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Makan - No. 200

March/April 1972



Annual Sub: $1.50






On the morning of 15th January 1942, we were lying on the ground waiting for the Japanese to attack. I do not recall any semblance of fear of the immediate future in any person - that came a few days later, when we realised just what war meant.


I was behind a tree, talking to my schoolboy friend, Dicey Blackwood, who was also sheltering behind a rubber tree a few yards away. Dicey and I had grown up together in a small town. He was, like me, six feet six inches in height and of the same build. We were marvelling at the rain of latex, which was dropping from the trees like milk as the Japanese machine gun bullets chattered through the rubber. We were talking of our experience the previous night when we had been blooded by our first encounter with the Japanese.


Dicey said, "You know, some day this war will be over and we will all go home! Everything passes" he said "and one day it will even be 1950 instead of 1942!"


It was an impossible thought to me that some day we would wake up in the year 1950 - it seemed then to be centuries ahead.

Dicey Blackwood turned his face to me, laughing at my obvious consternation at the thought of the long tunnel of time required to reach 1950. He said, "One day!" and at that moment died from a machine gun burst in the head.


Dicey Blackwood never saw 1950, nor did over 300 of our friends.


It is over 21 years since 1950, 30 years since 1942,and although it all seems so long ago, the years have been enriched for me by the love of a group of men at whose very memory I feel a warm glow of happiness.


Our battalion of friends were cemented together in a bond of love which must have sprung, I think, in the main from the Old Man. His sympathy and understanding were unsurpassed. I know now what nightmares our married men must have endured worrying about their families. I know now what frightful agony Lofty Ambrose must have known when his son Bluey was killed and the body was not recovered.


Do you remember how Lofty went a little "odd" at Changi? If you do, you will remember the kindness of the Old Man and the respect he gave to Lofty during Lofty's period of nervous breakdown.


Two hundred issues of MAKAN span a long time, too long really, but its pages in over twenty years have contained no tinge of politics, nor hatred, nor special bandwagons. It has just been a portrayal of the happiness our Battalion share in their friendship with one another.


Sometimes, in my own job, I meet with hatred and injustice; it seems to be the expected thing if one is working for a job more slanted towards philosophy then finance. One year I was having a particularly bad time and the date of our reunion was coming up. My wife said: "Thank heavens for the reunion! It is one meeting where everybody loves one another."


It is true. The meetings of our dwindling ranks have never been a time for mournful "old soldier" reminiscences, but instead are always a joyful reunion, where sometimes our sides literally ache with laughter and joy just to hear the ridiculous things we say to one another.


Our Battalion contains many "big" men and many with great standing and reputation in society. It contains many who will never make the "big time" - nor would want to. At our meetings, we are all really equal, and enjoy being so. I believe that this equality in depth would rarely happen in other types of associations in the manner it does in ours.


Two hundred MAKANS! It’s been a long time. We are in different stations of life and have changed in many ways since the issue of the first modest issue of MAKAN, and yet the bond of love between these men has softened many a blow during the years. The bond of friendship has lifted many a man over a style.


One could never single out individuals, the list is almost never ending of those whom we loved and respected and who are no longer with us. I wish I could write an individual story on each one, they deserve it.


For me personally, one of my deepest sources of happiness is the knowledge that whilst I live I will continue to share with the remaining men of our Unit that love which sprang from our own adversity and from the example of Brigadier General Sir Frederick Galleghan.







The Meeting will be held this year on 14th April next at 8 p.m. at the Combined Services R.S.L. Club, 5 Barrack Street, Sydney; and a good rollup is requested. A Supplement is enclosed with this MAKAN which contains Notice of the Meeting, the Annual Report and Financial Statements, and is in handy form to bring to the Meeting with you.


As usual, arrangements have been made, for those wishing to, to dine at the Club at 6.30 p.m., prior to the Meeting; while those who wish to, may gather in the Barrack Bar from 5.30 p.m. onwards. In order to comply with Licensing Laws, and to save time with registrations when you arrive, will all those who will be attending either the Barrack Bar at 5.30 p.m. or the Dinner at 6.30 p.m., or both, please 'phone Phil Schofield by the morning of 14th April; and you will then be able to give your name to the Doorman upon arrival. Should you be able to turn up at the last moment, without having 'phoned, please advise the Doorman your name, that you are one of the 2/30 Bn., and ask for Phil Schofield. Also, 'phone if attending Meeting.




We are not hampered this year by Anzac Day falling on a Sunday, and though a Tuesday for the March may prove a bit awkward for some of our usual Long Distance Runners, it is hoped that we will have a good rollup of Members at the Rallying Point near the Registrar General's Office in Macquarie Street, and for the March, Doc Wilson will carry our Banner on this occasion, and Alan Pryde will lead the Battalion.


Through the good offices of Harry Head, we have been able to reserve the Upstairs Lounge Bar at the Forbes Tavern, corner King and York Streets, for a get together after the March. In these pleasant surroundings and with the provision of some eats to act as "blotting paper”, there should be plenty of scope to finish off those stories which were started at the Rallying Point, and which undoubtedly will have grown taller as the March progresses. We are hoping for a good attendance at this twenty seventh Anzac Day since our return, when your Editor expects to get some good copy for the next issue of MAKAN.




Last year we had an excellent representation of seven Members who made the trip from Sydney, while Bruce Pratt was on hand as a resident of Bathurst. While we cannot expect to have quite as many this year, and it is admitted that a Tuesday can be an awkward day for some, we would like as many as possible to make the trip this year - it is a most rewarding Pilgrimage.


So that we may be in a position to advise Bathurst R.S.L. particulars of those attending, and to appoint Official Representatives from the Association, would anyone who can make the trip please give Bruce Ford a 'phone call before 14th April next, and advise him of your ability to do so. Bruce will arrange accommodation as required.


SERVICE CORNER                                                                                            

ARMY CAREER - Reg Napper

PAINTS - Joe (M.R.) Geoghegan


LEGAL - The Editor



I stood on the shore - waves stirred below.

The moon was rising o'er, to set my world aglow.

A creamy crop - moon made

Danced atop the tiny waves

In endless motion, to and fro

On the ocean, down below.

But too soon, clouds passing by

Killed the moon as they filled the sky.

Long I waited, but, no more,

Sea and moon mated as I stood on the shore.


Ted Rickards (B Coy) MUNGINDI, 1972




Robert Wright (HQ Coy). He died at St. Vincent’s Hospital on 19 February, following heart surgery, at the age of 71 years.


Bob served in the Royal Navy in World War 1, having joined H.M.S. PEMBROKE at the age of 17 years; and he migrated to Australia in 1928 and settled in Perth. He had been one of the originals in England in the Scout Movement, and soon after arriving in Perth he set about forming Scouting Troops. In 1934, when a Jamboree was held in Melbourne, Bob and two other Scout Members peddled their bicycles, via the Nullarbor Plains, to eventually arrive in time to take part in the Jamboree. That feat indicated his application to arduous training and his determination to see a job through traits which he exemplified both in Civilian and Military life.


In 1936 his fiancée, Kathleen, came to Australia, and they were married that year; and at the outbreak of World War 11, Bob and his wife were on a farm property at the Rock. He enlisted at Wagga, and was an original member of the Signals Pl., HQ Coy.


Bob suffered more than his share of illness during P.O.W. days, which kept him at Changi the whole of the time; and only his fighting spirit and determination pulled him through on several occasions.


Following his return to Australia, he remained in the Army until he retired at the age of 56, to enter the service of David Jones Ltd. at their Main Store. He retired from there at the age of 65, and spent his last years with his family and tending his Wahroonga home, where he engaged in the maximum of rural activities of which space would permit.


At his cremation on 22 February, where a Masonic Service was also held, we were represented by our Patron, Colonel George Ramsay, ED, Vice President, Bob Jack, Noel Johnston, Jack Black, Joe Geoghegan, Les Hall, Doug McKinnon, Hank Massey, Frank Moore, Sid Musgrave, Johnnie Parsons, Alan Pryde, Phil Schofield, and we were joined by Mrs. Chub Ramsay. Our deepest sympathy is extended to Kathleen and son Ian, whose loss we share and mourn.




John William (Mick) McDonald (D Coy). He died at R.G.H., Concord on 1 March, at the age, of 59 years, after two months Hospitalisation, during which time he was in intensive care, and only his immediate family were allowed to visit him.


Born at Grenfell, Mick worked on his father's grazing property in that District until he enlisted in the A.I.F. An original Member of D Coy, he was unfortunate enough to be another of those who suffered more than his share of illness, which kept him at Changi for most of his P.O.W. days, though he was a member of the Adam Park Tunnelling Party at the end of the War. His tough wiry nature and his wry sense of humour were taxed to the utmost on many occasions to keep him going.


Following return to Australia, he married and settled on a property he acquired at Wirrinya, which he continued to operate until ill health finally caused his retirement about 10 years ago. He then moved to Miranda, where he lived until his recent terminal illness.


His indifferent health for some time past prevented any regular occupation, and Mick spent his time at Miranda with his family, and tending his garden, which was quite a show piece.


At his cremation on 4 March, we were represented by President; Arch Thorburn, Heck Campbell, Les Hall, Hank Massey, Andy Noble, Darby Young and Phil Schofield. Our deepest sympathy is extended to Muriel (Kim), stepdaughter Yvonne and her family, and Mick's surviving brothers and sisters, whose loss we share and mourn.




William John (Bill) Boyton (B Coy). He died, as the result of an accident in British Columbia, Canada, on 26th January last, at the age of 46 years.


Bill was an original member of B Coy, and during his P.O.W. days, he served on "F" Force and "X1" Tunnelling Party in Johore. Unfortunately, Bill was one of those who did not keep in touch with us following his return, and apparently went to live in Canada, where he married. Very little information on him can accordingly be furnished, and we are dependent upon a Death Notice in the Wagga "Advertiser”, which listed as Survivors: his wife Rae (of Vancouver) four brothers and one sister; to whom our deepest sympathy is extended, and whose loss we share and mourn.


Our records show Bill as being born on 8/2/20, making him almost 52 years of age at his death. If he was in fact only 46, then he must have been only 16 at Gemas and 19 when he returned from the War, making him by far the youngest in our Battalion.




Walter Geoffrey (Starver) Jones M.B.E. He died at Newcastle on 29th March at the age of 66, and was buried on 30th March. Details will be advised in next issue of MAKAN.




We also mourn with Reg Napper (D Coy) and his sister Marjorie (wife of Tom Davis - D Coy) and their families, the loss of  their mother who died at Grafton during the last weekend of February.






Kevin Ward reports the state as at 27/3/72: None in Hospital.

Discharged since last MAKAN:

From R.G.H., Concord: - Jack Goodwin (HQ Coy), Cec Larkin (HQ Coy), Harry Law (A Coy).

From St. Vincent’s:- Cappy Bligh (HQ Coy)






Many stories are told, but unseen,

Of Purple and Gold, in our tiny magazine.

As memory unwinds and rolls back the years, the stories we find are of comrades dear.

Some linger yet, in twilight shades, trying to forget the prices paid.

Sickness claimed, with suffering borne, they are the maimed of yesterday's storm.

Their deeds of glory are still untold,

But we know the story, Brothers of Purple and Gold.


Ted Rickards (B Coy), MUNGINDI, 1972.




In 1960, The Sunday Telegraph conducted a Literary Competition for Short Stories, and the story submitted by Les Hall was adjudged the Winning War Story, and was accorded Third Prize. In the overall Competition by kind permission of the Author and the Sunday Telegraph, the story is reprinted in two instalments in MAKAN.


"All mans must work in the rain", was an order Lieutenant Tokoro, Commandant of the Japanese P.O.W. Camp, Mergui, South Burma, issued when work began to transform a former rice paddy field into a landing strip for the Japanese Air Force.


From early morning until dusk the "white coolies" trudged back and forth, carrying a rice sack filled with mud and slung between two bamboo poles, Oriental fashion, Rain fell in torrents.


Others dug deep into the mud with heavy No. 10 type shovels to keep the long, unending lines of pack carriers on the move.


Japanese and Korean Guards never let up with their blood chilling cry of "Koora Koora" as bamboo and pick handle waddies beat a tattoo on protruding ribs, when tired, gaunt frames stole a moment's rest.


"Summer-Summer", "Whisky Bill" and "Straight Back", Japanese bash artists, vied with each other to get more mud away with their work groups than the other devil drivers.


As the weary lines of the 8th Australian Division and Allied guests of the Imperial Nipponese sloshed knee deep in mud, breasts burned with undying hatred for anything related to the Land of the Rising Sun. A hatred, and contempt that sizzled to white heat as plans were made to thwart the intentions of the Imperial Japanese Army.


One of these plans concerned food, the all important, all hour topic of starving men in all Japanese prisoner of war camps.


By June 15, 1942, the ravages of hunger were beginning to take toll of the boys in the Mergui Camp. Dysentery was rife, Beri Beri, Malaria and associated tropical diseases were laying waste the ranks. Two Aussies, Bill Trebuhs and Les Gordon, sack "porters", were nattering about piles of hot, luscious foods as they battled through the mud, until it became a consuming driving desire to augment their tiny daily rice ration.


They planned to break out of the Camp on alternate nights to beg, barter, or otherwise obtain food from the natives to share with their hut mates. Bill had sized up the compound fence and found a natural hollow under the barbed wire near the camp latrines. He was sure, under the cover of the inky blackness of' the night and the never ending rain, no guards would be near the area, and a breakout was comparatively easy.


When the guards eventually called a "yasmai" (rest period) and the half pannikin of rice was served that was to be dinner, it was the last straw. Their mess table was a mud heap, if they wanted to sit, and sweets comprised the pouring rain that filled their eating drinking utensil to overflowing.


Who could stand this torment of gnawing hunger? Who wanted to?


As the shades of night came down over the landing strip site, the long lines of Nipponese guests trudged back through the continual downpour to another meagre rice meal. Checked in through the camp gate, the various groups made for their huts and the first moments for hours out of the rain. The buckets of hot rice were brought to the mess lines, but again hardly enough was available to each man even to allay the tortures of hunger pains.


Bill Trebuhs had had it. He was determined to go out that night. He and his mates wanted food, they were going to have it. But although Bill was adamant about it, few thought he was really going. When the "tenkho" (muster) parade was over and the lads prepared to bed down on their bamboo slats, Bill Trebuhs was missing. inquiring voices were heard in the darkness of his hut as to his whereabouts. Few believed he had really set out on his dangerous, but well meaning mission.


They were wrong.


Lieutenant Tokoro was a cunning camp controller. He knew he had too few guards available for constant night patrol duty - certainly not enough to watch every inch of the barbed wire compound fence. There were no lights around the fence. He issued reward notices to the Mergui Police Force, promising to pay large sums for the capture of any prisoner who broke out of the compound. The Police wanted that money.


All the P.O.W’s knew of that order, but they also remembered the kindness of the Mergui folk who had offered to supply all the food required for the camp... free of charge. They could not forget the baskets of eggs that had at various times found their way into the camp under the cover of darkness. Why then should the loyalty of the local Police be doubted? They were just ordinary folk, and would help, if they could, as did members of their families and other villagers.


Remembering all this, Bill Trebuhs was on his way out. He found the depression under the bottom strand of barbed wire, rolled under it very carefully, lay for a moment as his eyes tried to pierce the rain filled black of the night. With one ear close to the muddy undergrowth, he tried to pick up the sound of the plodding shoe shod feet of a guard or guards. Moments passed. He heard nothing, he could see little. Was the coast clear?


Gradually, inch by inch, he wormed and wriggled his way across the 10 yards that separated the fence and the fringe of jungle growth. Soon, he thought, he would be amongst the fallen tree trunks he had seen before when he had planned this very move. Like a snake slithering through ooze, he was getting closer and closer to the jungle cover. His outstretched right arm touched a tree trunk. Now he was safe! Slowly he began to get to his feet.


Suddenly he froze and his entrails turned over... What was that noise? Hardly daring to take a breath, he listened as blood pounded in his temples. His nerves were as taught as a piano string. His chest felt as if it would burst. Sweat, mingled with rain poured down his gaunt frame as the night noises of the tree growth stilled like magic. His senses warned him of a presence, man or beast. What was it?


(Concluding instalment in next issue)




It might have been reasonably supposed that the necessity for all Members to answer a Circular and send in Subs for 1972, would result in a wealth of copy for your Editor, but such has not been the case. Most of our Members seem to suffer from Writers' Cramp, or some such, and this is particularly noticeable with those who had made donations, or had brought their Membership Subs into a much advanced position.


Some of the replies were very short, and occasionally inclined to be rude - with reference to jumpers and things - but what does one say to a Member from the Bush who sent in $50.00 when we were short of funds and when given the opportunity of having it treated as Subs in Advance, not only refused to do so, but sent in another $15.00 "for a few years of MAKAN"; without including any news of himself or his family.


This sort of action has occurred in over 100 cases, while the total amount involved has been considerable; and the Executive and the Editor/Chief Correspondent can only express their sincere appreciation of their generosity.


In similar vein, many Members, of whom little or nothing has been heard for many years, have sent in amounts substantially in advance of the amount required for a year's Subs, without any news of themselves or their families, and with the brief instruction: "one (sometimes two or three) year's Subs. Use the balance as you see fit". To these, also, we extend our sincere appreciation of their generosity.


In order to avoid offending or embarrassing any of them (in some cases definite instructions have been received not to mention their generosity) it is not proposed to publish any lists of those concerned, but we can assure them that MAKAN is now established on a sound financial basis and, largely with the help of the wives (his mainstay for Country News) your Editor will do his utmost to maintain MAKAN as a Publication worthy of the confidence and the support you have given it.


Although a few tardy ones have still to come to light, there have been sufficient Subs for 1972 paid to enable us to proceed with an application, in the near future, for registration for Posting as a Periodical. This issue will have to go out at the old Postage rates, but you should receive the next issue at the much reduced rate, which registration will entitle us to have.


Quite a number of Members have expressed appreciation of MAKAN, and it would be ridiculous for your Editor to pretend that he is not pleased and flattered by the remarks which certainly give a boost to his ego and make him feel that any effort he may put into it is well worth while.




Stewart Blow (HQ Coy) must have been really driven by Ruth to put pen to paper, even though very briefly. He mentioned a recent holiday visit by Mick Lovell (HQ Coy) to Berry, where the local hospitality apparently appealed to Mick (even though poor Stewart complained of numerous trips to the garbage dump to dispose of the empties) to a point where he was even nibbling at the thought of acquiring a 20 ac. farmlet. Stewart also mentioned seeing Ack Ack Martin (who by the way is known as Bob in Huskisson) and Alan Charlton (both HQ Coy) at the wood chop at the local Show.




Tom Davis (D Coy) got a guilty conscience and pounded the typewriter to some degree from Cobar, where he has been for the past 10 years as Superintendent/Secretary of the Ambulance Service. As the Service depends entirely on local support, Tom has been flat out raising funds in a rural community badly affected by the current slump. The Town's salvation has been the Copper/Zinc mine, which has injected some cash into the community; and work has commenced on a second mine, which will probably be producing in 1976. Tommy admitted to being well, even if sporting a middle age spread, and advised that No. 1 Son, who will be 21 this year, is in the Commonwealth Bank at Nyngan, and No. 1 Daughter (18 this year) is in the Bank of N.S.W. at Cobar. He didn't mention otherwise, so it can only be assumed that Marjorie and the children are well; but he did mention that Charlie Taylor (D Coy) is in Bourke, and reputedly keeping well.




Very few will believe this, but Jock McKenzie (B Coy) actually wrote in from Narrandera. Jock apparently hasn't changed much, and though it was like extracting a tooth to get a few cents out of him, the extraction proved successful and we had quite a few cents left over after recording a couple of years Subs for him. He had some nice things to say about MAKAN, and in particular about the fine job done by Bessie Ellis for so many years. As he may not be able to get down for Anzac Day this year, Jock sent his best wishes and regards to all the boys.




There must have been something in the air down the Riverina way as Heck (Curly) Heckendorf (BHQ) also enclosed a long letter with his remittance, and included a Newspaper clipping concerning the prize crop of Olympia wheat grown by Heck and his son, Michael, which won the Griffith Division of the Macquarie Wheat Farmer Competition, as well as the Royal Agricultural Society's Riverina Division Competition. With an estimated yield of 44 bushels per acre (and your Scribe can remember helping to take off an 18 bushel crop in 1920 with a horse drawn harvester which was considered excellent in those days) it really must be a boomer. Anyway, it won a trip to New Zealand for Heck and Rose, who left on 24th March - a bit tough on Michael, I guess he did most of the work. The Heckendorf family are all well - Michael (19) got his Higher School Certificate last year, and is on the property, Joan (18) also got her H. S. C. last year, and will be entering Royal Melbourne Nurses Training College later this Year. Rowan (11) and Tony (10) are still at the local Primary School, and are budding Cricketers. Heck also sees some of the boys down that way from time to time, including, Vic Hamlin (C Coy) "the eligible bachelor from Boree Creek" who "would appear to be living in a very lush paddock - is fit and well".




That Riverina bug bit Les Perry (D Coy) who seldom, if ever puts his pen to paper. Margaret must have drawn the whip and the spurs to very good effect, or maybe a brief note from Les Hall (who helped despatch last MAKAN) stirred him into action. At all events, Les had some nice remarks to pass about the good jobs done by Les Hall and Alan Pryde on "A" Force, and went on to give some news of the boys down that way: "I am still at the Forestry Commission's Amenity Nursery in Narrandera, right near a beautiful Camping Area, so if any of our lads happen to be holidaying in this area, I would like to see them. Terry O'Rourke is the Forester and does a good job in the Town, being Secretary of the R.S.L., and a Member of the Hospital Board and the Housing Commission; and works hard to help any of the Ex-Servicemen down on their luck.   He was a Member of the local Shire Council for two terms."


'Keith Mulholland has been Manager of the local Bowling Club for 26 years, and pulls a good beer. Wife, Ruth, works at the local Newsagency. Vic Hamlin is still on his farm at Boree Ck. (28 miles from here). Les Parfrey is on his farm at Blighty, which is between Finley and Deniliquin. Brother George had an adjoining property, but has now retired, and has gone to live in Wangaratta. George, like me, married late in life, but made a good choice in his wife. My wife, Margaret and myself have three daughters aged 17, 15 and 9 years respectively. The eldest daughter, Annette, is nursing at the Prince of Wales Hospital at Randwick."


"Max Pile is still the 'Squire of Berrigan', and I saw him last football season. He has a son attending the Grammar School in Geelong." (Not a bad effort for a bloke who never writes - Ed.)




The bug had no chance with Keith Mulholland (D Coy) so Ruth did the right thing, and advised that on a recent holiday, through Wellington, Dubbo and Muswellbrook, she and Keith attended an Armistice Day Dinner at Muswellbrook and met up with a number of P.O.W’s from the Hunter River Valley. On their return from that trip on 20th November last, Ruth and Keith were the guests of their only daughter, Catherine, for their 25th Wedding Anniversary. Catherine is a Machinist/Typist with Wholesale Produce Store at Narrandera. On 15th February last, they had their usual wreath laying ceremony, and a bunch of them (including the Mulhollands and the O'Rourkes) gathered at Les and Margaret Perry's house after the event. She mentioned that the "Mayor of Boree Creek" is still going strong, and that they often see Jock McKenzie, who calls in to see how they are going. Keith is still keeping reasonably fit, and sent his regards to all.




The bug must have then shot over the Border and hit Ringwood, in Victoria, causing Johnnie Walker (BHQ) to put pen to paper. Apart from a brief sighting at B.J.'s Funeral (when we got the information that he had retired from the Army as a Lieut. Col) Johnnie has remained a silent member; but we are now able to inform you that since retiring from the Army, he has been with Brambles, though he now proposes to retire from there at the end of June next; when he and Beryl will be heading for Queensland. Daughter, Lindin (21) will remain in Victoria, working, and son, Stephen (19) will remain at La Trobe University to complete his Science Course. Johnnie concluded with some nice remarks about MAKAN, which are very much appreciated.




It didn't need the bug to pop down to Moonee Ponds, Vic, as we do hear from him upon occasions, and have received his regrets at being so far away from the centre of things, but Des Gee (HQ Coy) wrote in and advised that he is keeping fit enough to romp in with 39 Stableford Points the other day and beat all the young blokes at golf at Royal Park. As a Quality Control Manager, and doing a million odd jobs around the house to get it ready for sale and a move to another area, he reckons he is kept pretty busy. He didn't mention how the rest of the family were faring, healthwise, so they must be O.K.




Round about early January this year, a Mr. Mike Cavanough, with his tongue in his cheek, or seeking notoriety, or, as one correspondent put it, having "gotten himself mixed in the wrong company”,…..he is only writing his version on his actual experience", touched off a lively spate of correspondence in the Canberra "Times", which was aimed at denying Mr. Cavanough's allegations of desertion and cowardice among Australian Soldiers in Singapore. Along with many others, including Sir Alexander Downer (the Australian High Commissioner to Britain), Arnie Ainsworth (HQ Coy) hopped off his bike, and had quite a few words to say in the "Times". He was good enough to send in the clippings, which made very interesting reading, and contained such expressions as "bloody nonsense" - not by Arnie, he wouldn't be so rude. Joan added a few lines to Arnie's letter from Yarralumla advising that his eyesight is failing (what a lot of us enjoy that complaint!) but he can still give plenty of cheek. Arnie and Joan have one daughter, who is married but they didn't mention any qualification for the Grandpa Stakes. They sent their best wishes to all.




Our Kyogle Correspondent, Nancy Power (wife of Artie D Coy) had already dragged Subs in Advance out of Artie, but, probably to celebrate the marriage of their youngest daughter on 1/1/72, she dragged a further sizeable sum out of him, and sent it down as a donation. In her accompanying news, she mentioned that Artie had had a few days off, but was back at work again. Alf Carroll (D Coy) spent the weekend with them recently, and is O.K. Karl Sinclair (D Coy) was not so well, and was in Hospital at the end of February; while Carl Odgers (HQ Coy) was certainly not 100%, and spent a lot of time in Hospital. A bright spot was the news that Bill and Flo Sorenson (D Coy) were O.K.




Alice Larkin (widow of Stan - B Coy) was down for a Tribunal Hearing towards the end of last year, and mentioned that eldest son, Jeff had won four awards at Ballina High - three for Sport and the major one for Scholarship, Leadership and Sportsmanship. In a recent letter, enclosing a Press clipping of the opening of the new $1 Mil. R.S.L. Club at Evans Head (at which Slim de Grey headed the Entertainers) she mentioned that Jeff had passed his School Certificate with 5 A’s and a Credit, and had won a Bursary at Ballina High for the remaining two years. Alice also advised that George Lister's (B Coy) daughter, Maree, obtained 6 A's at the Exam, and also won a Bursary. Our congrats to the pair of them. George, of course, never puts pen to paper, but his wife did send his Subs in. How come you didn't do any bragging about Maree, Ness? especially as the child obviously got her brains from your side of the family.




Another wonder of the age occurred when Paddles (Jack J.) Clune (A Coy) unwound his fingers and grabbed a pen.   After saying a few nice things about MAKAN, and advising that he now lived at Taree (about 4 miles from Purfleet, out the Old Bar Road) Jack went on: "I left the farm (Mitchell Island) two years ago, and bought a house with 20 acres of land up Old Bar Road; and I am a Wardsman in the Manning River District Hospital now. My son got married, and rented the farm off me, so I have given up cow cockying, and am wiping dirty bottoms instead." All the boys in Taree are O.K. Bill Newton's wife is home again, after having a stroke, which put her in Hospital for a while, and is still paralysed down one side. Bill is not keeping good health himself, and he left work to look after his wife. Harold Hogan works in Hards Auto House, Taree, spray painting, and wishes to be remembered to the boys."


"This scribble leaves my wife, Una and myself O.K., and heres hoping it finds you and yours the same. Give my regards to all the boys. If any of them are up this way, I would love to see them - we have a nice R.S.L. Club in Taree." (Ed's note: Jack, will you please give me more information on Harold Hogan - when and where he was with us. I can only remember Leo Hogan (D Coy) in the Battalion).




Another of the "long time no see or hear froms", Rod Anderson (A Coy) added a few words when sending in a generous idea of a few years Subs from Hermit Park, Q. Rod hasn't been to Sydney for years - seldom even gets as far South as Brisbane - and so loves the hot weather to a point where he reckons he will never live in the South again. He sent his very best regards to all the boys, and is apparently O.K., as he didn't say otherwise. Do you remember that memorable occasion, Rod, when you established what surely must be Military History - a Lieut. Col and what was left of his Battalion under command of a Major, Company Commander, in battle?




Ken Crispin, (BHQ) probably reckoned that he and Alan Penfold wrote themselves out when they produced "Galleghan's Greyhound" so he has been silent for quite a while; but he used up the back of his Circular when sending in his Subs, and we got some news. He still works at Australian Gas Light Coy, where he has been for 44 years, and he and Joan are well; though Ken suffers from arthritis and a peptic ulcer. Ken went on to say: "Son, Bill is back from France, after studying at the University of Montpelier, and now has his Doctorate of French Literature. He and his wife are heading for Townsville, where he will be teaching in the Grammar School and hoping for a University appointment later. Our daughter, Ruth has just finished Primary School and starts High School in February."

"We haven't seen much of the old crowd lately, except for Alex and Gwenyth Campbell, who were looking well and with whom we spent an enjoyable day. We really must make the effort, and see a few of the others." (I agree - Ed.)




Val (wife of Jack Ellis - HQ Coy) at least got Jack to sign the bottom of the Circular, but she had to sign the cheque and write the letter when sending in his Subs from Ootha. With their two eldest girls married (and they have produced two granddaughters) and the youngest daughter working in Sydney, Val and Jack are back to the Darby and Joan stage; but in between being busy on the property they manage to play Bowls for the Condobolin Club, and Jack gets around a bit with the Pennants Team. He saw Ernie Willis (HQ, Coy) in Parkes, at the beginning of February, and after a bit of a bad trot of late, Ernie appeared to be much better. Apart from visits from the McKnight’s (Gordon and Nancy HQ Coy, who incidentally celebrated the same month of October, 1971, as did the Ellis', for their 25th Wedding Anniversary. Val and Jack were pleased to have Bessie Ellis with them for a few days last year. The Ellis family are all well - even Jack, who has put on weight around the middle and has a gammy knee, which plays up now and then.




Helen Kennedy (wife of Tom - C Coy) wrote in from Cardiff, sent in his Subs plus, and advised that Tom is keeping pretty good, in, spite of diabetes and other ailments. The Kennedy’s are well in the forefront in the Grandpa Stakes. Two daughters were married during 1971, making six children married, and as the first four have produced 15 grandchildren to date, Helen made a rough guess that that number will possibly improve with the recent marriages. The only one left at home is young Tom (14) who is a bit of a wizard on the organ which they bought him. Helen sent their very best wishes to all the boys, and was game enough to add that anyone who happened to be up that way at any time would be welcome to a comfortable bed, and a chance to have a long "pow wow" about "those" days.




It would appear that many of the Country wives are prepared to take the risk, as Dorothy Andrew (wife of Dick (A.J.) - B Coy) sent in his Subs from Bethungra, and ended with the invitation that if any of the boys were passing through, the Andrews have a spare room with twin beds. Dick has had a bit of a bad trot of late, necessitating a couple of spells in St. Vincent’s, but he is now on the up and up.




Joyce Dare (wife of Tom - C Coy) couldn't get Tom to reply, so she sent in his Subs plus from Gloucester, and advised that Tom was not exactly 100%, having suffered a slight stroke about 3 years ago, with a further turn last December. However, his job at the local R.S.L. doesn't call for any hard manual work, and he is able to cope quite satisfactorily. Joyce mentioned that the rest of the Dare family were O.K., but didn't give any particulars (vital statistics next time, please Joyce - Ed.) Joyce also reckons that Gloucester is a pretty place to spend a day and have a yarn, and she recommends a detour through there when going North, via the Coast.




Ted Campbell (HQ Coy) was another who copped that Riverina bug, as he wrote a letter from "Bygrove" (down Wagga way) when sending in a generous estimate of his Subs. At that time (just before Christmas) he was flat out with shearing and hay harvest, and had a moan or two at the long days which daylight saving caused. Ted averred that he was fit - apart from an odd ulcer or two - and expressed the opinion that a couple of others down his way, Clyde Blencowe (D Coy) and Bluey (A.E.) Gray (C Coy) , were also fit.. Wife, Thelma was then in Hospital with a minor but painful complaint (which was probably why Ted had to do the writing) but Ted expected to retrieve her before Christmas. He sent his regards to all the boys, with a special "Hello" to Phil Bailey.




Jasper (Ken) Parry (D Coy) had promised to send in some vital statistics, which he did when sending in his Subs plus from Brisbane. It would appear that Betty can still manage to put up with him, as they are both keen Bowlers, and she is prepared to play mixed Bowls with him on a Sunday afternoon. Son, Ross graduated as a Dentist last Christmas, and is currently serving with the R.A.N. as a Surgeon Lieutenant. Daughter, Lyndell is in the Second Year of her Social Work Degree at the University of Queensland, which pleased the Parry's very much, as the Uni had imposed a strict quota on those proceeding from First Year. Youngest, Ken Jnr (13) is in Sub Junior Year at School, and is very interested in cricket and football. Ken advised that all the Parries were well, and in tip top order.




One cannot help but feel sorry for the wives - it would seem that a lot of our coves married, and appointed their wives as unpaid Secretaries. Mavis Richardson (wife of Keith - HQ Coy) sent in Keith's Subs plus from Lismore, and admitted to reading MAKAN with interest, often before Keith did. Keith works at the Lismore Base Hospital, where Mavis reckons there are lots of pretty Nurses, and though he hasn't been exactly 100% of recent times, he manages to get by O.K. They have a Farm at Tullera, with lots of pigs and some vealers, which Mavis apparently keeps going with the help of the children. Ronald (18) is an apprenticed Painter, Kevin (16) is in Fourth Form at High School and Judith (13) started High School this year.




And there we must end for the time being. With the Supplement of 8 pages, the main issue has to be restricted to 20 pages to keep within 7c Postage. More later - unlimited when we receive Registration for Posting as a Periodical - Ed.


Supplement with MAKAN No. 200 March/April 1972




Notice of MEETING - Page 1

Annual Report - 2

Financial Statements:

(a) Receipts and Payments - 7

(b) Accumulated Funds - 8




Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Members of 2/30 Bn. A.I.F. Association will be held in the Meeting Room, Second Floor, Combined Services - R.S.L. Club, 5 Barrack Street, Sydney on Friday, 14th April, 1972, at 8 o'clock p.m.




1. Apologies

2. Confirmation of Minutes of last Annual General Meeting. Matters arising therefrom.

3. Annual Report and Financial Statements.

4. Election of Office Bearers for ensuing twelve months.

5. Appointment of Honorary Legal Officer.

6. Appointment of Honorary Auditor/s.

7. Appointment of two Official Representatives for Bathurst.

8. Any other business which may properly be brought forward.


Dated at Sydney this 24th day of March, 1972

By order of the Central Executive





The year under review has been dominated by the loss of our rounder and First Patron, Brigadier Sir Frederick Galleghan, DSO, OBE, ISO, ED, who died suddenly on 20th April last, and was buried with full Military Honours from his Parish Church of St. Clements, Mosman on 23rd April. A vast congregation attended the Services and included Members of the Association who came from as far a field as Cairns in the North and Melbourne in the South to pay their last respects. The esteem in which he was held was exemplified by the glowing tributes to his memory which appeared in the media throughout Australia, and in the more than 2,500 personal messages sent direct to Lady Galleghan.


A small group of his friends have been meeting with a view to establishing a Memorial Committee, whose chief objective is to be the publication, of B.J.'s Biography, and the possible establishment of a Scholarship for the benefit of Youth.




Our Annual General Meeting, held on 22nd April last, was well attended, and resulted in the appointment of Colonel George Ramsay ED as Patron, and he had proved a worthy successor to B. J. At that Meeting, we also learned of the retirement from office of Jack Boss as Honorary Treasurer and Bessie Ellis as Chief Correspondent. After so many years of devoted service, during which the Ellis and Boss families have proved a tower of strength to the Association, their loss has left a gap which has not been easy to fill.


The Meeting was also responsible for several amendments to our Constitution which, inter alia, established MAKAN as our Official Publication and provided for the charging of an Annual Subscription Rate for it.


Anzac Day March in Sydney was well attended by 100 Members who were led by Noel Johnston, with Harry Riches carrying our Banner, which had a black rosette at the staff head in memory of B. J. In the absence of B. J., George Ramsay led the 8th Division; and Des Duffy led 27th Brigade H. Q.


Eric Arps and Bruce Ford headed the largest contingent for many years (seven Members of the Association) to Bathurst for our Memorial Cairn Service on Anzac Day afternoon, when the opportunity was taken to present to the Bathurst R.S.L. Band our Trophy which we have provided for Annual Competition amongst the Junior Members of the Band, as a mark of appreciation of that Club's genuine and continuing interest in our affairs. It was the opinion of Members of the R.S.L. that the attendance at our Cairn on that occasion was the largest they had seen for many years.


Following the death of our old friend and the Custodian of our Cairn, Mr. Herbert Pratley, we were most fortunate to have Bruce Pratt and his family resident in Bathurst, and they have taken over those duties.


A new venue, R.A.N. House, was chosen for our Annual Reunion Dinner, held on 20th November last, which was attended by 75 Members. The facilities afforded us were rated the best ever, and it was obvious from the lively conversation of the many groups that the Reunion Dinner was a most successful venture.


In lieu of the former Wreath Laying at the Cenotaph on 14th January, our Gemas Day Commemoration was held this year on a Sunday afternoon, 16th January last, at our Memorial at H. Q. 17 R.N.S.W.R. at Pymble. Despite the rain, which fell during the whole of the afternoon, 40 Members of the Battalion and over 60 Next-of-Kin, wives, children and friends gathered for the simple but impressive Commemoration, followed by Afternoon Tea in the Drill Hall. The obvious success of this event has established it as the Family Gathering of the Year - one that we can look forward to with pleasurable anticipation.


Reports have also been received of good representation by our Members and their wives at the Ex-P.O.W. Reunions held at Grafton, Ballina, Lismore and Narrandera during the year; while a further 40 Members and wives gathered for Dinner at the Mullumbimby R.S.L. during a visit by our Editor/Chief Correspondent and his wife to that area during October/November.




Although at the outset he declared that he neither volunteered for the job nor sought election, but was merely detailed to do it, our present Editor of MAKAN has settled in and has maintained the high standard of the publication over the past twelve months. At his instigation, our Constitution was amended to ensure continuance of MAKAN by incorporating its publication as one of the Objects of the Association, and by giving the Executive the power to set an Annual Fee, to be paid by all Life as well as Ordinary Members, to provide the funds necessary for its production. In order to economise, and to keep the Subscription Rate as low as possible, our Editor undertook to produce MAKAN on a Gestetner; and the Executive purchased, second hand and at bargain prices, a Gestetner and an Olympia Typewriter for this purpose.


Despite the fears expressed by some that revolutionary moves of this nature might meet with considerable opposition and result in a loss of Members, and at least a reduction in the circulation, the Editor's optimism, coupled probably with his enthusiasm, has proved justified, and circulation has held its own, while Subscriptions already paid in Advance auger well for the future of the Journal.

In order to lessen the burden imposed by the printing, making up and despatching of MAKAN, Les Hall recently volunteered to help, and we have been assured by the Editor that the assistance afforded by Les is invaluable, and is deeply appreciated.




Financial Statements are submitted by the Honorary Treasurer for your consideration, and are recommended for your approval. After meeting the Capital payment involved in the purchase of a Gestetner and a Typewriter at a total cost of $265.00, our finances show a very satisfactory position; largely due to the introduction of the charging of an Annual Subscription for MAKAN, and the generosity of many Members who have not only paid their Subscriptions in Advance for several years, but have added Donations as well. This will undoubtedly result in reduced receipts during the current year, but we already have funds in hand to cover normal outgoings and provide for the production of MAKAN for the current year; while the regular flow of normal Subscriptions should continue our finances in a healthy condition in the immediately foreseeable future.


In order to maintain their late father's association with the Battalion and as a Memorial to their brother, Richard, Dr. John Sands and his sister Mrs. Geoffrey Lamble, have endowed the provision of the Covers for MAKAN. This is indeed a most generous gesture, and of considerable financial help to the Association.


No further expenditure of any magnitude is envisaged for any items of equipment, and it is felt that there are no matters of importance which require to be brought to your notice.




Despite losses through deaths and the elimination of some Members whose Subs were in arrears for over twelve months (and repeated requests for payment had met with no response) actual Membership increased by 17 during the year. In all, 33 additional Members were obtained, many of them being former Members who were persuaded to renew their Subscriptions after a lapse of many years.


Largely due to their failure to advise change of address, we continue to lose contact with Next-of-Kin of deceased Members, but despite these losses, the numbers of those with whom we are in touch increased by two during the year.




Kevin Ward continues to direct the Hospital Visitation, and is often troubled by lack of advice of Members entering Hospital. He cannot arrange to have someone visited in Hospital if he has no knowledge of that Member's presence in Hospital, and though R.G.H. endeavour to enter in our Book at the Enquiry Office at the Entrance Gate the names of those Ex-Members of 2/30 Bn. who are there, they often miss out - sometimes through our man being shown in his records as being discharged from a Con. Depot or A.G.H., or the like. One sure way of being visited is to ensure that Kevin is advised of your entry into R.G.H., or elsewhere.


Unfortunately - probably due to our advancing years - the numbers requiring Hospitalisation appear to be increasing, and during the year under review, Kevin and his team have made contact with 43 at R.G.H., 4 at Lady Davidson and 3 at other Hospitals.




It is with the deepest regret that we record the passing of the following Members during the year:

Brigadier Sir Frederick Galleghan, DSO, OBE, ISO, ED.

Grahame Sands,

Ralph Bradley,

Len Dawson,

Sid Kirschler,

David Lloyd,

Tom Rockett,

Vince Swanson (Swain),

George Taylor.


To their widows and families, we extend our deepest sympathy.






We would find it difficult to carry on without the understanding and help of our Good Ladies and our special thanks are accorded to Bessie Ellis, Cecilie Boss, Betty Collins and Dorothy Ward for the excellent services rendered by them.


Our thanks and appreciation are also extended to Dr. John Sands and Mrs. Geoffrey Lamble, Bruce Pratt and his family, Bill Clayton, F. W. Duesbury and Coy, Bathurst Sub-Branch R.S.L., 17 R.N.S.W.R., and the many others who continue to show a warm hearted interest in our well being.


In conclusion, the retiring Members of your Executive wish to thank all those Members who, by their ready cooperation and assistance throughout the year, have helped so much in running the affairs of the Association.


Bruce Ford



Arch Thorburn


SYDNEY, 24th March, 1972

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