CHRISTMAS Newsletter - RAAMC Association

raamc.org.au

CHRISTMAS Newsletter - RAAMC Association

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Greetings from the 2/5th Field Ambulance Association!

It is now 72 years since the unit left Australia’s shores

and every year since, a reunion has been held on the

Friday before Caulfield Cup Day, the anniversary of

theunit’s departure on the Mauretania.

According to Bill Butters, one of the 3 veterans in

attendance this year, the reunions have been held

continuously since 1945 (the first one occurring just a few

months after the end of the war), making this one, the

67th reunion!

Although the number of veterans is dwindling, there

were still 44 people in attendance, which included the

veterans, widows, descendants and also friends of the

unit. In fact, this was one of the largest gatherings for a

few years. Thanks to the launch of the Rats of Tobruk

website last year, a number of descendants have since

made contact with us and were able to attend the

luncheon for the first time.

Among these was Major Daniel Strack, grandson of

Bert Veitch, and only recently returned from Timor-Leste.

Daniel and his mother, Sandra, were made most welcome

and Daniel was able to tell us something of his work in

Timor.

Brian Hogan, our Honorary Chaplain (and yours!) has

digitised the unit history, written by Lloyd Tann many

years ago and now out of print. This proved very popular

and copies of the CD were quickly snapped up!

As in previous years, there were plenty of stories and

reminiscences, and of course new acquaintances were

made and old ones renewed.

Those veterans and widows who were not able to

attend were nevertheless in our thoughts, and in the

words of the 2/5th Field Ambulance poet, Tommy Raine,

we all hope that, “I’ll see ya next year mate!”

Veteran Tom Pritchard and Major Daniel Strack

Tom and Daniel’s grandfather, Bert Veitch, shared a tent in Tobruk.

30

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