Makan – No. 196
Official Organ of the 2/30th Bn. A.I.F. Association
YOUR CHANCE TO COMMENT
How do you like the presentation of this issue of MAKAN? Firmly convinced that this issue would be a slim one, it seemed to present a good opportunity to try out a new idea for production with a view to cutting costs of printing to an absolute minimum.
Employing our usual methods, a MAKAN of this size would run to a minimum of $50.00 for the printing alone- whereas actual cost to the Association of the printing, by the method used on this occasion, has amounted to $12.00 - a saving of $228.00 for a year of 6 issues. This of course does not take into account the several weeks of work necessitated by your Typist, Copy Boy, Reporter, Editor, Publisher, Galley Slave, Proof Reader, Printer and Despatcher all rolled into one person with the august dual title of Chief Correspondent and MAKAN Editor.
To get down to this low cost, something had to be sacrificed, and this is largely represented by the quality of the paper used, the rather old-fashioned type, and the density of the printing - it will be appreciated that if heavier (denser) printing were employed, thicker (denser) paper would have to be used, and a very slow system of interleaving and of drying out when printing each page would have to be employed in order to avoid unwanted impressions and printing on the reverse side showing through. At the present time your Printer is flat to the boards learning the gentle art of mastering the operating techniques of a Gestetner, abusing the while the Typist, who has a habit of typing most unevenly, and of chopping the centres out of the “o”’s, in particular and any other letters (there are at least eight of them) which respond readily to that treatment.
It is just possible that as your Printer becomes much more experienced, he will request the Editor to ask the Proprietors to provide the Typist with a good second hand electric machine, with modern type face and an ability to cut a decent impression on the stencil at a more or less even pressure. then he will have to ask his Proprietors to provide him with about $40.00 worth of interleaving boards to cope with the denser printing; and since it will then take about five times as long to do the printing, he will have to pay the Galley Slave overtime rates, or at least double the amount of his present wages. Purchase of these Capital items would be a one-time cost only, and would not bring the cost of printing MAKAN for the year of acquisition to what it would cost to have an outside Printer do it. Thereafter, costs would revert to a nominal amount per issue; and if we are ultimately successful in having MAKAN registered for Posting as a Periodical, Postage costs would then further reduce by about $20.00 per issue. If we keep up this sort of thing to absurd infinity, the Association will end up having to pay you to receive MAKAN These are matters which will bear examination in the future, and any possible implementation will depend to a large degree on your. reaction to this issue.
All of which means that you now have an excellent opportunity to express your views on the "New Look" MAKAN. Remember, a few lines or a 'phone call to the Chief-Correspondent will be read or heard by every one of the numerous individuals wrapped up in the Chief Correspondent's multiple personality. Failure to make any comment will be taken by each one of the parties concerned to indicate that you are satisfied to give it a go for the time being at least, and to await developments.
WITH HEARTFUL THANKS
When expressing her appreciation to the Association, Lady Galleghan added to the formal acknowledgment :"With my heartful thanks for your many wonderful
tributes to my 'beloved Commander' B.J., and for your glorious flowers"; and she included a letter addressed to your President, which your Editor has taken the liberty of publishing in full :
"Dear Mr. Thorburn,
How very dear were the men of the 2/30 Bn to the heart of my beloved B.J! I remember when he asked me to marry him he half seriously said: 'You will always be second to my Battalion'. As I got to know him as a husband, and also of his great love and loyalty to the Army, I realised that the men of 2/30 Bn had carved for themselves a very special place in his heart - in fact all men of the 8th Division meant a very great deal to him.
That they felt the same about him was evident from so many present at the magnificent Military Funeral accorded him by the Military Board. The Service I felt was unique, having as it did the two Ministers who were present at our marriage ceremony, two Padres from Changi, and the Bishop, who knew us both, to give such a feeling address. The Bishop rang me and asked if I wanted anything particularly mentioned, and I asked that he pay tribute to Vera, whom you all loved so well, for, as his partner and loved wife for 40 years, and one who kept the women together during the dark days of Changi, tribute should be paid. B.J. always said how very much he owed to Vera. He was a most wonderful man, and our love was unique.
Many tributes have been paid to B. J..- from the Prime Minister, the Governor, the Premier and Ministers of the State and the Commonwealth, but two tributes I should like to share with you: One from Sir Alexander Downer:-"I am greatly saddened by your tragic news. Every member of the 8th Division will remember Black Jack with admiration and affection, I shall always recall his splendid Leadership in Changi and the inspiration he gave to us all under his command. He was a great Australian Soldier, and Australia is proud of him." Another from Colonel Pond:
"He did a magnificent job in maintaining morale in Changi, and I regard him as the Churchill of Changi." But it is tributes like yours that makes my heart glad - that "I made the Old Man's last years happy." Indeed,_ it was so.
I understand that action is to be taken for a biography to be carried out. I am sure that there are many who could add to such a book so that it would convey the personality and humanity of my darling B.J. I should like to think this was done.
And now for me: I shall do all I can to live up to the honoured name he gave me when he made me his wife, and to follow, too, his high ideals. It is said that to live in the hearts and minds of those who love us is ‘not to die’ - and I know that within the hearts of his men he will always be remembered.
With my heartfelt thanks for your personal tribute, and those of 2/30th Association,
Persia Galleghan. "
More than 2,500 letters and messages of condolence have been received by Lady Galleghan and it has imposed a tremendous burden upon her in answering them all, and endeavouring to ensure that none was missed. Due to indecipherable signatures and lack of address, it has been impossible to track down a few of them. In a further personal note to your Editor, Lady Galleghan had some nice things to say about MAKAN, and added-.- "I deeply regret I was unable to meet so many of those who travelled so far to share with me the beautiful and memorable Service for B.J. at St. Clements, and I am wondering if you could, through MAKAN, tell them that I hope to have the pleasure, one day, of meeting them. I know B.J. would like that, too. He spoke to me so often about 'his men' that although I have only met a few, I know so many by name, and of their fine reputation, and I have their history woven virtually into my very fibres. I would be honoured if, in some way, I could be within the 'Family Circle'."
It would take many issues of MAKAN to cover even a selection of the tributes paid to B.J., not only directly to Lady Galleghan, but in the Media throughout the whole of Australia. The Adelaide "News" carried an interview with a Mr. Hans Fehlandt, one of the early migrants, since married to an Australian girl and formerly a German paratrooper who served in the ranks in Crete, Italy, Russia, and was himself a P.O.W. after capture in Normandy. When B.J. headed the Australian Military Mission to Germany as President of the International Refugee Organisation, Hans Fehlandt became his official driver from 1948 to 1950 and had the job of driving him and his selection team to the displaced persons camps across Germany. During the course of the interview he remarked: "He was an officer who was respected and liked by everyone who met him. He treated everyone as an equal - from me to the highest diplomat on his Staff. Everyone stood to attention when he spoke to them, but it was out of respect, and not fear."
The Japanese Ambassador added his tribute in a personal letter to Lady Galleghan, in which he stressed the respect with which B.J. was held in Japan.
Two further tributes, also from personal letters to Lady Galleghan, are a fitting conclusion, and need no comment from your Editor:
"Many will praise him - but he was a man who rose to great heights of character in circumstances so unique that they will never be understood by a stranger to them."
"Somehow we had the feeling that your husband was indestructible, one of the immortals, a part of our History and Heritage, and a man who will never: be forgotten while courage and honour are part of our story."
THE LORD'S PLEA
I created this Land, and
I gave all people the
right to practise
So, I plead with you:
Work and create as one,
When Earthly labours are
I will give you Eternal
Ted Rickards 1971.
Ralph Graeme Bradley (A
At his funeral on 9th July, we were represented by :Lady Galleghan, Mesdames Cecilie Boss, Bessie Ellis and Chub Ramsay; Our Patron, Stan Arneil, Jack Black, Harry Collins, Bob Jack, Phil Schofield, Kevin Ward.
Our deepest sympathy is extended to his two surviving sisters (one in England and one in Canada) and his three cousins, who live in Sydney, with whom we mourn the loss of one of the Battalion identities, and a stalwart of our Association.
Paul Sydney Kirschler (C Coy).
His death occurred at his home at Ourimbah on 30th May last, at the comparatively early age of 53. Sid joined C Coy, on 4th Feb.,1942, when we were perched like shags on a rock near the Causeway; and immediately showed his wry sense of humour by his remarks following the first Jap Air Raid on our position, which greeted his arrival, to be followed by a couple of drop-shorts from a Pommy Arty Unit, well to our rear, who were attempting to range on Johore. (It will be recalled that John Meillon, who was visiting us at that time, copped it in the legs) While not over large in stature, Sid was a tough, wiry customer who did his stint on the Work Parties, including “F" Force and X1 tunnelling in Johore; where a bout of malaria and dysentery fined him down to a point where he wryly remarked that he could comfortably take his place in the under 7.7 team. Sid is survived by his mother, and nine brothers and sisters, to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.
We also mourn with Hank Massey (HQ Coy), his wife Thelma and their family, the tragic death of their youngest daughter, Sally Anne (aged 16) as the result of a car accident near Cootamundra on 14th June last. A Section Leader in the Girls Brigade and a popular Leader in the Singing Group attached to her Church, Sally Anne had visited Cootamundra over the Holiday week-end with other members of the Church Singing Group; and the fatal accident occurred as they were returning Home, with fog conditions prevailing. Joe Geoghegan (HQ Coy), Doug McKinnon (A Coy) and Johnny Parsons (C Coy) represented the Association at the Funeral Service, where the Church was crowded to capacity, and her fellow members of the Girls Brigade formed an impressive Guard both at the Church and the Crematorium.
David Threlkeld Lloyd, E.D. (C Coy). He died suddenly at Hunters Hill on the evening of 18th July, aged 58 years. David had gone for a short stroll to the local shop that evening when the fatal attack occurred, and he was unable to complete the journey. Having served with B.J. in the 17th Militia, where he was Commissioned, he transferred to the A.I.F. and joined 2/30 Bn as the original 2 i/c of C Coy; and it will be recalled that he went off on that special Commando job with Rose Force at the commencement of Hostilities. By the time he had returned to Base from that task, the 2/29th had been badly mauled, and he was transferred to that Bn at the end of Jan.,1942, as a Company Commander. So, he actually finished the War, and was eventually discharged from the Army, as a member of 2/29 Bn. But the ties of his earlier Association with 2/30 Bn remained strong, and he was one of the very early members of the Association on our return. He became a Committee Member of the Executive at last Annual General Meeting, and was a "regular" at all our functions. Following his return to Australia, he married Barbara, the widow of his twin brother, John, who had been K.I.A. at El Alamein and he continued his active interest in Military affairs by serving further 6 years in the C.M.F, where he commanded a Water Transport Unit, with the rank of Major.
In commercial life he held many Executive positions , and at the time of his death he was with the Bowater Paper Group. He possessed a great, almost unquenchable sense of humour, and his friendly nature and genuine interest in people gave him that rare quality of making all who came in contact with him feel that he genuinely enjoyed their company and conversation.
At his funeral service at All Saints, Hunters Hill,, the Church was packed to capacity, including the porch, and a fine address was delivered by our old friend, Padre George Polain. Our Association was represented by some 20 members, several wives and Lady Galleghan. Due to his indifferent health on that day, our Patron had to cancel, at the last minute, prior arrangements made for him to attend the Service, and he joins with us all in extending our deepest sympathy to Barbara, sons John and Timothy, and his surviving brother and two sisters.
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
NEWS VIEWS AND WHOS WHOS
After the wealth of information obtained by your Editor at events occurring over the period of the last couple of MAKANS, this issue gives every appearance of being rather a lean one so far as news of members is concerned. Fortunately, a few of the wives have written in with quite a bit of news, but although several of the members have sent in Subs, some have not bothered to include any information concerning themselves or their families.
In the forefront in this regard are to be found blokes like Bill Anderson (D. Coy), Jeff Gillespie (B Coy, Ossie Jackson (D Coy), Frank Purvis (B Coy), Ernie Ross (A Coy) and Mick Stone (HQ Coy). However, they must be more or less O.K., or they surely would have made some reference to any indispositions.
Ross Hutton (A Coy) sent in his Subs, upon his return from R.G.H. Concord, minus his gall bladder; but he is now making good progress. While in Hospital, he caught up with Ted Rickards (B Coy), and admired his cheery nature, and his poetry.
George Gough (B.H.Q.) sent in his Sub, and had some nice remarks to pass about MAKAN. George is another of those Heart Jobs, having had his bad attack just twelve months ago, and only now being able to start on a trial of light duties for three days a week.
Nev Riley (HQ Coy) and Arnie Trusler (HQ Coy) both got a bit of a shock to find that their Subs were behind, so they each sent in enough to keep them current for a few years to come. No news of course, but Nev regretted his inability, at the last minute, to attend the Anzac Day March, and Arnie was quite nice in his reference to MAKAN.
Shock tactics in the form of a nasty little note from your Editor paid off with respect to Bill Ennis (C Coy) and Russ Perkins (B Coy) who each sprang sufficient to convert them to Life Membership. Although they didn't include any news with their remittances, in view of the cheques enclosed they are forgiven this time.
No shock tactics were needed on Brad (Ralph Bradley - A Coy) who was apparently idly thumbing through his cheque book and discovered that it was at least a few weeks since he had sent anything in. Apart from several specific donations, Brad had been in the habit of adding "a bit extra” until some years ago he was paid up to 1980; so he was chopped out of that excuse by conversion to Life Membership. But, you can't keep a good man down, so Brad wrote in and had some nice things to say about Bessie Ellis and B.J., and regretted that his very indifferent health prevented him attending either the Funeral or the Anzac Day March, Right at the bottom, when he had virtually used up the page, he added- "P.S. Enclosed a cheque to help carry on" , The enclosure was a cheque of such embarrassingly large proportions that your Editor, who enjoys (though he affirms undeservedly) the reputation of a garrulous old goat who is never at a loss for something to say, has been left speechless. All he can mumble is: "Thanks Brad. Your Executive and your Editor sincerely appreciate your generosity, and will certainly endeavour to do their best.
Fortunately for our finances, this donation habit is catching. Ashley Pascoe (B Coy) sent in a sizeable donation, and his nice remarks about last issue of MAKAN made your Editor feel that his efforts were worth while. Ashley was still in a generous mood, and he added some particularly nice things about the magnificent job done by Bessie Ellis, and a moving tribute to B.J. He also had some nice words to say about Ted Rickards, and his verse, and mentioned that he sees quite a bit of Ken Dale (B Coy) who lives at
Wagstaff Point. He even admitted that he was able to carry on with his job at the Water Conservation and Irrigation Commission, at their City Office (Where he has about three years to go to retirement) in hale and hearty condition due to the care and attention lavished on him by his wife, Betty. Having discharged his duties to MAKAN in exemplary fashion, Ashley then mounted his charger and galloped over a few pages in defense of his favourite subject. A man of firm convictions and a devout Crusader for. Peace, Ashley doesn't pull any punches; but he is big enough to admit that he admires the R.S.L. (of which he remains a member) for the good work they do for the Returned Servicemen, though he cannot agree with the policy they have adopted on Vietnam and Conscription. He was looking forward to the Rally (subsequently held at the Domain on 20th June) at which Dr. Spok, the American Crusader, was to address the gathering, (Go to it, Ashley - sharpen up the lance and dig in the spurs. I can find no fault with your arguments - I just don't have the convictions (or the guts) to charge with you - Ed.)
Our Dalby, contingent, Jack Burke (C Coy) and Maurie Horrigan (D Coy) both came to the party. Although a Life Member, Jack wanted to make sure of receipt of MAKAN, so he enclosed a liberal anticipation of next year's Sub - his fingers are packing up with polyneuritis, and he reckoned that he might not be able to write next year. On the other hand, Maurie sent in his Subs and declared he was fit and well, and advised that, apart from contact with Jack, he sees Dick Newman (D Coy) from St. George, Q. upon occasions, and that he had a few beers with Mat (Slim) Cranitch (D Coy) at Wondai one Anzac Day. (Maurie, when Jack's fingers finally pack up, you can take over as Official Correspondent for the Dalby area. Meanwhile, as we have lost contact with Dick and Mat, how about sending me their addresses, or getting them to drop me a line - Ed.)
Our North Queensland Correspondent, Honey Barnes (Wife of Len - HQ Coy) did the right thing, and came to light with a newsy letter which started off with some laudatory remarks which caused your Editor to blush. She went on to say:
"Now I have a news item which I think will be of interest to quite a number of the boys. Neil Huntley (B Coy) and wife, Molly were our guests for a week recently - they are on what could be called a Rover Safari of Australia. Whilst here, Neil joined the Leyland Brothers - who happened to be our guests too on an assault on Bartle Frere, the highest mountain in Queensland at 5,287 feet. He not only reached the top, but was one of the sprightliest in the party, which included the Leyland Brothers (a film unit), a guide and Neil. They camped overnight at the summit, returning the next day; all rather tired but extremely happy with their accomplishment. So Neil, the intrepid bush walker and mountain climber, is as good as ever. (My records would appear to indicate that Neil turned 63 on 14th April last which makes his performance quite outstanding, and speaks volumes for the manner in which Molly has looked after him - Ed.)
I also noticed the Grandpa Stakes paragraph - well I just can’t let that go, as we should be well up on the list with one granddaughter and four grandsons to our credit.
It Also some of the boys will remember that on 15th March,l941, they formed a guard of honour outside St. Mary's Cathedral for our wedding. We are to have a somewhat sentimental journey back into the Cathedral on 16th October this year, as our youngest daughter, Peita is to be married there on that date. I can still see all those boys there with arms raised, and Len Dawson doing his very best to keep them at attention."
Poor Honey had to knock off - she was freezing to death, sitting in front of the heater, as the temperature had dropped to 78 degrees.
Norma Veivers, (Wife of Joe – A. Coy) writing from Coffs Harbour, stated that it was hopeless to expect Joe to write so she peeled enough off the housekeeping pile, and sent it in, to keep Joe current and well in advance. She advised that, much to Joe's delight, David (Aged 9) has started playing football. Poor Norma. If David is going to charge around the joint like Joe used to around the field with that A Coy mob (who still reckon they were the best team in the Bn.) she’s in for a rough time. It is to be hoped that Katy (7) remains a lady, to keep her mother company.
Marjorie Humphrey (Wife of Bill HQ Coy) didn’t pull any punches about Bill's letter writing, so she held out on the lunch time nosebag until he signed a cheque of sufficient magnitude to put him well in front with his Subs. She then proceeded to send the cheque in from Armidale with an accompanying newsy letter which started off with some nice remarks about MAKAN, and went on to advise that Ann (their eldest of six) is now 23, and is teaching at Moree. David (21).is doing Civil Engineering at the Uni of N.S.W., while Jane has commenced Nursing at the Royal North Shore. Three having fled the nest, it leaves only Christopher, Sally and Gillian still at home, and at School; and apparently Marjorie feels that after spending the best part of a lifetime looking after 6 kids, plus Bill, she now has a ,bit of spare time. She and Bill have generously offered to become "of use” (as they put it) to anyone having children at the local Teachers College or Uni, or elsewhere, should they feel that a sheet anchor or reference point in Armidale could help. Their address is 180 Allingham Street, Armidale. 2350. She also mentioned that Ross
Madden (A Coy) is still Bill’s right hand man, and is still, a wizard at remembering people and places - he always was a rival of Joe Carew in the Memory Stakes.
Mrs Marguerite Jenkins (Purple and Gold, and mother of Bernie - C Coy) furnished the news that, Ward Booth (D Coy) and wife Elaine left on 11th June for an Over seas Trip - probably, amongst other things, to have a nostalgic look at Paris, where they spent their Honeymoon. She also gave news of: Mrs Ellen Hendry (mother of Jimmy - HQ Coy, Killed in Action at Bukit Timah on 8th Feb.,l942) who is not getting any younger, was a stalwart of the Comfort Funds Shop they ran in the Strand Arcade during the War Years and still manages to attend their Christmas Party. Mrs Doris Hendy (Step-mother of Len - D Coy) who is now much better, and is looking forward to the wedding of Len and Pam's son, Peter, to a Miss Playfair at the end of June. Mrs Lonie Musgrave (mother of Ray - C Coy who died on the Railway at No. 2 Sonkurai on 31st Oct.,1943) who has recovered from her bad cold, and has benefited considerably from her recent holiday with daughter, Hilma and her husband John.
Mrs Jenkins gives all you Purple and Gold Girls preliminary notice that the Christmas Party will be held early in-December at the Indian Tea Centre. Further news of the event will appear in subsequent issues of MAKAN.
Kevin Ward (A Coy and Hospital Visitation Convenor) was proud to announce the engagement of their eldest child, Marion (now 21) but he has had his share of personal Hospital visiting, as his mother has only recently come out of Hospital following an accident, which broke some bones at the base of her spine. She is still inconvenienced by a brace.
Johnny Parsons (C Coy) is also having his share, with son, Linton still in Hospital following a car accident about February last. However, he is now making good progress, and should be out about mid-July.
Our congratulations to Old Walt (Wal Eather - C Coy) who had the high honour of Life Membership of the R.S.L. bestowed upon him, He was President of the Tamworth Sub-Branch for so long that most people lost count, and having retired from Headmaster of Westdale he has settled in South Tamworth.
We were pleased to welcome back into the family Henry Convery (HQ Coy) from Cooks Hill and Alex Finlayson, (D Coy) from Telarah, with both of whom we had been out of touch for a while. The pair of them were unfortunate enough to be in Concord at the same time, and at a time when your Editor was doing the rounds. Since they couldn't run when he cornered them, they went quietly, and coughed up a few dollars in Subs.
Your Scribe took a sadistic delight in popping a wee snide note in the last MAKAN addressed to the Riverina Correspondent (Terry O'Rourke - C Coy) reminding him about his Sub. A prompt remittance brought him in an advance position, and his covering note -scribbled on a bit of scrap paper - advised that if he weren't living in Australia, he'd reckon he had a T.U. on his sore leg. He then proceeded to put Keith Mulholland (D Coy whom he perceived driving around in a new Holden (you're safe, Keith - Subs are up to date). Terry also recently enjoyed a jug with Bill Brown (D Coy) in the Pub at Darlington Point. Bill works for the P.M.G., and Terry declares that he is as noisy as ever. Vic Hamlin (C Coy) is fit - has just got his wheat in (early June) and requests us all to pray for rain. Max Pyle (D Coy) when last seen was fit, and is regarded as the ''Mayor" of Berrigan - in everything. A cobber of Terry's, just back from Eden, saw Wighty Wightman (HQ Coy), who sent his regards. From his reference to seeing Ron Johnston (C Coy) at the Funeral, it would appear that Terry made it for B.J.'s Funeral, and could have rightly taken his place with the Long Distance Runners mentioned in last MAKAN. How come you didn't say hello to your Editor, Terry? To prove that he held no grudge about the snide note, he joined with Les Perry (D Coy and just back from four weeks leave) in saying nice things about MAKAN. Terry can sure get a lot of news on a scrap of paper.
Margaret Phillips (daughter of Len Ryan - Band, B.H.Q) writing from Northcote, Vic, puts the Ryan Family well up in the Grandpa Stakes. Evacuated to Melbourne in 1942 to stay for a while with Len's family, she collected a scholarship or two, stayed on to eventually become a teacher, and to marry one. Her husband is now a District Inspector, and they have 7 children, the eldest of whom is a Sgt in the Cadet Corps at St. Kevin's College. Her mother has not been the best of late, and has been staying with friends for some time, but is now hopefully on the mend.
Dot Paget (wife of Phil - B Coy) frankly admitted that it was impossible to get Phil to write, so she wrote in and advised:
“Just thought I would tell you that we managed to get to Singapore this year. You may know that last year we were on our way there when Phil had a heart attack and landed in Penang General Hospital - then into R.A.A.F. Hospital at Butterworth, and they flew him home for me. Well, he decided to try again this year, so we flew to Bali, had five wonderful days at the Bali Beach Hotel then flew on to Singapore for eight days We went to Changi and saw the Gaol, and out to the Causeway and Kranji Cemetery, which we thought was beautiful, but it made us very sad. However, we both thought it was not as nice as the one in Thailand which we visited last year. We saw the Cathay but it is one of the lowest buildings now. I don’t think Phil expected to find the place so changed, but we both enjoyed the visit, and it was something Phil wanted to do for many years. He is back at work again, and at present his health is very good."
Having previously sent in some pars for DO YOU REMEMBER, Darby Young (HQ Coy) got such a shock to find he was behind with his Sub that he ended future worry in that regard by sending in sufficient to convert him to Life Membership - rude notes do pay dividends.
Bert Farr (HQ Coy). sent
in his Sub, and regretted that hospitalisation for kidney tests prevented
his attendance at B.J.'s Funeral, and Anzac Day. He went on-to say:
"I stayed at the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, where John Kreckler (HQ Coy) and I ("Bib & Bub") spent some time after our release on duties associated with the. evacuation of ex-P.O.W. to Singapore. The old Pub has many of its original features, and the river on which it stands is busier and dirtier than ever - John might like this snapshot, though it is not a good one."
The photos were of the graves of: R.W.L. Brownhill, P.F. Carey, O.H.J. Heasman, A.J. McAlister, J.J. Paterson, R.R. Wynn.
Also included were a couple of the Cemetery entrance and one of the Oriental Hotel, Bangkok.
Please address any requests for any of the photos to the Editor.
A nice fat letter from Harry Holden (B Coy) from Cooma expressed his appreciation of the sterling job per formed by Bessie Ellis "over the miles and years" and he also had some very nice things to say about MAKAN. He backed it up with a sizeable donation to assist in "maintaining existing services', and in particular the retention of MAKAN. He also did the right thing, and advised the vital statistics of the Holden Family All are well - Harry admitted to being disgustingly fit, and still playing cricket. They have two daughters (19 and just under 18) who work in Canberra at the Commonwealth and A.N.Z. Banks, and though "going steady", they have not yet reached the stage of letting the Holden's enter the Grandpa Stakes.
After pursuing earthmoving and construction contracting for some 17 years, Harry gave that away and purchased a Shop in Cooma, which he has operated for the past 7 years, as well as being tied up with a land owning and developing Company, which is currently doing Merimbula over. So, if you want a nice block in that area, contact Harry - you had better call him John in Cooma, as he is known by that name there.
In his spare time - apparently about seven nights a week - he actively interests himself in civic affairs mainly Legacy and other ex-Servicemen's Organisations, during the course of which he was President during the erection and opening, by the Governor, of the substantial R.S.L. Club; and he was awarded Life Membership of the R.S.L. in 1957. All in all, young Harry is quite a busy boy.
Jimmy Webster (B Coy) is another of the not-so-young's. In a letter from Merewether seeking some information, he happened to mention that he and his wife have been married for 52 years, and they have four generations in the family alive at the present time. They include 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren - surely a winner in the Grandpa Stakes. While he was with us , Jimmy also had two sons in the R.A.A.F.
Mike Garrard (HQ Coy) is a bit out of things at Kingscliff and, not being quite sure as to how he stood with Subs, he sent in enough to convert him to Life Membership.
His head was large and a
In lively style with army
He kept them at it night
When things fouled up, or
For famous Lincoln,
He aptly sells insurance
FOOTNOTE: From the Rank and File of C Coy to FOOTSLOGGER: We agree with all you have said, and could add quite a bit more of a eulogistic nature. However while it may have suited the Shokos to rename him (and we agree that the name is suitable) his original name was BOMB HAPPY; and he is ours, and you can't take that away from us.
DO YOU REMEMBER?
Darby Young (HQ Coy) remembers: At the 41 mile peg, after hours of heavy strafing and bombing at treetop level by Jap planes, somebody said in exasperation: "Where are all our Pilots?" Ned Keleher piped up, in his inimitable fashion: "They're both down at Raffles, drinking beer."
Darby also remembers: At the little one-night concert at Caldecott Estate, the vocal trio on stage singing a parody on "My Little Yellow Basket", which went, inter alia:
"Tuk - Tukawishi, Tuk - Tukawishi, Yosh - Yoshimatu Harata, Harata, The Little Yellow Baskets You know what I mean."
This was followed by raucous laughter and loud clapping by the Yank, and all the non-understanding Japs occupying the first two or three rows of seats.
The first time this was put over was undoubtedly on the second night after our arrival-as P.O.W. at Selarang. Someone had found a tin of oil, and with a bit of string in it, we had some light. Stan Lugton had his trumpet, Monty Montgomery had two sticks and an upturned box, and the remarkable Len Ryan - who could make music out of anything - had nailed a batten to the side of an upturned garbage bin; and a bit of sisal rope from the top of the batten to a hole in the centre of the bin made him a one-string double bass. A few of us were having a real Jam Session of a Sing Song on the first floor of the Barracks building when we suddenly saw a grinning ape, complete with rifle and bayonet, which he thrust at the light, grunting and indicating that it should be out. A vigorous pointing at watches convinced him that it was O.K., so he stood there listening to our singing; and he fairly roared with delight, and demanded encores, when Charlie Annand said "Little Yellow Basket Len", and we broke into vociferous singing of the ordinary song, but fairly shouting and pointing to the Jap at the appropriate "Little Yellow Bastard" bit, as it came up each time - Ed.
Alan Penfold (BHQ) sent in some extracts from his Diary, and included a sizeable donation to help MAKAN along with its good work. Thanks, Alan, for both:
August,1944: Lt. Takahashi told -our Representative Officer (Col. Newey) that we must expect air-raids in the near future; and many stories about B.J. and Takahashi probably had some foundation of accuracy in their reporting. The Nippon Commander has been very fair in his dealings, and has a streak of natural humour, apparently.
One day, he is said to have come and laid his sword and spurs on. the A.I.F. Commander's table, and said: "Take them,: but one last request, let me keep one spur," "What for?" asked B.J. "Well, to grind coconuts." said Takahashi.
More Takahashi stories: "I know that the P.O.W’s know that Paris has fallen, and I don't mind them singing the 'Marsellaise'- but I do object to them teaching my Guards 'There’ll Always Be An England." "I don't like your men saying they'll be home for Christmas, but it's very hard for me to hear my own men saying that they'll be home for Christmas, too."
Alan also remembers, in November 1943, working at the Drome, near the beach, where natives were allowed to gather coconuts for their village; and one day were joined by Ripper Saron, an Australian-born Malay P.O.W. (2/26 Bn), He selected a tree close by to climb, as he usually did at lunch time. As he came down, however, a Nip Guard came along and motioned him to buzz off. "Clear out", in effect was what he said, "You shouldn't be here". Ripper, a very amazed Malay, took some ten minutes in explaining that he was actually an Australian P.O.W. soldier, and he did not want to 'Buzz off',
The Rotary Club of Young is organising a reunion of Ex-P.O.W. to be held at Young on the weekend of Saturday/Sunday, 18/19 Sept. next. They consider it a fitting venue, as it is the home town of Lieut-Col. Charles Anderson, V.C., who was himself a P.O.W.
The anticipated programme will consist mainly of a Race Meeting on Saturday afternoon, Dinner and entertainment on Saturday night - during which it is hoped that the Governor, Sir Roden Cutler, will be the Guest Speaker; and a march and wreath-laying ceremony on Sunday morning.
It is requested that anyone desiring to attend should register as soon as possible, and your Editor has a few of the Forms, which will be posted to you upon receipt of your telephoned or written request.
Should any further information be required, contact:
Mr. R.E. Bennett, High School, YOUNG. 2594
BATTALION REUNION DINNER
Preliminary Notice is given that our Annual Reunion will be held this year:
On Saturday, 20th
The Executive feel that this spot will be most suitable and, at a cheaper subscription, it will give infinitely more value than previous establishments. NOTE THE DATE NOW, in your Diary or on the Calendar, so that you will be. sure of attending his Function.
Kevin Ward reports the
position as at 23rd July:
Mrs I. Berman,
Discharged since last MAKAN:
Henry Convery (HQ Coy)
Tom Rockett (C Coy), -
Discharged since 1ast MAKAN:
Walter Douglas (D Coy) ,
The sudden death of David Lloyd, which occurred when MAKAN had been made up and printing had actually commenced, necessitated rearrangement of a couple of the pages and an attempt to use the back cover as an additional page. Whether your tyro Printer can get a Gestetner to operate successfully on art paper which has been deeply creased and folded as a cover remains to be seen. SERVICE CORNER had to be axed as well as mention of some late comers with Subs and a donation, but they will receive due mention in next issue.
Don't forget the invitation which has been extended to you to make any comment on the new presentation.