Makan No. 250
Official Journal 2/30 Bn. A.I.F. Association
Subscription Rate for Makan for both Life and Annual Members per year: $1.50
Registered for Posting as Periodical: Category A
Dates To Remember
October 1979 -
3 November 1979
November 1979 -
November 1979 -
November 1979 -
Please register with Harry Rhodes, 99 Cambridge St, South Grafton, 2461, by Nov 10th to ensure smooth running of Reunion. Harry says, "Come along, make it a great night."
November 1979 -
Reprint Of Bn. History "Galleghan's Greyhounds".
All of the 250 copies have been sold. If anyone now has the desire to obtain a copy, a list will be commenced again, so that the Executive may see, if there is a sufficient demand for a third Edition. At the last meeting of the Executive it was decided to look at the situation in six months' time.
"Thank you indeed for the Bn. History, which arrived in First class order".
"Thank you for the 2/30 Bn History - I think that the choice of cover and format is a movingly fitting understatement of what we were led to expect. Congratulations".
“I received the five copies of "Galleghan's Greyhounds"' safely. The family were all very pleased with their copies. Once again I would like to thank all concerned for the time and work involved in reprinting this volume. We deeply appreciate it",
"I received the book, the History of the 2/30 Bn a few weeks ago. Many thanks for same. Is it possible to purchase 3 more books? My daughters would like to own one each".
"After reading the "History" I am indeed proud to be the recipient of this publication. The History recalled many memories for me".
"Thank you for sending the book. We are delighted to have it".
"Many thanks for the copy of "Galleghan's Greyhounds", which arrived safely, I am very pleased with it. I think the cover is a beaut”.
"This is just a note to tell you that "Galleghan's Greyhounds" arrived safely about two weeks ago. The authors are to be congratulated on a scholarly well written book - a wartime record to be proud of. I shall eventually hand it on the Brian Hickson's son, who will treasure it. I am enclosing a contribution towards cost of publishing the book".
"My cousin has just sent our family copies of "Galleghan's Greyhounds" and I would like to let you know how pleased and gratified we are that such a book has been made available. May we express our thanks and deep appreciation to all who contributed and worked so hard, to have this valuable history reproduced. We will peruse it with much interest and treasure it always. Again our sincere thanks and our best wishes to you all".
"I have just finished reading the History and believe me think that every 2/30 lad should have one or at least read it. It sure brings back lots of memories of good and bad times, we all had together since we formed the 2/30 Bn."
"I received my book, the Battalion History and I want to say how much I enjoyed reading it, although I must admit, I had tears many times while reading it. Congratulations."
Report Of Group Tour To Gemencheh Bridge - Malaysia/Singapore
"Ron Maston's trip report is very enlightening. A very good job."
"Have received the Special Edition of "Makan" recording the Pilgrimage to Malaya, it was most interesting."
"That special Makan on the Malayan Trip is magnificent".
"I have just been reading Makan with the account of the Malaya trip. Makes me wish that I could have been able to go with them".
"The ‘Malaysian Tour' edition of 'Makan' is a wonderful effort and my congratulations go to all concerned. 'Dutchy' and I still exchange Christmas Cards annually and I was very interested to see his picture in the Tour report. Looks quite fit".
Council of the 8 Division & Service Associates
The Special Appeal Trust Fund was disbursed to the various Ex-POW Associations with the specific instructions that the money be used for the welfare of Ex Ps.O.W. (Japan) and/or dependants, except in respect of N.S.W. where the sum of $2000 was handed to the Sydney Legacy organisation; and the sum of $3000 was given to the NSW Ex-POW Association; this left a balance of $7166, which the Executive of the Council considered should be dealt with by Unit Associations, as being much closer to any welfare problems among their members than the Council. It was suggested that the most equitable means of disbursement would be for say $3 (three dollars) per financial member of each such Unit Association as at 30/4/79. In order to cover any possible contingency of welfare being required by individual persons in N.S.W., whose A.I.F. Units have no Unit Association, the balance of the funds, after the disbursement of the $3 per head, will be held by the Council in a separate Welfare account as a small backstop to the NSW Ex-POW Association funds.
The sum of $1038 has been received by 2/30 Bn. A.I.F. Association in accordance with the above distribution of funds.
40th Anniversary of Formation of 2/30 Battalion
Action being taken to commemorate the formation of the A.I.F. of the 1939-45 War on the 40th Anniversary of that formation led to a matter being raised at the last meeting of your Executive, i.e. our Annual Reunion for next year, 1980, it being pointed out that would be 40 years from our first Bn. Parade, though not our 40th Annual Reunion.
A small Committee of Alan Pryde, Jack Black and Garry Evans in Sydney and Wal Eather and Phil Bailey in Tamworth was suggested, provided those members would accept the job. A proposal that we seek to have next year’s Reunion in Tamworth, the town, where our Battalion was formed, with thoughts that it might be held at the same time as the Tamworth 8 Div. Reunion in 1980 in October, with Bowls and Golf Matches to be arranged as entertainment for the weekend.
Alan Pryde has been in touch with Wal Eather. He has the thought, that we have over a year to think and to plan and obviously one does not wait until the last couple of months to consider the possibilities and make arrangements.
Recruiting for the Battalion occurred with selection of men from the Training Battalions at Wallgrove and their move up to Tamworth, arriving there on the evening of 21st November at the Showground on 21st Nov. 1940, preceded by those from the Units at Manilla Road, Tamworth. (as set out in the Battalion History, Page XV11) and on "that memorable morning of Saturday 22nd November 1940" Black Jack made his declaration of policy on training on the first Bn. Parade. (Page 3 of the History).
It so happens that 22nd November 1980 falls on a Saturday. This may or may not be a suitable date, on which to base our plans. The very active group of 8th Div. personnel have the Biennial Reunion in October of each even numbered year, so it will be 25/26 Oct, 1980. It would not be good to have detrimental effect on either function. Wal is confident that a purely 2/30 Bn Reunion four (4) weeks later would not deter any of our blokes in the surrounding area from being more concerned with a Bn. project, if not interested in both. The main concern would be to arrange an early booking at one of the Clubs in Tamworth, as the Clubs are the focal points for a great variety of functions and occasions, and it seems that six (6) months notice of booking would be essential.
The Sub-Committee has set the ball in play. What is to be ascertained now is a positive lead as to Members' wishes.
Pryde considers that his Sub-Committee will need to
work on other aspects to complement the booking of a Club, such
There might be the hope that other sub-committees might be formed in other areas to boost attendance and to consider if their groups might travel in hired transport or in private cars from, say, Hunter Valley, Far North Coast, Mid-North Coast, Central Coast, West, Riverina, and South Coast.
There you are. What do you think of it? Have you any, other suggestions, please?
The request is made that you let Alan Pryde know, through your scribe, your thoughts as early as possible, please.
Funerals And War Widows' Pensions
An item in the Ex-P.O.W. Magazine, "Barbed Wire and Bamboo" under above heading, stresses that the Dept. of Veterans' Affairs does NOT pick up the tab for funeral expenses of Ps.O.W., NOR does it automatically pay a War Widow's Pension to the wife of an Ex-P.O.W. It is said that there exists a common belief that they do. NOT SO.
If there is an Ex-P.O.W., who dies, applications have to be made and decided upon on behalf of any widow for either or both. If the deceased had been classified as T.P.I., or if his death is able to be proved in a claim to Repat. as being due to War Caused Disabilities or aggravated by War Service there may be a possibility that a Tribunal will accept the claim, but NOT necessarily so. If you have a small pension, it could quite well be that that might not get your wife's foot in the door.
So make your preparations on the basis that you do not want your wife or children left stranded without funds. Do get your War caused disabilities recognised on Repat. Files, it is not sufficient to get treatment from the local M.O. all on his file is not necessarily on the Dept. file. Do it while you're alive.
A Bridge Too Deadly - Victims Of The Japanese Prison Camps
Fred Bladwell, on an overseas trip with his wife, Grace, was able to fill us in on a Newspaper Article under the above heading in the issue of "Evening News", Thursday, 28th June last, published in England.
"The tale of suffering and superhuman courage to survive that commenced in the Japanese prison camps goes on......
"Only this week, Dr. Julius Heaf, a senior physician at University College Hospital, held a 'case conference' about the current diseases and disabilities of the men, who came back, emaciated down to their skeletons in that summer and autumn of 1945.
"A special ward is kept at their disposal day and night at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Woolwich, and at the Liverpool Royal Hospital.
"S--C-- reckons that he is one of the 'lucky ones'. Lucky that he did not die, even though put in the 'Death Hut' when he went down with dysentery and hepatitis ...Lucky to come back.... Lucky to have a job.....to be suffering only from bronchitis, asthma and a persistent trembling of the hands plus a digestive disability, which he does not want to describe in detail. Lucky, because he knows how much worse off are some, who came back......
"They age more rapidly than the average chap ... they succumb much more rapidly to heart disease, arthritis, lung diseases. And one of the biggest single disabling factors, which has come to light in the former Ps.O.W. is residual nervous disease, chronic anxiety states.
"The 3˝ years of living in constant fear of the next moment, of not knowing whether you were going to be shot or merely beaten, are still showing their results 34 years on.
"We are finding men, suffering from loss of confidence, constant irritability and, because of that, losing their chances of promotion, breaking up their families. I am talking about lads, who have been like this for the last 10 years and are now approaching 60 or 65.......
"The anxious and unresolved question raised by the men, who weekly come to him for help, goes to the heart of one of the most fundamental problems facing modern medicine.
"How far back must the doctors search the life of a man or woman to find the cause of the disease from which he suffers today?
"Was the premature death last week of a former Eton Headmaster really due to his suffering in Japanese Prison Camps? Can heart disease and spondylitis (a spinal disease), from which tens of thousands, who were not in Japanese captivity also suffer in late middle age be justifiably ascribed to the stress of lugging heavy railway sleepers, (lumping heavy bags too of foodstuffs and other materials ), 35 and more years ago in tropical temperatures on only a few spoonfuls of rice?
"The answer is as important as the next square meal was to the former Ps.O.W., because on it depends entitlement to a war pension.........
"Doctors must be signing death certificates, constantly, for former Far East Ps.O.W., for what they state are natural causes.
"Weighty backing for the ex-Ps.O.W. comes from Dr. Heaf, who is now mobilising medical opinion.
"He declares that it is perfectly possible for malnutrition to have delayed effects, long after its first results have disappeared under treatment.
"He recalls that heart disease is already linked to long term smoking, to obesity, diabetes, hypertension and psychological stress. So, could it not be related to war stress?
"Admittedly there is as yet no conclusive evidence for that vital link. But neither is there evidence to disprove it.
"And, because of the real possibility that the sinister, hidden effects of war suffering can flare up in distressing disease 30 or more years on, Dr. Heaf believes, that social security officials should show today a greater readiness to give to former war prisoners the benefit of the doubt.
"That point is backed by G...A....who spent his years of imprisonment helping to build the bridge over the River Kwai... Sadly, he states that Britain is the only country, that has taken no special notice of the medical problems of its Far East War Prisoners and made no special pension provision for them. Any Canadian, who was a Japanese war prisoner and has one thing wrong with him, now gets a 50% war disability pension automatically, he reports .... And, if he has several things wrong, he is entitled to claim 100%. Action is now urgent, another 10 or 15 years pondering the problem, there will be few of us left to worry about."
What is the Sydney attitude?
Not always good, unfortunately.
Your scribe had a visitor the other day, one of our Lads who will not be 60 years of age until next November.
His experience at the Admission Room at Concord is one more instance of man's inhumanity to man, crass ignorance of one, who was never there to know what went on, forming of judgements, both of medical and moral weight, without full investigation, virtually saying our mate's local M.O. does not know "how to suck eggs".
Our mate had digestive troubles. His local M.O. suspected ulcers. In fact he was so sure that he arranged for him to be admitted to Concord for tests.
Accordingly he presented himself to the Admission desk, had his card written up, was given a pair of pyjamas and had a bed shown him, on which he was told to lie. A young doctor made his preliminary examination; stood back and told our mate "When I reach the age that you are now, if I were as fit as I consider you to be, I would consider myself very lucky, then, on our mate asking what he was to do, the doctor said, "I am going to discharge you."
So our mate was not admitted. He went home. This next morning he went round to his local M.O., who, on seeing him, asked what he was doing there. The M.O.'s reaction was to get on the telephone; to put it mildly, he was a more than a little irate, but he requested and had permission granted to send our mate to a local medical centre, where necessary tests were carried out, the results of which, contrary to the ideas of the young doctor at Concord, showed, that he had 5 ulcers.
Sick Parade up to 2/10/79
Kevin Ward reports that those, who have been discharged since last report are:
Ted Rickards, Reg Etherington, Peter Mason.
Mick Bailey, Keith Chapman, George Croft, Des Duffy, Harry Law, “Gentleman George" Ramsay, Harry Wilson..
Ballina Ex-Ps.O.W. Reunion - 11th Aug. 1979 - At Ballina RSL
Joe & Georgina Geoghegan, Bruce Ford and Jack Maclay, journeyed to Ballina by road on the Ballina Express Bus leaving Rushcutters Bay at 6 pm, Thursday 9th Aug. Dorothy and Kevin Ward went by train, arriving Sat. 11th Aug. 'Doc' Wilson and Clover with daughter Linda, went by Moto-Rail with car on Thurs.
Those, travelling by bus, can highly recommend this method for comfort and punctuality. I believe that it was an excellent journey, marred by Bruce Ford's fog horn drawl and Jack Maclay's penetrating whisper??
Joe Johnston and John Ford (brother of Bruce) met the bus. Joe, Georgina and Maclay went to Knockrow, where Sybil Johnston had an excellent breakfast prepared.
Breakfast completed, Joe Johnston returned the Geoghagan's to their Motel, then proceeded to take Jack on an inspection of his cane farm and a discourse on the growing and cropping of cane. A very interesting talk to a person unaware of the pitfalls of cane farming.
Friday evening the Johnston's and Jack Maclay journeyed to Ballina R.S.L. Club for the evening meal. There the Geoghagan's - 3 Cody brothers - 'Hoot' Gibson - Kevin Ward - Stan Grainger, Snow Hampton and wives were gathered. A Mini-Reunion ensued: the highlight of the evening being the meeting of the Grainger's and the Gibson's. Stan and 'Hoot' had not met since 1945. Have you ever seen two grown men - first shake hands, then take each other by the shoulders, embrace, then kiss, then almost cry, then both talking at once? Then you missed a sight for sore eyes. It happened at Ballina, when these two old C Coy scrounging mates met. Friday proved a late night.
Saturday evening at 5.30 pm a number in excess of 60, comprising Men and Wives of the 2/30 Bn, along with many more from some other Units, Middle East and Europe, assembled outside the Ballina Memorial Baths for a simple but impressive service that followed the traditional lines. Thence to the R.S.L. Club where in pre-dinner drinks our boys and wives met once again. In many cases the previous meetings were 34 years ago.
The - "You don't remember me"? - was frequently heard; in some cases the asking party was known, in the case of Jack Maclay being queried, the asking party was completely unknown. A very healthy and prosperous looking Chum. Farley, last seen in 1945, was the questioner.
Movement was made from the Club Lounge to the dinner in Smorgasbord style. A dinner that would pass muster with the most fastidious, with an emphasis on seafoods. Believe your scribe, when he says that the fish and prawns were delicious, 'Snow' Hampton urging more prawns and, in the same breath, mentioning something about being $8.00 per kilo, did not dampen our ardour. Altogether an excellent evening full of that friendly comradeship that seems to pervade these Country Reunions.
Another late night or early morning and on to 'Joe' and Sybil Johnston's for the now well known and patronised Bar-B-Que, commencing at about 10 o'clock, where some 40 of our Unit, Members and wives attended, plus our good friend, Stan Scarrabellotti, AASC; Eddy Langmead, 2/29 Bn; Laurie Thomson, 2/4 Workshops; Jim Crawford, 2/18 Bn and their respective wives. It made up to 80 all told or thereabouts.
The "Do you Remembers" flowed almost as steadily as the liquid refreshments.
Baden ("Sluggo") Jones was an excellent Bar Steward, although he was heard to reprimand your scribe for drinking black coffee early in proceedings.
Joe Johnston and son, Ken, made excellent Bar-B-Que attendants. Some steak may have been a little charred - but the meat charcoal washed down quite O.K.
To Sybil, Ken and Joe Johnston and the Ladies who assisted on the Sunday, go our very sincere thanks for an excellent day at Knockrow.
The weather was very kindly, the beer cold, the camaraderie excellent, the hill top with an extensive view of the Pacific Ocean ideal. Altogether a "Grand" Day.
The following attended:- Bruce Ford, Brother, John, and their Sister; Tom and Norma Grant; Len and Win Clavan; Norm Lee; Ron Sweeney; Max and Heather McClelland; Kevin and Dorothy Ward; 'Doc', Clover and Linda Wilson; Horrie and Zelma Cody; 'Hoot' and Marjorie Gibson; Eddie and Beryl Langmead; Keith and Thora Jones; Ron and Doris Cody; Tom and Triss Cody; Athol and Thelma Charlesworth; Artie and Nancy Power; Bill and Flo Sorenson; Brian and Anne Hayes; Jack Mathews; 'Joe' and Georgina Geoghegan; Chum and Rae Farley; Alex (Dadda) and Mary Olley; Harry and Dot Riches; Stan ('Nugget') Crummy; Tom Wright and his wife; Laurie and Nova Thomson (2/4 Workshops); Bob Newman; Con Hedwards; Stan and Colleen Grainger, Allen and, Mollie Venn, 'Joe' and Norma Veivers; Jack and Iris Collins; Baden ('Sluggo'). Jones; Ray and Mavis Godbolt; 'Snow' Hampton; Jack Korn; Jack Maclay; Stan and Joyce Scarrabellotti; Reg and Brother, Charlie, Napper; Dick and Florence Henderson; Fred and Olga Newlands; Norm Watkins; Arch Craig; Ossie Jackson. Reg and Charlie Napper did not attend the Bar-b-que, they were attending a family occasion on the Sunday.
It was indeed a pleasure to see 'Nugget' Crummy at Knockrow. He appeared a little more feeble than when last I saw him in Feb. 1978 but he assured one and all of his lasting powers. He informed me that he had just purchased a new Commodore and intended to outlive the car. We all hope that you do, Nugget.
A complete coverage of all attending - their ills, good health etc. would require a special issue of "Makan".
Ballina was all that was promised. It's reputation has travelled far and wide. When you consider that Members come from Parkes, Bomaderry, Moruya, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Caboolture, Brisbane, Sydney, Orange, Leura, Woolgoolga, Coffs Harbour, Merewether, it spells wonders for the Ballina Reunion and its attractions. Also, when you consider that the locals cover an area 100 miles or more in any direction.
The organisation and untiring work of the men and ladies behind it is beyond commendation.
The hospitality of all and sundry is tremendous. At the parting of the ways on Sunday the farewell salutation to a man included, "See you next year". I sincerely hope that we shall be spared to make good that wish.
It was a great pleasure to see some of our family unseen for years. It was also a pleasure for your scribe to meet once more, Meg Johnston, widow of our esteemed Ron. Meg and her sister, Shirley, attended on Saturday Service and Dinner.
May I here, also, thank, personally, Sybil and Joe Johnston for their unbounded hospitality to all and sundry and particularly the writer, whom they accommodated for the weekend. Thanks, Sybil and Joe. So a glorious weekend came to a finish. The Geoghagan's and I joined the Sydney Express (Bus) at Ballina at 6 pm Sunday. I was home having coffee at 7 am Mon.
willing and the legs able - I shall return in 1980.
On Saturday the 11th Aug. 'Joe' Johnston, Kevin and Dorothy Ward and I visited Harry and Flo Teasdale. 'Dadda’ and Mary Olley were also there. Flo was recovering from a bad cold. Harry looks good, although not as mobile still, as he would wish. Harry and Flo pass on Good Wishes to One and All. Would some of Harry's old mates find time to write occasionally. He would appreciate it.
'Joe' Johnston excelled himself as M.C. at Ballina. I think that possibly he missed his vocation, that he should have been a speech writer or, better still, a politician. More money in either choice - far better than depending on the weather and cane growing.
Sid ("I don't drink") Jameson, 2/18 Bn. gave welcome to guests very capably and taking Kevin Ward by surprise called on him to respond. First time that I have seen Wardie stuck for words. His whole response was approx 1˝ minutes flat. If warned Kev has a prepared speech, which takes half the evening.
Whilst on the. subject of Ward - Kevin got his feet tangled crossing the dance floor. He'd asked the Band to play Waltzing Matilda; they jazzed it, and he tried to jazz on the floor but struck a patch of water and crashed mightily. It took half the male audience to get him back on his feet. He bruised his shoulder somewhat. Some time later, Kevin tried to break into his usual song routine, but the crash left him with insufficient wind. For these small blessings we are truly thankful.
In the Johnston's back yard, under a small fig tree, is a very brown patch, some 6 or 7 metres in diameter. It is known as Geoghagan's 'kill back area'. I am told that Joe performed so well at this spot, the previous year, that a full recovery seems to lie in the distant future.
On the bus run back to Sydney Jack Maclay was seated beside a young woman.
It appears that Mac dozed off - when the coach swung around a bend - he leaned heavily on said female. The reverse occurred when the coach turned the opposite way. Before arriving at South Grafton, Jack received the request to occupy another seat. The only vacant one being the front one with absolutely no leg room - result, Mac stopped where he was - Chivalry died a natural death with the advent of Womens' Lib - on coaches at any rate.
Ron Sweeney would like to know, if any one is in touch with Jack Dickenson (NX 77751) C Coy or know what has become of him please.
Brian & Anne Hayes - D. Coy.
Anne comments, "Brian and I had the usual lovely time on Saturday night at the Reunion in Ballina and Brian again met men, whom he hadn't met for ages. The food as before was beautiful and in abundance. I am glad that there was a photographer at this dinner - do hope that they are good.
"Then on the Sunday quite a crowd of us went out to Joe and Sybil Johnston's home for the day. Last year was a lovely happy day and so was this one. Some, who hadn't been before, thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
"The coloured slides of the trip over to Malaysia/Singapore were shown in Joe and Sybil's lounge and were enjoyed by everyone, who came in to watch. Incidentally the special Makan with the story of the trip arrived today in Parkes..
"Many thanks to Joe and Sybil, Win and Len Clavan and all those other helpers for a wonderful day.
"We left 'Sundown Motel' after breakfast Monday and came home the coast road to go and see some of Brian's relations. By the way I swiped one of the pawpaws from Saturday decorations, and carried it, wrapped in newspaper, all the way home to No 13. It was ripe and delicious, thank you.
"A happy thought for the Sunday Bar-B-Que, Georgina Geoghegan brought a fruit cake - beautiful. She also took one overseas on the Malaysia Trip and some one had a birthday. It must have been a lovely surprise for him.
"Cheers and Regards to all, from Brian and Anne Hayes."
Mid North Coast Ex-Ps.O.W. Reunion at Port Macquarie - 18/8/79
Jack Fell tells of his weekend attending this Reunion, "I have just returned from the Ex-P.O.W. Reunion at Port Macquarie. I travelled up from Cessnock on the Friday, staying overnight at Paddles Clune's country property on Mitchell's Island. Curly and Beatrice Hardman were there already, having arrived on the Wednesday.
"On the Saturday we travelled up to the Port, where Darby Young had booked us into the Mid-Pacific Motel, which was but a short crawl from the R.S.L. Club.
"Those members, taking part to the Reunion, assembled in front of the Club and, led by the Pipe Band, stepped out to the War Memorial on the Riverside, where a wreath laying ceremony was carried out and an address given.
"We returned to the Club, again to playing of the pipes. There we gathered in the bar until it was time to go upstairs for the formal part of the proceedings.
"A very tasty smorgasbord meal was served, followed by a sumptuous array of sweets. The sweets proved to be my undoing, as I could not enjoy a beer after them.
"The duties of Chairman were very ably performed by our Darby Young. The guest speaker was Vern Toose, President of the NSW Ex-P.O.W. Association. He gave a very informative talk. He exhorted all present not to be too proud to ask for help in any matters relating to pensions or any other matter affecting Ex-Ps.O.W.
"The 2/30 Bn was represented by 'Kingie' Martin, 'Curly' Hardman, Jack Clune, Jim Morgan, Bruce Campbell; 'Darby’ Young, Max McClelland, Jack Conn, Harry Griffis, Ben Pearce, Jack Stuart, Jack Newton, Harry Rhodes and myself. Quite a few had their wives along with them, but I'm not sure who they were.
"In all 90 signatures of the Men present were in the Register.
"So much for the Reunion, now for the sidelights. I've the feeling that the Battalion missed out on a champion cook in Curly Hardman. He had spent most of the time that he had been at Jack's trying to catch fish to make a fish mornay. However, the fish were too elusive and, after catching two or three small tailor, Curly had to admit defeat. Not to be denied, he was able to buy another fish at the Port. I think that he had some difficulty with tongue, because, in describing the ingredients for this dish, he said that it would contain as well 'carry' and 'cubbage'. By this time he had all the ingredients with the exception of paprika and capsicum. After trying in practically every shop in the Port, they were unavailable, so our fish mornay didn't look like eventuating. However, on our way home, we decided to go and have a look at 'Timber Town' at Wauchope. In the most unlikely of places, the replica of a store of the 1880's, he was able to buy some paprika, incidentally if any of our readers have not been to 'Timber Town', it is well worth a visit.) Our next problem was a capsicum. At Manning Point Bowling Club we were talking to mutual friends and Curly asked did they have a capsicum tree? Would you believe it? They did and there was only one on it, which Curly could have.
"After all this hassle and a couple of hours cooking on Monday morning, we did have Fish Mornay A la Curly. After all this time it was well worth waiting for it was delicious. There was some difference of opinion between Curly and Beatrice as to whether the onions should go in first or last.
"On the Saturday, upon arriving at the Port and, before unloading the cars, we were shown to our rooms. Curly and I returned to the ground floor to get the gear, while the ladies made a 'cuppa'. Curly was first in the lift. I was next. I pressed the button for the third floor. The door closed and, with a slight shudder, moved off and it seemed only a short time when it stopped. I thought that I was on the ground floor still but, before I could do anything about it, the door opened and there was Curly standing there. Before I could get out the door shut and I was on my way down again. I still thought that I hadn't left the ground floor, but I couldn't work out how Curly had got down to the ground floor so quickly, as there was only one lift. However, we got it sorted out all right, because, when I finally did arrive at the third floor, Curly was standing there still and still with a perplexed look on his face. Our wives asked Curly what had happened and he said, that there was some Weirdo, who insisted on going up and down in the lift."
Commemoration of Formation of 2nd A.I.F.
"Reveille", issue of July 1979, carried an article in the middle of page 8 with the heading "Second A.I.F. Council". It pointed out that 1979 is the 40th Anniversary of the 2nd A.I.F. Fragmented, its Divisions never fought together, but on different fronts and in different campaigns.
A Wreath-laying and Memorial Service has been decided on at the Cenotaph in Martin Place, preceded by a short march, for Saturday Evening, 3rd November 1979, at which Wreaths will be laid on behalf of the 2nd A.I.F. and of each Division, Corps Troops, Women's and other Services comprising the Force.
The Forming-up place will be on Hospital Road in the Domain, behind the Public Library, Parliament House and Sydney Hospital. Time 4.30 in the afternoon, for move off at 5 pm.
Formations will be by Divisions, although, it is hoped that Members of Units within the Divisional Formation will be able to group with their mates. There will be no Flags, nor signs, other than Divisional ones. Accordingly those, who attend are asked to listen, as they enter the Domain, either from the Registrar General's end or the Public Library end, where the 8 Div. might be, and then locate the 2/30 Bn Men in that 8 Div. Area. Men with Loud Hailers will be giving directions.
Wreaths, to be laid, will be only Divisional ones. There will be no provision for wreaths from smaller Units or from individuals in the Official arrangements.
On the March the same procedure will be observed as is carried out on Anzac Day. Break off will be in Barrack St.
The organisers would like to have an idea, if possible, of the number likely to attend. If you can, please let your scribe know.
Other Divisions will in some cases have after March Re-Unions, but not the 8 Div. However, it is suggested that 2/30 Bn. Men rendezvous at the "Tank Stream Tavern" (Old Grand Hotel) on the Corner of Hunter and Hamilton Sts. City.
2/30 Bn Commemorative Church Service
One of our Members suggested that the Association might hold a Commemoration Service at St. Stephen's Church, Macquarie Street, Sydney, where our colours are laid up, more often.
Approaches have been made to Revd, Graham Hardy, with such a request, to which he has given his consent, and the 2nd Sunday in November is the date selected, with the service being the Morning Service, commencing at 10 am.
Members with their wives and children or grandchildren and any kin of deceased Members are invited to come.
Again it is desirable to know how many might be there. The reason for this request is to know what sort of seating arrangements might be needed, so that the Party might be together, at the front, with entry through right hand door and aisle.
The date of this Sunday in November is the 11th, which has long been accepted as "Remembrance Sunday" to commemorate Armistice Day of the 1st World War on 11/11/1918.
It will have an added significance for all Members of 8 Div. and other Prisoners of War (Japan), and the Next of Kin of Deceased Members of "A" and '"F" Forces and of any others, who had to remain on the "Death Railway", for its maintenance after major parts of all Forces of Ps.O.W. had been returned to Singapore or sent to Japan, since there will be another ceremony to honour our dead on Armistice Day 1979, one of the twice a year ceremonies arranged by the Aust. Dept. of Foreign Affairs Rep. in Burma at Thanbyuzayat War Graves Cemetery.
Armistice Day In Thanbyuzayat.
The above is the heading of an article on page 8 of May/June 1979 "Reveille". It comments on the fact that Australian Soldiers could not pronounce the name of the above town, as the locals did, but called it 'Tan Bazar'.
"That town was the jumping off place on the Burma Railway from Moulmein south to Ye, and about halfway south of Moulmein, of the 'Death Railway - Burma to Siam'.
"Twice a year the Australian Dept. of Foreign Affairs sends an official party to conduct a simple ceremony at 'Tan Basar'.
"Today at 'Tan Basar' there is a well kept War Cemetery, containing about 3000 graves with separate Australian, British and Dutch sections.
"A simple but extremely impressive ceremony was carried out by Padre Gregory, Anglican Bishop of Moulmein. The British Ambassador and the Australian Charge d'Affaires laid wreaths at the ceremony on 11/11/1978.
"The Australian Party had flown from Rangoon to Moulmein a short trip of about 40 minutes by plane. Then they drove for over an hour over sealed roads, through a very attractive part of Burma.
"After the ceremony some travelled the short distance to where the Prisoners of War had commenced the Railway. There are no rails or sleepers now, but, in that foreign land, there is a part, which will for ever be Australian."
Whose Memorials are in Thailand and whose in Burma?
Enquiry of the Office of Australian War Graves, 286 Toorak Rd, South Yarra; 3141 (Postal address P.O. Box 232 South Yarra; seeking information for Mrs. Douglas, daughter of Stan Winstanley, as to the whereabouts of her father's grave, brought a reply, that the two War Cemeteries in Thailand were created by the Army Graves Service, which transferred to that at 'Kanburi' (Kanchanaburi) all graves, save American graves, from camp burial grounds and solitary sites along the southern half of the 'Death Railway' from Bangkok to Nieke (Nikki) inclusive.
Accordingly all such graves, on the northern half of the 'Death Railway', have been transferred to the War Cemetery at 'Tan Besar', that is the greater numbers of the dead of "A" and those of F & H Force, who were in Shimo Sonkurai, Naka Sonkurai, and Kami Sonkurai will be at 'Tan Besar'. Only those, who were placed in hospitals in and around 'Kanburi’, and did not survive will be found in the War Cemetery there or at Chungkai.
Even with this knowledge there is no possibility of a visit being made to the War Cemetery at 'Tan Besar' at will because the Office of the Australian War Graves letter states, "I would advise you, however, that visitors are not allowed to this War Cemetery, because of the unrest in the area and because of the activities of bandits in the hills surrounding this cemetery. The authorities will provide a military escort for a party of visitors, but will not allow individuals to the area".
If any relatives of any deceased mates wish to verify the whereabouts of a burial, in which they are interested, also if a photograph is desired, written application may be made to the Director of the Office of Australian War Graves, as it is set out at the beginning of this information.
Arising from the comment of the activities of the Group Tour to Malaysia on Day 9, when only an intrepid band, 'The Stayers' faced up to the scheduled 'Visit to Simpang Rengam' when it was said that 'at 17 Mile Peg we saw the approximate site of Sgt. Christoff's grave' an enquiry was directed to the Office of Australian War Graves, to find out, if his body had been exhumed and re-buried in Kranji Cemetery or left, where he was buried first by Padre Walsh.
The answer has been that such information is not held; the Singapore Memorial and the Kranji War Cemetery are maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in the U.K., but since he had no known grave, he is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial, situated within the Kranji War Cemetery. His name appears on Column 131 and the entry in the Memorial Register, reads as follows:
CHRISTOFF DCM, Sergeant George Joseph,
A photo of part of that Column appeared opposite page 51 of 'Makan' 248, Special Issue, June 1979, 2/30 Bn Group Tour, Malaysia and Singapore, and shows George's name.
Your scribe enquired at an Executive Meeting earlier in the year, if we could have a team of visitors to look in on those of our cobbers, who are not sick enough to enter Convalescent Homes, but yet not well enough to do much travelling by car or public transport; as well, those whose wives, daughters or other relatives are looking after them at home rather than see them go into a Convalescent Home.
Kevin Ward is our Hospital Convenor and Welfare Man. He is ably assisted by Garry Evans at Concord; Arch Dickenson and "Jacko" Jackson on the North Shore for Lady Davidson and other Hospitals.
It is thought that his activities could be extended, so that he can roster chaps to do visiting around or near their own suburbs, if they will offer themselves and, if we have lists of those, who would like to have Members call on them.
We will need two lists, one of those, who are more or less 'house-bound', you might call it, and the other of Members who are prepared to be the visitors.
Who'll be in it, please?
Just give your scribe a ring, or drop, him a note, if you want to be on either list. We will work in with Kevin to build up the rosters and he'll take it from there.
NX19848 Pte William (Bill) Francis LANDRIGAN - H.Q. Coy.
Bill Landrigan died on 13 August last aged 76 years.
He had been one of the Cooks in the Battalion and had been attached to the Officers' Mess.
He was with us until Batu Pahat, from where he was repatriated to Australia in November 1941.
Bill had never been in touch with the Association, but we were represented at his funeral service by Alex Dandie, who learnt that one of the sad things for the family is that Bill's wife, Philomena, who survives him, is paralysed down one side from a stroke. However 2 daughters and 2 sons, some of whom are married and have children of their own, will look after her.
NX67015 Pte Hylton COLLINS - B Coy, 12 Platoon.
Hylton Collins died on 22nd August 1979, only five days after he had celebrated his 60th Birthday.
He leaves behind his wife, Catherine, son, Gregory, and daughter, Beth, whose first born, a boy, Hylton proudly proclaimed on Anzac Day '78 as making him a grandfather.
Hylton had been one of the "Day-Boys" of 1940, attached to Belmore Drill Hall, so that it was fitting, in a way, that of the 8 2/30 Bn. Men, who attended to give him a soldier's farewell, 4 of them were from those 'Belmore Day Boys', 'Dutchy' Holland, Ray Brown, Alf Austin and Alex Dandie. Noel Johnston Alan Pryde, Ray Rickards and Jack Maclay were the other Battalion Men present, and Noel recited the Ode, after which each placed their sprig of Rosemary on the casket.
Like all other 8 Div. he was in the Changi Compound at Selarang Barracks first and was sent into Singapore with other Men of the Battalion to a Working Party at the "Great World" on 4th June 1942, and appears to have been sick in Hospital at the time of selection of those, who were to go on "F" Force, as he left Singapore on 15th May 1943 by ship with a party of 50 from the Battalion in "J” Force en route to Kobe, Japan. Their camp being known as "Kobe House" and opened six months before the arrival of "J" Force to house the Members of the 1st Middlesex Regiment and of the Royal Scots from the Garrison at Hong Kong. The work, in which they were involved being about the wharves, shipping and railways and some of the factories in suburbs of Kobe. Two others of this 'J' Force in the Battalion Party were his cousin, Ray Brown and Alex Dandie,
Hylton, after the War, worked as a clerk with Shell Company in its offices in Carrington St. Sydney, but in the later years before he died, was engaged in work as an Insurance Representative for the A.M.P. Society.
He was musically inclined and had a love of opera.
He was well known to Members of the United Grand Lodge, being a Member of Lodge Carlingford, and it was whilst Hylton was in the middle of delivering a charge in that Lodge, that he collapsed. Ray Brown informed your scribe, and also said that he was taken to Hospital, but died at 3 am in the morning of 22nd August. He had progressed in higher degrees as a Mason, and a rough count showed that there were over 40 Masons present to take part in a Masonic Service for him.
NX25638 Pte Tom Nixon, Pioneer Platoon, HQ Coy.
Tom died at his home in Brunswick Heads on Friday, 24th August 1979 and his Cremation Service was held at Lismore, where chaps from the North gathered to honour him in farewell.
Word came in from Harry Riches dated Saturday, 28th July to say that Tom was in Mullumbimby Hospital. Then, whilst preparations for the Ballina Reunion were being finalised, we heard that Tom had been transferred up to Greenslopes Repat. Hospital, Brisbane, Max McClelland, who had come up from Sydney to attend the Ballina Reunion, went on up to Brisbane to see his old mate, and found him moving around out of bed, although his progress was very slow.
Tom underwent an operation, but it was decided to let him go home to Brunswick Heads, and in the circumstances it was a help to him that he went as suddenly as he did, although sadly enough one of his daughters, who at the time was on a trip overseas, was not able to get home in time .
Tom was born on 23/11/1911, so that he was not yet 68 years of age when he died. He was country born and bred.
He was liked by all, especially his Pioneer mates, and could ear-bash anyone for hours, if allowed. He enjoyed his few beers and other people's company. He was ready to assist any one in trouble. Stan Arneil heard once that Tom and Les D. Melrose were painting Les' house. He commented, 'Tommy, of course, helps a lot of people, as we know, but one only hears of it by accident. Bluey lives 150 yards from the gates of Long Bay Gaol, so you can imagine that dry humour of Tom in action during the working bee.'
Tom was not overawed by anyone and the tale about him at Bathurst, when "B.J." introduced the present Lady Galleghan the Members, there for the Reunion, was: “Overheard at the Bathurst Reunion - Well known Member of H.Q. Coy (Tom Nixon) to Mrs Porter ("Black Jack's" intended wife), "By Gawd, if you don't look after our Old Man, we'll rouse on you!".
He was honoured by being selected by the Executive to carry the Battalion flag on Anzac Day 1970.
His favourite pastime, after retiring from the Maritime Services Board work team, was Bowls, and Pennant Bowls at that with the Coogee-Randwick R.S.L. Club, and in 1974 he was in a team that won the Fours at the Club.
WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM. LEST WE FORGET.
Deaths of Kinfolk
STEWART BLOW - Stew's wife, Ruth, lost her sister, Florence Joan Sharpe. She lived at nearby Gerringong, and died on August 16 last.
TOM GRANT - Tom lost his Mother recently and feels her loss very much.
NUGENT GEIKIE - Geek also lost his Mother on 3rd Sept. last. She died at Hospital and leaves Geek and his three brothers and their families to mourn her passing.
"CURLY" HARDMAN - Beatrice's sister died on 28th July and will be missed by Curly and Beatrice and her two other sisters and families.
Cards of Sympathy were sent to each of our Members on behalf of the Battalion.
Further Tributes to Johnny Parsons have been received: Jim Webster expresses his sorrow at his passing, as he can remember his good deeds so well. - Harry Riches feels that it is a sad loss. - Tom Kennedy calls his death 'most tragic and a sad loss for his family and the Battalion'. – Des Kearney regretted that he was overseas at the time, he always had a soft spot for him, he said. Don McKenzie: 'I had such a shock to see in the 'Makan' about Johnny Parsons. I still find it hard to believe. I can only endorse the remarks made about him in 'Makan' he certainly was one of the best. Ashley Pascoe: 'I was saddened to read of the passing of Johnny Parsons, to me he was one of the many 'Captains Courageous', who were thrown up by the 8 Div.'
Joy has said to 'thank all most sincerely for the kind expressions of sympathy, which she received, which have made the family's loss much easier to bear, and which will be remembered always with gratitude.'
Do You Remember?
Ron Stoner - Changi Diary - 6/4/45.
"I slept through till just before dawn without a break; slipped out from underneath the few yards of tartan - an old kilt - which has served as a blanket for the past three years, and sped off for a shower before Reveille brought the multitude out on similar bent. My tartan covering badly needs mending, but, since the 'Fortresses' have been coming over, I have been feeling so optimistic, that I keep putting off the job.
"I noticed, by the work roster, that I was down for the 'Lalang Party'. Lalang is a coarse variety of grass used for making paper in our camp workshops and for the manufacture of compost for our gardens.
"After a scanty breakfast Work Parades were called and our gang of 24 set off for the day's toil. We all like work, because it means a little more food for each of us. We would do anything for food. Yes, even work. We called at the park, picked up the trailer (four wheels and chassis from an old army truck with a flat wooden tray) and, taking up the traces, set out for the cutting area, about four kilo from the camp..
"Going out of the camp we passed a Jap guard house and, in accordance with Imperial Japanese Army orders, had to give a "Kashura Hidari" (Eyes right) whilst passing the guard and a "Na-ore" (Eyes front) as soon as the last man had passed him. This order, supposed to be given in correct Japanese, has often been the subject of suppressed mirth. Our N.C.O. today was something of a humorist. As we drew opposite the guard house, he cried out in a commanding voice, "Cast your eyes on these guys". Acknowledged by a courteous bow from the Japs. "You've seen 'em”, barked the N.C.O. as we passed on our way.
"Having arrived at the 'Lalang' area, we spent the morning cutting grass and raking it into heaps. There was a 'smoko' at 11 am, and the Padre, who had accompanied us, ,joined our little group. I turned to Jim for a smoke, but he whispered; 'I've only got the Bible and I don't like flashing it with the Padre about. Wait till he goes!!' The Padre, however, didn't look like going, and, after a while, taking out his tobacco tin, he said, "Would any of you chaps like a smoke? It's only stalk with a dash of Java," handing his tin across to Jim. You can imagine Jim's surprise, when he opened the tin, to find that the Padre's papers were taken from the New Testament!
"By lunchtime we had a load of grass heaped up and before loading up, sat down to our half-pint of veg. and rice hash, followed by a short period of "Bashing the spine" until the order "Load up!" was given. Our load was one of 12 collected daily and hauled to the camp gardens - now an area of 110 acres, producing about 20 tons of vegetables a month. Our job finished, we set off on the homeward track, again going through the mumbo-jumbo of giving the guard a "Kashura Migi” (Eyes left) at the gate.
"Just inside the camp we were stopped by our camp police and searched. One lad, who had been out scrounging during the afternoon smoko, was caught with some vegetables in his possession, no doubt lifted from the camp gardens, and was placed under open arrest. (A few days after, Camp Orders contained the following punishment imposed by the Representative Officer - an English Colonel, appointed by the Japanese to be responsible to them for the running of the camp:
"NX......Pte......to undergo 30 days in the Correction Cells and 30 days restrictions for being in illegal possession of about half a pound of 'bringles' (egg fruit)."
Such a severe sentence seems hard on the lad, but that's how things are, if you don't happen to get away with it.
"And so, back to lines once again, in time for a quick shower before evening rice. After rice, we took our customary stroll across to the hospital, visiting friends, dropping in on the way to see, if we could get the B.B.C. highlights from our "Newshound", N.......Y......in the Officers' lines.
"These days in Changi aren't too bad. After the grim Thailand Railway Camps this place is a veritable haven. We are hungry and starving for many other things, but the Japs are leaving us to run our own affairs - also, there are so many grand fellows here - anyway, what's the use of grumbling? WE ARE WINNING, AREN'T WE?"
Another of our mates remembers "Sandy", who, he said, was on "F" Force, and could tell tales of his horse breaking days, but especially delighted to tell of one 2 year old, for which quite a lot of money had been laid out. Now the name of that horse eludes our reporter. (Alf Harding wouldn't be one to forget, would he? Ed)
He also said that Sandy hated chats, but he couldn't sit down for hours, catching them in the seams and killing them, he used to throw his clothes on an ant heap and let the ants do the work for him.
Another one of Sandy's likes was Palm Oil and Ointment. Whenever he was given any of either at the R.A.P., he would say that whatever is supposed to be good for the outside should be good for the inside too, and he'd drink the Palm Oil and eat the ointment.
Vince Leonard - "A" Force and "Japan Party"
Vince tells, "We reached Moji, Japan, and were notified that Os. Skinner had just passed on. On the next day we arrived at Sendu in the Fuk-e-oka Area", about 40 miles from Nagasaki, whence we were picked up by the Recovery Teams after the Japanese Capitulation. On that same day, that we arrived, Stuart Plowes, Aub Lansdowne and I had to go high up on the mountain side in the heavy snow to cremate Os: that part fell to me. We went back with his ashes and learnt that Jim McNab of the Sig. Platoon had just died, so we had to go straight back again with his body to cremate it. We felt terrible, as things usually happen in threes and only Aub, Stuart and I of the 2/30 Bn. remained.
"Our camp in Japan was set to work down one of the coal mines. One day, there was a big cave-in, which trapped twelve of us down below for several hours. We were led out by a Jap, through an escape section and, on top again, were greeted by Aub. and others and Dr. John Higgin, who examined us. After a smoke and rest, and that examination by Capt. Higgin, we had to go back down again, a regular action, we understood, for the reason, that it was said, to overcome any nerve troubles, whenever we would have to go down on other work days. We were brought back to the surface later on, and we were lucky in their timing, since another cave-in occurred shortly afterwards.
"A peculiarity in reactions of members of our party to changes of climate, was that, although we had all come straight from the heat of Burma to the Japanese heavy winter, which took toll of many English, Japanese and some Scottish with pneumonia, yet not one of our "Aussies" died with pneumonia, even though we had Queenslanders, who had never seen snow in their lives before. There did not seem to be any logical explanation for it, because as far as the Ps.O.W. were concerned, we all suffered the same hardships together.
"At Greenslopes Hospital, Brisbane, I was told that I had a spot on the lung, from the mine work, but it turned out that it was only coal dust.
Without mentioning names, we could call this "Cobbers" (F Force)
"We were both in Sonkurai Camps Nos 1 and 2. Work normally was either making ballast for packing under sleepers or digging 2 metre x 2m x 2m holes for the road, on which to lay the rails.
"It rained most of the time, monsoonal rain.
"We were forced to work every day, whether fit or sick. If the Jap guards could not get their quota for the day, they would take sick from huts, under protest from our M.O.'s, Majors Hunt or Cahill, who were, like us, undernourished.
"It was no good going on sick parade, as there was no quinine or M & B Tablets, just charcoal for dysentery and rice water for Beri Beri.
"We moved from No 1 Camp to 2 Camp. Conditions were a lot worse, because it was a dirty camp and had to be cleaned up.
"Most of us were weak by this time and we were losing quite a lot of men; Cholera had hit us badly.
"We had to carry rations each day, a three mile walk both ways in mud. We would have to walk arm in arm to stand up. On these trips I was able to scrounge a bit of sugar and a few sweet potatoes. These I shared with my mate, who was now very low.
"I picked green leaves and cooked them for us, also the stalk of the banana centre.
"I would give him hot water with sugar in it to try and give him a bit of energy.
"When we returned to Kanburi, I could buy some sugar, greens, eggs and ducks and cook them, but my money ran out and we had to exist on the normal rations.
"We left Kanburi and returned to Changi and my mate went to hospital there, whilst I eventually went to Johore on a Work Party digging tunnels, so I was not able to see my mate any more, whilst we were Ps. O.W.
Japanese Propaganda - Story of Gemas
Do you remember the tripe that was dished up in the Jap. "Synon Times"? Just read this. You won't need the proverbial ‘Grain of Salt', you'll need more than a grain to stomach their Army version. At the same time prepare for a great laugh.
We have to thank "Blue" Frank McDonald, B Coy, for his search for and delivery to your scribe of a copy of a translation of a book found in New Guinea fighting. It is proposed to share extracts with you in succeeding "Makans".
As this is a Japanese version you need to read 'enemy' as meaning the Allied Forces i.e. British,. Indian, Australian and Malayan Forces. Also Geography and Time is astray.
To Tampin! To Gemas!
"Our quick-striking force, after capturing SEREMBAN, a strategic position in NEGRI SEMBILAN STATE, dashed along the main highway in pursuit of the BRITISH forces fleeing into MALACCA and on the afternoon of the 14th, penetrated into TAMPIN (200 km south of KUALA LUMPUR) in MALACCA STATE. One portion of the fleeing enemy escaped to the coast sector of MALACCA STATE, whilst the majority fled from NEGRI SEMBILAN STATE into JOHORE STATE along the main highway of GEMAS-KLUANG.
"The quick-striking vanguard force continued its fierce advance by cutting east through MALACCA STATE and pushing through the level plains of south MALAYA. During the heavy downpour of the 14th, the force broke through the NEGRI SEMBILAN-JOHORE border and penetrated into JOHORE, the last State on the MALAYA PENINSULA. On the morning of the 15th they arrived at a position west of the strategic position of GEMAS in North JOHORE STATE. The BRITISH forces, with the destiny of SINGAPORE at stake, resisted violently in the JOHORE border battle in the vicinity of GEMAS, but our forces developed a fierce offensive against them.
"The enemy, with GEMAS as the centre, constructed a solid winding 30 km front, utilizing the jungle, rubber plantations, hilly region and natural terrain. The AUSTRALIAN 8 Div. disposed there defied us in a decisive battle.
"Early in the morning of the14th, the various vanguard forces, with a tank force in the lead, advanced along the right side of the 3000 ft MALAY FUJI. Arriving in the afternoon at a bridge 12 km west of GEMAS, they awaited the dawn to make a formidable attack. However, just before the charging force attempted to cross the bridge, it blew up with a resounding noise. The demolition previously planted by the fleeing forces had exploded. At the same time a crossfire commenced to rain like a squall from the enemy position from both sides directly ahead. Under the squall of enemy fire, our crack forces, hugging the ground on both sides of the road, slowly closed in on the impudent enemy position.
"Our daring, fearless Engineer force made their way through this artillery fire and rushed ahead. They started repairing the bridge in front of the enemy. Eventually, under a rain of fire, the bridge was repaired. The leading Tank force and the following Infantry force, together, charged into the enemy like a ball of fire. This position was captured after a fierce hand to hand battle.
The Tragic Story of the Iron Lions (I.e. Tanks; Ed)
"The morning of the 15th arrived. Finally we had reached GEMAS, the State border town. (Ed. Note they put us in town)
"The MATAKI Raiding Unit of the swift Tank Force, entrusted with the duty of escorting the KOBAYASHI (ASA) Force, closed in on the streets of GEMAS.
"The moment the Advance Tank Force attempted to cut through the poor road leading into the west side of the city, the enemy stationed on both sides of a high ground and equipped with about 20 field artillery and anti-tank guns, started a barrage of concentrated artillery fire. From a distance of merely 50 m from the enemy, the Tank Force gradually entered into a curtain of fire. The Unit Commanders tank, in the lead, received 30 hits and Ldg Pte ........ and Sup. Pte .......... under him died a violent death. Unfortunately the iron lion (read here 'tank', Ed) stopped moving. The second tank following was also knocked out by a barrage and Cpl ............, the tank commander, Cpl ............ and 1st Class Pte ........... were killed instantaneously.
"The third tank, although on fire, continued to advance slowly. Enemy bullets bounced off the scorched armoured plate of the tank. The caterpillars made a rumbling noise - the rubber plantation along the road was stripped bare by the fire. Cpl ........... the Commander of the third tank, eventually met a violent death.
"The Unit Commander had died. The brothers-in-arms had fallen. With tears of indignation, Sgt. .......... the commander of the last tank together with the Medical Superior Private, pushed the turret cover open and jumped into the rain of fire to gather the sacred remains of the Unit Commander and their brothers in arms. Just as they were about to enter the second of the burning tanks, two shots were fired, smearing the tank with their blood and adding glory to the Rising Sun. At that time, the leading tank of the SOHARA Tank Force, which was following the MATAKI Unit, fired a barrage, that simultaneously destroyed two enemy anti-tank guns.
"Seeing the arrival of the fresh crack force, the enemy directed all their guns at the leading tank and started firing at it. Consequently, Unit Commander .......... together with Sgt .......... shared the fate of their beloved tank by dying a glorious death.
"Upon receiving the report on the incomparably glorious fighting prowess of his men, the Force Commander, taking lead on foot, ran into the line of fire, wielding his service sword and shouting encouragement to his men. The enemy, recognizing him as the Force Commander, fired their guns at him. Unfortunately, Force Commander .......... was hit in the head. Glaring fiercely at the enemy position, he died a death, that would make the Gods weep. The time was 1430 hrs.
"The strong YAMANE, MIYANOHARA, OKUMA, etc. Tank Forces, seeing the death of their comrade forces stormed the enemy position fiercely. In the twinkling of an eye these tanks trampled all over the enemy. The stubborn enemy were overwhelmed by our fierce attack and the few, who survived, fled.
"In this manner, Gemas, the strong line of resistance, which was the hope of the BRITISH MALAYA Army, was completely captured on the 16th and the Rising Sun gloriously waved over North JOHORE STATE. 10 field guns, 4 anti-tank guns and one airplane were captured.
(So there you have an example of the lies to which they stooped for consumption by other Units, which are expected to go and do likewise. Copies of 'Synon Times' and the 'Mainichi' with all their false propaganda, you could say would have conditioned you to expect that sort of thing, but they do lay it on rather thickly. Ed.)
News, views, and who’s who's
Jeff Gillespie - B Coy
Jeff's cousin, Trevor, called to pick up Jeff's copy of the reprint of "Galleghan's Greyhounds" and reported that Jeff has been on the sick list and had had a mild coronary, which had put him in Bega Hospital for a while.
Ernie Stratford - D Coy
Ernie reports, "Kath and I are both well and enjoying life. We have become grandparents, Noel's wife presented him with a baby boy 5 months ago.
"Graham, our second son, is out teaching (Maths) at the Coomealla High School near Mildura, and enjoying it. Noel is at Moura, Queensland, with his wife, Michelle and son, Justin; he is doing clerical work with T.D.M. (Mines).
"Alan Charlton called the other day. I saw Harry Riches on Friday in town, and called on Ossie and Mavis Jackson on the Sunday. All of them were well at sighting.
"This is about all the news in a nutshell. My regards to all the Boys down there. Yours sincerely, Ernie."
C.T. ("Joe") Veivers - A Coy
Norma comments on the passing years but consoles herself "Luckily our 2 teenagers keep us young at heart. Our house does seem to be full of their friends at times, but we like it. David is 17 and Kathy is 15. Both are still at school.
"Joe says that he only has a loan of the car occasionally now that David has his licence. We'll be having it for the Reunion at Ballina and hope to see quite a few of the 2/30 guys up there. Where we are we just don't seem to see many of them.
"All the Best to All. Joe and Norma Veivers".
Mick Bailey - HQ Coy. Tpt.
Mick was reported as having gone into Concord for removal of a cataract on one of his eyes, but with a bit of chest trouble showing up, they have kept him in there. Garry Evans Hospital visiting is helping both of them catch up on old history. You know what Garry is like! Mick says that he looks forward to their weekly chat.
Ron Stoner - C Coy
Ron admits, "I am plagued still with sciatica and all the treatment that I'm getting and my powers of suggestion help to only a marginal degree. It all commenced, when I pushed a car off my lawn into a car port. It had a flat battery and I strained my back pushing it on my own. That was some time back, about May, and since then I have been locked down to half throttle. The recuperative powers of us old blokes are not so good, are they?"
Ron has forwarded to your scribe some of his treasures from Changi days, so that we may share them in future ''Makans", and comments, "They bring back to me memories of young and old, who served with me in action. We were close to one another then - truly brothers. Many of them passed on whilst Ps.O.W. Of the ones left, many have gone since, but the spirit, that was manifested, lives on in our Battalion Association and in other Unit Associations. That spirit of service to country and our togetherness has been kept alive by our Association and "Makan" I hope that it will be kept alive by our sons and daughters. If it is allowed to die through apathy, God help future generations of Australians.
"After seeing earlier this year the enthusiasm, preparedness and amazing industry of the Swiss people and their dedication to their little country, I am disturbed by the apparent selfishness and lack of national enthusiasms and pride amongst certain sections of our population.
"As at the end of July now we are enjoying pleasant weather here now. Cold nights and bright warm days. It is, however, dry and farmers are beginning to worry. If we do not get reasonable rainfall in the next fortnight, the forecast bumper grain crop will be in doubt.
"My regards to all. Yours ever, Ron".
A phone call from Keith to order a copy of the reprint of the Bn. History, was welcome to your scribe, who thought to himself, that its best talking point was seeing it in the hands of a cobber, and that the sight of such a good job, done by Ray Streatfeild in piloting the printing through, was evidence of its value to those, who received them.
"Keith works in with Allan Venn for the T.P.I. Association. Keith on the Gold Coast and Allan at Murwillumbah, and has enough energy to be Secretary of the local Lions Club. He asks - that any of the boys, who are members of either organisation, if up that way at all, please get in touch with him; that is, of course, additional to a standing invitation to any member of the Battalion.
He has had his 5th heart attack but battles on. With a son living here in Sydney at Dural, he makes no promises, but hopes that, if at all possible, he may be down for Anzac Day next year. One, who sends good wishes to you, Keith, is Bet Dawson, and she would like you to look her up.
Bet told me on the phone the other day, that she is now with Pam. the other twin daughter of Len and Bet at the address set out above. (She is not too good at letter writing these days with the arthritis in her hands, hence I put the phone number there too. Ed.) Bet had the good fortune to be at the War Vet. Home at Narrabeen on the day that the Home held a Memorial Service for Lord Mountbatten. She said that the chapel was full, and during the service many of the gathering were deeply affected, even to tears.
Bet's visit to her sister was to New Zealand not England.
Nugent Geikie - B Coy.
Hamish Macdonald, husband of Geek's daughter, Rosemary, has been back in Australia from his Indonesian post for the Herald Group of Publications for some months now, and your scribe has been informed that he moves to Tokyo in October as their Japanese Representative. Meanwhile he has been occupied writing on his Indonesian experiences and forecasts are that this will see the light of publication in November.
Marty Wallwork - HQ Coy
One of our reporters on the North Coast has sent a News paper cutting, a photo of the latest Wallwork Wedding Group, Anne Wallwork, attended by her five sisters, when she was married to David Brooker at St. David's Church of England, Mullumbimby recently. Their brother, Russell, was one of the groomsmen. It might be remembered that the happy couple announced their engagement last year at the same dinner party as was held to celebrate Marty and Betty's 25 years of married life together.
One outstanding family characteristic is that Marty can never be able to disown any of the six, especially the girls, who, apart from heights and different hair-dos are as alike as peas in a pod.
George E.T. Johnson - C Coy
Big Johnno says, "Jack Chatfield and Irene called on us last December and in the 5˝ hours that we spent together, with Heather's good cooking and some amber fluid, quite some yarning was done. Jack plays Bowls and, when he is free, and I'm not tied down, we are to pay them a visit on the Tablelands about 60 miles from here.
"It is really great to get and read the "Makan" and in this way be able to keep up to date on our mates. There were many in the Battalion I did not know, other than by sight, some briefly, when in work parties; in C. Coy, of course, I think that I knew every man. Those photos and sketches in the March/April issue of "Makan" certainly did bring back memories. There should be more of this sort of thing, though I suppose that the cost would be prohibitive. I had thought of suggesting that each member send in a good clear snap of himself today and as we knew him in 1941 in our training days. Then, as they come in, so many could be published in each copy of "Makan". If this is a possibility, what would be required? If the expense is within reason, I for one would be quite happy to contribute towards the cost of my 2 photos in "Makan" and, I'm sure, that there are many with the same thoughts. In this way quite a good rogues gallery could be created. Can we set the Ball rolling?
(Your scribe would be all for such a scheme, with proviso, that he would dearly love to have pre-Action photos to be group and activity photos, since he feels that they stir up the memory and hopefully the reminiscences, with possible additions to the "DO YOU REMEMBER?" section of the Magazine. The up to date photos of those in the group, be they even only 2 or 3 of the old photo being placed on the same page. This is not to say that head and shoulders photos for both times are out, they can be used.
Big Johnno is quite right on requiring the cost to be in reason. Quite a few Members have submitted photos, taken pre-war, and the Editor has felt very guilty at the length of time, that he has held them. Many have not seen the pages of "Makan" yet, but not for want of wishful thinking, and he must extend his apologies to those good friends.
We have published three sets of photos to date: in May 1977 with Makan 234, the set Big Johnno mentions and those with the special 248 Edition of the Malaysian Tour. In all cases we were assisted by donations by a few people, one of whom, incidentally, specifically asked that his name never be disclosed, but it was that gift, which came out of the blue, that led to the printing of the photos and sketches in the Mar/Apr '79 issue, but, as may be seen by the date on the caption of one, that was one which had been held since 1977. There was never any doubt that some time or other they would see the light of day, still you did get them at last.
The first set was comprised of photos of odd sizes, so that the processes, which the off-set Printer had to adopt, were increased, meaning extra costs, but your scribe now knows that he must have such rephotographed and obtain prints of even size, so do not let the size deter anyone, who feels willing to take part, so long as the original is clear cut in the picture, well focussed, and preferably black and white, since colour prints have to be of perfectionist standard, as clarity is lost on each reproduction. If negatives are available the size of the print is no worry, but, naturally, there will not be too many of us with pre-war negatives.
The cost would be completely out of our reach to attempt photos in every issue. It might be preferable to have them in only one or perhaps two per year. The response to the idea is going to be the criterion of its feasibility.
In order that you might have some idea, the cost of the printing of the photos and sketches in the Mar/Apr '79 issue was $170 without any regard to the cost of the original photography, before the prints were in our hands. There were 10 pages with two photos or sketches to a page, all of almost identical size, with the greater length of the photo sideways. The other two pages had prints of the same size, in actual fact, but with the greater length vertical, and a couple more could have been included, but for this cost exercise, take it that we had two more pages identical to the other 10, so 12 pages with 2 prints on each, or 6 sheets with 4 prints on each. 6 divided into the $170 allows that each sheet would cost $28.33 and each of its 4 prints would cost a little more than $7.10 each. I have here a photo of the Bn Soccer Team, which played a Batu Pahat Team at Batu Pahat. This was sent to me by George Stephenson quite some time ago now. In addition to the team, Jimmy Peebles is in the Photo as the Referee. There are only 8 out of the 12 alive today, but, if those 8 were to provide an up-to-date photo of each of themselves and we placed the 8 together for rephotographing, so that, we had one composite print to place under the Team photo, on our figures for costing, it would cost the 8 Men one eighth of the $15 for the two prints. (It might be doubtful if a greater number than 8 up to date photos, or the rogues gallery as 'Big Johnno' named it, would be suitable. This only shows that smaller numbers in the group photographs increases the cost per Member concerned in inverse ratio to the reduction in the number of Members portrayed and alive today.
If the passing of years means that Members would not own group Unit Snaps, and would be restricted to head and shoulders photos of themselves 1941 and 1978/9 a rough calculation would most likely restrict the cost to $6/7 to each Member for his 2 photos appearing. Ed.)
Returning to "Big Johnno's" letter, "I am keeping fairly well, eating sensibly and having a few beers, when the weather is very hot. In order to keep myself fit and active, I mow a few lawns for older pensioner friends, who are not able to look after their own lawns. I also do a little gardening and pruning and, of course, I have my own vegetable garden, from which I get quite a good return in our short growing season, which is Winter and Spring. It's too hot to grow much in Oct, Nov, Dec and too wet in Jan, Feb, March and April. In 1977 we had 25 ft 4 inches of rain. This was the wettest year ever recorded in Australia. However this year, it may be beaten. For the six months to 30th June we have had 18ft 4 in 54 points, so in the remaining 6 months we have to get only 7 ft more to beat that 1977 record. I'm writing today because it's too wet to do anything outside; with only one lung and one kidney functioning properly I don't like getting wet for too long at any time.
"Heather is not exactly jumping over the moon these days but she is always helping someone somewhere. At present she is caring for 2 children, whose Mother is in Hospital for a big op, and special treatment. The children are 5 months and 2 years; both live wires and our routine has suddenly changed. Neither of us have lost touch though, and we will have these two lovely kiddies for at least two months.
"Well mate, I'll sign off here, hoping you and the Boys generally are keeping as well as can be. expected. "Cheerio to All, Your old Mate, 'Big Johnno'."
Neville Thams, (2/10 Fld. Regt. Artillery.)
Neville is a cobber of Jock Logan and Vince O'Reilly and a subscriber for "Makan". In his latest letter he remarks, "In these difficult days, I, like so many others, wonder if it all did really happen to us? How did we manage to survive those ghastly days as prisoners of the Japanese? It is a wonder any of us managed to survive. What have we done to deserve the refusals that are being handed out to so many of our ex-Ps.O.W. when they go seeking Repatriation assistance?
"Clay Blair Jnr's book 'Return from the River Kwai' will be available in hardcover in September and in paperback edition in July 1980. Blair writes on the sinking of the 'Rakuyo Maru' and 'Kachidoki Maru' ('President Harrison' renamed) in September 1944, after he and his wife had interviewed or contacted 175 of the participants, Australian, British and American or their relatives.
"A London based film producer has obtained film rights to the book and a screen play has been written for him. A film of this magnitude and cost is an uncertain venture. It may never be made. If it is, we would guess, that it would be released in the winter of 1980/81.
"I have read many references to the torpedoing, and unfortunately many of these have inaccuracies, as only those, who were participants, would perhaps realise. Blair also writes, “Writing the story of Rakuyo Maru and Kachidoki Maru combined turned out to be an extremely complicated undertaking. We endeavoured to present the facts as accurately and dispassionately as we possibly could. As participants, you will probably find our story wanting - probably not the way you saw or experienced it. Please forbear and forgive. Our goal was to present the essence of the story. That we believe that we have done. We hope that you read our book in that light.”
Neville says, "I had read American accounts of the submarines attacking the convoy and the subsequent rescue of some of the prisoners by the submarines. There is a section devoted to this action in 'Submarine Operations in World War 11' (Roscoe), 'Pig Boats' (a Paperback also by Roscoe), 'Sink 'em All' by Adm. Lockwood, and 'Silent Victory' (by Clair Blair Jnr).
"I correspond regularly with Rear Admiral E.B. Fluckey, who, in USS Barb, rescued 14 of us on the afternoon of the 6th day after the torpedoing, and with his Officer of the Deck, E. P. (Tuck) Weaver. It has been my great pleasure to meet both of these personally, and on an occasion, when I was in New York I endeavoured to contact the Commander of the submarine, 'Sea Lion', this being the one that torpedoed us, Eli Reich, there was such a name in the telephone directory, but it turned out that it was not the man I wanted, and I have since learned that the man I want lives in Washington D.C.
"Recently I had occasion to write, the torpedoing and the rescue – surely there can be only praise for the submarines concerned. 'Sea Lion', 'Pampanito' and 'Growler' did a tremendous job attacking the convoy, and most certainly no blame can possibly be attached to them in the sinking of the 'Rakuyo Maru' & 'Kachidoki Maru' (both carrying prisoners of war). Then the rescue by 'Sea Lion', 'Pampanito', 'Barb', and 'Queenfish', with the 'Barb' sinking a 20,000 ton Escort Carrier and a 11,000 ton fully laden Tanker in the early hours of that same day, as that on which the self same 'Barb' rescued us during the late afternoon, running the gauntlet of the typhoon, whilst still searching for survivors. (I might add that the Barb sank those two ships in a hit and run attack, not wishing to lose time in getting to the survivor area)'.
"The article in the May/June 'Makan' on the sinking as transcribed by you from the 2/4 Anti Tank Magazine.
"Reading it, I contradict my thoughts, as I expressed them in my opening words. It really happened ... it was only yesterday.
"Cheers for now and Best Wishes, Sincerely, Neville Tham."
(So your scribe had more reason to read the extract from Joan and Clay Blair's book, 'Return from the River Kwai' as set out in the four issues of the Sydney Morning Herald, commencing on Saturday, 25/8/79, where it was set out that the book has been published as a Raven Book by McDonald and Janes, and to be published in paperback by Futura next year. Ed).
Jack Carey - D Coy
Jack has the regretful news, "I am being plagued still by nose trouble; the other nostril now, and I do not want to go through another haemorrhage. You would think that with a proboscis like mine, nothing could go wrong with it. The last time I reckoned that the surgeon had his hand to the wrist inside it. So I had to decline an invitation to meet the boys against the Ballina Reunion. However, nothing will stop us making it up to the North Coast next year, God Willing.
"We have settled in nicely now and we are eating all the fish that we can handle, though I still miss the guiding hand and expertise of Jack Greenwood, the best fisherman I have ever known. Howdy, Jack, I hope that you are well and still landing them. J.C.”
"In spite of the sad tale about my nose, I am otherwise feeling very well, with no major health problems.
"We are situated on a narrow strip of land separating two large lakes, with Budgewoi Beach a pleasant 20 minute flat walk away. I have a colour, that I have never had before. By the end of Summer I will look like the "Dragon" at Batu Pahat.
"I have become involved in "Meals on Wheels" and another associated activity. It is very rewarding and more than helps to occupy spare time,
"May I wish one and all the very best of health and good fortune. J.C."
Cecil Plews - HQ Coy
"I have had very little contact with ex-Battalion personnel over some years. I moved to Adelaide in 1947 and my job has taken me around the various States and out of the country for various periods, since discharge from the Army.
"I hadn't known of any 2/30 Bn living in South Australia since I have been here, but now I have tried to ring Bob Howells without success, so I'll take a run up to Tusmore, to see if I may find him.
"As I have to be in Canberra on 15/16 November, I expect that I may be able to get to Sydney on 23rd November for the Annual Reunion I will confirm at a later date.
"My health is keeping good or as well as may be expected; I am married and my wife, Joy, and I have four sons, all married and the grandsons number 2 at the present. I have been a T.P.I. since 1962, but apart from that I am able to get around, keep very busy and enjoy myself.
"Thanks for all the information. All the best to all the Chaps. Cec Plews."
Arnie Ainsworth - Tpt. HQ.
A note to show that he is alive, enjoying his progress into the life span of the seventies.
Information on the Les Hall family is that Les' daughter and husband left Mollymook at the beginning of July to go and live on the Gold Coast. Les has confirmed this, but doubts that he'll be able to travel up there to see them as often as he did down the South Coast.
Dulcie has advised, "Russell and Kathy are enjoying America. They have not seen much of the tourist areas, but Russell has made up for that with Geology trips and he says that he is learning such a lot.
"All the rest of the family are well, as I am. Dulcie Korsch."
Jim Webster - B Coy
Jim says, "I am enjoying reasonable health and I send my best regards to all my old mates."
Harry Riches - Tpt. HQ.
Harry comments, "It is about time that I dropped you a line. I do like to get the news in the "Makan". I don't know what we would do without it.
"Joe Johnson, Jim Small, Tom Nixon and I went up to the Gold Coast to join Tom Grant at Ron Johnston's funeral. Tom read the Memorial Service in the Church and he did a wonderful job. It was very sad that Ron should go the way he did.
"I have just been to see Tom Nixon in Hospital here in Mullumbimby. He is not very well.
"I haven't seen many of the boys lately, though I was speaking to Alex Olley, who has been away over to Perth and had a good time. I often see Ernie Stratford. He looks well and is keeping well
"Joe Johnston is very busy, as the cane harvest time is around. It is a very busy time for him, and I do hope that the weather keeps fine for him. If we get a lot more rain it makes the harvesting very difficult.
"The fishing has been very bad lately. I haven't caught a fish for a week. So, I am busy working in the shed. (I'm told that he is engaged in a labour of love. He is making old sulkies look like new again. Ed.)
"I went to a Stud Sale with Allen, my oldest boy, last Saturday. He bought a bull there, and I had a real good day, meeting a lot of old friends, whom I hadn't seen for years. It was a good sale too, top price, $3,600 for bulls, $2,500 for females. It's good to see the man on the land getting a bit of a go at last.
Joe Johnston rang up to tell me the sad news of Johnny Parson's death. So he and I took time off and we had a good old yarn, until they cut us off the phone.
"It will soon be Ballina Reunion. I am looking forward to it, as it's always a good show,
"Remember me to all the boys. I am always thinking of them.
"I am keeping well, thank goodness, but I'm sorry to say that Dot is not too good with her nerve trouble. "Cheerio for the present. Harry."
Tom Kennedy - C Coy.
Helen and Tom are well out in the countryside, but their Mail man is very helpful, both with inward and outward letters. (We're grateful for the assistance, Helen, a lot do just the same as you. Thanks. Ed.)
Helen says Tom is still not 100%. (Look after yourself old Timer. Hope to see you one of these days. Ed)
Ron ("Jacko"") Jackson reports, "Have just returned from a visit to Harry Wilson, who, as you know, is still in "Belvedere Nursing Home'" at Wahroonga. He, unfortunately, has had some falls and bears a few patches of mercurochrome on his person.. However we manage to have a fairly good conversation, when I visit him.
"He still remembers his golfing days at Long Reef and his caddying days at Manly.
"He says that he is quite happy with "Belvedere" and I have to say that the staff all seem to be very considerate."
Garry Rickwood - C Coy.
Garry writes, "Life goes on pretty smoothly for me. I am fortunate that I keep in good health, apart from old age, which none of us can avoid, and manage to stagger around the Golf Course two or three times a week.
"I recently had a visit from Jock Logan. It was nice to see an old friend after so many years.
"I enclose a snap of myself taken a couple of weeks ago, whilst on holiday. We took the car across on the ferry to tour the west coast of France, into Northern Spain, played a bit of golf there and consumed a lot of Vino.
"I lost my older brother Eddie, recently. He apparently had a heart attack, while fishing on Lake Macquarie. It appears that he might have fallen from his boat and it was a couple of days before his body was recovered. He was a Major during the war and served in Borneo. (We're sorry to learn of this, Garry)
"Things in U.K. seem much the same. Like every other country, everybody wants to earn more and work less, which, when you stop to think of it, is reasonable enough. We have plenty of strikes, but no more than other countries.
"Our latest strike involves the Telephone people, but they have been smart, the only ones not working are the computer operators, who send out the bills. The result is that the P.O. have outstanding over a thousand million pounds. The only inconvenience to the public is 'No Bills'. That is the way to do it.
"Give my regards to any of the chaps whom you see and if any of them are over this way, please give me a ring," Yours sincerely, Garry Rickwood."
Jack Fell - B Coy
Jack's news is: "I have just received my copy of "Makan". I was saddened to learn of the death of Curly Simpson. I knew that he had been very ill, and when I saw him some 2 or 3 years ago, he had lost a considerable amount of weight, but none of his sense of humour.
"He and Thelma were soon to set out with their grandson on a prospecting trip in the camper van, that they had had for some time. I believe that it was to be somewhat in the nature of a sentimental journey, as they were going to sell it, and it would have been their last trip in it.
"Vera and I came to know Curly and Thelma while the Battalion was in camp at Bathurst. We both had flats at the lower end of Keppel. St, and spent our free weekends there. Most of our time on Sunday was spent chopping wood for the girls to use during the week. This had to be guarded most jealously, as the landlady would use it herself, if possible. They were rather rough digs, but, at least, we had our wives close to us, and they were prepared to put up with it.
"I have just finished my annual holidays, most of which was spent on the Gold Coast and in Brisbane. In Brisbane I stayed with my brother, which gave me the opportunity to visit my mother each day. She is in a Nursing Home and was 91 in July.
"I also spent almost a week with Ted and Cetress Rickards at Mungindi. Ted is not too bad, but was due to go into Concord for an exploratory operation in July, I have not heard from him since, so I don't know whether he has been in or not. (Yes, he has, Jack. They did a minor operation, but luckily it was not the serious one that had been thought it might have been. He was anxious though to get back to Mungindi to be there the day that his old shearing team got together, so that he would not miss the season with them. Your scribe went over to see him in Concord, and during our talk, was favoured with the recitation of two of Ted's poems, and was deeply appreciative of them. Incidentally, as we walked through the ward to the lift, one of the nurses turned round, from where she was writing and enquired of your scribe, whether I was a friend of Ted's, and when I said, yes, she said, I ought to see that he published his poems. When I mentioned this to Ray, he laughed, and said that when he was under the anaesthetic, Ted had treated the operating team to a recital of his own poems and other Australian poems like the "Man from Snowy River". Ed.)
(Your Scribe owes an apology to Ted and to Des Duffy, in that a poem was printed in the last "Makan", entitled "Birth of a Name". It was not known, at the time, that Ted was its author. It appears that he and Des had been at Concord AGH at the same time many pears ago. Des, knowing Ted's prowess as a poet, had told Ted that he was to make an address on "Anzac Day" to some school and had asked Ted, if he could let him have a poem about that as the subject.
Neither Ted nor Des knew that your scribe had come upon this poem nor that he proposed printing it in Makan; and putting Des' name at the end of the poem, as it showed in the "Makan", to most folk would have indicated that your scribe knew that it's author was Des. But such was not the case. It was a case when your scribe was too eager for items for "Makan". It is regretted that the mistake occurred. A.D.)
Ashley Pascoe - B Coy
Ashley states, "After reading the "History" I am indeed proud to be the recipient of this publication. It recalled many memories for me.
"I was saddened to read of the passing of Johnny Parsons: to me he was one of the many "Captains Courageous", who were thrown up by the 8 Div. A couple, who come to my mind, were Lt. Wagner, 2/18 Bn. decorated, I believe, but died in Borneo, and another was Lt. Ivan Mackay, 2/20 Bn., who looked more like a Boy Scout, than a man, but called upon to lead men in extreme danger. Then, of course, there was our own Capt. Jackie Boss, who did such a magnificent job leading "C" Group in Changi, when the bulk of the Troops were away in the various Hellholes of the Pacific. These men had one thing in common, they didn't know how to take a backward step, when confronted by a vicious runt, whom they would normally send into oblivion with a well aimed blow.
"Mention is made in "Makan" of Mrs. Parsons Snr. I do recall the lady well. I was one of the early 2/30th Bn home, having arrived on the 'Oranje' Hospital Ship, and as I was walking towards the wards at R.G.H. Concord, an elderly lady saw my colour patches and introduced herself to enquire, if I know the whereabouts of Johnny Parsons.
"I do get worked up, when I think of some two bit Queensland politician handing on a platter some of the best coastline in Queensland to a millionaire Jap, Iwasari. I wonder what he was doing during 1941-45? So many of our mates gave their lives to keep these fellows out of Australia. I wonder what the R.S.L. in Queensland was doing, when this deal went through.
"As I said, the History brought back memories for me, I was attached to Captain Swartz, B Coy at Yong Peng, when it was in support of the 2/30 Bn. Later the 2/26 Bn had problems. Col Boyes was taken away and put in charge of "Z" Force, which I believe was wiped out. Capt. Madden, the M.O., was killed on Singapore Island. Two of their officers were relieved of their commands. Col. Oakes was appointed C.O. of the 2/26 Bn, but at such a stage, I guess, there was never much rapport with the Troops.
"The 2/30 Bn had a stern taskmaster as their leader, but the discipline instilled in them paid rich dividends during the horrors, which the Men had to face as Ps.O.W.
"I thank all the team, who work on "Makan" I always look forward to it. Sincerely, Ashley."
Darcy Pickard - B Coy.
A brief note and we know Darcy is alive and reasonably well, although I'm told he has had his ups and downs in health.
Arthur Buckingham - B Coy
Arthur advises, "I was talking to Harry Brennan today, and he is very interested in joining the Association. I am sending you his address, hope you will take it from there. (O.K. Arthur; a copy of the History was sent as requested, some old "Makans" and a reply letter from Harry is to hand. Ed)
"I have run into Darcy Pickard as well, since I've been here, both he and Harry appear to be going along well.
"Hoping all are in the pink, Yours, Arthur Buckingham."
W. ("Tiger") Sylvester - B Coy
Just a short note from "Tiger" with thanks for "Makan" and Subs. Another one reasonably well, in the circs.
Con Hedwards - 1C Coy
Con comments, "As you will notice, I have changed my address to the above. I have retired to Woolgoolga, my old home town.
"Bob Newman, Norm Lee and I journeyed to Ballina for the recent Ps.O.W. Reunion. A good time was had by all and some old acquaintances renewed, in my case, notably with Tommy Grant and "Nugget" Crummy, whom I had not seen since 1942.
"This is all for the present. Hoping the Boys and their families are well. Yours sincerely, Con Hedwards."
A. D. ("Speed") Hollingsworth - B Coy
"Speed" tells us, "Received the History of the Battalion for which I am grateful.
"I am enclosing my cheque for History, Subscription for "Makan" and Membership Fee. As a reinforcement I was happy at the way that I was accepted by the Battalion.
"As a member of a Party that went to Japan, I can assure all that Sgt. Dick Noble proved to be an inspiration to me in Kobe. It is sad to know that he never returned to Australia.
"Apart from two eye operations and a coronary some time ago, I am well, and send my regards to all fellow members.
Harry Holden - B Coy.
Harry acknowledges, "The Malaysian Tour" edition of the "Makan" is a wonderful effort and my congratulations go to all concerned. "Dutchy" and I still exchange Christmas Cards annually and I was very interested to see his picture in the Tour Report. He looks quite fit.
"My last birthday brought up the "Big 6" for me, which is something of a milestone I guess. I'm delighted to report that I never felt better, keep very active outdoors with bushwalking and lately have taken up cycling again. I was a racing cyclist with Bankstown Club before the War and raced in many open road races, including the 1937 and 1938 Goulburn to Sydney.
"I bought myself a beautiful 'Speedwell Super-lite' bike with 10 gears, racing wheels and tyres etc. - in fact, the lot, I hadn't been on a bike for 40 years, so I spent a bit of time eyeing off this superb machine, before I was game to mount it. This I did in the dead of night, fully expecting to fall off. To my absolute surprise I found that I could ride it, albeit, somewhat shakily - and breathlessly!
"That was, last November and now I'm able to do 30 miles or so without much trouble, but not very fast. I had a bit of a circulation problem and cycling seems to help quite a lot.
"Along with almost everyone I've been upset and sickened to learn of the cowardly assassination of Lord Louis Mountbatten. An Irish character living in Australia even had the consummate b...... gall to appear on T.V. and claim that the "end justifies the means". Only being Irish, he said it back to front. How any sane person can justify such an act is beyond comprehension. Of course, the perpetrators are not sane, they are bigoted murderous madmen. An old man of 79 - an old lady in her 80s, women and kids. What an heroic act. The whole pack of miserable mongrels, put together, would not aggregate as much manhood as "Linder Longer" had in his little finger. They fill me with anger and loathing.
"I'm still District President of the R.S.L. and one of the long-serving (23 years) members of Cooma Legacy, along with other minor tasks. However this year I have retired from the local Club Board after 25 years' service, including 7 years as President, 6 years Vice-President and 5 years Secretary. That cuts down my monthly meetings by 50% - from 6 to 3. Time for others to carry on the task. I'll always stick with the R.S.L. and Legacy.
"Next year I hope to get to Sydney for the Anzac Day March. Ray Brown very kindly rang prior to this year's March, but, unfortunately, I'd already accepted some official duties here. Next year I'll keep a clean slate.
"Hope folk are fit and well. Please give my regards to Dutchy - Good to see two old "Belmore Day-Boys" in you and he getting together. Still my happiest memories of my time in the Army. All the Best to one and All, Harry Holden."
Eric Simmons - B Coy
Eric, who is now somewhere near the 63 years of age, was in Concord recently and Garry Evans came upon him in his hospital visiting. Eric was one of the Party at River Valley Road until December 1942, and after going back to Selarang Barracks, was with the Party on Blakang Mati. Although no news has been heard of him. Eric told Garry that, apart from the War, he has been at his current address for the last 60 years. We hope to see him at some of our functions in the future.
Conversation about others at Blakang Mati and Garry was asking your scribe was anything known of Athol Hyde-Cates, who was another Blakang Mati Man, and whose father had been in the Griffith Area pre-War? It seems that Athol may be somewhere around town. Does anyone know where he is? Our records do not show that he has been in touch.
Shirley Lugton - Bn HQ.
Shirley advises, "On receiving "Makan" this week I found your pages on Strongyloidiasis very interesting. Stan suffered like your unnamed mate for years and had some very embarrassing moments too. He was always very thin, even in former years, when he could eat a good meal, although in later years he didn't eat enough. But what made me comment on this was that, when Stan first applied for a pension, he wrote down the complaints that he had and on top of the list was Strongyloidiasis and I sent that list to Dept. of Vet. Affairs, also Hook Worm, that he was to be treated for in Hospital here. Repat had given him the medicine, but it had to be given in Hospital at the same time as he was to have had his tonsils out, but at the time he could not get a bed in Hospital; time went on and nothing was done and his Mother threw out the medicine. When I received the letter back from the Repat. after seeking a widow's pension, they left off the Strongyloides and Hookworm, just said that he died of a heart attack and myositis, but Stan must have been told somewhere along the line that he had these complaints. He had said that he suffered from Beri Beri too, but they left that out of the list also. I don't know which type it was, but there must be a file tucked away somewhere,
"I was knocked back on a Repat. Pension, but I hope that by this investigation in W.A. it reveals something so that some other widow of a P.O.W. won't be stopped in getting a pension."
"I am very well and life is fairly good to me, with a wonderful family all living here in Wagga."
"I look forward to "Makan". I enjoy reading about people, some of whom I have met, and others, just names, but Stan spoke of them over the years."
"I wish all the Boys well, Shirley Lugton."
J.E. (Scotty) Harris - Mortars,
Scotty has brought us up to date with his family statistics, "Mum and I were blessed with two girls and then adopted a third. The oldest is the proud mother of three lovely daughters (aged 7, 3 and 1); the second daughter has 3 children – a boy 7, two girls aged 5 and 2; whilst our adopted, Suzie, now aged 22 and married, is the mother of two boys.
"That should take care of the statistics - 3 daughters - 3 sons-in-law - 8 grandchildren - all of whom enjoy the best of health and are quite happy in this crazy mixed up world. It would appear that Wars seem to solve only immediate problems - I cannot imagine the young unemployed being very impressed with our promised bright new world.
"On a happier note - Mum and I have been fortunate in enjoying good health - have enough to satisfy our needs, which have run us into three overseas trips in the last six years - Singapore - Hong Kong and last year a grand tour of Europe - a highlight on this one to my mind being 5 days by ship down the Rhine. We were away 9 weeks and the month in England gave Mum great joy. We became lost in every major city, but discovered so many wonders, which were not on the tourist itinerary, that we were never really perturbed. Although a non-Catholic, I cannot imagine a building more beautiful than St. Peters - although Italy I did not like, I would go back readily, just to walk the streets of Pompeii and wander through St. Peters again.
"Locally my interests have been associated largely with sport - being at one time or other President, Secretary or Committee man of such bodies as the Southern Lakes Cricket Club, Awaba/Toronto Soccer Club, Toronto R.S.L., Toronto Country Golf Club, and Toronto Workers' Club. (Am now relaxing and enjoying being a member and spectator.)
"I still work at the Awaba State Coal Mine, only nowadays the younger blokes seem to tell me more often to "stand aside Scot; I'll do that". Most times I'm grateful, but occasionally I still tell them to go to Hell! Not that they take much notice of me. Been hurt a couple of times but nothing has been of a permanent nature. Getting a little deaf and don't read too well without glasses - but, still give the younger ones a run for their money at golf, snooker or, of all things, table tennis.
"Beach fishing and caravanning are now my great interests - best fish so far a 48 lb Jew Fish - that was some years ago, but I'll catch me another one this summer.
"Marj retired last year after 20 years with the Sulphide Corporation. After educating, as Secretary, 5 successive General Managers, she decided that that was enough - wanted more time with her grandkids - and is the dear getting some! We must be the best baby sitters around these parts - A lot of love goes into baby sitting.
"At the moment at home we are redecorating the house. I use term "we", but I must confess that it is Marj, who is doing the bulk of the work. It appears that I am not professional enough or want to get it done too quickly. It appears that I am to be allowed full rein, when we commence the outside. This I don't believe.
"Cannot praise all scribes of the "Makan" enough and to those unsung I would like each to know of the pleasure I and my family receive with each copy. Fortunately for my family, they are spared the sadness of our losses.
"To all the 2/30th in particular, our Best Wishes. All those in good health, may it continue - and to those off-colour, a speedy recovery.
"I will write again with further statistics in 30 years time, to equal the length of time since last I wrote. I hope that you will be doing the job still then of bringing our mates up to date. (No, not that, Scotty, you've already admitted to be relaxing on all your Committee jobs, Ed)
"Sincerest regards to all, Scotty Harris."
Keith McFarlane - A Coy
Keith's application for a copy of History reprint also adds to Col O'Donnell's remarks, "Ron Maston's report of the Tour is very enlightening."
"Regards to all, Keith & Family."
Ernie McNiven - A Coy
Mac's news is, "I'm still at Gladstone, supervising the building of a new Golf Course here, and could be here for another couple of months.
"I went up to Rockhampton on Anzac Day to join the March with Padre. He was well and cheery as always. I have not seen him since.
"A cheerio to all the Lads. There is not much to write about from here. Mac."
Jack Burke - C Coy
While Jack says that he has no news, he lets us know, "I am going along better this last twelve months than I expected.
"I saw Maurie Horrigan a few weeks ago. He is still fairly well, although he has lost some weight.
"Maurie doesn't like the Summer and I can't stand very cold weather or real hot, but we have a very good climate here at Dalby and it rarely goes to either extreme.
"All the Best to All the Boys, Jack."
Jack Chatfield - A Coy.
Jack relates, "I had a heart attack on 29th March last and have been off work ever since.
"The weather here at the moment is wet and bleak. A lot of work needs doing, but I can only manage five minutes on the mower at a time, then have a spell.
"I applied for a pension, but they gave me some trouble so I sent the papers to McGaw in Brisbane to handle my case and I hope that he can do some good for me now.
"If any of the Bn. are up on the Atherton Tablelands and can manage to get to Yungaburra, the directions to my house are: when you get to the Hotel, come past, 1st left hand turn, up by the Bakehouse, then turn right, halfway down Oak St at old falling down picket fence, that's it, the builder's house.
"Hoping that this note finds all well and happy,
"Yours faithfully, Old Jack"
G.E.T. Johnson - C Coy
"Big Johnno" posted down another note, "I was talking to Muriel Tate last week. Billy, who will be 16 in December is being looked after down in Rockhampton and may be able to come home some weekends, so that George is the only one at home now with Muriel and he works the cane farm. He will be 18 come December and Muriel says that he does not want the farm to be sold as he is managing quite well now. The local Legacy Boys have been on the job and have been trying to get help and relief for Muriel for some time.
"Heather and I drove up to see Jack and Irene Chatfield on the 22nd July. Jack has not worked since his heart attack in March, though he told me that he was hoping to do some light work again before long. He was in good spirits and we did quite a bit of yarning. Irene also was quite well and dished up a nice midday meal. Because of Jack having to take it easy, he had not any DOOVERS for me, as he had promised. We had to leave by 3 pm, because we had our two babies with us, they are the two wee ones, whom we are looking after whilst their Mother is recuperating.
"We are getting some lovely fine days now and I am catching up on many little outside jobs, making myself extremely and gloriously tired every night.
"Cheerio for now, Your old mate, 'Big Johnno'."
Reg Etherington - Tpt. HQ. Coy
Reg put us in the picture, "By the time that you receive this letter I will be in the Royal North Shore Hospital getting deep ray treatment etc. for a bad lung. (and a P.S. notified us that he had been admitted on 16th Aug.)
He went home after a week with instructions to report in to Gosford for his further treatment. This was most convenient since either his daughter or her husband would be able to drive him to and fro.
Unfortunately during the week he was away, Kathleen, his wife, collapsed on the kitchen floor one afternoon and was found there by their son-in-law, so she was taken to Gosford Hospital. Last news was that she had been operated on and was to be soon home.
They are taking it in turns. Now Reg is to go back to Royal North Shore on 24th Sept. for some more treatment, before the Gosford trips are to commence.
He says, "Kindly give me regards to one and all. Reg."
Freda Knox - C Coy
Freda says, "It's simply beautiful weather here just now. We would have frozen down south. We are happy to have had Andy in such a lovely spot.
"Tommy Grant has been thoughtful in calling in to say "Howdee" and Jock Logan still sends his wishes by cards. It appears that he is having a whale of a time on his trip.
"Getting back to Tom Grant. His dear Mother passed away and she will be a sad loss to him.
"Well dear Friends, I must close with kindest thoughts to all Andy's Pals. Many thanks to you all.
"Yours sincerely, Freda Knox"
William R. Millett - D Coy
Bob originally came from Atherton. He was on "F" Force but otherwise seems to have never got out of Selarang on any of the Parties in to Singapore. Jack Chatfield had made a few enquiries around Atherton and discovered the above address.
Bob is on a Service Pensisn and has lived at the above address ever since. He says that, "if he is on his feet for an hour, he blacks-out. He has to use a stick to walk. He has spent a lot of time in Greenslopes, having had 2 heart attacks, and in addition has blood pressure problems.
"He married just after he was discharged, but they were not able to have children, so they adopted a boy and a girl, the latter of whom is married now.
Bert Welch – B Coy
Bert Welch is one chap of whom little has been heard since 1959. On being discharged, he took up Dairy farming at North Arm not quite 90 kilometres north of Brisbane on the Q'ld North Coast Railway. Then he tackled cane cutting after having had a run of dry seasons on the farm.
He was on Blakang Mati Party and I’m sure would be glad to hear from some of his old mates.
Padre Paddy Walsh
Paddy's news is, "Last year I tried to retire, but after coming back from the round Australia trip, I was asked to take on the chaplaincy to the Old Peoples' Home here in Rockhampton, so I have a new address. It’s not onerous and I have a very comfortable little flat.
"I did have a brief spell in Greenslopes for a small operation, but was there only for one week and have fully recovered. I can still play 18 holes of golf and occasionally 27, but they make the course 100 yards longer every year, it seems.
"Have just been reading "Makan" with the account of the Malayan trip. It makes me wish that I could have been back in time to make it.
"Regards to all the boys of the Battalion and their families. Yours, Padre Paddy Walsh."
Les Perry - D Coy.
Listing the camps in which he was placed on "A" Force, Les says that they were, Mergui, Tavoy, 26 Kilo, 75 Kilo and 105 Kilo in Burma before we left for Tamarkan, the last named being the camp, which saved my life, greatly assisted by Vic. Hamlin.
"Vic, who was in C Coy and I from D Coy, met on the "Celebes Maru” in May 1942 on the Japs' mighty Hell ship on the way to Burma. We were sleeping side by side and I found out that he lived in a small township of Boree Creek, 28 miles from Narrandera, my home town, when I enlisted.
"Vic and I see one another every few days and often cart manure together for our gardens. There is an unlimited supply off that great soil builder, and we have a mixture of cow, horse, sheep, fowl, pig, kangaroo and fox manures spread around our yards, of which I'm sure the keen City gardeners would be envious.
"There has been an amazing number of fox skins obtained this year, and prices have varied from 20 to 50 dollars. One local shot 40 regularly for several weeks. I never go in for shooting but I was able to trap many wild ducks, which my mates appreciated.
"Bill (Jock) MacKenzie had his photograph in the 'Leeton Irrigator' Newspaper a few weeks back, being at a party to celebrate his father's 98th Birthday. Bill brought his father out from Scotland a few years ago and he is a real bright old bird. He served in the Gordon Highlanders in the 1st World War. He is very straight backed and often says to son, Jock, "Straighten your back up there, soldier." He is also much smarter in appearance than our old mate, Jock.
"I am still with the Forestry Commission and miss our departed Forester Terry O'Rourke. He was a great boss and mate to everybody.
"Regards to all, Les. P."
How appropriate that today Terry's brother, John, rang to give us Muriel's new address, as above, and Les Perry's note remembering Terry should be here.
Muriel has the phone in the house. John says that she is settled in. He also sends greetings to Darby Young and any other old mates from Wauchope.
Keith Mulholland - D Coy.
Quite a few of our Reporters have high praise to say of Keith.
It seems that Keith has been Bar Manager for 33 years & 7 months for the Local Bowling Club at Narrandera, and, if you do a little bit of Arithmetic, that means that it must have been the one and only job that he picked up when he was demobbed.
Our Reporters state that he was most popular, and well known for his spontaneous hospitality throughout the Riverina and that his position, from which he has retired now, will be very hard to fill, and already it hasn't felt the same Club, since he left.
Unfortunately Keith has suffered for many years with his "Happy Feet", a Legacy from the Japs, and after collapsing at work and being rushed to Hospital, he decided to call it a day.
We understand that his old "Don" Coy mates, Norm King and Max Pyle, regularly contact him by phone, and he appreciates their chats, which help him keep his spirits up.
Ruth, his wife, and their daughter, Catherine, are now endeavouring to spoil the 'old' bloke, (He’s 65 come middle of next month); by keeping him in bed until 10.30 am every morning, and then sending him down to the Charles Sturt Hotel for a little tonic water. The Hotel is owned by sister, Peg, and brother-in-law, Jack Duncan, and is a most popular rendezvous for almost everybody, the Hotel having been in the family name for over fifty years. Jack is also an R.S.L. Man.
Ben Pearce - D Coy.
Your scribe is reminded that he has been tardy in not reporting that Ben is another Club steward, who has given work away in the Club, and retired. The news came in first from "Digger" Preen, on whom Ben called, when Digger was free of Hospital. Ben's tour of duty in his Club lasted 21 years.
Harry Rhodes - B Coy
Harry's news commences, "Congratulations to Tom Davis, who has become the newly elected President of the Northern Rivers Branch of the Ex-P.O.W. Association.
"Members, who attended the Ballina Reunion reported another wonderful get-together.
"It was great to meet up with Jack Newton again at the Port Macquarie Reunion, together with other 2/30 Bn Members and their wives, Although it was sad news to hear down there of the passing of Joe Andrew, 2/3 M.A.C. of Wauchope, known to many of 2/30 Bn from his time with them in Training Bn. To quote, "Joe was one hell of a fine fellow"', and so say all of us. We will remember him"
Des Kearney - B Coy
Our Reporter advises that Des and Thelma have returned from a trip to Italy and Great Britain, a combination of business and pleasure.
Kel Anderson - C Coy
Kel was anxious too see that he got a copy of the History so he rang. He lives in the town, but also has a farm a few miles out of Dubbo, so than he is keenly interested in the vagaries of the weather and flights of grasshoppers.
Wal Eather - HQ Coy
One of our Reporters has said that, "One of Wal's daughters was involved in a serious car accident near Liverpool recently and sustained multiple injuries. Her condition was such that Wal has had many trips up and down between Tamworth and Sydney, and his older daughter at Eastwood has been a great help. We understand that the patient is improving.
George Croft - AAOC Attached - Bn. Boot maker
George is in Concord. Garry Evans made contact first on his Hospital Visiting and word was passed around. George has been moving around quite a lot, but has been at the above address for some time and we hope to keep in touch.
Col O'Donnell - C Coy
Col has been concerned at lack of support for various of the Appeals for aid to Malaysia and Singapore and reports: "I have written to Col. S.A.F. Pond, suggesting that he write to 8 Div. and Service Associates Council, asking it to write to each of the Battalion's and other Unit's Associations and open fresh Subscription Lists for the Malayan Nursing Scholarship Fund as soon as possible. You will note that according to the reports in 'Barbed Wire and Bamboo’, the Committee only have a credit balance of $23,000.
"Assuming that we will commence collecting for the Malayan Nursing Scholarship, I enclose a donation for that fund and the St. Patrick's School, Katong; as well, a sum to cover the reprint of our history and "Makan", (Thanks Col. Ed.)
"Ron Maston's trip sounds marvellous. They certainly were well received.
"Yours sincerely, Colin."
Horrie Cody - A Coy
Horrie declares, "We had a very good time at the Re-union in Ballina. I met some of the boys, whom I have not seen since coming home.
"I was reading in Makan that Ross Madden's recollections of the early days made him wonder, where three of those who were in the first drafts to the Battalion went.
"We had a Cecil Stokes, known as 'Curly', who failed to answer roll call after one of our four leaves from Bathurst, Then there was Snow Evans (Cecil). The last address I knew, was Hudderfield, Julia Creek, Q'land. He was a cousin of Wilf Evans. Snow went to a Commando Unit, and was on Timor. (Thanks, Horrie. Ed)
"Ron and I hope to be at the Reunion this year. "Zelma. and I are keeping well. My kind regards to all Members of the Battalion.
"Yours faithfully, Horrie Cody."
PLEASE COMPLETE, ATTACH YOUR CHEQUE OR OTHER MEANS OF PAYMENT AND SEND THEM TO JACK BLACK
2/30 Bn A.I.F. ASSOCIATION ANNUAL REUNION TO BE HELD, on FRIDAY, 23rd NOVEMBER 1979
WHERE: at PUBLIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION CLUB 515 KENT STREET, SYDNEY (near to TOWN HALL)
WHEN: SMORGASBORD COMMENCES AT 7 pm.
COST: $8.00 PER PERSON
COME BEFOREHAND TO SUIT YOURSELF AND YOUR COBBERS BAR WILL BE OPEN FOR EARLY FOLK.
WILL BE ATTENDING.................................................
Supplement with "MAKAN" No 250, Sep/Oct 1979, 2/30 Bn A.I.F. Association.