

East Timor in the years to come, but it is a vastly different State today

than it was in 1999. Just as importantly, the odds were that it would

become a failed State. Instead, it is an emerging State. And Australia

should not only take credit for helping to bring forward the plebiscite

in East Timor which lead to independence, but should reflect on the

extraordinary contribution of our armed forces in helping East Timor

create a real future for itself.

Looking forward, in less than two years we will have essentially drawn

down our forward deployments from each of the Timor, Afghanistan

and Solomon Island theatres. It is entirely right to review the costs to

Australia, particularly in regards to the loss of our finest.

Each Australian has the right and indeed the duty to weigh this heavy

cost, but we pledged to the Australian soldiers to tell their story, and to

pass back the message which they gave to us, which was, very simply,

“We believe in what we are doing and we want to finish the job, whether

it is here in Timor or in Afghanistan.”

Hon Greg Hunt MP and Senator David Bushby have just returned

from deployment in East Timor where they were embedded with

Australian forces.

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THEDMGROUP HOST7227/RSL

HOST7227_RSL_190x130mm_RSL_01.indd 1 1/11/12 12:02 PM

RSL On Service

Description: HOST7227_RSL_190x130mm_RSL_01

29


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