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Makan No. 219
12th January, 1975


Subscription Rate: $1.50 per Year

Registered for Posting as Periodical: Category A




The Commemoration will take place at 3.00 p.m. on Sunday, 12th January, 1975 at the Memorial at H.Q. 17 R.N.S.W.R., 2 Suakin St., Pymble. Entry to the Depot is from Ryde Road, about 200 yards West of the crossing of the Pacific Highway and via West Street (on the right hand or North side, going towards Ryde) which leads into Suakin Street.

We have again received the utmost co-operation from Lieut. Col. Pembroke (C.O. 17 R.N.S.W.R.) who has arranged to have the Depot opened at 2.30 p.m., and has also arranged the provision of tables, crockery etc, and hot water for tea making, to enable us to gather for Afternoon Tea and a yarn after the Ceremony. The Officers' and Sergeants' Messes will also be opened, with serving points in the Drill Hall. A Catafalque Party of 5 from A Coy, a Bugler and two Pipers and a Drummer, together with other Details, will also be provided by the Regiment.

It is most gratifying to the Executive that such a ready and helpful response has been made for our needs to be met during a rather difficult holiday period, and the best expression of our appreciation would be exemplified by a large-scale attendance of us all. This event is our Family Gathering of the Year, of all who at any time wore the 2/30 colour patch and the Next-of-Kin of those who are no longer with us, together with their families and their friends.

The procedure to be followed during the afternoon is set out on the following pages, from which it will be seen that provision has been made for the laying of floral tributes by any of those present who desire to do so. Such tributes do not necessarily have to take any special form, such as the usual wreath, and may include small posies of flowers if so desired. A Member of the Battalion will escort each tribute bearer to the Memorial. It will also be observed that ample time is allowed for the Afternoon Tea and Get Together; and in order to provide for this, Family Groups are asked to observe the following:

Tea, milk, sugar cups etc will be provided, but will all Groups please bring something by way of eats, sufficient for their own requirements, plus a little extra to provide for unaccompanied males and those who find it awkward to bring something along, together with our Hosts, who are present and have made this Gathering possible. We do not desire, nor expect a sumptuous repast - just a "little something" to have with a cup of tea is all that is required. All the contributions will be aggregated and placed on tables for all to partake of after the Ceremony, as a Family.

As we are using the crockery etc provided by the Regiment, would you please ensure that all articles are returned in good order and condition before we leave - and that means nicely washed up and dried- so it would be advisable to bung in the odd tea towel with the eats. It is also essential that we leave the Drill Hall and Parade Ground in excellent order, so please keep an eye to the avoidance of pollution during our stay; and assist with an "emu parade" at the conclusion of the afternoon, should such be deemed necessary.

The Executive especially appreciates the C.O.'s arrangements for the opening of the Regimental Messes, and would ask all Members to please remember that this is a Family affair, and it is essential that all move freely amongst the gathering, and refrain from our normal tendency to congregate almost exclusively at the bar.

Because of the difficulty in effecting personal introductions of each one to the other, we will have on hand a supply of name plates; and it is hoped that all will wear them as a ready means of identification, and a source of introduction to each other.

We have made a special request for fine weather, but the Ceremony will be held, irrespective of conditions, as there is ample shelter in the Drill Hall.

Hoping to see you on Sunday, 12th January next, and with kind regards.

Phil Schofield

GEMAS DAY COMMEMORATION, 12th January, 1975.


This is essentially a Family Gathering, with a minimum of ceremony. There will accordingly be no Parade (as such) or the undue issuing of orders and instructions, but some form of procedure is essential to avoid chaos, and to enable us to observe a reverence and dignity befitting the occasion.

The following will be observed:

2.30 p.m. Drill Hall will be opened, and Family Groups commence to arrive. Car-parking facilities will be available within the grounds, adjacent to the Parade Ground, as directed. Upon arrival, Afternoon Tea contributions will please be placed (unopened) on the tables provided in the Drill Hall. Name plates will be provided by Members of the Bn., who will move freely amongst Guests.

3.00 p.m. Pipes and Drums and Flag Attendant will take up positions, and Flag will be raised. Catafalque Party and Bugler will Take Post - to be marched on by Pipes.

3.05 p.m. Members of the Battalion will march on in single file, as directed by Noel Johnston, and upon reaching their position will individually turn left and right, to face inwards. The balance of the Assembly will move to their position, forming the third side of the open square, and facing the Memorial. The following order will please be observed:

(1) The Patron and the President (bearing the official wreath) will stand in front of the Assembly, facing the Memorial.
(2) C.O. 17 R.N.S.W.R. and Aide will stand at the rear of the Patron and the President, facing the Memorial.
(3) All others wishing to place tributes will take up their position centrally, in the front line of the Assembly (which may require to be several deep) with children also in the front.

3.10 p.m. THE CEREMONY:

During the Ceremony, the Pipes will render a Lament.

(1) On a signal from Phil Schofield, the Patron and the President will move forward and place the official wreath; and return to their original places.

(2) C.O. 17 R.N.S.W.R. and Aide will move forward and place their wreath; and return to their original places.

(3) Other tribute bearers, each escorted by a Member of the Battalion, will move forward in turn, place their tribute and return to their places before the next party moves off.

(4) On completion, and on a signal from Phil Schofield, the President will recite:



(All together shall then say)
(And after a short pause)

(5) The Bugler will sound the LAST POST. (One minutes silence)

(6) The Bugler will sound the ROUSE (REVEILLE). (A pause)

(7) The Battalion Piper will render AMAZING GRACE

(7) The Bugler will sound DISMISS followed by MESS CALL.

The Assembly will move in their own time to the Drill Hall, for Afternoon Tea and Refreshments, to be joined by Members of the Regiment and all other 17 R.N.S.W.R. Details present. Soft drinks will be provided for children.

4.30 p.m. General clean-up of Drill Hall and outside Area. All cars to be clear of the area by 5.00 p.m.



(1)        The Memorial and rear rank of Catafalque Party.

(2)        Front rank Catafalque Party and Commander.

(3)        Flagpole and Attendant.

(4)        Bugler.

(5)        Pipes and Drum, including 2/30 Bn. Piper, Jim Webster.

(6)        Battalion Members, in single file, facing inwards.

(7)        Lieut. Col. N. McG. Johnston ED. (who will be required to assist our Patron during the laying of the Official Wreath).

(8)        Phil Schofield (who will signal the various events).

(9)        The Patron and the President.

(10)      Lieut. Col. J.C. Pembroke MC and Aide.

(11)      The balance of the Assembly. Floral Tribute bearers situated centrally, and in the front line. Children also in the front line, where possible. If there are over-large numbers, files could be extended.


The concrete cylinder now forming the focal point of the Memorial was one of those used as a Tank Stop at the Battle of Gemas where it remained, by the side of the road, until found in 1970 by Major K. G. Mallinson E.D. (a former member of 30th Infantry Battalion C.M.F.) who at that time was serving with 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. 1 R.A.R. undertook the recovery of the cylinder, and subsequently forwarded it to 17 R.N.S.W.R., as a War Relic. They included with the cylinder a bronze plaque, briefly recording its significance.

17 R.N.S.W.R. was formerly the 17th Battalion CMF, and had absorbed the 30th Battalion C.M.F., and an Infantry Company in Black Watch Kilts, together with a Pipe and Drum Band, are still maintained by the Regiment in honour of the 30th Battalion. 17 R.N.S.W.R. have always revered the traditions of all past Regiments which carried the colours of the 30th, and decided that the concrete cylinder should be mounted beside the Flagstaff on its Parade Ground, in a suitable setting. 17 R.N.S.W.R. organised the whole of the work of construction and setting up the Memorial.

The five palms, set in a semi-circle around the Memorial, were provided by our Association, and represent the five Companies of the 2/30th Battalion; and the coconut palms further flanking the Memorial were provided by Len Barnes from his plantation at Miriwinni, Qld. Ku-ring-gai Municipal Council provided the second Brass Plaque for the Memorial Stone, and provided advice and assistance to 17 R.N.S.W.R. in the construction and setting up of the Memorial.

The official Consecration and Unveiling of the Memorial was held on 17th January, 1971, when our late Patron, Brigadier Sir Frederick Galleghan, DSO, OBE, ISO, ED, performed the unveiling Ceremony.

At 1620 hours on 14th January, 1942, forward troops of the Battalion (B Company under command Capt. D. J. Duffy - later Colonel D. J. Duffy, MC, ED) engaged the Japanese in the Gemencheh Ambush and suffered our first causalities in Action. The Battalion as a whole became committed in the Battle of Gemas the next day, 15th January, 1942; and on those two days, and during subsequent actions, we suffered total causalities of 83 killed, died of wounds and missing. During P.O.W. days, we lost a further 310, and since our return to Australia, many of our comrades - at least 150 - have answered the Last Call.

On this Gemas Day Commemoration we join with their families and remember all of our comrades who are no longer with us. We remember their laughter, their wit, their vigour and their devotion, and render our thanks for the whole Family of Faith; for men who in all ages have striven for fellowship.


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