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Makan - No. 201

May/June 1972



Annual Sub: $1.50

Registered for Posting as Periodical: Category A




The Annual General Meeting was held at the Combined Services Club on the evening of Friday, 14th April. Only 14 of us had gathered for the meal, and this lower than usual number, which was somewhat disappointing, reflected the attendance at the subsequent meeting.

However, there were no contentious matters on the Agenda, and none was raised during the general business, so the meeting proceeded smoothly; and the election of Office Bearers resulted in all being returned to office in their former capacity, with the addition of Joe (Merv) Geoghegan to the Committee.

The Hon. Treasurer, Alan Pryde, announced that he had now joined the ranks of the retired gentry, and he and Betty were setting off in May for an Overseas trip of a few months duration. Subject to confirmation by the Executive at its next Meeting, Phil Schofield will assume the duties, as Acting Hon. Treasurer, during Alan's absence.


Bob Jack has given preliminary Notice that he has made the booking, and the Annual Reunion Dinner will be held this year on Saturday, 18th November next at Royal Australian Naval House, 32 Grosvenor Street, Sydney; where similar arrangements to last year will be the order for the night.

Those who attended the last Dinner will recall the satisfaction expressed by all at the venue, the catering and the serving of refreshments; and we are looking forward to an even larger attendance this year. Although it is appreciated that it is perhaps a bit much to expect Country Members to travel large distances to attend the Reunion Dinner, they are assured of a right royal welcome and a good time, if they can manage to make it.

Jot it down now, in your Diary or on the kitchen calendar or wherever you record engagements, so that you will be sure of attending on 18th November next.



The weather was perfect for the March, and we mustered 100 at the Assembly Point; where a good hour and a half was spent in pleasant greetings and reminiscences (probably aided a bit by Snowy Mason at his Aid Post) before we set off.

Although he was unable, healthwise, to accept the invitation to accompany the Leader of 8 Div in the official jeep, our Patron, accompanied by Mrs. Ramsay and son, Max, was well enough to attend at the Assembly Point; where a convenient bench on the footpath enabled him to sit and greet the boys. Des Duffy had no chance of completing the March, but he also attended at the Assembly Point to have a yarn with the boys.

Alan Pryde led the Battalion on this occasion, followed by Doc Wilson, who carried the Banner, and President Arch Thorburn. At the Legacy Post in Martin Place an 'Eyes Left' was accorded Lady Galleghan; and all our thoughts were with her as we remembered the loss we had all suffered just a little over twelve months ago.

For 25 years our beloved B. J. endeavoured to have a satisfactory Band within reasonable proximity of the Bn., and we have enjoyed (suffered would be the appropriate word) all types of accompaniment to our marching; most of which had us doing a modified tango/highland fling on the way around, due to the frequent changes in tempo, and the necessity for us to skip along with constant changes of step. On this occasion, we had the St. Mary’s District Band located a mere 30 yards in front of us, and their crisp, sparkling rhythm was a pleasure to the ears and heaven to march to. So we did the March with shoulders back and an elastic step that reminded us of those other days when we were a lot younger; and without a single change of step. Alan Pryde and several others sought out the Band after the March, and expressed our appreciation of their sterling effort.

The reservation made by Harry Head at an upstairs lounge of the Forbes Tavern (corner King and York Streets) for our gathering after the March was a whole-hearted success. Aided by a copious supply of sandwiches, which were provided by Betty and Harry Collins, together with the courteous and pleasant service provided by Zara and her cobber, we enjoyed one of the best get-togethers we have had; and the braggings and tall stories flowed freely until the very late afternoon. All agreed that Harry should use his best endeavours to make the venue a permanent booking for our get-togethers.

Some of us, and certainly your Scribe, probably suffered a bit the next day and took a while to recover; but our Anzac Day gathering, with the greetings at the Assembly Point, the solemnity of the March with the remembrance of our Fallen Comrades, and the subsequent get-together combine to make one of the highlights of the year.


We normally have official representatives from Sydney attend at our Cairn Service at Bathurst on Anzac afternoon, but, after some deliberation, the Executive decided that Country Members should represent us this year; and Hon. Sec., Bruce Ford was assigned the task of providing them. He eventually announced our representatives as Athol Charlesworth (from Leura), Jack Folkard (West Wyalong) and Norm King (Golspie) who were joined by Bruce Pratt, a resident of Bathurst and Curator of our Cairn.

Just to make sure that we would have some news of the happenings on the day, we wheedled reports out of both Athol Charlesworth and Bruce Pratt; and from Athol's report we quote:

Norm King, Jack Folkard and myself arrived on Anzac morning and were joined by Bruce Pratt prior to the March and Carillon Service. We were also made most welcome by Clive Osborne, President and Colin Watson, Secretary/Manager of the Bathurst R.S.L.

After the Carillon Service, which was most impressive, we visited the 8 Div Memorial and the Warriors' Chapel, and then on to Bruce Pratt's home, where Marjorie served a very nice luncheon,

At the Cairn, which Bruce had in perfect order, the attendance was approximately 150, plus Band, Guard etc. Clive Osborne made the introductions. Councillor Locke (Turon Shire) addressed the Gathering, Archdeacon Ellis said the prayers; and the Guard was provided by Cadets of Scots School, Bathurst. Jack Folkard placed a wreath on the 9 Div Memorial, and I placed a wreath on our Cairn and responded to Councillor Locke's address; Jack Folkard recited the Ode; Norm King presented our trophy to the most improved Junior Member of the Band, who was obviously delighted.

To conclude the day, Norm, Jack and myself attended the War Cemetery Ceremony at 5 p.m., and the lowering of the flags at the Carillon at 6 p.m.

We were overwhelmed by the reception, kindness, and interest in our Battalion by the Sub-Branch, the Club, and the citizens of Bathurst; and we thank them all most sincerely.

Bruce Pratt reported similarly on the events and stressed the pleasure he and Marjorie had in meeting the boys, and Jack's wife, Monica, who also made the trip; and who was very happy to meet up with Dean Barker at the Warriors' Chapel, having met the Dean previously on his trips to West Wyalong. After confirming Athol's recital of events, Bruce added:- "The large gathering heard speeches by.......together with very creditable performances by our own Athol, Norm and Jack. They seem to have all acquired a little of B.J.'s eloquence." Bruce also paid tribute to Clive Osborne and Col Watson for their most efficient planning, which takes all of the worry from our representative’s shoulders.


Why do we march? Why are we here to-day? For "Dead dreams of days forsaken", or do we commemorate, and give respect to our dead? Can aught we give compare with what we get from them?

In truth, they give to us a, priceless heritage, an inner sanctity their hardy sacrifice has won. They give to us a peace, and quiet courage of the soul. Need any ask us why we march to-day?

A. Hyslop (BHQ) Sydney, 25th April,1972.


Walter Geoffrey-Jones (HQ Coy): He died suddenly at his home at Marks Point, as the result of a heart attack, on 28th March, at the age of 66 years.

For many years Wal had not enjoyed very good health, largely as a result of amoebic dysentery and numerous side issues, and had in fact returned to his home two days before his death, following a spell in Hospital. Within two days he suffered his sudden and fatal heart attack, and his death came as a shock to us all.

Following his return to Australia, his continued suffering from dysentery prevented him continuing in his catering business, so Wal decided to set up in Clothing Manufacturing at Swansea. His application to the job in hand promptly built up a successful business in that centre (where he had an ultimate staff of 120) and he opened a branch at Wangi, where he employed a further 40. With his determination to get the best out of everything he was interested in, Wal had introduced several new designs into the machines and operations of clothing manufacturing, and with his son and son-in-law in the business, he had built up such an efficient organisation that he had been approached by several centres to open a branch factory in order to give employment in that area.

An indefatigable worker for the R.S.L., he held most offices in the Swansea R.S.L. Club at one time or another, and played a large part in the acquisition of their fine Club Premises. He carried that spirit with him into Civic affairs, where he was a tireless worker for the welfare of others. All of this Civic mindedness, together with his outstanding rescue and welfare work during disastrous floods some time ago, earned for him a well deserved honour - an M.B.E.

Affectionately known in the Battalion as Starver (from memory, a title pinned on him by Stewart Blow who beat the usually nimble tongued Reg Friend to the punch --Ed.) Wal earned the name when as Catering Sergeant, he fed us on saveloys and mashed potatoes as a rushed meal for tea, following our return from leave, only to find that B.J. had decided to punish us for our sins and send us off on an all-night compass march.

After the Service at the Wesley Church Hamilton, which was filled to capacity he was cremated at Beresfield on 30th March and Stan Arneil and Doug Blanshard were able to make the trip from Sydney to represent us all at the Services.

To his widow, Thelma, his son and two daughters, and their families, we extend our deepest sympathy, and mourn with them the loss of one of the Battalion identities, who will be missed by us all.


Charles McEwen (C Coy): He died suddenly at his home at Tintenbar, as the result of an accident, on 15th April, at the age of 55 years.

Charlie was in the habit of doing his own repairs to his farm machinery. He had jacked up his truck, on which he was relining the brakes, being underneath it when the truck slipped off the jack, fatally crushing him and causing almost instantaneous death.

Although Charlie was wounded in the thigh at Simpang Rengam and did his stint on "F" Force and "X.1" Tunnelling Party in Johore he enjoyed good health following his return, and was a very successful farmer at Tintenbar; where he worked the two farms he had acquired. A great family man, Charlie virtually lived for his family, and his loss was indeed a sad blow to his wife and daughter.

At his burial at Ballina on 18th April, we were represented by Hilton McLaren (from Bundaberg) Arch Dickinson and Tom Bicknell (from Sydney) Len Clavan, Tom Grant, Bruce Greer, Ossie Jackson, Joe Johnston, John Korsch, Don McKenzie, Harry Riches, Jim Small and Ron Sweeney; with six of those present (his mates from C Coy) acting as pall bearers.

To his widow, Molly, his daughter Joan and her husband Dennis, we extend our deepest sympathy, and mourn with them their sad loss.

We also mourn with Ron McBurney (A Coy) and his son Philip the loss of their wife and mother, Enid, who died suddenly, as the result of a heart attack at Liverpool, on 5th April; and, to them we extend our deepest sympathy.

Keenly interested in charitable works and amateur theatricals, Enid was attending a rehearsal for a show which the R. S. L. Ladies were staging in aid of Legacy, when she suffered the sudden and immediately fatal heart attack.

At her funeral service at St. Lukes, Liverpool, and subsequent cremation at Rookwood, a vast concourse gathered to pay their last respects, and we were represented by Merv Geoghegan, George Gough, Johnnie Parsons and Kevin Ward (all accompanied by their wives) while Marie Evans and daughter Lesley represented Garry, who was unable to be present.


We also learned of the death, early in April, of Mrs. Spring, sister of our Patron, Colonel George Ramsay E.D., to whom we extend our deepest sympathy.


We also learned of the death, on 1st May - suddenly and from a heart attack - of Arthur Wilfred Bottrill, who will be remembered by many as the brother-in-law by marriage of B. J. Arthur used to attend our Picnics, in the old days, as well as an occasional Reunion Dinner; and we extend to his widow, Evelyn, his sister and two brothers, our sincere sympathy.


We were saddened by the sudden death on 20th May, at the age of 69, of Padre Hugh Cunningham, who was so well known to many of us. Stuart Peach and Alex Dandie represented us at the Military Funeral Service at Eastwood on 23rd May, and our deepest sympathy is extended to his surviving family.



Kevin Ward reports the state at 29th May:

In R.G.H., Concord:
Bill Daly (A Coy), Les Hall (HQ Coy).

Outpatient: Ron McBurney (A Coy)

Discharged since last MAKAN:
From R.G.H., Concord:
Arthur Carroll (A Coy), Ian Grace (D Coy) Len Lansdown (D Coy), Jack Newton (HQ Coy).

From Royal North Shore:
Noel Johnston (HQ Coy)



In the first instalment you will recall that Bill Trebuhs, in search of food to share with his hut mates and after check parade one night, had wormed his way through the wire and had managed to reach the edge of the jungle - only 10 yards from the wire - when he sensed another presence near him,

The concluding instalment takes up the story from that point.


As his eyes bored into the blackness, he felt a weakness of body and an almost overpowering desire to yell and charge. Then, as fear left him, he made a rush for the narrow path that would take him towards the village, and food - plenty of food. As he found the path, he eased to a walk, then he heard it...a click.

He stood stock still as he felt the chill of icy-cold steel on the nape of his neck. The very marrow in his bones froze as a voice, in pidgin English, said: "We Pleece. No move. Yes?" Wild thoughts raced through his mind as he frenziedly wrested with the intent to risk a bullet and grapple with his captor. Instinctively he braced himself for the attempt, just as another armed figure stepped out from the bushes in front of him, and his arms were grabbed from either side. Four Burmese Police had him. Escape was impossible. Bill Trebuhs was a captive.

Jubilantly, the four brave bounty hunters frogmarched their victim to the Japanese Guardhouse, where sounds of body bashing soon filled the air. Yelling and shouting like demented beings, they flayed the quivering body until Bill Trebuhs lay panting in pain on the jail house floor.

He was dragged by the arms and then thrown into the tiny penance or torture cell to await the sadistic pleasures that were certain to continue the whole night through. Men in the compound huts near the Guard Post thronged to the doors to see what the commotion was that roused them from sleep. But other than the excited chatter, there was nothing to indicate what was wrong. They were soon to know, however.

As Bill Trebuhs came to consciousness, he saw light filtering through the cell, where the attap roof separated the wall. Mustering his strength, he attempted to climb up in a desperate effort to get out. After a few abortive attempts, he managed to grasp the bamboo pole on top of the wall, and he was out and on the ground.

For a hazardous moment he braced himself, then set out for the nearest hut. Not a guard saw him, and within moments he was back with his mates, who feared that the noise from the guardhouse meant that he had been caught. Excitedly they gathered around him and listened spellbound as he unfolded the story. Quickly, someone sponged him down in case blood on his bony body would give him away when the Japs checked each hut. They all knew and feared they would. Minutes later their fears were borne out.

Maddened guards were racing in and out of the huts calling "Tenko, Tenko. All mans out. We want prisoner with hairy chest." Only two men in the whole Camp had a full growth of hair on their chests, and Bill Trebuhs was one of them. They were both Aussies.

Lieutenant Tokoro quickly summoned Lieut. Col. G.E. Ramsay, the Australian Officer Commanding all troops in "Ramsay" Force in Mergui P.O.W. Camp. "Gentleman George" - as the troops all knew him - knew that meant one of two men. But.... it was his bounden duty to protect his men, and he point blank refused to hand over the men demanded by Lieut. Tokoro.

The irate Japanese Officer then issued an ultimatum .... hand over the alleged escape or the whole complement of the Camp would be paraded for identification. Again and again "Gentleman George" refused, and a general muster order was given. Not one man in the Camp was prepared to name the one captured by the Burmese Police, and all made ready to assemble on the parade ground. Nature at this moment played a hand. The rain had ceased to fall. The cards were falling the Nipponese way.

It was at this juncture that a very gallant soldier made a decision. Bill Trebuhs, fearing another man would or might be punished for his act, voluntarily surrendered himself to his hut commander. Cries of .."don't do it, Bill. Let the Jap bitches have a go. We are all with you" rang through the hut. His mates implored him to sit tight and risk the line-up parade, but he steadfastly refused and said: "What's the use. They might take the wrong bloke. I did it. I'll take what's coming."

Through the long sleepless night, the guardhouse resounded to the beatings inflicted on the bound figure at the gate. Bill Trebuhs was suffering the tortures of hell unleashed.

As daylight dawned on that June, 1942 morning, a very subdued but dangerously minded band of P.O.W’s planned ways and means of saving a mate from the fury of the bestial Orientals. Lieut. Col. G.E. Ramsay made early representations to Lieut Tokoro for the immediate release of the unfortunate soldier, whose only crime was in the seeking of food. Not food just for himself, but for his mates as well. Had not he been punished enough?

Tokoro blandly informed the Australian Officer that he would refer the case to Captain Itsui, the merciless monster in charge of the Tenassurum P.O.W. District. Lieut. Col. Ramsay invoked the Hague Convention in favour of Bill Trebuhs. He told Tokoro all prisoners-of-war were entitled to the protection of the Hague Convention. In the strongest possible terms he argued the case for the imprisoned man of his command, and Tokoro forwarded his plea on to Itsui.

Some days later Itsui replied. The text of his message was: "EXECUTE WITHOUT DELAY". The monster had spoken!

Again and again Lieut. Col. Ramsay fought Tokoro to save the life of the condemned soldier. In the annals of all military history no Officer ever pleaded the case harder or with greater tenacity than did the Australian Commander of the Allied P.O.W’s in Mergui, South Burma. "Gentleman George", honoured by all those who served under him, was a true soldier in War, and just as brilliant in the stress and strain of P.O.W. life.

Tokoro finally relented, and gave his word as an Officer he would stay the execution and transmit the further pleadings of Lieut. Col. Ramsay to Captain Itsui at Tenassurum. The fears of all in Mergui P.O.W. Camp were allayed when this was announced, and all thought the rules of War and humanity had at last prevailed over the power-drunk ferocity of Tokoro the tyrant. Until.....two days later, in the mid-afternoon, a truck passed out of the compound gate. A. gaunt, but very erect figure, bound hand and foot, stood between two armed Japanese guards. It was Bill Trebuhs.

As the vehicle passed a road work party, the last known words of the condemned man were heard. He said: "Tell the Colonel they are going to shoot me. Farewell. God bless you." The emaciated body straightened even more .... as if in a salute, and a smile flashed a message, symbolic in its framing.

On a wind-swept and rain-drenched hillock on the outskirts of Mergui, South Burma, an unmarked grave is the resting place of a courageous son of Australia.

The soldier who walked ten yards to death, Bill Trebuhs.

(Written by Les Hall (HQ Coy): The winning War Story in a Literary Competition conducted by the Sunday Telegraph in 1960)


Those who attended the unveiling of the 8 Div Memorial at Bathurst on 15th August,1970, will recall the enjoyable get-together at the Dinner and other events, and the pleasure they had in seeing again old mates from other Units of the Division.

Mr. Jack Bennett, of Springmount, who headed the Bathurst Committee of the Memorial Organisation and who played such a large part in the successful conclusion of the undertaking, has suggested that the Division should hold a get-together at Bathurst, say every two or three years, so that we may have some central, focal point for preserving contact with all Units, as well as an opportunity of maintaining the happy associations with our friends in other Units of the Division.

Will you give the matter some consideration, and let the Editor have your thoughts and suggestions on the desirability of such a gathering, the form it should take and when it might be held; remembering that it is almost two years since the Unveiling was held at Bathurst.



Armed with his note book and pen, your Editor set off for the Anzac Day Gathering with every intention of getting a whole lot of news about the boys, but it appears that it turned out to be another case of "the best laid plans of mice and men " as there are very few notes in the book. However, let it be recorded that your Scribe had a good time over all, and was bonzer and sick the next day, so he must have enjoyed it.


From the usual Long Distance Runners, Jock McKenzie (B Coy) Narrandera. and Graham McLeod (B Coy) Illawarra, we received greetings, and regrets at being unable to make it this year; but amongst those who did make it were noticed Jimmy Small (C Coy) from Casino, who got a leave pass from Frances because he had behaved in an exemplary fashion and had taken her over to the Coast for a few days just previously. Jimmy was silly enough to call out and see Basher Clayton (C Coy) the night before, so was perhaps a little the worse for wear, but he bore up bravely, and was in far better shape than your Scribe at the end of the evening. Popeye Kentwell (C Coy) from Ballina merely informed Bernice that he was attending. However, someone still loves him - a young niece was observed taking photos of him during the progress of the March.


John Haskins (HQ Coy) was down from Oberon, and as he didn't have his low Doctor cobber with him, he turned up on time, free from hangovers - maybe Pam has reformed him. Brian Hayes made it from Parkes, and kicked up such a fuss when the Chief Correspondent dragged some Subs out of him that your Scribe omitted to get his vital statistics; but he looked well enough, and was still the same happy-go-lucky Brian.


Ray Body (HQ Coy) who, by the size of his girth, is in a good paddock, came down from Raymond Terrace. Ray is a Textile Mechanic with Courtaulds, and he and Florence (Sapper to all and sundry, as she was in the Engineers during the War) have reared Max (31) who is a Mobile Crane Driver and is married with a pigeon pair, Janice (21) who is married, and about next August will further confirm the Body entry in the Grandpa Stakes, and David (11) who is still at Primary School. Ray played it safe, so he had Max do the driving, and in case Max played up, he also brought along Max's cobber, Leo, as a stand-by.

In the circumstances, he felt perfectly safe in having Sandy Christensen (HQ Coy) transported to the Forbes Tavern. Sandy has been out of contact with us for a while, as he omitted to advise change of address, and he hasn't been well enough to saddle up for various functions. He is a T.P.I., and not exactly 100%, but still has a lot of the old Sandy left in him, and it was good to see him again.


Stuart Peach (BHQ) is no longer a Long Distance Runner, as he has just returned from Laos and is presently being de-briefed prior to receiving an appointment in Australia. Although Stuart reckoned that the erratic Laotian climate seemed to set the pattern for the events while he was there, it doesn't seem to have affected him adversely - he is still as big and as fit as ever, and still has his sense of humour.


Then, it wouldn't be Anzac Day without Wally Scott (A Coy) from the Illawarra, Ray Simone (BHQ) from Avoca Beach and Andy Hyslop from Umina who, incidentally, had been persuaded to jot down a few thoughts on Anzac Day, which he handed over. Likewise, we would expect someone representing Tommy Gardner (D Coy) to be there, and son Jim (ex R.A.A.M.C., National Service and Vietnam) was there to march with us. Joe Geoghegan (HQ Coy) only had to come from Earlwood, but he brought along his son Chris (R.A.A.F. type) to march with us, and make sure Joe got home safely.

+++++ ,

Your Chief Correspondent did a bit of trade in Badges and Ties during the day, probably due to the fact that our Gendarme, Big Mac (Ron McBurney - A Coy) spotted the Hon. Sec., Bruce Ford, Regimentally undressed without his tie, and he promptly arrested him and fined him $1.00, which Bruce obligingly paid on the spot to the Acting Hon. Treasurer.


Another cove who should have been fined was our President, Arch Thorburn, whose family apparently make him keep 'with it’, so he sported longish hair and elegant side levers. Darkie (Bill) Douglas (B Coy) reckoned Arch was too mean to buy a modern wig, so he was growing one. Then Ron Foster (B Coy), who is big enough by Changi standards to live off his fat for a couple of years, almost upset the equilibrium of the Forbes Tavern by eating Zara's sandwich when she put it down momentarily to give succour to a couple of coves who were dying of thirst. Fortunately, another sandwich was available to restore the peace.


At the Forbes Tavern, which gave every opportunity for a Field Day, your Scribe started off with his little note book, and he promptly recorded that Tom Bicknell (C Coy) looks as young as ever and as fit as a fiddle. He is a Director of the Peter Johnson Sales organisation, and he and Fay have managed to rear Grahame (24), who works with Tommy's Company and is marrying in about 6 months time and Lynda (18) who is in Second Year at the Teachers College.


Tommy's cobber, Arch Dickinson (C Coy) also doesn't seem to have changed much. He and Pat couldn't manage a pigeon pair, but they didn't do, too badly with Vivien (20) a Secretary type who marries in November next, and Kerry (17) who is doing Nursing at Hornsby Hospital. What with rising costs, and the prospect of a wedding later in the year, Arch decided he could make more money out on the road, selling assurance for the Colonial Mutual Life than he could do by staying at the inside job he had graduated to with them; so that is just what he is doing at present.


Ray Rickards (C Coy) was looking very sprightly, and reckons he has a job which suits him fine - a Tyre Inspector and Fitter at the Burwood Bus Depot. He and Vera enjoy life, but regret that they have no children. Ray affirms that he keeps reasonably well - much better than his brother, Ted, our Poet Laureate.


Ken Forward (C Coy) looks just as skinny as he did at Changi, but reckons that he is keeping reasonably well. He is one of Snowy Stevens' mob - an Overseer with the Water Board - but he has quite a way to go before he reaches Snow's ripe old age of 60 last January. Ken and Mollie only had one son, Ian (23) who is a Cabinet Maker by trade, has completed his National Service, and is now married, with one child (My! How the boys grow up! Fancy! Grandpa Kenny! - Ed.) Having failed to produce a sister for Ian, Ken and Mollie adopted a daughter, Donna, who is now 11, and is still at Primary School.

++ +++

At this point of time, someone must have got your Scribe interested in other things, and kept him at it, as the notes - already showing signs of being indecipherable - ended abruptly. Fortunately, the need to send in Subs prompted some of the boys (mostly the wives) to add a bit of news; so we can carry on for a bit longer.


Reg Napper recently caught up with Joe Field (D Coy) who hails from Orange, and it was like taking candy from kids to drag a few dollars out of Joe and bring him into the Family. Joe had a somewhat varied career with us. Having joined us just before sailing, he was with HQ Coy up to Batu Pahat, where he contracted one of those wogs which were going about and was whisked off to the Hospital in Malacca. He didn't get back until just after the show had started, and he went into action at Gemas with Don Coy., He copped it on the first day, and spent the rest of the time being transferred around Hospitals, until he rejoined us as a P.O.W. at Changi. In January, 1943, he was transferred to 27 Bde HQ, but that didn't prevent him going with "F" Force on the Railway, and subsequently with "X" Tunnelling Party in Johore, so he was never far away from us. Unfortunately, we haven't yet obtained his vital statistics, but it is good to have you back, Joe.


Undoubtedly through the efforts of Ack Ack Martin, Alan Charlton (HQ Coy) was at last roped into the Family. He lives at Port Kembla, where he has worked for Metal Manufacturers for the past 17 years; and a bit of prodding produced some vital statistics. Having married in 1946, Alan and Yvonne have reared a family of three girls and one boy whose ages range from 24 to 18 (no mention of any marriages or the Grandpa Stakes) and although he has reached the age of 56, believe it or not, he took up wood chopping a couple of years ago. He now does the rounds with Ack Ack (whom Alan reckons is the best breaker of axes he has seen) and though he says the exercise is a bit strenuous, the fact that he can do it surely speaks volumes for his fitness. This probably springs from his active interest in fitness throughout his life. Before the War, Alan, Bobby Bee and Jimmy Hill were all Boxers, and Alan trained with Bobby at Dunleavey's Gym. He reminded us that during those years, Jimmy fought a 15 round draw for the Flyweight Championship of Australia, whilst holding the N.S.W. Championship, which probably explains why he and Jimmy watch the Fight's on T.V. with considerable interest. Alan recently called to see his old mate, Jimmy, who is not exactly 100%, and they swapped yarns at length. Alan mentioned that he often sees Dave Baker (HQ Coy) at Helensburgh, and occasionally sees Ron (Bull) Cody (A Coy) at Shellharbour - he understands Horrie Cody (A Coy) lives at Bomaderry.


George Kingston (A Coy) sent in his Subs plus + from Woodstock, and advised that he continues as Head Stockman for Tallinga Pastoral Coy, who apparently have Stud Properties all over Australia, as well as one in New Zealand. This involves George in a lot of travelling, as he has to visit the various Studs to make sure things are proceeding satisfactorily. He bemoaned the fact that he doesn't see any of the boys, as he finds it almost impossible to get down to any of our Do's, and he sought the address of George Michell (B Coy), so that he can look him up when he is next visiting the West. Apart from a few broken bones from buckjumpers, George hasn't had a sick day since he returned; which makes him one of the lucky ones.


Ellen, wife of Frank Webb (HQ Coy) sent in his Subs from Griffith, and promised to follow it up with some news of the family as she only had time to mention that they were O.K. (How about it, Ellen? Without the Secretary/Wives, I would be stumped for Country news - Ed.)


We received a very healthy Subs plus from Bill Senior (HQ Coy) from Brewarrina, but absolutely no news. How about letting us know what you are doing, and how you are, Bill?


Doug McLaggan (HQ Coy) didn't give any news of himself in his covering letter with his Subs, but he did tell something of Curly Hardman (A Coy) who lives at Woy Woy and commutes each day to work on the Waterfront, where he is a Union Delegate. Healthwise, Curly has not been so good of late, and is currently engaged in a battle with Repat over acceptance of disabilities; but Doug reckons Curly has a heart as big as an elephant's is still with it, and the fund of stories he can tell simply doesn't diminish.


Bluey Gray (C Coy) sent in his Subs plus from Tumbarumba, and in the brief covering letter he mentioned that he is probably one of the lucky ones. He had a few weeks in Concord R.G.H. twenty years ago, and hasn't been back since; though he reckons old age must be catching up with him, as he is starting to get a few aches and pains. He manages to get to a few Reunions down that way, and sees some of the Riverina boys from time to time.


A snide note on the Circular, addressed to Flo and suggesting that she may have to do something about a reply, brought Bill Sorenson (D Coy) up to scratch, and he sent in his Subs plus, with a covering letter from Kyogle. Bill and Flo have a family of two daughters (both married, and they have produced three grandchildren) and three others still at School. Bill reckons the family and himself are all well, though he is getting blinder as the years go by; and he confirmed the great job being done by Nancy Power who drives the Kyogle gang to Reunions all over the joint. This enables Bill to see quite a bit of the North Coast boys - he even saw Wal and Freda Eather (HQ Coy) at the Lismore Reunion a while back; and he had a visit from Darby Young (HQ Coy) a couple of months ago. The people for whom Alf Carroll (D Coy) had worked for 41 years decided to sell out and retire, and Alfie has gone to Greta to live, which means that Kyogle has lost one of its identities. One of the few things he didn't mention was what he is doing for a crust, nor did he say how he liked the pup which Michael bought at the Sale Yards for 20; but he did say that Flo was a Telephonist, on shift work and he often falls for the cooking and washing up at night.


Ron Stoner (B Coy) penned a few lines from Perth when sending in his Subs plus, and mentioned that he is under the wing of our cobbers of 2/4 M.G. Bn. Association, who have made him an Honorary Member. He enclosed a bit of that Association's Bulletin which mentioned that Ray and Tupp Michell (B Coy) had been over there, visiting brother George; and also a Newspaper clipping which showed a photo of Tom Bunning presenting to the W.A. State President of the R.S.L. a fragment of the stone from which the 8 Div Memorial at Bathurst was carved. Ron featured prominently in the photo. He reckons he is busier than ever - working seven days a week in the Real Estate game - but he promised to send more news of himself and family in the near future.


Our Social Reporter advises that Mrs. Marguerite Jenkins celebrated her birthday early in May, and to mark the event, as well as her long association with the "Purple and Gold" Club, Mrs. Doris Hendy organised a Surprise Party, which was held at the Indian Tea Centre. From all accounts the party was a great success and was thoroughly enjoyed, by Lady Galleghan and Mesdames Ramsay, M. Mitchell, W. Mitchell, 0. Parrish, J. Grossmith, J. Wallis, B. Ellis, C. Ross, M. Hale, M. Collett, D. Hendy & the Guest of Honour. Apologies, were received from Janet Johnston, Lonie Musgrave and Ellen Hendry.


Legacy "Torchlight" of April last carried a photo of Barbara Fraser (just turned 17) daughter of our late cobber Hugh Fraser (A Coy). Barbara attends Junior Legacy classes at Sydney Legacy and has been honoured by the award of the coveted President's Trophy for Girls for 1971. Keen on all sports - especially athletics and swimming Barbara also plays squash and tennis, and she is an active member of the Hunters Hill High School Conservation Club. Congratulations, Barbara.


Both Steve Allardice (HQ Coy) and Sammy Hall (A Coy) sent in a copy of the "Torchlight", and Sammy actually included a brief note with his copy. The typical Hall scrawl included a bit of information:- "I had the pleasure of seeing my old mate Les Southwell (A Coy) a few weeks ago. 'Southie' and his wife, Althea, had just returned from an Overseas trip, and Eric Arps (A Coy) and his wife Rhona brought them over to see us. Les is in good shape, and has retired from his job in Canberra. He promises to come up more often to Sydney. I might mention that our Dachshund 'Holly' was very interested in his wooden leg, but Les tells me that is fairly common with dogs. It was a most enjoyable afternoon."


Kathleen, widow of Bob Wright (HQ Coy) was going through some of Bob's old papers when she came upon a copy of the Magazine (which bore no title other than "News from the Troopship") and which was published on the "Johann" on the way to Malaya. With the Magazine were some of Bob's, as he put it, "jingles" which he had composed while we were still in the Singapore area; and Kathleen bundled them up and sent them in. They proved interesting reading, and one of Bob's jingles follows:-


The rain, the heat, and palm trees swaying;
Muezzin up in Minaret praying; The rats upon my banjo playing;
The edges of my temper fraying. Oh! Save me from the rubber.
The staghorns on the trees are growing;
There's water down the parit flowing;
The boongs are on the padang mowing;
And I've got money to me owing. Please save me from the rubber.
Yes dear, I'm always of you thinking.
The drains in Town are always stinking. My feet in swamp are slowly sinking.
I'm going mad, as sure as winking. I think I like the rubber.
And now the sun is slowly setting;
My shirt has had its daily wetting; Yet day by day I'm sillier getting.
Don't worry dear, its no use fretting. I've fallen for the rubber.

Robert Wright (HQ Coy) (Composed and written in Singapore in 1941)


A little over twelve months ago your Editor set about endeavouring to obtain registration of MAKAN for Posting as a Periodical. It required amendment to our Constitution and persuading you all to pay your Subs promptly; and other technical matters.

If you have at times felt a trifle annoyed with your Editor's persistent efforts to achieve all this, then he can only crave your forgiveness and assure you that it really was worth while. We have now achieved registration under Category A, and we have saved $21.00 in postage on this issue - a saving which will continue with future issues. Thank you all for your help.

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