Makan No. 254
Official Journal 2/30 Bn. A.I.F. Association
Subscription Rate for Makan for both Life and Annual Members per year: $1.50
Registered for Posting as Periodical: Category A
Dates For Your Diary
16 Aug. SATURDAY -
19 Oct. SUNDAY -
? Oct. SAT/SUN -
2 Nov SUNDAY -
9 Nov SUNDAY -
15 Nov. SATURDAY -
22/23 Nov. SAT/SUN -
12 Sep FRIDAY -
14/18 Oct 1981 -
Enquiries to GPO Box 2381, Sydney, NSW, 2001.
As at 3/6/1980 Kevin
DISCHARGED:- "Sluggo"" Jones, Jim Angus, Phil Paget, Garry Evans, Ray Rickards, Les Payne, Don West, George Croft, Beatrice Hardman, "Curly" E.S. Wright, C.A. ("Kingie") Martin, George Gough, Mrs. Vera Rickards,
2/30 Bn Comforts Fund Member Dies
Ray Musgrave (C
Company - Died 31/10/43 at Sonkurai)
40th Anniversary of Formation of Battalion Reunion at Tamworth - Report by Alan Pryde.
Recent issues of "Makan" have acquainted you with the broad plan your Executive and the appointed Sub-Committee have had under consideration for the Reunion.
Such plans have reached a more positive stage now.
The following information is designed, to provide all concerned (and isn't that all of us, plus those of the Battalion, who are not members of the Association, and, furthermore relatives of our deceased mates) the broad picture of what is being arranged.
Some parts may not be of much consequence to our country folk (i.e. transportation), but it is hoped that the broad picture will be revealed.
Function Organisers can do just so much. The end result rests largely on the interest, enthusiasm and support of those, for whom they are working.
We have the advantage of being given a very good commencement in this regard. This is very largely owing to the splendid co-operation and practical suggestions, etc. given us by Wal Eather and our other Battalion men at Tamworth, notably Phil Bailey and Ray Michell.
That team are, and have been over many years, very much involved in club, sporting and community affairs in and around Tamworth. Hence they are in a front position to look to and arrange many of the big and little preparations necessary for any successful function.
Some ten years ago we had a Reunion in Tamworth. It went off very well indeed, thanks largely to, the efforts of Wal and his team. There is no doubt that the same enthusiastic and helpful support will again be brought to bear this year.
Please use your efforts to persuade any of our blokes and relatives to complete their nomination of intention to attend and also send in the initial deposit without delay (see the last page of the March/April issue of "Makan"). We really are restricted in our planning, until we have a fairly firm idea of how many will attend, especially so in the catering field.
A couple of weeks ago my wife and I went to Tamworth, for a few days, in order to talk with the Tamworth boys about what arrangements could be made, and how to timetable them. I was keen to see the actual venue points, etc., in order that a positive proposal could be presented to the Executive. The excursion proved to be a thoroughly worthwhile and a very pleasant encounter with the Tamworth boys and Wal's wife. Many were practical and constructive proposals to emerge.
Now to the basic outline of the programme:
1. Wal Eather has
"teed-up" for us to have exclusive use of a large and very comfortable
area of the Tamworth Golf Club for our Reunion Dinner on
the evening of Saturday, 22nd November, at 8 pm. Bar and
poker-machine facilities will be available before,
Just a point! Why the Golf•Club rather than the R.S.L.? We understand that the latter will be undergoing extensive remodelling about November; also, that Saturday Evening is that Club's Dance Night. Segregated space would not be available to us.
2. The Golf Club also provides for a really excellent barbecue setting, adjacent to the Clubhouse. Built-in cooking facilities, laid on Porta-gas, tables, chairs and proximity to a drink bar, plus a fine outlook over the course, make the whole set-up seem ideal.
Phil Bailey and Ray Michell will provide, what they regard, as very experienced B-B-Q men (as volunteers, with a jug or two of beer standing by) to do the preparations for us. Phil and Ray have had a lot of Club experience in such activities and know their men.
3. Wreath Laying Ceremony - Tamworth Anzac Park. It is intended that we assemble at the parking area at the entrance to Tamworth Railway Station, at Brisbane and Marius Streets (plenty of parking space right there) at 4.30pm. on Saturday, 22nd Nov. 1980 for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Memorial Gates of the Park at 5pm.
Police and other authorities have given permission already and assurances of necessary traffic control and supervision.
Wal will arrange for a side drummer for the climb of approx 500 metres of fairly easy gradient, and for a trumpeter at the ceremony at the Memorial Gates.
The Ceremony is planned to take only about 15 minutes, thus allowing ample time for the ladies to go to their accommodation to "powder noses, etc” before proceeding to the Reunion Dinner.
4. Wal and Phil have said that on the Sunday one of their cohorts could arrange for a bus to pick up a party outside the Golf Club entrance about 9.30 am and proceed out along the Manilla Road to the Training areas, which we used so extensively in the earlier days. Wal and Phil say that they will have no trouble in pin-pointing the precise locations of our "jaunts & jollities" in the area.
Such a venture, apart from being a very sentimental excursion, would get us back to the Showground at about 11am, the place, from which all our triumphs, tribulations and grand reminiscences commenced, and the time, at which we had planned already to arrange a brief Ceremony for this Sunday morning, 23 November, about 11am, as being as near as possible to the actual place, Anniversary Date and time, when the 2/30 Battalion AIF 8 Div., first assembled as a formation.
Those of us, who were actually on this initial formation parade, are unlikely to forget the words, which were used by our then new Commander, “Black Jack” Galleghan, as he subsequently became known to us, unsuspecting transferees, from Training Battalions.
One of our number, during the brief gathering at the Showground, will reiterate just what "B.J." stated he expected & moreover, what he was demanding, of his Battalion personnel and also, how he intended to see that his standards were met.
Those of the Reunion, who might not be taking the Bus Tour, may gather at the Showground at their own timing, but to be in there before 11 am, when the coach is timed to arrive, so that all may unite in this act of remembrance.
6. Then from the Showground to the nearby Golf Club for the barbecue, and its free and easy atmosphere, as the sequel to the "formal" arrangements for the Reunion.
The idea of making advance block booking for a very uncertain number, is just "not-on". An advance block booking, at any form of accommodation, would necessitate a bulk deposit, with the attendant forfeiture of all or portion of what reservation may be unused.
At this stage we do not have the vaguest idea of how many will require accommodation, nor of what type, or duration - single, double, twin, children, 2 nights, 3 nights and so on.
It is obvious that the only possible solution is that any group with like-minded ideas as to what they require in the way of accommodation - arrival, departure, daily cost, duration of stay and facilities needed - make booking to suit yourself.
There is a wide variation in the costs of accommodation. There should be no problem about getting a bed, especially, if you take the trouble to book sometime beforehand, through the NRMA or some other Hotel, Motel or Caravan Park Booking Office.
Let us put it on the line - the safest method is to make your own preliminary booking for yourself and for your own little group, which has similar intentions, and having done so, or beforehand, as soon as the group has decided its course of action, get your ‘notice of intention to attend’ to Jack Black.
The N.R.M.A. Accommodation Booklet of Hotels and Motels, and their other brochure on Caravan Parks and On-site Caravans, are most comprehensive. If possible, we will issue a Photostat copy of the current material in this regard. (Here as supplement).
No doubt you have experienced the problem of obtaining firm commitments to the attendance of any function. The intentions and circumstances of people change from month to month, week to week. In a city, the size of Tamworth, it is not possible nor practical to make an advance arrangement for hypothetical booking.
So there it is. No shortage of accommodation, provided that you get in sufficiently early enough to ensure that you and your group can be catered for. It is up to you.
The Caravan Parks with overnight vans available, are most conveniently located on the banks of the river; are spacious and with well appointed facilities.
Much of what's been said about accommodation is applicable to ways of getting to and back from Tamworth. The main difference is, that it is much more the problem of those of us living in the "big smokes", Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle. Smaller groups in country areas have ways of meeting transport difficulties and how to get from point A to point B is inconsequential, since they may be able to choose more direct routes. It is a question for the City-ites of (a) vehicle; (b) when they plan to get away at each end; (c) what length of time that they may like to take over the entire trip; and (d) what may be the costs involved in, each form of transport?
Garry Evans is assessing the railway as the form of travel and may be able to give reasonably precise details soon.
Garry has looked into the question of hiring a coach, bus to cater for about 40 passengers for the return trip, Sydney -Tamworth-Sydney. His initial investigations produced rather disturbing results. Over $1000 for a party of 40, for the minimum time away. Whilst this seems reasonable, $25 to $30 per head, there are snags. Little time in Tamworth, and it is a specific contract. Arrange for a coach of size to seat 40 & that is it! If only 20 or 25 occupy the coach for the journey, whatever may be the cause, then those 20 or 25 are "stuck" with added cost, to what they might have thought on making their booking, as each will have to make up for those missing.
Phil Bailey, who has been on the managerial staff of no less than eight R.S.L. Clubs, spoke of an arrangement, which one of his clubs had made some years ago, on behalf of some members to transport them some 250 miles to another function, bus for 40 - only 22 turned up and those 22 had to meet the full bill.
No doubt our smaller, though by no means less enthusiastic groups, Port Macquarie, Taree, Northern Rivers Areas and the Riverina, have their own methods of overcoming such obstacles. "Pick-up" points along the route from A to B are scorned by these contract coach operators, such "pick-ups" are only an arrangement for Greyhounds, Pioneer Coaches, Cobb & Co and the like, and on their regular routes and timetables.
Air fares given by East -West Airlines as at the end of May (and subject to possible variation thereafter) are:- $94 Adults return, with certain concessions available for any as may be under 25 yrs of age, making the round trip. The trip, Sydney to Tamworth, takes approximately 1 hour, with a 30 mins drive from the Airport to the centre of the City of Tamworth.
Tamworth is 450 kilometres (283 miles) from Sydney, much of the New England Highway is good, open, scenic road. However for most cars and drivers, a 7 hour journey, may be pushing it along, unless there are no stops.
The Railways do not provide a MotoRail Service to Tamworth, as Car transport for passengers on the same train.
Golf and Bowls
Both sports have restrictions on the week-end for the benefit of own Club Members.
Wal Eather has assured us that there would be no problems, should any of the Reunion visitors wish to play on the excellent, well-watered and very attractive GOLF COURSE, on the Friday prior to, and on the Monday following the Reunion dates. However, he stressed that the Saturday and Sunday were reserved for Members Only, and that it would not be possible for any of us, as outsiders, to get a game on either of those days, unless by special invitation, made by direct personal arrangement with Mr. Wal B. Eather, South Tamworth, at least 14 days beforehand. Even then it is a prerequisite, that the applicant is a member of a recognised Club and plays on an acceptable level of handicap, such being the Club Rules. However, apart from Saturday and Sunday, it seems that it is a case of "all welcome".
Much of the same sort applies to BOWLS and Kevin Ward could give a good lead on that point.
We have endeavoured to give you a broad picture of the planned programme for the Reunion Days. The details will have to be left to the organizers to work out.
It is in the spheres of accommodation and transport, that very little can be done other than by the individual; families or small parties can decide and arrange for themselves.
We can provide the basic information, but individual requirements present too many complex problems to permit "bulk" handling.
Catering & Other Group Expenses Whilst We are at Tamworth
We have asked that a "booking fee" of $5 per head be enclosed, when you send in your nomination to attend; that was only for the purpose of providing for organisers' incidental expenses to get the Reunion underway. Obviously such an amount will not meet the cost of the Dinner or the B.B.Q. and so on.
It isn't possible at this stage to give anything like a precise figure - and that may be the case right up until the last days.
Anzac Day - Sydney
Alan Pryde went to some pains to get a total of those Men on the March and assessed it at 88, with a couple of 2/26, and then one latecomer slipped in to the ranks.
There were a few from out of Sydney. Kevin Thompson (Mortars) came down from Maleny (60 miles north of Brisbane); Neil Huntley from Port Macquarie; Len Clavan from Tintenbar and that's on the Far North Coast; Harry Holden from Cooma, as he'd promised "Dutchy", to meet Ray Donald, who had come down from Glen Innes; Jack Carey was from Budgewoi; Ray Body from Raymond Terrace; "Zipper" Charlton from Harrington and Darcy Pickard from Chittaway South to be with "Tiger" Sylvester again; Athol Charlesworth from Leura; Norm King from Goulburn; Ernie McNiven from Southport, Qld; Wally Scott, Fairymeadow down near Wollongong; Sid Musgrove from Wallsend.
There were some new faces in the Sydneysiders, Henry West (A/A Platoon) and you would not have known that he had a back brace on, he was so pleased at the welcome, Jimmy Hill, in a wheelchair with Kevin Hutchison, his son-in-law, husband of his youngest step-daughter, Marge, to pilot her around, and he reckoned that he had had a good day. Cecil Howard (Mortars), who lives at Lakemba. Watson Peck (A Company), who lives at Thornleigh, and your scribe was not ashamed to ask for names in some cases, there were some he had not seen since 1943, when he went off on "J" Force to Japan.
Apologies came from various folk, Fred Bladwell, Garry Evans, Fred Johnston. A. Mck ("Don") Garner., phoned Noel Johnston from Nambucca Heads to wish all "the Mob" well on the day. Andy Hyslop had had hopes of attending but had to call it off. Ray Marriott was preparing for his son's wedding; Allen Warton recuperating after an operation; Peter Mason likewise.
There were many regulars on the March despite infirmities. Big, Jim Saunderson, who always caries himself well, and now has the Association Badge, with his St. Dunstan Badge on his coat lapel, because he has become a new Life-Member; Ray Simmons despite the shortness of time, since he underwent an operation at Concord; Alan Pryde, one whose programming for his operation has been varied.
Your scribe came in for a bit of "Flac" for errors in “Makan". He should have known Alf Austin was in B Company, that's where most of the Belmore Day-Boys were; and "Doc" Wilson was in Lady Davidson for tests and observation and we did not even list him in the Sick Parade, when we knew that Clover had gone up on the Saturday by public transport to sec him, since the younger ones of the family had taken the car to Newcastle with the eldest son, who had come back from Germany.
Returning to Alan Pryde's notes - he was informed by Ene Morrison and Betty Pryde, who had been standing at the G.P.O. corner of Pitt St. and Martin Plaza, that there were many comments from spectators on how efficiently our Unit wheeled the corner and proceeded in fine line to the Cenotaph, they also said that there seemed to be more marchers than on former occasions.
It was pleasing to see so many youngsters, both children and teenagers, lining the route.
Despite hotels being opened well before the March commencement, there was no evidence of excessive drinking, hooliganism or hectoring.
At the Ex-Ps.O.W. Rooms, Alan estimated that about 55 of the Battalion gathered there, including some, who knew that, they were not able to cope with the March. Once again there were satisfactory facilities - tables, seating, food and grog. This year Betty Collins had a family engagement, a wedding, for which she wanted to prepare, but Sandy Christensen's sisters, Grace and Norma, readily acceded to our request, would they make sandwiches for the Battalion gathering? and we are grateful for their help. It is appropriate here to remark that Betty Collins has prepared 21 boxes of sandwiches for us over the years, since her first presentation of the 1958 box, and each one has been greatly appreciated by all present each Anzac Day. Thanks Bet.
Andy Hyslop's written comments on the March in Sydney may seem a little biased, but he is entitled to that, as he was able to listen to his composition, "Galleghan's Greyhounds", which he would not have heard, if he had been with us.
He wrote, "To travel to Sydney and march on Anzac Day had been a prime date for 1980,
However at the last moments physical considerations interposed, and the "One Day of the Year" found me relegated to the television set at home.
On the Channel 2 screen the 8 Division progress along George Street was in full swing when, loud and clear, the marching song "Galleghan's Greyhounds" took the air. And the Band did it justice.
With freshness and vigour the music swelled, and it swept the canyon of George Street. Is it reasonable to believe that, in this jubilant music, there lives enshrined the spirit of a Unit poised for War? Are these stirring cadences only figments, hallucinations; or do they truly give echo and sentiment of the living, vibrant, young manhood that made history in the 2/30 Bn?
It seemed a far cry to the Bathurst camp of 1941, at which I wrote the words of "Galleghan's Greyhounds". I thought of our distinguished wartime leader, "B.J." and his suggestion (nay, his demand) for an original 2/30 Bn song. It seem acceptable to believe that "B.J." would have had satisfaction in the fulfilment of his demand, even at so late a date as this.
I have no difficulty in identifying "Galleghan's Greyhounds" as a tribute, however humble, to an outstanding man, caught up in a great occasion; an occasion, which shaped the destinies of many men in their aspirations, their hopes and in their heroic, high endeavours.
The long lapse of time from writing to public performance is explicable in the fact that following closely upon the writing of the words of "Galleghan's Greyhounds", the Battalion went on final leave and then sailed for Malaya.
The leisure and the opportunity for musical composition were not available, although ideas for the musical construction were in hand.
The suggestion that the melody be completed, taped and taken on tour, was encouraged by Ron Maston, who, in 1979, led the Malaysian/Singapore Tour organised by the 2/30 Bn. Association.
In retrospect it is clear that without Ron Maston's encouragement and acceptance of the tune as his "Theme Song" on tour, "Galleghan's Greyhounds" might well have languished in oblivion.
(One might well say that fate took a hand - on page 48 of "Makan" 253 are detailed the history of this March tune up to just before Anzac Day, and said that two bands were to be asked if they would be able to play it on Anzac Day. The Burwood Band declined it, but the Sutherland Shire Silver Band accepted it. Their Bandmaster made still some small alterations to the score, but with only three practices, they were ready for Anzac Day. This Band has an affinity with the 2/19 Bn. in that Athol Hill of that Bn and now one of its Association's Vice Presidents has been the Shire Clerk at Sutherland Council, sponsors of that Band, and they have been allotted to and march in front of the 22nd Bde. The Band played this March almost continuously for the whole length of the March, from Elizabeth St. to Hyde Park, and judges of the Band's performances commented that the characteristics of the tune was one of the factors in it being awarded the trophy for the best civilian Band on parade. Yet the outstanding fact is the range in ages of its members, from a boy of 9 and his sister of 10 upwards and many other juniors.
Monday evening, 5th May, 9 members of our Association visited the Band's quarters at Sutherland for the purpose of hearing the March played and putting it on tape. Needless to say, George Aspinall was one of these, so that he might perfect the version for his sound-track to his Bn. History films. Andy Hyslop came down from Umina, and Lady Galleghan felt the evening important enough, that she journeyed out to Sutherland by train, a trip made a little wearisome by a half hour wait at Central, through just missing a train. Altogether, with wives and a couple of grandchildren, it was a party of fifteen to listen to not only "Galleghan's Greyhounds" played 3 times, but to other music, which the Band, as a whole, was to play in competition, also some which the juniors under 21 were to play in other competitions for their age group. Ed).
Anzac Day At Bathurst
Jack Maclay, Jack Fell and Bruce Pratt were our official representatives.
Jack Maclay went up by train on the Thursday and occupied himself wandering round the town, but walked so far, that he did not get back to the R.S.L. in time to join its party for visiting the local school, as he had done last year. Jack and Vera Fell came round from Cessnock, arriving at 3 pm. They met together and had their tea at the R.S.L. Club.
The two with Bruce Pratt joined the main march & the service at the Carillon in the morning. Jack Fell's comment is that he would say, that the March would be possibly the largest in the State outside Sydney. He also says, "I was impressed by the well turned out Cadet Corps from the various schools, particularly those of the Scots College Band in their Scarlet jackets and kilt.
Jack Maclay laid a wreath on the 8 Div. Memorial in front of the Civic Centre. Unfortunately, Vera and I had to be in Albury the following day, so we were not able to attend the Cairn Service.
Jack Maclay described the Service at the Cairn as of an equal to others, which he had attended there. The Cairn and its surrounds made a picture, with the green of the lawn and the Rosemary bushes in each corner of goodly size, a great tribute to the good care lavished on it by Bruce Pratt as our Custodian especially when it is remembered that he had to bring water in his car from Bathurst to maintain them.
The Scots College and the R.S.L. Bands performed very well.
The Association's trophy for the best improved junior during the year had been presented to a lad, who had been in the Band for 7 months. It was not presented to him by Jack, but by Col. Watson on our behalf in the R.S.L.'s Gymnasium in the morning, before the main March, as the lad was taking part in Champion ships in Wagga that day.
Jack reckoned that he had a happy 4 day stay in Bathurst and remarked on Marge and Bruce Pratt's friendship and the care that they took in looking after him.
"March Delayed in State's Dead Centre" was the title to Joseph Glascott's report in the Sydney Morning Herald of 26/4/80.
"The 15 ex-Diggers of TOTTENHAM, in the dead centre of N.S.W. swung up the main street yesterday in military style.
Marching behind 50 children from Tottenham Central School and two schoolboy drummers, they stepped out up the road with the drought-stricken bush behind them.
They were led by the president of the local R.S.L., Mr. Lyle Chase, 60, who served with the 2/17 Light A/A Battery in New Guinea, and the vice-president, Mr. Alan Hudson, 66, who was with the 2/30 Bn. in Malaya.
His whole idea is to have a grouping, which will enable people who have a background of 2/30 Bn. feeling to develop friendships, which will endure in the years ahead.
Whilst there was no coordination between his bringing this matter forward, and the action of the author of the recent amendment to the Constitution of the Association, there is some unity of purpose in both. It is one of the hard facts of life that the "Last Post" List of the Battalion is growing. We are getting older. We would hope that the name of the Battalion may be kept fresh in the minds of our kith and kin.
Country members more than City Members already have some such closeness, as is evidenced in the reports of various Reunions, which are held on Saturday evenings, and have been followed by gatherings of Bn. Members and their kin at the home of some member of the Battalion on the following day.
All Makan editors over the years have made the point that it is largely the wives, who keep in touch, through forwarding subscriptions, sending letters or prompting their husbands to write.
When a Member dies, we attend his funeral and contact his wife and family. His widow receives "Makan", but unless the widow herself makes a move to keep in touch, her connection with the Association gradually dwindles away.
There are children of Members of the Unit who are interested in their Father's connection with the 2/30 Battalion.
When the reprint of the Battalion History was underway a common theme of some, who lodged orders, was that they wished their children to know of the Unit, in which their grand father had served in the 1939/45 War, and what he had done.
The Auxiliary could meet each month or every alternate month at various functions, which the ladies are very good at planning, such as card days, Picture show or Theatre Parties, Ferry or Bus Excursions, Meetings for lunch, picnics. Its members may be prepared to join in hospital Visitation and home visiting to incapacitated members of the Association and of the Auxiliary. They may be prepared to organise functions to raise money for Legacy; R.S.L. Charities; the R.S.L. Aid Abroad plan, supporting a Malaysian ex-service widow and family, which has been adopted by the Association, following the Group Tour back to Gemas, January 1979; or the Australian-Malaysian-Singapore Association with its "Sir Frederick Galleghan Award Scheme"; or the 8 Div. Malaysian Nursing Scholarship Fund.
While the tone of the comments foresees a Sydney venue for its organisation, simply because of numbers within reach, it is hoped that country members might have their own branches, wherever they may be, on similar lines to R.S.L. Auxiliaries, but hopefully, without competing with those R.S.L. Auxiliaries.
It would be hoped that the idea may be discussed and the pro's and con's tossed around wherever Members and their families may be in touch with other Members of the Battalion, and then your feelings be made known to our Editor of "Makan".
If there is a consensus of thought, that there ought to be an Auxiliary, it is to be hoped that the Executive of the Battalion Association will sponsor a Meeting to form the Auxiliary, with election of such a Committee as may be thought desirable; finance it in its early stages, and motivate, help and encourage the member of the Auxiliary in its activities.
"Blood On The Rising Sun" by Cpl. John McGregor, 2/4 MG Bn
This paperback account of McGregor's escape from P.O.W. Changi; crossing the Straits of Johore; falling in with the "Underground Chinese"; but continuing on with the escape plan decided on by him and Lieut. Dean of the same Unit; betrayal by Malays to the Japanese; incarceration in Outram Road Gaol; trial and sentence to 2 yrs solitary confinement; subsequent degradation, brutality and filth, worsened, when the gaol became controlled by the Kempei Tai, has been recommended to your scribe on two occasions by a member of the Combined Services Club.
The book may be purchased at that Club; from NSW Ex P.O.W. Association; or from War Veterans Home Administration Off ice, Anzac House, 26 College St. Darlinghurst, NSW, 2016 for the price of $4.95 over the Counter, or Mail Order $5.00.
All proceeds from the sales of this book have been donated to War Veterans' homes by the Author, who has wanted nothing out of the sale. He wrote the book because he felt the story had to be told.
Your scribe has bought and read the book. To anyone who had not been in Japanese hands, it may seem far-fetched; to Ps.O.W. (Japan), I'm quite sure it will be otherwise.
The Member of the Combined Services Club said, "You may consider this merits a comment in "Makan" for the interest of the Orchard Road men",
Footprints by Pte. John Waterford (2/18 Bn)
A story of the experiences and philosophy of a young country lad, as he was, when he enlisted, who was lucky not to be in the firing line on those occasions, when his Unit had its two most important encounters with the Nips, in the Nithsdale and adjacent Joo Lye Estates at Mersing and on Singapore Island. As a P.O.W. was sent to Blakang Mati, but had need of hospitalisation for appendix operation, which sent him back to Roberts Barracks and therefore made him available for selection for "H" Force, when it went up on the "Railway". A tribute to Father Marsden and Major Fagan.
He has been unlucky to have been stricken with multiple sclerosis. He turned his hand to writing as a type of a therapy, because of his physical handicap. His first effort was devoted to the research and writing of his Family History.
He was encouraged then by his brothers, and sisters to write this book, "Footprints". It is only a 54 page paper-back and the cost of printing it was met by the family, but John Waterford is seeking to repay them, if he can. The family I'm told, would not insist on repayment, but it sees, what a boost to his morale it would be, if he did manage to clear expenses.
The price of the book is $4, and anyone who wishes to purchase a copy, may do so, by writing to his sister, Mrs. J.A. Carson. She incidentally was in the Services herself.
Funds for the "Sir
Frederick Galleghan Award”
An effort to raise funds for the carrying on of the award was a Parade of Autumn and Winter Fashions, presented by Prudence of Pymble at the Wentworth Hotel on Tuesday, 18th Mar. last from 11am until 2 pm.
Despite the fact that the organisers were plagued by Transport strikes hanging over their heads, they were free of this trouble on the day of the Fashion Show.
NX46067 - Private
Stan A.K. Crummy, Transport Platoon, HQ Company, "F" Force, Born
27/7/1910, Died 18/4/1980
Ron Sweeney reported that "Nugget" had quite a large funeral, with a very good roll-up of 2/30 Bn Men plus 4 other ex-Ps.O.W. and many other ex-servicemen.
Pall bearers at the Cemetery were, "Joe" Johnston, Harry Riches, Jimmy Morgan, Bruce Greer, Tom Grant and Ossie Jackson.
The other 2/30th present were Artie Power, Clarrie Lattimer and Bill Sorenson from Kyogle, Jack Korn (Lismore), George Lister (Mummulgum), Jim Small and myself.
Other ex-Ps.O.W. were Stan Scarabelotti (Ballina), AASC (adopted), Neil Sinclair (2/29) Scottie McDonald and Brian Flannigan, (both 2/20).
At the ''Wake", which followed later at the Club, Harry Riches was at his story-telling best with several episodes involving Nugget and B.J. I came away convinced that our passage could have been much worse had B.J. not had Nugget to advise him. It is as B.J.'s Driver that Nugget became known to most of the Battalion, but he had to hand over to Jack Green from 2/18 Bn, after we arrived in Malaya. B.J. did not pick another of our own Battalion, because he wanted someone with more local knowledge of Malaya and the 22nd Brigade had six month's earlier service in that country.
We mourn with Betty and their family at the passing on of one more of the "Personalities" of the Unit,
NX25454 - Pte. F.R.
Charlie Collyer - A/A Platoon, HQ Company, on "F” Force and X1
Tunnelling Party in Johore, and the "Shrine Job". Born 11/1/1917, Died
Charlie had been out of touch since the war, but in August 1977 he was in A.G.H. Concord and told Garry Evans that R.S.L. Dubbo would find him. It was from Dubbo that he had enlisted.
Our next contact was a letter from his wife, Beatrice informing us that he had had a stroke and was in Westmead Hospital, where the Doctors were trying to shrink a growth, which presented difficulties against an operation because it was in the mouth. He was discharged back home, but his illness was of such a nature, that it was only a matter of time, before we would be likely to hear of his death.
We sympathise with Beatrice, his daughter and the 3 grandchildren because of their loss, but realise that he has had a release from suffering.
NX35482 - L/Cpl
Laurie G. Mountford, Bn HQ (Band Baritone), on "J" Force to Kobe, Japan,
Laurie's health had been a matter of concern way back in February and he was in hospital in Leeton, when he died.
"Jock" McKenzie represented the Battalion at his funeral, and was supported by Ted Shepley, Secretary of the local R.S.L. Sub-Branch.
He was on "J" Force with your scribe, who can safely say that Laurie was a good companion on the work parties, worked at a rate, which ensured that he pulled his weight as far as workmates were concerned, but did as little as was possible to get away with, for the Nips.
We mourn with Louie and their relatives at his passing.
We Will Remember Them
Death of Next of Kin
Jack Fell - The S.M.H. of 14th April last, contained the sad news that Jack's mother, Mrs. Annie Pavitt of Nimbin Nursing Home, New Farm, Brisbane and formerly of The Entrance was to be cremated at Albany Creek Crematorium on Tuesday, 15/4/1980
John Sands - Mrs. Sonia Lamble says, "Thank you for your letter expressing the sympathy of the 2/30 Bn on the death of my Brother, John. I do appreciate your thoughts and also your attendance at the Memorial Service.
John was a wonderful man, with a very busy life, but he always had time for everyone. He will be missed by so many people.
I am always interested in news of the Battalion.”
Alan McNickle - Joan McNickle writes, "William, Timothy and I want to thank you for your sympathy. Your kindness is very much appreciated. The flowers were lovely.”
Arthur Collison - Arthur's sister-in-law, Mrs. Peg. Evans, replied to our expression of sympathy at the death of Arthur's wife, "Thank you for the letter you wrote to me on the death of my sister, Beulah Collison. She died very suddenly. The doctor had seen her for a check up during only that week and said that she was o.k.”
Jack Fell - A return thanks card has also been received from Jack and Vera Fell, Norm and Mona Fell and Alan and Joan Fell and Families, "in appreciation of the Sympathy expressed to us on behalf of the 2/30 Bn Association in the loss of our beloved Mother."
Labouring Again at Death Railway
The above was the heading of an item in Sydney Morning Herald of Saturday, May 3rd last.
"A $10 million contract to supervise construction of a Hydro-electric scheme is the largest job that the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation has undertaken outside Australia. The scheme will flood 365 square kilometres of farming land, forest and villages, when it is completed in 1984.
What was the Thai-Burma "Death Railway", runs directly through the dam site.
This western area of Thailand close to the border of Burma is almost isolated by mountains and river. 20 technicians from the "Snowy Mountains" will arrive soon with their wives and children to supervise construction.
After the war, the Thai Government dismantled all but 130 kilometres of the line, largely for economic reasons. Rails and other equipment have gone, but the teak sleepers still survive here at the dam site. The Australians exploring sections of the old line, now defined by the sleepers resting on earth embankments, are collecting sleeper spikes and bolts, which bear names of the Japanese makers. They have found several old British-made boxcars, presumably from the Burmese Railways rusting away in jungle below the old line.”
R.S.L. Aid Abroad - Malaysia Adoption - Ex-Service Widow & Family
Ron Maston writes, "I am pleased to be able to report from the Sub-Committee that donations have come in from some members in such a way, that we have been able to write to Mubin Sheppard, asking him to proceed with the selection of a family for adoption.
Our aim is to select a family in the State of Negri Sembilan, as close to Gemas as possible, due to the Battalion's association with that area.
The National President of the R.S.L., Sir William Keys, recently visited Hunter's Hill and whilst he was here, I spoke to him about the way in which our Group was received by the Ex-Service Association of Malaysia.
Knowing his interest in the Malaysia Adoption Scheme I sent him a copy of "Makan" 248 with the story of our trip and also told him of our aim to adopt a family. His reply, which is appended, shows that, what we aim to do, has the full backing of the R.S.L.
A letter also received from Mubin Sheppard shows he is taking care to ensure that any money which we send to Malaysia is properly handled.
Mrs. Thelma Jones met Mubin Sheppard at Kuala Lumpur late in April. She was kind enough to take 13 copies of the "Makan" 248, giving the story of the Group Tour to Malaysia. These were in envelopes, addressed to those people in Malaysia, who had helped entertain us and a letter of thanks had been enclosed. Unfortunately earlier copies, which had been posted to Malaysia and Singapore in September last year went astray in the mail. I have received already a letter from the General Secretary of Selangor Branch to E.S.A.M., saying that the "Makans" have been distributed to the addressees.
The Biennial Annual General Meeting of the Negri Sembilan Branch was held in May and Captain Hadi, whom we met on our trip as the then Chairman, has been re-elected as Chairman, so that we can deal through him direct. In any case Mubin Sheppard considers him to be a sound man, upon whom we may rely for proper administration of our funds.
The Sub-Committee appeals to any member of the Association, who is considering supporting the adoption scheme to please send along donations to Alex Dandie. We believe that this scheme will help develop goodwill between Australia and Malaysia as the scheme helps people, who are very poor. In fact a payment of $250 to $300 Australian Dollars makes a significant difference to a widow's living conditions.
Our aim is to get as many people as possible interested, in making annual donations of that sum, which they feel they can afford, and continue to pay each year, whether the amount be $1 or $100, or anywhere in between, anything at all will always be welcome.
The Sub-Committee will give full particulars of the family, which is adopted, so that a personal association develops. Also we visualise that any of our Battalion Members, who may visit Malaysia, at any time, may even meet the family concerned, and thus make our relationship more personal.
I will be happy to answer any questions that members may care to raise.
Kind Regards, Ron Maston."
Sir William Keys' Letter of 7/4/80 to Ron Maston
"I was delighted to receive your letter and a copy of "Makan". It is an excellent publication and one which is a great tribute to you and all who contributed towards it.
Thank you for sending it to us, and I will make sure Ken Schultz sees it as well.
I was pleased also to know that you are collecting for a Malaysian adoption and, as you progress, I would very much like to hear of the results. We will be very pleased indeed to have this further extension of our work in the adoption field. Quite frankly, this is the way it was supposed to operate, that we would commence the whole programme at the national level and then, hopefully, have State and Sub-Branches and Unit Associations taking it on from there, so thank you for this much valued help.
With kindest regards, Yours sincerely, Bill Keys, National President."
Do You Remember?
Garry Evans made a short list of some of the Boys, of whom we have no up to date information and follows Ross Madden's note:
"I had quite a lot to do with Snowy, as we worked together in the "Great World" Working Parties and also on "F" Force.
I feel certain that he arrived in Singapore in the last lot of Reo's (Nominal Roll says "4 Rnf A", so Garry is not quite right. We did collect 6th Reinforcements. Ed.). He and Athol Hyde-Cates were good mates.
He was a World War 1 Veteran and could turn on the yarns of his experiences for hours on end. He was known to most of the mob as "The Little Digger".
I must tell a story about Snowy that happened in the "Great World”. We were at a godown, where there happened to be gramophone needles. These were pretty good for the purpose of bartering or selling. Anyhow, we all helped ourselves and put them in our bags and, wherever we thought that the Nips could not find them. Snowy chose to put his needles in his boots. It was a fair march back to camp, but, believe it or not, they decided to search the Work Party on arrival at Camp. They found some of the needles, and some got away with them and Snowy was one of these last. But Boy! he suffered for it, as before my eyes, off came the boots, plenty of needles, but he was bleeding like a stuck pig. He gathered all the needles together and that smile of victory beamed all over his face.
To those people, who did not know Snowy Williams, you certainly missed out on knowing a real good bloke.
Frank (Bully) Hayes
Arthur Purdon reveals, "I have something to be proud of. I was regarded as the best R.Q.M.S. in the A.I.C. Staff, when I was sent to Tamworth to prepare the Showground for the 2/30 Bn.
The food allowance at the time was, as I recall, 1/4d per day per man. Equipment was scarce and, having friends in the right places, we managed very well.
I remember also, Steve Allardice and I equipping the Unit with Tommy-Guns, from British advanced Malaya Stores not on issue to Australian Troops." (Scrounge you'd call it, but 'an old dog for a hard road?" Ed.).
Col Tuckfield says, "Talking of Yong Peng. You may be interested in the feelings of a "Reo" joining a battalion, which had been in action already, and I'd like to quote a short extract from my diary, which may stir a few memories.
"On 22nd January 1942, a draft of about 100 of us, of mostly Queenslanders, left G.B.D. by truck to reinforce the 2/30 Bn. which had been in action for about a week.
We had an uneventful trip up, noting that all the bridges and defiles were ready for blowing.
At dusk we arrived at Yong Peng, which had been razed by bombing. About a mile past the kampong the Bn was camped on either side of the road. We turned in, but the two following trucks missed the turning and finished up 3 miles behind the Jap lines before the D.R. caught up and brought them back without accident. We were kept at Bn. HQ and heard our first shell fire, with the Artillery firing over our heads all night.
Early next morning, Don Company went up to contact the enemy. We reinforcements travelled with Bn. HQ under Lieut. Ted Beale. I had to carry 6 mortar bombs part of the way, and Boy! did they get heavy? (some description of tree level bombing follows).
On the morning of the 24th we moved into the Bn Position at a point 1 mile up the road from Ayer Hitam. I with Jack Franks was allotted to No. 4 Section under Cpl. Max Pyle of 17 Platoon, with O.C., Lieut “Millie” McLeod, and under Capt Morrison, O.C. D. Company. In the section were - Max Pyle, Les Parfrey, George Gallard, Jack Franks, Slim Chard - on the Bren with me as No. 2, Buff Holmes, Norm King and one or two others.
(Then follows a description of Ayer Hitam, Simpang Rengam and the rest we all know!).
George White gave a description of his "Cook's Tour" (if you will forgive the pun?) of life under the Nips, as it appeared in his Club's Magazine.
"At the capitulation, "Doughy", a corporal at the time, was in Singapore Botanical Gardens, in charge of dumping ammunition in the lake. One case of "ammo" turned out to be a case of Stawkey's gin and the work party was soon transformed into a gin party. The Japanese arrived to count the prisoners and could not make out the erratic behaviour of one gin-sodden soldier. "Doughy" impressed upon them that the man was sick with "Sunstroke".
After a stint in captivity at Changi Barracks, George boarded the "Celebes Maru" with "A" Force and sailed to Victoria Point in Burma. From there he went to Mergui, Tavoy, Ye & Thanbyuzayat. His cooking led to a tour of the Burma-Siam railway and location at the notorious 26, 75, 99 and 105 kilo camps.
"A" Force, ravaged by cholera, malaria, dysentery, tropical ulcers and starvation, was sent finally, on the joining of the Burma and Siam rail tracks, to the railway siding town of Nom Pladuk in Thailand. This happy exchange of location was enlivened by the regular visits of the huge bombers of the Allied Air Forces.
His next port of call was Tamuan, then, with typical Japanese logic, his captors decided that "Doughy's” cooking lacked the finer elements of French cuisine, so they sent him to Saigon in French Indo China. But the capitulation cut short his Cordon Bleu course.
On the day of his release, accompanied by a Jap. interpreter and a British Warrant Officer, he went to the local market's to buy rations and amassed foodstuffs at a price totalling 3,000 piastres. A vigorous argument took place between the Jap and the Pommy as to who would pay and, it is believed, that the bill is still outstanding."
NX54762 – Pte. J.E.
“Taffy” Phillips - A Company
Kevin Ward also comments that his job on "H" Force was as one of a team, which worked in pairs on the rock quarry, one of the pair held the 1 metre drill and revolved it in the hole, while his mate swung the hammer to hit the head of the drill. Their job was to make holes for blasting. The rock, on which they worked, was marble. It was a very primitive method of working, and the whole of the team was covered in dust, a greyish colour, which showed on their clothes and skin, so that they had no chance of getting off the gang. The Quarry Honcho selecting his gang from the morning parade merely had to look for the chaps with that grey colour of skin and clothes.
Water was put into the holes to minimise the dust, but the tragedy of it was, that water was taken straight from the creek nearby, so that, although they touched nothing but boiled water in the camp, the dust from the holes was laden with cholera germs. The result was that, of the original men put on to their gang, there were only 2 survivors, the Sergeant and Kevin, but Kevin says that tests showed that he was a cholera Carrier.
At the Assembly point on Anzac Day your scribe waste asked, if he had seen an item in the Sydney Sun Newspaper for the evening of 24th Aril, selected extracts from the diary of a member of 8 Div. Sigs., Leo Ryan, which diary had been found on a rubbish tip in Willoughby, in 1946, and contained, not only, details of Changi experiences, but also Kobe and Fukuoka, Japan.
The whole of what appeared in the "Sun" has been given to me and, "I'm able to say," that Sig. Ryan was in the other Kobe camp to that, which was known as "Kobe House" at which "J" Force arrived on 8/6/43.
This other camp was known to us as the "Kawasaki Camp” as its Ps.O.W. were employed in the Kawasaki Ship Yards, and had been "C" Force, comprised mainly of fitters and turners and the like. We did move to their camp on 6/6/45 when our "Kobe House" was burnt down in an American Incendiary Bombing, which destroyed about half the city. But on the 19th June I left with a party of about 130 to go to the other side of the island, to Nomachi, for wharf lumping tasks as at Kobe.
One interesting thing about the men in this other, the "Kawasaki Camp" was that they were able to sabotage some of the ships, which they helped build. Whenever we did any stevedoring on ships in Kobe Harbour, we saw an aircraft carrier beached outside the artificial wall of the harbour. When launched it immediately began to take in water, because the Ps.O.W. working on the rivetting of the plates, so it was said, were able to leave a rivet, every so often, so badly fixed, that it did not hold, when the launching took place.
When home, Karl Sinclair read a book, written by 2 Japanese, in conjunction with a Martin Caidin. It was called "Zero” and subtitled, "The Story of the Japanese Navy Air Force 1937 - 1945". He found and copied part, relating to that, damaged carrier. It was named "Ikoma"; had a displacement of 20,450 tons and length of 223.00 metres; was capable of carrying 63 aircraft, the ship-building yard was named as "Kawasaki Heavy Industry”, and remarks were, "Launched but not completed; damaged near the end of the war." (that damage was by American bomber attack, where she was beached).
News, Views and Who's Who
Martin - Dorrigo 2453 - D Company
Jock Logan is now in BROADBEACH CONVALESCENT HOME, BROADBEACH, GOLD COAST, Q'ld, 4217. Paralysed on right, bed-ridden, cannot look after himself now, in need of continual care. A CALL HAS BEEN MADE. WILL YOU PLEASE SEND HIM A POST CARD TO SHOW THAT YOU ARE THINKING OF HIM. He will HEAR your message, when its read to him. He will SEE your card. He CANNOT SAY what he'd like to say in reply. He CAN NOD to show that he UNDERSTANDS. He has been generous to others in the past. Please be generous of a little of your time NOW. This request is made by one of the Don Company Lads.
Ron Ollis - Hawke's
Nests 2324 - HQ Company
Have enjoyed seeing a few of our Old Boys, who have popped in during their travels and it would always be nice to see any others should they be in the vicinity.
It's sad the way our Casualty List is accelerating. Hope to see you on Anzac Day, but as it will be a long weekend their year, I may have an invasion from Sydney.
My very best wishes to all, Ron Ollis."
Cecil Dews -
Richmond, 2753 - C Company
Peter Mason -
Kendall, 2439 - HQ Company
Wednesday, 26th March, also has another meaning up here - We go automatic on the phone.
My wife is fairly good at present now the hot weather is over.
We are awfully short of water up here. We want rain badly. My garden is ruined. It is just as well that we have the old tank down at my shed. At least we have good drinking water and "Good tea”. (then a post-operation report).
Just letting you know that my op' was a success, but it did not heal as well this time. I'm still tender and sore. I am still on the restricted list and it is driving me up the wall, as I see so many things that should be done, but guess that they can wait.
Bruce Campbell came up twice to see me, while I was in the hospital. The second time that he came he brought some photos of Malaya, that he took and sent home before the action. They were good to look at and remember faces and places after so many years.
Bruce and his wife left for Singapore and Hong Kong about the 9th April, as far as I remember.
I wasn't able to come down for the Anzac March, but may be next year, I hope. I went to the March at Laurieton. They have a good March with a very nice Service afterwards, following which they put on a terrific lunch and beer for the Marchers.
Ray Godbolt and his wife were there, visiting. Ray didn't march, as his legs are too bad now.
I also had a beer and a real good old yarn with Jack Stuart of the Transport.
Cheerio and my regards to All, Peter."
Dave Baker -
Helensburgh, 2508 - HQ Company
Les Melrose -
Matraville, 2036 – HQ Company
Bruce Campbell -
Port Macquarie, 2444 - HQ Company
I have as much luck getting him to write letters as I have getting him to diet.
He is keeping well and enjoying his retirement; gardening and looking after his house cows through the week; then our two eldest sons have a property, so he likes to help them on Saturday and Sunday (that sounds like Harry Riches all over again. Ed). Our youngest son began University Study at Macquarie University this year.
We are going to Singapore and Hong Kong for 2 weeks, flying out on the 9th April.
Bruce saw Neil Huntley at the Meeting on Fri. night and Neil said that he was going to Sydney for Anzac Day.
Regards to All, Dot and Bruce Campbell."
(Thank you, Dot, for the news, it is often said, "What would we do without our unpaid Secretary/Wives? We are grateful for your help. We are also grateful for the donation for welfare. It is very good of you and Bruce. Ed.)
Arthur Purdon -
Tuncurry Camping Resort - Bn. HQ
Please pass my wishes for All the Best for the future and my kindest regards to my friends, Yours sincerely, Arthur Purdon".
Jack Newton –
Cundletown, 2430 - HQ Company
My regards to the Boys, please. Jack Newton."
Sid Hart -
Birmingham Gardens, 2287 - A Company
“Curly” Hardman -
Woy Woy, 2256 - HQ Company
We had a most enjoyable time and amongst the guests there were Paddles and Una Clune, Gordon and Nancy McKnight, Kevin & Dorothy Ward and Jack Maclay, who had been staying a few days with Jack, playing that very dangerous game of "Bowls".
The function was held at the East Cessnock Bowling Club. All of the 2/30th fellows, including some other friends were hosted by Jack and Vera, so that you can imagine it "Bodies everywhere". There was much talk amongst the men, before and after the function, as you can imagine.
As you know, Jack was Greenkeeper at the Bowling Club, and many tributes were paid, to him by the official of the Club. He will be missed, as will Vera.
A very nice presentation was made to them, a set of luggage cases, to be used in their travels; flowers to Vera, and a lovely cake, decorated as a bowling green, for Jack to cut.
The Smorgasbord dinner was most enjoyable, of course refreshments (not tea) and a very pleasant time was had by all, of what, I think, numbered about sixty people.
Thank you, Jack and Vera, for having us there, and we hope that you have many Happy and Healthy days of retirement. (And so say all of us. Ed.)
Curly did some cooking here before we left. He is developing into a very good fish Chef. I'm going to retire from the stove ere long. (to paraphrase Mrs. Beeton, whom so many studied, while "Guests of the Emperor – First catch a fish", and Curly can show us a trick or two there. Ed.)
We are going up to Taree on the 21st April to spend a week with "Paddles" on the farm.
We are both well; Curly fishing madly, but as the fish are scarce, with not much result.
We are looking forwards to the Reunion in Tamworth this year.
We had a phone call from Gerry and Jessie Bailey. They had Harry Riches and "Joe" Johnston call in and see them.
A later note advised, "I am writing this note from Woy Woy Hospital, having been here since Tuesday, 6th May, with Bronchial Asthma. I am coming along slowly, so Curly is holding the fort at home and doing very well.
Fancy this happening after spending a lovely eight days with "Paddles" and Una Clune at Taree. Curly had a most enjoyable Anzac Day there. We wives stayed at home. Una is busy, as usual, with her horses, Jack also, and both are well.
Curly has some bronchitis, but is his usual self. No fish or fishing; there were no fish at Manning Point either.
The Anzac March in Sydney, which I watched, was most impressive and I listened as well on the Radio at the same time to Taree.
I wasn't well before going to Taree, but thought I'd get over it; instead I became worse after we came home; so here I am .
Curly and I Send our Best Wishes to all the Men of the 2/30th. Yours ever with our regards, Beatrice & Curly". P.S. "Curly and I were very saddened to hear of "Nugget" Crummy's passing. Will you please convey our sympathies to his family. Beatrice."
“Paddles” Clune -
Taree, 2430 - A Company
All the Boys up this way are O.K. Curly Hardman and Beatrice are coming up for Anzac Day.
We had the pleasure of having Harry Riches and "Joe" Johnston with us, for one night, a week ago, on their way home from a tour around. Both looked fit and well.
Please give my regards to All the Boys, Paddles".
Jack Conn - Port
Macquarie, 2444 - HQ Company
Darby Young, you remember our Barber in the old days, has retired here now. I see him nearly every Thursday afternoon and we have a couple of ales together at the Settlers Inn, the new pub in Port, and thoroughly enjoy our natter; sometimes 5 or 6 of us ex-P.O.W. - Tommy Shadlow (2/15th), Jim Holt (2/18), Jimmy Morgan (2/30) make a group together.
Things have been very dry (and still are, as at the time of writing, 9th April) at the farm, 28 miles up along the Macleay from Kempsey and things have been very disorganised owing to the Brucellosis Eradication Scheme at present in operation in this area, and as most of us were under Quarantine, while the stock prices were high, we missed out on those high returns at that time and now with the drought conditions prevailing and the stock market depressed to blazes, we can't sell stock except at give away Prices.
We have a new Granddaughter, since I last wrote. As our younger daughter, Dianne, and husband, Max, presented us with Brianna Emily a few months back and she's a real little live wire; crawls around everywhere and is just commencing to pull herself up on things, and Agnes acts like an old clucky hen again.
Jillian, of course, has Mathew, aged six, and as yet Christopher says he is too busy learning new things (he is an electrician) that he hasn't time to get serious about a girl, says he doesn't want to disappoint a lot by marrying one.
Agnes hasn't been the best of late, suffers with Migraine headaches and other troubles. I have my odd bad days. But when you consider everything, we have a lot to be thankful
for, as we are still here to enjoy some of the good things of life, and so many of our comrades have passed on. May they rest peacefully.
My best regards to everyone, and may everything go along just as they want it, in other words, "The bull by the tail on a downhill pull". Cheerio & God Bless, Sincerely yours, Jack Conn."
Bob Easton -
Sincerely yours, Bob Easton".
Eric Arps -
Kingsgrove, 2208 - A Company
They were with a coach tour, which arrived at Wangaratta late in the day. After tea at the Motel the party wandered along to the R.S.L. Club, to find the staff there ready to shut up shop, the townsfolk not having much call for late night entertainment. However, they were obliging enough to open up again specially for them. Someone produced a mouth organ and all enjoyed a good sing song with their beers etc.
That day was the 30th Anniversary of Eric and Rhona's Wedding Day. Something to call for a special celebration. The Club had something just for such occasions. A special pint and a half glass, which was to be filled to the brim, for the male celebrant to polish off, and it was produced for Eric to see how he would fare.
Eric also told your scribe that Rhona is a member of one of the Womenfolks' Organisations, a V.I.E.W. Club.
Fred Bladwell -
Undercliffe, 2206 - HQ Company
Les Perry –
Narrandera, 2700 - D Company
Frankie was a Yenda lad when he enlisted, but now he works at the Griffith Golf Course. He had news that Bill Hodge (Band) has had many ups and downs, but has now come good again and works at Griffith Victoria Hotel. However he said that the once boisterous Bill Brown (D Company) had gone into a burrow, having retired from the P.M.G. and is rarely seen around.
Vic Hamlin has just left me, after our usual weekly natter, and is looking well, but had been to the Physiotherapist for treatment to his back. He is still in the caravan business.
Keith Mulholland has now regained most of his former weight and looking much better once again.
The 40th Anniversary of the formation of the 2/30th set for November 22/23 will not take long to come along, and I have great hopes that Max Pyle from Berrigan may come to Narrandera and pick up Keith, Vic and myself and journey over to Leura, in the hope that Athol Charlesworth may then take over and pilot us on to Tamworth. Alan Pryde was right in saying that, if we left the Anniversary to fifty years, the ranks would be sadly diminished.
Jock McKenzie told me on Feb. 15th, that the health of Laurie Mountford in Leeton was causing much concern.
I lost my Mother in February at the age of 91 years. However I have been lucky in having my parents for such a long period, as Dad only died two years ago at the grand old age of 92 years. He was always a very active man and cut and carted his own wood up to five years before his death. (we're sorry, Les, to hear of these losses. A.D.)
My Best Regards to All, Yours sincerely, Les. P."
"Jock" McKenzie -
Leeton, 2705 - HQ Company
She sends word, "Uncle Bill, better known as "Jock", is still in Leeton Hospital and looking well, but any excitement or strain seems to bring on an attack, so we try to keep him steady, as best we can. His speech is not the best and he gets very frustrated with his difficulties and this makes his speech worse. However, he is very fortunate to have had his stroke and heart attack, while he was staying at our house, as I was able to do things to ease him and to get him into hospital very quickly and he has the use of his arms and legs.
Jock's Father, George McKenzie, was my Grandfather. He passed away on 1st October 1979 at the age of 98 years. I cared for him for the past 15/16 years and I have God to thank that his mind and memory were never dulled to the day he died.
(On the phone your scribe mentioned that Margaret had reason to be proud of him, the way he had served his Country in the Gordon Highlanders. She commented that he had done a good job in other ways, as he had had 10 children of his own, another 4 had been looked after by him and he had adopted 2 others.
Margaret has sent up a family photograph, taken in the Hospital on 24th August last, the day of the Birthday of Jock's Father, who is in bed, but looks quite alert notwithstanding. Jock is standing by the bed, and, whilst still showing his broad shoulders, has lost some of his height because of a stoop. The photo shows that in Margaret's family alone, Jock is her uncle, is grand-uncle to 2 girls and a boy, and great-grand-uncle to 3 girls and a boy.
Bill Sorenson -
Kyogle, 2474 - D Company
Clarrie Lattimer has retired, but still sneaks down to the office to fill in some of his spare time.
We went down to Ballina R.S.L. to see George Aspinall's film, but it was a disaster in that though they have a beautiful club, there were no black-out curtains for film showing at that time. I could have spent more time looking at his photos; he has a wide range of the activities of the trip.
I hope this finds all well, Yours sincerely, Flo."
Tom Hellmrich -
Manly, 2095 - A Company
My wife and I flew to Singapore mid-March and stayed a couple of night at Raffles, just for old times sake. We then proceeded to Kuching in Sarawak and travelled about 150 miles up-country by Land Rover and boat with the object of staying overnight in a long-house as a guest of the Sea-Dyaks. It was accomplished without incident, except that my arthritic limbs ached for days afterwards from sitting cross-legged on the long-house floor carrying on an animated conversation (with help from an interpreter) with the head-man, a dignified and intelligent gentleman with the most tattooed body, that I've ever sighted.
Returning to Singapore, we were joined by our youngest daughter and, after a day or so, went up to Kuala Lumpur, staying there at the Holiday Inn, which by coincidence was, the same hotel, where Ron Maston's Party had been 12 months earlier. We were very cordially received by Major Nozuki, the Secretary of the Malaysian Ex-Serviceman's Association who took time off from a meeting of War Widows to have coffee with us. He introduced us to a couple of notables, including the equivalent of our Secretary of the Dept. of Defence, and also Malaya's oldest ex-serviceman, the first to enlist in Malaysia's Defence Forces.
We hired a car in Kuala Lumpur and journeyed to Bukit Frazer for a breath of cool air. Magnificent it was too; on the highland - 4300 ft altitude, wonderful scenery, misty mornings, followed by glorious sunny days. From here our path led to Kuantan on the East coast, in other words from one side of the State of Pahang to the other.
We drove down a very lonely mountain road and were surprised to be held up at an army road block, soldiers everywhere, and covered from both ends by tanks. They allowed us through without much trouble and the procedure was repeated in the next hour twice. We decided that they were taking their training seriously and thought no more about it, until we read in next morning's paper that eight guerrillas has been killed in that area just before we passed through, the largest haul for several years.
In actual fact the Army is in evidence everywhere. We were told that Malaysia has 2 infantry divisions under arms at present and that they are about to raise a third. Their troops seemed to be well turned out, but one can make no assessment of equipment or training, other than to note that an exercise had just been completed in Eastern Malaysia, in which 20,000 troops, were said to have participated.
To return to the journey - we stayed in the Kuantan area for several days, going as far north as Kemaman - a very pleasant part of the world with a very relaxed life style.
Mersing was the next stopping place, where we stayed in a very fine Government Rest House, well situated on a hillside, overlooking the south of the river.
We pushed on from here; this time westwards to Batu Pahat, a large and busy town these days, then Muar to Malacca, where we holed up for a few nights. This enabled us to drive through the Gemas area at leisure and I found it difficult to imagine that this pleasant and placid countryside was the scene of so much desperate fighting nearly forty years earlier. The endless rows of rubber and palm trees now cover the scars of former days and the small town of Gemas dozed in the afternoon heat as we passed through.
It only remained now to return to Kuala Lumpur and thence to Singapore prior to our return flight. At Singapore I had the pleasure of having a few beers with Major Moodie, who I understand, acted as piper for the 1979 party. He was very jovial and sent his regards to all members of that party.
In conclusion I can only say that our trip was up to every expectation, full of interest, and enabled us to acquire a better understanding of the Country and its friendly and hospitable people.
Sincerely, Tom Hellmrich.
P.S. For the record, I was in "A" Company not “B” Company as showing in the List of Names and Addresses, as Bruce Greer to his sorrow will remember. T.H."
Alf Lamacraft -
Chatswood, 2067 - C Company
Des Gee - Moonee
Ponds. Vic. 3039 - HQ Company
We will most likely caravan it up there and then go on to see our relatives in Brisbane.
I am fairly fit for an old bloke and play a bit of golf to keep that way. I'm teaching Shirley the finer points of the game at the moment.
Best wishes to All. See you at Tamworth. Yours, Des Gee."
Allen Warton - Malua
Bay, 2536 - B Company
I was twelve days in hospital, got another two incisions in my tummy, but the surgeon, who repaired the hernia, told Elsie, my wife, that there was definitely no cancer, what, had led to the suspicion of that, were some adhesions from a previous operation for duodenal ulcer.
So now I am home resting, not to work for 3 months. I am getting stronger, but am still sore, and hence unfit to be on the march. However, my regards to all 2/30th Boys; hope that you all have a good roll-up for the March and a good gathering together afterwards.
Cheerio, Allen Warton."
"Bill" Rooke -
Rainworth, Q.4065 - B Company
Bill called on Jock Logan at Greenslopes, after Jock had had his operation. Yours sincerely, Sylvia Rooke."
Alan Charlton -
Ballina 2478 - HQ Company
However, the Saturday beforehand, my phone rang about 11am and the chap at the other end turned out to be Allan Pope (AASC) from Tamworth. He and his good wife stayed a few days here on their way through. Our old mates Phil Bailey (the toe cutter) and Wal Eather had told Allan (an old friend from Wollongong) my address. Thanks Boys and nice to hear of you. On the Sat. Afternoon I sat in for a short few sips of Claytons & Dry (my favourite drink for 25 years) with Allan, his wife, Charlie James (2/18) also another ex-Wollongong mate of mine, Stan Scarabelotti (an Army pal of Allan's) and his wife, Joyce, Sid Jameson arrived, as I was about to leave and Fred Newlands, I think, joined us for a quick "Hello".
I did visit the R.S.L. Club, however, for a short while on Anzac Day, and saw much the same few, but had to come home early. Yvonne has been in Sydney for five weeks - pity I can't drink isn't it? As I could have joined in with the Boys a bit more.
I saw Bruce Greer a few days ago. He had a very sore looking left eye. A condition that comes and goes. The eye bloke at Lismore has told him that it is incurable, but, as Bruce said, what's the use of claiming for it.
The enclosed cutting from the local Newspaper, a snap of 3 persons, with the footnote, "The Vice-President of the Riding for the Disabled Association, Mrs. Pearl Batchelor, presents an approval plaque to instructor, Mr. Bob Wylie, and the Secretary of the Ballina Group, Mrs. Kerry Johnston" relates to a group, to which I belong. It is a very rewarding activity, for which I devote every Thursday morning helping disabled folk in riding exercises. The Vice President, Mrs. Pearl Batchelor, visited us recently, hence the photograph, and, in the course of conversation, happened to mention that she once lived at Collarenebri. I told her that I too lived in the country at Cumborah, near the Opal Fields. She asked if I still go over there at all. I said yes, and that I had an Army pal out that way, but had always been prevented from visiting him, Allan Prentice of Wellwood. The good lady commenced to laugh and said, "He is my Brother in law". Good Luck to Allan that he should have such a lovely sister-in-law. Allan and Peg have given up the land and retired to Dubbo. I told Pearl to tell them to come over this way for a holiday. We’ll throw a bucket of dust over them if it rains and they begin to choke! Incidentally we even have a drought here extending over the past 12 months. (Now, Allan or Peg what about a note with a change of address, please? It's a small world, but your mates will be glad to be in touch, and I would like to be sure that you get your Makan.)
Tell 'Garry the Golfer' he can still get plenty of games up here with our Schoolboy Cadets. Last Sunday week was Schoolboy Championship of the Northern Rivers District. It was held at Woodburn Club and 107 boys competed from Clubs as far apart as Casino to Terranora (Tweed Heads), Lismore, Murwillumbah, Ballina etc., 32 of them being from Ballina. Our boys bagged seven trophies (9 others were runners-up). Two of our lads, one 16 and the other 17, tied with 3 over par and in the play off, on the par 4, the 16 year old had a birdie but his mate could only get a par. Glen Mancell, from Lismore, had to be content with "17 and under" Champ as he shot 77. I am very proud to be associated with our Cadets, not only for their golfing prowess, but good behaviour as well.
I myself am an inconsistent golfer - on Good Friday an 11 year old "A" Grade beat me over nine holes (I six putted one) and, on Easter Saturday, I beat an "A" Grade adult half my age over the same 9 with a 6 over par.
Well I must away. My Regards to All. Alan."
Ernie Willis -
Parkes, 2870 - HQ Company
Ern was pleased to see Clarrie Lattimer once again, whilst Clarrie was here in Parkes, and also Ray Rickards, when he called.
Ern has had a bad throat for some time, but I guess age is creeping up on all the boys too. By the coolness of the morning winter is on its way.
I will close with special thought for all "Makan" readers, with best regards, from Ernie & Elsie Willis."
McDougall - Mosman, 2088 - C Company
The weather has been glorious for getting the odd jobs done, since I "retired", but I find that working Tues., Wed., and Thursday still keeps me busy and so some of the odd jobs get put off until next week or next month. ("Manana" is what the Spaniards call it, isn't it, Jock?) It is a strange set up for one, who has been used to going by the clock and, who can say, "well there is always tomorrow to finish what I haven't completed ".
"My Kind Regards to All, Jock McDougall."
Jack Greenwood -
Little Bay, 2036 - HQ Company
Mrs. Florence Bennie
- Roseville, 2069 - (Cliff Bayliss - I Section)
Ed (Punter) Wallis -
East Maitland, 2323 - C Company
You asked about Alan Cameron. I was with him on the Burma Railway, but can't recall him having any sickness other than what we all had. I clearly remember one incident, when we were all starving, as we always were, and some of the Boys went out and killed a yak. When this was discovered by the Nips, no one would admit to it, so poor old Alan stood up and took the blame, although, as far as I knew, he knew nothing about it. So he took the bashing those little yellow Coots were so fond of handing out.
Alan was a fine fellow, and many a cigarette he gave me, when I was feeling at the end of my tether, and my deepest sympathy goes out to his wife and family.
All the Best to the Boys of the old Battalion.
Sincerely yours, (Bill or Punter) Ed Wallis." (Thanks for the donation, Bill. It will be faithfully dealt with. Ed.)
Col Tuckfield -
Kenmore, Q. 4069 - D Company
Col said, "The attached newspaper cutting may be of interest to our Members, particularly the Queenslanders, who joined the Battalion at Yong Peng, and I think "Slim", as we knew him, was one of those.
The last time, I saw him, was in the late 40's, when Gen. Gordon Bennett came up to Ipswich and Slim drove me and a couple of others to a reunion and civic reception put on by the Ipswich City Council, the Mayor being also an ex-P.O.W. Bennett came back to Brisbane afterwards in Slim's car. We were all somewhat the worse for wear - the one and only time that I've been drunk with a General!
Talking of Yong Peng, you may be interested in the feelings of a "Reo" joining a Battalion, which had been already in action and I’d like to quote a short extract from my diary, which may stir a few memories. (Your scribe takes the liberty of putting that quote in the "Do you Remember?” Section. Please see page 23 )
On the home front life remains quiet. Unlike lots of the other fellows, I enjoy reasonably good health, and am fighting hard to play golf down to my (maximum) handicap.
I and Perena have just been presented with our 4th grandchild, which makes the struggle to remain young more difficult.
I visited Jock Logan in Greenslopes some time ago - he had had a stroke and was worried about personal affairs, and in this, I hope, that I might have been of some small assistance.
My remembrances to old comrades and best of health and luck to All. Kind Regards, Col Tuckfield.”
Len Clavan -
Tintenbar, 2479 - HQ Company
The afternoon and evening at the P.O.W. Rooms with those two 'character' sons of Jack Heasman and the rest of the chaps was really great.
Calling to mind "Nugget" Stan Crummy, I just cannot recall the way he wore his hat and cap, but I do know he was a dapper dresser, especially in civvy life. As all would know, he drove for the "Old Man" until a chap, Jack Green,. from the 2/18 Bn. took over. He was always a nuggetty little bloke (hence the nickname). He and Arnie Ainsworth were a pair of very good mates.
I'm sending a cutting from a Brisbane paper. You may have read it. Always "Slim" Cranitch to us. (Your scribe mentioned the sending of the 2nd cutting, and is pleased that it came in - better “more than enough”, than “not enough”, therefore don't let us miss out, because you feel that someone else will be sure to send it, but always take the view the rest of the Boys would like to know this or that, and I'll print it. Ed)
Best wishes to all the Boys from Wyn & Len Clavan. (Anyone passing through, be sure to call or ask at R.S.L. for directions to "Clavan's Tavern") (and you can expect him there for quite a while. He is another, who has taken a new lease of life - at least he's changed over to Life Membership - and we welcome the spirit. Ed.)
Slim Cranitch -
Police Station, Wondai, Q,. 4606 - D Company
The youngsters of Wondai call him "Uncle Matt" but his constables call him Sergeant.
He is "Matt" to the Premier, Mr. Bjelke-Peterson and to the Police Commissioner, Terry Lewis.
And the Premier and Police Commissioner turn up at the annual police dinner Sgt. Second Class Matthew Cranitch, 55, organises every March at Wondai.
On May 7, Matt Cranitch, will hang up the gun he has never fired on duty after the longest ever Queensland police career, which began as a cadet in April, 1937.
His father, also Sgt Matthew Cranitch, was in charge of Wondai too - between 1928 and 1934.
Sgt Cranitch said today he was born in Maryborough police station. “It was the police life for me from then on - except for the war," he said. Characteristically, he had to be pressed for details of his war service. He was caught up with the Eighth Division at Singapore and held prisoner by the Japanese for three and a half years,
He was in Changi, then worked on the "Death Railway" in Thailand and later was a slave miner at Johore Bahru. On his release in August, 1945, the 89 Kg Cranitch frame had shrunk to 44 Kg.
After he recuperated, Matt Cranitch bounced back into the Force, serving hitches in the Traffic Branch, then at Rosedale, St. George, Coolangatta and Roma Street before taking over Wondai for his final 10 years and eight months.
It was while running the one man station at Rosedale that he was involved in his most hair raising police experience.
A man went berserk with a rifle, then held his own family hostage, while Sgt Cranitch tried to talk him into surrender.
The man would have none of it, but Sgt. Cranitch gradually inched closer to him, until, finally, he managed to grab the rifle and handcuff the man in a furious struggle.
Matt Cranitch said he believed the police force of today was much more efficient than the force he knew in his early career. “But there is much less discipline," he said, "that is why my men call me "Sergeant". I just don’t believe in first names in police work. It needs discipline, and that is part of it."
Family of Five
Sgt Cranitch and his wife have a family of five - all in State Government jobs like their father, Matt Junior, 31, is with the Department of Native Affairs; Mike, 28, the Works Department; Mark, 25, the Land Department; Patricia, 23, a double certificated sister at Wondai Hospital, and Mary 21, a teacher at Wynnum West State School.
Mr and Mrs Cranitch will settle on the Gold Coast, then go on a caravan holiday around Australia."
Andy Noble -
Longueville, 2066 - D Company
Keith Mulholland -
Narrandera, 2700 - D Company
Mum and Dad are looking forward to attending the Reunion at Tamworth.
Regards to all in the 2/30 ("The Best") from the Riverina, Catherine Mulholland JP."
(Glad to hear from you, Catherine. Thank you, Ed.)
Jack Stuart - North
Haven, 2445, - HQ Company
We had our little Anzac Day up here at Laurieton. Peter Mason was there from Kendall, looking O.K. and just getting over a little Op., so we had a few beers. I had not seen Peter since 1945. Also Ray Godbolt (D Company.) was there. He came from Merewether. I didn't know Ray very well over there, but we soon got to know one another over a few beers. He is not the best; as his old legs are playing up a bit on him. But after a few Ales they were getting better.
It's very sorry reading to see that a few more of our boys have passed on.
Please give my best regards to All the Boys of the 2/30, especially the Boys of the Transport Platoon. Yours, J. Stuart."
Jack Fell -
Cessnock, 2325 - B Company
My mother passed away in Brisbane three weeks ago. She had been very ill for some time, but she had deteriorated rapidly, since we had seen her three weeks previously. She would have been 92 in July. Thank you for your sympathy card.
We made a quick dash up there to her funeral and then another hurried trip from Brisbane to get home in time to get round to Bathurst for Anzac Day, as I had promised Jack Maclay that I would be there with him.
We went up to Bathurst on the Thursday arriving about 3 pm. We caught up with Jack and had tea with him at the R.S.L. Club, and the next day, in company with Jack and Bruce Pratt, attended the main March and Service at the Carillon.
Unfortunately Vera and I were not able to attend the Service at the Bn. Cairn, as we had to be in Albury the following day, the first day of a Bowls Week run by the N.S.W. Greenkeepers' Association, and it is a long haul with a caravan on behind. We stayed at Temora on Anzac night, leaving early next day to travel to Albury.
We spent our time in Albury taking part in the Bowls Week, which was hosted by the Albury Branch of the Greenkeepers' Association. We had an enjoyable week, with the last day being taken up with a coach tour to the old gold-mining town of Beechworth, where we had a barbecue lunch. We went on from there to a winery at Rutherglen for a tasting, then on to Howlong Country Club for a smorgasbord tea.
On Saturday we drove down to Melbourne, with plans to occupy us for another week. The Tuesday was taken up with a visit to Ballarat, spending the day at Sovereign Hill, a replica of Ballarat in the early days of the gold rush. This area is probably the best of its kind that I have seen, there is so much attention to detail. One could spend quite some time there. The NSW Main Roads Board could well follow Victoria's example with the freeway to Ballarat. It's a beautiful piece of road, about 70 miles from Melbourne.
Another place, which we visited, was "Como House" in Toorak. This fine old building has been acquired by the National Trust and was once part of a 65,000 acre grant to the Armytage family. It contains the original Victorian furniture and furnishings intact. The House itself was built before 1863.
On Saturday, 10th May, we picked up our grand-daughter and went to Cowes on Phillip Island. We spent another week there. A trip to this island wild life sanctuary is worthwhile even just to see the nightly parade of the hundreds of fairy penguins. It is a fascinating sight to watch the surf breaking on the beach, with no sign of life in it, when suddenly with no warning, hundreds of these small birds waddle ashore, form up into groups like soldiers and make their way up the beach and into their burrows, where the nightly ritual of feeding their young birds takes place. It's a phenomenon seen only on this particular beach every night of the year at dusk.
We drove through part of South Gippsland next, taking in Wonthaggi and Leongatha. The rolling hills and valleys were unbelievably green compared to the drought stricken areas of N.S.W. through which we had been in the previous weeks.
Vera and I will definitely be going to Tamworth. It may be that, if a coach or coaches travelled to Tamworth, one may go through Maitland, where we could pick it up. Possibly there may be others, who would do the same. It does look as if the Reunion will be something to remember. Everyone, to whom I have spoken, is enthusiastic about the idea, and looking forward to it.
Commenced in Melbourne this letter has been added to from time to time. We have returned home and I have just finished reading the last issue of "Makan", which arrived, while we were away. I did read some of it at Bathurst, while sitting in Jack Maclay's room waiting for him to get dressed. I agree with all our other correspondents about the value of this magazine in keeping us in touch with our widely scattered mates. I also agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed in the letter from Graham McLeod, that a little bit of thought on the incidents, which happened to us over the years over there, some of the more humorous episodes in our lives then, or any little thing, that one thinks may be of interest to others, may well be the basis of a letter to you, and hey presto! There's another page filled in "Makan".
I was saddened to hear of the death of Sandy Christensen. One could not but admire his courage and his unfailing cheerfulness on the tour of Malaysia and Singapore in Jan '79.
Also the death of Jean Maclay bought back memories of the times that she and Jack, Ruth and Frank Purvis, Joyce and Ray Streatfeild and Vera and I had together, when we first came home after the war. We used to meet once a month to have dinner together and go to a show afterwards. It never ceased to amaze me how much food Jack Maclay could put away. He is still pretty good on the tooth even now.
My regards to All, Jack Fell."
"Joe" Johnston -
Knockrow, 2479 - D Company
Alex Olley is in Lismore Base Hospital. He had very severe pains in the chest and was bent over; couldn't get his breath properly; so Mary took him to hospital. He was too sick to argue. They have given him cardiographs and are also checking him for possible hardening of the arteries. Alex has been in poor health for a long time, but wouldn't do anything about it. Well he's in the right place now. We will keep you posted. (What will Harry Teasdale do without Alex, Joe?)
Jock Logan has been transferred to "Kenmore" Nursing Home from Greenslopes. He can see and hear visitors but cannot talk, nevertheless he can nod his head to show understanding (later news - worse deterioration, in Broadbeach Nursing Home, Gold Coast.)
The motor accident, in which Betty, Marty Wallwork’s wife and Claire, his youngest daughter, were killed, has been a real tragedy, negotiating round a cow there was a head-on collision of their car with a Range Rover.
The church service was attended by at least 400, men women and children. Many of them drove through flood waters to attend. It was a shockingly sad day and the gale force winds and heavy rain did nothing to brighten the day.
The floral tributes were very lovely, especially when you consider that we had had about 18" of rain to that point.
Bruce Greer travelled from Ballina and no one was sure, if they would have clear roads to travel back to their respective homes.
We all, at times, have a go at our Police Force, however in Marty's case they did everything in their power to lighten the load Marty and his family had to bear. Marty and the family were planning on walking into Mullumbimby from their home, because the road was flooded and unsafe for cars. The Police Sergeant took the Police 4-wheel drive vehicle through to their place, collected them all and brought them safely in. He had also covered the car, which was in the police yard, the Police Station being in the main part of the town, so that no one could see it and so that the family would not be distressed. We feel that we are lucky with our Law Officers up here, and you must give credit where credit is due.
The Service was at the Church of England and both of the Methodist and Church of England Ministers officiated. No one could have given a greater Eulogy.
The school children formed a guard of honour, lead by their teacher.
It is bad enough to lose one member of the family, but two under such tragic circumstances is rather hard to take.
Other families up here are also troubled on account of their dear ones. Chum Farley's wife, Rae, is sick, and at the came time her brother is in Greenslopes receiving treatment for cancer.
Dot Riches has not been well for some time, but was well enough for Harry to go on the tour with me. Our Best Wishes to All & especially to Phil and Vi”.
Wright - Smithfield, 2164 - Bn HQ
Yours faithfully, Olive Wright”.
(With Garry Evans off the Hospital Visiting List (He has been hit with Hepatitis) others are seeking to help and Joe Geoghegan, Ray Rickards and your Scribe have visited Curly, who needs quite some uplift at the present time.)
Ted Lutz - Yanderra,
2574 – B Company
“I have been in touch with Allan McColl. He has a farm in Victoria; was on his own, last letter from him, but was O.K.
It was very sad news about Marty Wallwork's wife and daughter, and my sympathy goes to their family.
I have not been active in the Bushfire Brigade for about 18 months now.
Ray Donald called in just after Anzac Day. It was good to see him. We have much in common, shooting etc., and we had a good yarn.
We have had some good rain, so there is plenty of water, but as yet people around here are short of feed for the stock and are hand feeding.
There is no Yanderra Post Office now. We have our mail delivered from Bargo, so will you please change the address that you have for me. This will find me:- Yanderra Road, Yanderra, NSW, 2574.
All the Best to the Boys, Ted Lutz."
George White -
Bexley, 2207 - HQ Company
I have been more or less content to read the "Makan" and say, 'Well, he is still here' and, 'There goes another one', & wanting to say 'Good-Day' to the blokes I know, whose names do appear regularly in print.
As you know, I had a spell in hospital early this year, when they removed a lung from me, with the hope of keeping me quiet, but they only improved things.
I was sorry that I was not in hospital at the same time as 'Snowy' Stevens (F.R.B.), Jimmy Strang (Jim's father was one of my school teachers at Hurstville (Tech.) and Freddie Bladwell. I am sure Fred Bladwell would have enjoyed a visit from 'Snowy' and 'Doughy' every day.
As Ray Simmons mentioned, I met him while he was over getting examined and we passed the time away. Another 2/30th Member, who dropped in to see me, was Don West, who was in with leg troubles.
Now that I have broken the ice, I may or will keep in touch regularly. (Please see "Do You Remember?" Section. Ed). To all my old H.Q. Mates, I say ‘Cheerio and Best
Harry Jarrett -
Loftus, 2232 - B Company
We recently had holidays on the North Coast, when Harry was pleased to see Bob Newman at Woolgoolga again. Kind Regards, yours sincerely, Shirley Jarrett.".
(Thank you for the donation with the Subs, very welcome. Ed)
Vince Leonard -
Fairfield, 2165 - HQ Company
Vince says, "I was on that ship going to Japan. In the China Seas we were bundled down into the hold. Depth Charges were dropped, and the whole ship shuddered. We learnt later, that there had been a submarine attack and 18 out of 19 were credited as having been sunk. This message was written in pencil on the toilet wall. (Who by we never knew).
I was one of the original "A" Force in Burma, and picked out for the "Japan Party", as it was called, from those supposed 'to be the fittest'. Col. Ramsay must have had some idea of what was likely to happen to Japanese ships, because he tried to talk me out of going and to stay in the camp at Tamarkan, but my hut was one of those blown up in the Allied attacks on the Bridge and the A/A Post near the camp. Hindsight says that the “secret” radio would have given him his news.
Garry Evans -
Strathfield, 2135 - A Company
Joe Noble -
Fairfield, 2165 - B Company
Con had told them of the book on Sir Albert Coates, which they wished to obtain.
Your scribe wrote off to the Victorian Ex-P.O.W. Association but thought it had sold out, but a copy of the book came back by return mail and has been duly delivered to Joe, who, by the way, has become one of our latest Life Members.
Len Roberts - Wyong,
2259 - HQ Company
In December, our son, Vawn, his wife, Lynn, and their 2 yr old, daughter, Heidi, flew from Johannesburg to Perth, stayed a few days with Sue & Richard, bought a station sedan and drove over to here, his first return for 6 years. He was accompanied by Lynn's brother, Peter Dymond and another friend.
On 2nd Jan. Vawn and company loaded the car for a trip up to North Queensland and went up as far as Mossman, just above Cairns. They were held up in Rockhampton by floods, but only for one night. They returned here early Feb; motored back to Perth, where they sold the car, and left for South Africa on 19th Feb.
Len and I took up Bowls 11 months ago. Len just got a go on, when he was interrupted by visits to hospital every 3 months for some cystoscopy. He finds movement painful but is improving. His next visit to Brisbane Waters Private Hospital is on 18th June and, hopefully, he might be in only overnight (it was to Concord for tests; suspected side effects of tablets). On Friday, 9th May, he has to attend the rheumatic clinic at Concord, to check whether the treatment, which Len has been undergoing for the last 10 years, might be giving his other troubles.
We have traded our big caravan in on a new pop-up small van, so that I can drive too and, of course, lower the fuel consumption on long journeys, as over to Perth, where we intend to go towards the end of June, to see Susanne, who is expecting her second child towards the end of July. Our return is planned for September or early October to fit with Len's programmed visit to Hospital then; so, with luck, we should make the Tamworth Reunion in November.
Two weeks ago we tried out the new van in a trip up to Taree, Wingham, Gloucester and Dungog, and found everywhere to be so dry. We went out to see the Chichester Dam, which is low. It must be a pretty spot, when not so dry. Now Len wants to go to spend a few days at Lostock Dam in a couple of weeks time.
Water at home here in Wyong is so scarce, that we cannot water our plants except with bath water.
With Regards to all the Boys, Yours Sincerely, Margaret Roberts for Len."
Ted Rickards -
Mungindi, 2406 - B Company
The Newspaper, "Moree Champion", of 6th May, contained the announcement that Mungindi's Annual Show on Monday, 12th and Tuesday, 13th May was to be officially opened by the Chairman of the Wool Council of Australia, Mr Dick (E.L.) O'Brien from Walgett, and a comment by Show Society President, Mr. Ted Murphy, that with the finalisation of the National Wether Trial to be this year's Mungindi Show, it was fitting that a man of the prominence of Mr. O'Brien in the wool world, should open the Show.
The shearing of the wethers for the trial was to be conducted at the South Bunarba Woolshed, about 18 miles from Mungindi, on the Monday.
An accompanying photo of our Ted, with a wether under the shears, carries the caption, "One of Mungindi's best known identities, Ted Rickards, demonstrates the style, that he will use to shear wethers for the National Trials."
Jack Black - Manly,
2095 - HQ Company
"Doc" Wilson - West
Ryde, 2114 - A Company
"Doc" says that Linda now has a job and is in her own flat, for such time as she is over there, seeing how that half of the world's history and sights look.
Supplement with 2/30 Bn A.I.F. Association "Makan" No 254, May/Jul 1980
Report of Annual General Meeting Held at P.S.A. Conference Room, 151 Kent St. Sydney, on Friday, 11/4/1980 At 8pm.
ATTENDANCE- Arch Thorburn (Chairman) and 14 Members. Apologies 5.
It is once again my pleasure to extend to you a warm welcome to our General Meeting for 1980 and to report that your Executive has continued to apply itself conscientiously to the affairs of the Association.
I take this opportunity to extend to our Patron, whose health, as you know, is of concern to Mrs Ramsay, their son, Max and all other members of the family, Best Wishes from the Association.
Projects, which have had the attention of, your Executive in the past year, comprise such matters as:
Those matters are, as well as the regular functions of Hospital Visitation and Welfare Work; a successful Reunion last November; the Annual Bowls Competition; and Anzac Day Activities.
I feel it would be in order, on behalf of the Association generally, to convey to the Members of the Executive, appreciation for their time and attention to Association matters. Special mention could be made of the work of our indefatigable Secretary and all those involved in producing the "Makan"; attending to the Hospital and Welfare Work; of the Regional representatives; those charged with the organising of Reunions; and looking to the conduct of Association affairs in general, be they in the Metropolitan or Country Areas.
We are saddened by the loss of 19 Battalion Men, as well as of other members of the families, and I feel I should especially mention the loss of our friend and benefactor, Dr. John Sands.
I look forward to a continuance of interest in the Association and its activities.
Receipts and Payments for the 1979 year bear a close proximity to those of the preceding year, 1978. The credit Balance is our Savings Bank Account at 31/12/79 is approximately $2814. i.e. $500 more than at the same date in 1978.
All of the 250 reprint productions of our Bn History, "Galleghan’s Greyhounds", have been distributed. The producer printer a/c for $2175 has been paid. The production cost per volume worked out at $8.50, a figure, which, I think we will all agree, was extremely favourable, when consideration is given to the quality and appearance of the volume and a comparison is made with the retail selling price of infinitely less well presented publications. It was below the cost originally suggested and it seems that preferential treatment has been bestowed on us. The Govt. Book Bounty for printing work within Australia, was also helpful; also because it was offset work from the original.
Packaging and postage of the reprint cost an additional $132.50. This small outlay is due to the personal efforts of our Editor/Chief Correspondent, Alex Dandie, and his willing helpers. They would never mention their work in this regard, so I feel that I should do so. Wrapping / packaging material was shall we say, 'acquired'; books for which pre-postage had been paid, were hand delivered at personal expense - no cost to the Association. The net result of all this excellent venture is that we have a greatly admired and appreciated reprint due to the efforts of Ray Streatfeild, Alex Dandie and his helpers, and the Association is $318.50 better off financially.
Interest credited to our Savings Bank A/c in respect of the $7,000 we have in Commonwealth Bonds, amounted to $697.50. That account was also credited with $80.32 for balances held throughout the year, this totals $777.82, approx $60 more than in 1978.
For the first time (as far as I'm aware) the outgoings for our Annual Reunion exceeded the monies subscribed thereto - to wit by $38.50. As previous years have recorded a reasonable surplus; there should be no grounds for complaint, especially as the occasion was most enjoyable and otherwise successful. Our thanks go to Jack Black, who did most of the organising arrangements so successfully.
Our Editor Chief Correspondent, Alex Dandie has more details on the recruitment of 15 new Life Members during the year. This resulted in a subscription of $157.50 to our funds.
Donations for the year totalled $628, of this sum the part specifically designated to be channelled to production and continuity of “Makan” was $313.50; $34 to give initial membership and Makan to mates, who had dropped out or had not joined our Association, in the hope of arousing their interest to do so. The remaining $280.50 was for Welfare or General Disbursements as the Association deemed suitable.
Affiliations were renewed with the 8 Div. & Services Council; Corporate Membership of the Australian, Malaysia, Singapore Association; and contributions made to Legacy & to Ex-Ps.O.W. Association (NSW Branch).
All accounts, which have been brought to my notice are settled and paid.
I move the adoption of the report and submit the Bank Statement and supporting accounts herewith.
Statement of Receipts and Payments for the Year Ended 31/12/79
We have examined the above statement with the records of the 2/30 Bn A.I.F. Association and in our opinion the statement is a true record of all monies received and expended by the Association during the year ended 31/12/79.
Duesbury, Johnston & Marks
Report of Makan Editor/Chief Correspondent, 12 Months to 31/12/79
Seven issues of "Makan" were prepared and distributed in the 12 months to 31 December, 1979. One, No. 248, was additional to the normal two-monthly issues, being a report on the Bn. Group Tour back to Gemencheh Bridge for a Commemoration at 4pm, 14th January, 1979 & the subsequent activities, the text being accompanied by several photos, taken in the main by George Aspinall, with a few by other Tour Members, and from reports it seems to have been well received.
Two Supplements were completed; a "Last Post" List as from formation of the Bn in 1940 up until April. 1979, showing 657 deaths, more than half of the maximum strength of the Bn. Yet it is well recognised that the List isn't by any means able to be called complete, since so many Members of the Bn have lost touch in one way or another. Sadly enough, since that List was printed, our known deaths have increased to 670. The second Supplement was an up to date address List, really long overdue, as the previous List was over 5 years old. Additionally, this new List contains the addresses of some of the Bn., who are not Members of the Association, and others would be added, if folk would let us know, on the presumption that we are all still the one family of the Battalion; we went through so much together that, even if it is only one chap, you want to look up, he ought to be listed, Association Member or not.
"Makan" No 246 was lightened by 12 pages of photos of Members, some war-time, others recent Reunion groups, and, as well, photographs of sketches, drawn by Andy Hyslop and Ted Campbell on Singapore Island.
Typing during the year has been shared by Editor and Linda, daughter of Doc Wilson, and we are grateful for her assistance.
The "Makan" Team, without which the Magazine would not see the light of day, has been ever ready to assist in its production and distribution. The two mainstays have been Jack Maclay and Ray Rickards, with my wife, June, and two of her grandsons. Several others, who have readily answered the call for assistance have been, Fred and Jean Johnston, Edith Berman, Bob Surtees, Jim Walshe, "Dutchy" Holland, "Joe" Geoghegan, Ron Maston, "Doc" and Clover Wilson. Whilst in the production of the Address List, "Joe" Geoghegan and one of his daughters, Judith retyped the stencils, giving exceptionally good help in getting the List printed, so that I am very grateful for that help.
Circulation of "Makan" at the end of 1978 was 459. It had risen to 521 at the end of 1979. Some part of that increase was due to donations from some Members being earmarked for sending copies of "Makan" to Battalion Men, who had been out of touch. Such assistance has led to some of them becoming Members or renewing Membership of the Association.
The deaths occurred of 10 folk, who had been getting a "Makan", in some cases "Makan" is now going to their Next of Kin; other Next of Kin were found, when their enquiries came in for a reprint of the History, so that there was an addition of 13 N.O.K; 10 Battalion Men paid for Life Membership as new participants, whilst 3, formerly Annual Subscribers, sent in funds to transfer to Life Membership. 16 Men paid for Annual Subscriptions either as New or renewals, previously lost touch.
The costs of Production of "Makan" will be covered in The Treasurer's Report. Our many expressions of thanks for the work of the "Makan Team" have come in the many letters, which have provided the "News" or "Gossip" of the magazine, and many donations, both large and small, money wise, have been received with those letters. All three, Thanks, News and Donations, are gratefully received, and your scribe is pleased that Members look upon "Makan" as their Magazine, by which they can let their cobbers know of their and their families activities.
Different matters have been referred to in some letters from Members and your Scribe has felt it his duty to put these before the Executive for it to decide, on what action may be taken, some of such matters were:- A renewed appeal for funds for the A.I.F. Malayan Nurses Scholarship Fund; proposal for an Annual Commemorative Service in the Church, where the Battalion's Colours are laid up; Place, at which to gather, after the Anzac Day March; Use of score of Band Music for the March Tune, "Galleghan's Greyhounds" written originally by Andy Hyslop; Suggestion that Executive take up with 8 Div Council, and for it in turn to take up with R.S.L. question, of where are the reports of the M.Os. of 8 Div, as they would almost certainly have been required to submit them to the Dept. of the Army? and did the Dept of the Army pass them over to the Repatriation Commission? Further do Report. M.Os. refer to them, when judging claims?
Our various Area Representatives have been very helpful with Notice of local events and reports on them after they are held, especially by way of Reunions, and unfortunately in the case of sickness and deaths of our Members, and we are very thankful for their help. One of the Chief Correspondent's jobs is to let our Area Representatives have information, on what is before the Central Executive at its Meetings each two months. It is in this fashion as well as by "Makan" that two-way communication is maintained.
The History Reprint was a magnificent achievement of Ray Streatfeild and I am sure that everyone, who received one of the fine books, which the printer and bookbinder made for us, would have been pleased to get it. Ray was the one, who became interested in the idea of a reprint, initially as a paper backed book and had the printer’s knowledge to carry out the project, saving quite a lot of the production costs by his artwork, which he undertook at home. 250 was the least number that we could have printed at the most economical price. Consideration is to be given as to whether there may be demand for another 250.
Your scribe has used "Makan" as a way of making appeals for Funds for Malaysian Nursing Scholarship Fund; St. Patrick's School, Katong, Singapore Appeal Fund; R.S.L. Aid Abroad, and Australian-Malaysian-Singapore Association. He has sought to have an extension of the Welfare Work of Visiting Members of the Battalion in Hospital to take in visits to Members, who have difficulties in that they are, what may be termed, 'housebound' by reason of eyesight troubles or other illnesses. He has asked for a setting aside of monies to represent the capital funds subscribed by Life-Members, both past and present.
Lady Galleghan mentioned to your Editor at Pymble on last Gemas Day, that she would be prepared to meet the expense of a book-binder in binding copies of "Makan" in suitable fashion, so that she might present the volumes to the United Service Institution of New South Wales. Stage 1 - has been collection of copies of all issues (a project commenced, shortly after the takeover of your present Editor in 1976). This has not-been completely successful to date, for the very early ones mainly, No. 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 69, 83, 95, 97, 99 and 125 are missing. Stage 2 - Retyping of all copies up to and including No 157 May/ June 1963, in the same format as all copies since that one, i.e. those, where the typing was down the foolscap page instead of a sheet being turned sideways, as it is now. This has been completed with those copies we have and we are appealing still for anyone, who has any of the missing copies, to lend them to us for copying and then return of their copies to them. As others have gradually been forthcoming, we have hopes that these 13 copies will be found. Stage 3 - The Book-Binding, will be commenced as soon as possible. There are hopes that a set of volumes of bound copies may be made for retention with Association records.
Machinery Repair and Overhaul - Both the Typewriter and the Duplicator have been checked over by Mechanics for the respective type of machine and repairs made to each, so that they are in good running order now. "Joe" Geoghegan has been able to obtain for us a second and more up-to-date Elliott's Addressing Machine for our envelopes and Magazine Covers, so that either one may be of use in future. This at no cost to the Association.
Insurance Cover on all Association property, whilst held by your scribe, has been taken up by Ron Maston, as our Insurance Expert on the Executive, with my Insurance Company, AGC (Insurances) Limited, and my existing Policy has been increased by $2,000 for contents, being the property of the Association, as from 13th March last, without payment of extra premium at this stage, an extra premium of $10.00 per annum being payable as from 15/10/80, due date of my policy, on house & contents.
Election of Officers - the result of elections is as set out on page 1 of this Makan.
IT WAS RESOLVED, UNANIMOUSLY, that Life Membership be conferred on Kevin Ward.
The Motion, as notified, relating to change of the Constitution as set out in the Notice --calling the Annual Meeting was put to the Meeting.
After careful consideration, it was resolved that:
It was recorded that there was one dissenting vote.
Olga Marie Geikie, Wife of Nugent Geikie, Died on 28/1/1980
Special mention was made of this sad happening at the Meeting of the Bn Association Executive held on 5/2/80.
It was the unanimous wish of the Executive that a Memorial Minute be entered in the Association records of the assistance of Mrs. Geikie in having the Bn. Memorial Cairn at Bathurst.
Such a Memorial Minute was presented to the Meeting of the Executive on 3rd June 1980, viz:
"It is placed on record that it was Olga Marie Geikie, wife of Lieutenant Nugent Geikie, O.C., No. 10 Platoon, 2/30 Battalion A.I.F., who conceived the proposal to erect a Memorial Cairn at Bathurst, in memory of those members of the Battalion, who did not return and who played an active part in raising moneys to defray the cost and who was instrumental in seeing her dream come true.”
and accepted as a unanimous resolution of the Executive.