Makan – No. 192a
Official Organ of the 2/30th Bn. A.I.F. Association
SERVICE OF CONSECRATION
AND UNVEILING OF MEMORIAL TO 2/30TH BATTALION AND 8TH DIVISION AIF AT
HEADQUARTERS, 17TH BATTALION, THE ROYAL NEW SOUTH WALES REGIMENT, WEST
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE 2/30TH BATTALION A.I.F.
The 2/30th Battalion AIF was formed at Tamworth on 22nd November, 1940 under the command of Lieutenant Colonel F.G. Galleghan ED (now Brigadier Sir Frederick Galleghan DSO OBE ISO ED). At Bathurst in February 1941 the Battalion became part of the 27th Australian Infantry Brigade, 8th Division.
The officers and men of the battalion were drawn mostly from the Metropolitan, North Coast and Riverina areas of N.S.W. These included a number of officers and men of the 17th Battalion A.M.F., The North Sydney Regiment, (formerly commanded by Lt. Col. Galleghan) in which unit all three majors of the 2/30th Battalion (Ramsay, Johnston and Anderson) had also served for many years.
Leaving Australia on 29th July, 1941, the battalion arrived in Singapore on 18th August, 1941 and moved into a hutted camp (Birdwood Camp) in the Changi area opposite Selarang Barracks then occupied by a battalion of the Gordon Highlanders.
On 25th September, 1941, the battalion occupied the more strategically sited camp at Batu Pahat on the West coast of the State of Johore (the defence of which had become the responsibility of the 8th Division) where jungle training and aerodrome defence exercises were constantly conducted.
When the Japanese attacks commenced in the North at Kota Bahru on 8th December, 1941; the 2/30th Battalion immediately adopted its allocated defence role on the Kluang Aerodrome to deal with any paratroop landings likely as an adjunct to enemy landings on the East Coast of Malaya. The battalion later moved to Jemaluang in the Mersing Area to fulfil a counter attack role in the event of an expected landing.
However, the enemy advanced rapidly down the mainland towards the border of Johore treating the Mersing area as a secondary consideration.
On 9th January, 1942, General Gordon Bennett ordered 2/30th Battalion to take up a defensive position astride the main road from the North in the vicinity of Gemas. Whilst in the Jemaluang area, the General had arranged with. Lt. Col Galleghan that ambush procedures and tactics be practised and the prospect of putting an ambush plan into action was now very much in Galleghan's mind. Accordingly he based the battle plan for the battalion's first action on a company ambush some three miles forward of the main battalion defensive position which was about three miles North of Gemas.
B Company commanded by Capt. D.J. Duffy (later Lt. Col. D.J. Duffy, MC, ED) took up the forward ambush position. This occupied a length of road stretching back several hundred yards behind the Gemencheh River. The forward platoon covered the bridge and about 150 yards of straight road on the other side with Brens and rifles. Fire from the battery of 2/15th Field Artillery (under command of Capt Frank Ball) was to cover about a mile of road stretching north from the road bend across the river.
The battalion morale was high and the plan a bold one.
On 14th January, 1942 the Japanese advance guard having travelled for 30 miles without a sign of resistance fell into the trap. Several hundred on bicycles up to six abreast across the road were allowed to cross the bridge before it was blown sky high and every weapon of B Company opened up on them. Not a single cyclist escaped and the company was able to break contact and move back to the battalion position with the loss of only one killed, six missing and fourteen wounded.
The following day, 15th January, saw the enemy in contact with the battalion as a whole. Despite the fact that the Japanese had managed somehow to move their tanks across the Gemencheh River along with their main body; they made no impression on the 2/30th defences. The enemy was so badly mauled throughout the two day battle that the 2/30th Battalion Group was able to break contact without difficulty and withdraw to the 27th Brigade positions nearer Gemas in the late afternoon.
The Director of Military Operations, 25th Japanese Army later wrote of the action "the Australians fought with a bravery we had not previously seen".
Though temporarily halted at Gemas, Japanese pressure on all fronts across the peninsula continued with complete mastery of the air. Subsequent fighting in withdrawal and cover defence brought many skirmishes with the enemy - at Fort Rose Estate, Johore Rubber Estates, Batu Anam, Buloh Kasap, Labis Bahru, Segamat, Yong Peng and Ayer Hitam. A fierce stand was made at Ayer Hitam to keep the cross roads open with support of 2nd Loyals. At Simpang Rengam (Namazie Rubber Estate) a desperate action was fought to hold a jungle defile necessary for the extraction of the Brigade, now including 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders.
The mainland campaign ended on 31st January, 1942 with all British and Australian forces back on Singapore Island, 2/30th Battalion withdrew via Ayer Bamban and Senai to its Causeway positions which were held secure for nine days. Concentration in perimeter around the stricken City of Singapore was ordered and the Battalion, now under command of Lt. Col. G.E. Ramsay E D (later Colonel) moved in stages via Mandai Road and Bukit Mandai where some heavy casualties were inflicted on the massing enemy; then Thompson Road, Ang Mo, Kio and final positions at Tyersall Palace grounds on "Black Friday" 13th February, 1942. Capitulation ended the campaign on 15th February. Battle casualties were 2 Officers and 49 Other Ranks Killed in Action or Died of Wounds and 32 Other Ranks missing. In all, 1,300 names appeared on the battalion nominal roll.
As a result of incarceration as P.O.W. and work on the Burma railway, 310 men died of other causes and when the Japanese capitulated after 31 years, 739 members of the battalion were recovered and returned to Australia by October, 1945.
The concrete cylinder now forming the focal point of the memorial was one of those used as a Tank Stop at the battle of Gemas, where it remained until it was found in 1970 by Major K.G. Mallinson E D (a former member of 30th Infantry Battalion CMF) who at that time was serving with 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. 1RAR undertook the recovery of the cylinder and subsequently forwarded it to 17RNSWR as a war relic. From this was generated the idea of building the memorial and our sincere thanks are extended to all those involved in this undertaking.
ORDER OF CEREMONY
The Commanding Officer, 17th Battalion, The Royal New South Wales Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel D.I. Aspinall ED is received by the parade.
The Principal Guests are received by the Parade.
The Guest of Honour, Brigadier Sir Frederick Galleghan, DSO, OBE, ISO, ED arrives and receives a General Salute.
Brigadier Galleghan inspects the Guard and the Bands Address by the Commanding Officer
Address and Unveiling by Brigadier Galleghan
Consecration Service (see Page 4)
Guard Marches Past
Guard Marches Off
Departure of Brigadier Galleghan
At the conclusion of the Ceremony, refreshments will be served in the Drill Hall.
Brigadier Sir Frederick Galleghan will say:
"Reverend sirs, we ask you to bid God's Blessing on this Memorial"
The three Chaplains will proceed in turn to the memorial.
CHAPLAIN C.E. In the Name of God, Amen
To the honour and glory of God the Father, in whom is our humble hope of a joyful resurrection and reunion; in the Name of God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and in memory of those departed this life in his faith and fear; we dedicate and set apart this memorial. God grant that all who look upon it may enter into the peace of sins forgiven, the joy of faithful service and the power of an endless life, to which he may vouchsafe to bring us all, through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Bless, O Lord, this memorial which we bless in Thy Name. May it remind all who pass this way of those who served their country, even unto death. May it remind us to pray for them, that they may gain eternal life. May it remind service men and women of their promise faithfully to serve our Sovereign Lady the Queen for the common welfare of Australia.
In the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, we dedicate this memorial to the glory of God and in remembrance of those who laid down their lives in our defence, whom God has gathered into the peace of His presence; in the Name of the Father and of the
Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A MEMBER OF THE 2/30TH
BATTALION WILL RECITE THE ODE:
All together shall say:
We will remember them.
A PRAYER WILL BE OFFERED BY ALL:
O God of hosts, Father and Lover of men; we give Thee praise for all those whom we remember before Thee at this time. Into Thy hands, O Lord, we commend their spirits. Let the memory of their devotion be ever an example to us; that we may be taught to live by them who learned to die; and that at last, we being faithful unto death, may receive with them the crown of life.
Wreaths will now be laid
Two minutes silence will
PROGRAMME OF MUSIC
By Seventeenth Battalion,
The Royal New South Wales Regiment Pipes and Drums
The Guard from A, B and Support Companies of the Seventeenth Battalion, The Royal New South Wales Regiment march on to the Regimental March of the 30th Battalion. which is now the Regimental Pipe March of 17RNSWR.
Regimental March - "Highland Laddie"
General Salute - "The General Salute"
The Inspection - "Gairloch"
Consecration Ceremony (A lament) - "Flowers of the Forest"
March Past - "Scotland The Brave", "Waltzing Matilda"
NOTICE TO SPECTATORS
It is customary to stand and for gentlemen to remove their hats on the following occasions:
1. On the arrival and
departure of Brigadier Galleghan
The following is for the guidance of guests in uniform.
1. All ranks salute when
the colour passes their immediate front.
Guard Commander - Major R.J. Crane ED
Guard Second in Command - Lieutenant R.L. Puckeridge
Colour Ensign - Lieutenant B.J.J. Nolan
Right Guides - Warrant Officer Class 2 A.G. King, Warrant Officer Class 2 B. Baker
Left Guides - Sergeant R.I. Baihn, Sergeant P.R. Sledge
The Guard of Honour is drawn from A, B and Support Companies Seventeenth Battalion The Royal New South Wales Regiment.