Makan No. 251
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 for Your Diary
13 Jan 1980 -
15 Feb 1980 -
15 Feb 1980 –
16 Feb 1980 –
16 Feb 1980 -
Kevin Ward reported as at 4/12/79:
Discharged Since Last
Will Members and Wives please advise Kevin Ward, when they are admitted anywhere, and, if to Concord, please see that the Admission Clerk notes in the Box provided on the Admission Sheet, that you are 2/30 Bn. Experience has shown that often the clerk does not ask the question. Otherwise the Computer will not get what your Battalion is. It is a Civvy Hospital now. (Kev, is on Holidays last week Dec and January - during that period let Garry Evans know.
Christmas and New Year Greetings. From The President
"There is a new surge of enthusiasm evident in the Association. Perhaps, it is the vigour of the "MAKAN" Editor and his team of helpers. Perhaps, it is the knowledge that our next Annual Reunion is to be at Tamworth and we will have the opportunity of seeing our country Members, again. Perhaps, it is a flow on from the successful Malaysian 'escapade'. (Legal jargon????). Whatever the cause, it's there.
"We placed an order for 100 new badges, hardly the act of a moribund body. May this spirit of enthusiasm permeate all our activities, and may Christmas and the New Year be a season of Happiness for us all.
From the Vice-President
"To the Fellowship of 2/30 Battalion A.I.F.
"At this time of the year we remember with concern and affection our Patron, George. Ramsay, and pray that the Christmas Season will be a happy one for him and Chubbie and that the New Year will bring him many blessings.
"On his behalf and my own I extend to All Members of the 2/30 Bn A.I.F. Association Christmas Greetings and Best Wishes for a decade of Good Health and Serenity in, all your relationships.
"In the past year we have mourned the loss of many great Mates. But we rejoice that the growing number of Widows in the Association are continuing to "Count their Blessings" even as we others continue to do, as we grow older.
"May the Good Lord Bless you all.
From the Editor of "MAKAN", for and on behalf of the Team
"Firstly, we thank You, the Members of the Association and those Unpaid Secretary/Wives, who have kept the news coming in, the tale of this one of our old comrades and that one to make up the "MAKAN" as 'the tie that binds', so that, as we may read of their activities, we may bring them to mind, as we last saw them be they ones, who have passed to their Creator, or those ones of us still living, where physical distance is what separates us.
May our affinity with those, who lived, fought and suffered with us in conditions, that only Fighting Men and we Ps.O.W. particularly can have shared, never be lost, but always spur us to extend the helping hand, the cheery word, to those in need. (as Bob Surtees said during the year.)
May your Christmas Season be one of Happiness for you, and may the New Year, to come, be one of hopes fulfilled for you and your families, is the wish for you from the "MAKAN" Team
Four Appeals were listed with the Special Makan, No 248 for your consideration, and we hoped, action on your parts.
One man and one man alone has seen fit to answer it, and he weighed in not only with a contribution on his own behalf, but, through his connections with a couple of Companies, he was able to bestir the Boards of Directors of those two Companies and each of them made a donation of $250 toward the MALAYAN NURSING SCHOLARSHIP FUND.
Please, will each reader of "Makan" give something according to his or her means. At some time during this Festive Season, when you prepare to sit down to one of your meals, what about making the effort, to set for a possible stranger in your midst, and on his plate place the cash equivalent of a meal that you could otherwise share with him, and even call on the family and your guests to do likewise, each according to his or her means. Aggregated they will come to a good figure, and we do appreciate that the dollar does not go far these days, especially in the pensioner's family.
Our friend, mentioned above, wonders if it is possible for those of you, who may have some influence in the Management or Board of Directors of Companies, to be able to see your way clear to calling for donations from those Companies as well.
(Your Scribe feels it apt to quote the last three lines page 10 of June 1979 "Barbed Wire and Bamboo" – "A Reminder: "Donations to the A.I.F. Malayan Nursing Scholarship are deductible for Income Tax purposes, and more money is urgently needed.")
Makan Fee for 1980
The executive has decided on no change, MAKAN FEE still $1.50 p.a. “MAKAN" Editor has been overwhelmed - Usual advices next issue.
Annual Reunion, 1980 – 40th Anniversary of Forming Battalion.
Alan Pryde, as Sydney Co-ordinator for this Reunion, has penned the following letter to the various Area Representatives.
"Probably you will have realized already that November of next year, 1980, will be the 40th Anniversary of the Formation of the 2/30 Battalion A.I.F. Your Executive Committee has decided to do something to commemorate the occasion. Let us face it, not many of us are likely to be around to observe a 50th Anniversary! We lost a considerable number of our men during the War years, and the circumstances of our service has since decimated the ranks of those, who made it home. Very few of us are less than 60 years old. So it really becomes a case of next year or never.
"This letter is only a preliminary advice by way of seeking your cooperation as our Area Representative, in bringing the scheme to the attention of all 2/30th men, who served with the Battalion, and/or their Next-of-kin.
"At this juncture the proposals already initiated by the Sub-Committee and confirmed by the Executive, are:
1. A Reunion at Tamworth over the weekend as near as possible to the
actual date of the first assembly of the then newly recruited men. Wal
Eather is presently exploring this possibility on our behalf. He has
important positions in that City's R.S.L. and Golf Clubs.
"I have refrained from naming any specific date, in order that the possibility of subsequent confusion be avoided. Arranging cannot be left until a few months before the event. Accordingly, we have been taking preliminary steps during the last couple of months.
"Although we've about a year to go before the big event, we hope that you will promulgate and recommend the project to all our Battalion Men, their Wives.......much as possible in the intervening months........a strictly 2/30 "Do", as distinct from......Associated Units of the Division. Hence a decision not to make it part of 8 Div. Reunion, which is to be held 25/26 Oct. 1980, but we trust that that Reunion will receive its usual good support.
"As soon as more specific details are available, I will write to you again and, of course, "MAKAN" will regularly include references to the developments.
"Our Best Regards, Yours sincerely, Garry Evans, Jack Black, Alan Pryde – Sydney Sub-Committee.
(In line with preliminary thinking can all of you see yourselves and your families converging on Tamworth, either in your own cars, or by means of public transport, which groups may be able to hire, or both; spending your time over a weekend in convivial talk, engaging in, say, Bowls, Golf and other type of sport, in which both men and their womenfolk may join, even to Games of Chess or the like.
It could be, of course, that you might like some special arrangements to be made, in which case, if you would talk it over with Area Representatives, draft out your thoughts send them along to Alan Pryde, we could get somewhere.
Biography of "Black Jack"
Some attempts have been made to have a biography written but the efforts have not been fruitful.
Stan Arneil proposes to tackle the job. He has set out some of the targets, which he will have before him and says, "I have proposed to Lady Galleghan, that I commence on a full biography of our beloved "B.J." and she is delighted. The work may well be of two years duration, but I think that I can produce a work, which will do justice to him. Lady Galleghan will help me considerably with research and she has found two Diggers (85 years of age) already, comrades of ''B.J." in the 1st World War.
"What I am looking for are personal anecdotes or reminiscences of the type, which do not appear in the official records. For example, what was his reaction, when he arrived at Singapore and he found that Brigadier Maxwell had been promoted senior to him? I know what his reaction was, but I do hope to hear from one of his officers, with whom he discussed the matter, that is, if he did discuss the matter at all.
"Again, who were the officers, with whom he made the wager that we would board the Johan without smoking? The Bn. History mentions the "Senior Embarkation Officer". Who was he and who were the other officers present, when the wager was made?
"I am also completely devoid of personal anecdotes of his time in the C.M.F.
"I would be grateful, if any of our members would write down these things and the like and send them to me. I would appreciate also any personal photographs, which include "B.J." For example, were any photographs taken, by members or their wives, of "B.J.", when he visited Bathurst with Lady Galleghan and the Association at the time of the Bathurst Reunion?
"All submissions and photographs will be acknowledged on a printed form, and photographs will be kept for about two years.
"I know that it is an effort to do this, but I feel that it should be of great assistance in making a better picture of "B.J."
Sincerely, your friend, Stan."
(Stan realises that he has to cast his net widely for the best results; that to be able to portray his whole characteristics he needs to learn of his faults and mistakes as well as the good, since the result will add to the history of Australia. Ed.)
Competition For "B.J." Memorial Shield, Bowls Day - 1 Oct ‘79
4 Teams played on behalf of the Bn Association against the Bankstown RSL Bowls Club on Sunday, 14 Oct., and once again the Bankstown Team won the Shield, but only by 10 points. The Teams were made up by:
Kevin Ward, "Sluggo" Jones, "Joe" Veivers, Bill Lansdown
They played in the order, in which they are shown, Lead, No 1, No 2 and No 3 - Skipper.
The points score for the day ended with the Bankstown RSL Club 96 against 86 for the 2/30 Bn.
A draw out of the hat amongst the Bankstown players gave a team, which played against Jack Maclay's four, transistors as a trophy, and, amongst the 2/30 Bn players, the Mortar Platoon four, skippered by Jimmy Walshe, was drawn from the hat and went home with a fowl each and Bannerettes.
The teams were supported on the day by the presence of:
Vera Fell, Win Mason, Dorothy Ward, Vi Croft, Rita Holland, Dutchy Holland, Alex Dandie, Jean and Fred Johnston, Clover and "Doc" Wilson, "Joe" & Georgina Geoghegan and daughter, Diane, Garry Evans, Ron Maston, Jack Black, Evelyn Stevens and Sheila Jones, the last named having come down from Booval, Q'LD, with "Sluggo", and they were staying with daughter, Janet, at Randwick.
George Kinsela had come down from Grenfell and, although he had attended a family wedding on the Saturday, showed good form on the green for his 73 years.
One of the regular team, George Gough, was not available for the Game, as he was down in Canberra that weekend for a family activity with son Bob on the Sunday.
"Joe" Veivers enjoyed his weekend and met George Croft and Ron Maston for the first time since 1944.
Kevin told your scribe that the luncheon was a very good smorgasbords which had been put on by the Main Club; a recognition of the friendships cultivated by the competition with the Bowls Club. He mentioned the names of Col. Frew and Jimmy Tibbert, and a former Headmaster of Rappville known of old to "Rogo” Sweeney, Frank Phelps.
Keeping to Bowls News, Kevin Ward also mentioned that a P.O.W. Day was held at Cabramatta Bowls Club on 29th September. Quite a paragraph about the day features on page 6 of the Dec. issue of "Barbed Wire and Bamboo". A shield had been made for the Competition and on this Inaugural Day it was won by a team from the Host Club, Cabramatta.
A 2/30 Bn Team of Vince Leonard, "Snow" Mason, Kevin Ward and George Gough took part in the Competition. They were pitted against the Cabramatta Team, which won the Shield. Kevin was delighted to have Ernest Chapman of the Anti-Tank playing opposite him, formerly in Bathurst Camp.
As this Day will be made an Annual Event, Bowlers are asked to note it in their Bowls' Diaries.
2/30 Bn. AIF Association - Annual Church Service - 11/11/79
A choice was made of second Sunday in November, in keeping with tradition, on which we hope that regular annual family gatherings will be made at St. Stephen's Uniting Church, where the 30th Battalion Colours are laid up.
The Brochure, which was made available at the time of the 'Laying-Up' of the Colours on Sunday, 9 December 1962, in an Historical Note, states "..the predecessor Battalion of the 30th when it was known as 1st Battalion Scottish Rifles,..(had) Summer and Winter Church Parades .... commenced in 1886...the Winter Parade to St. Stephen's Church, then in Phillip Street. The Parade formed up in Hyde Park and marched down Macquarie Street Hunter Street and into Phillip Street.
"The Annual Church Parade of the 30th changed in 1948 to the nearest Sunday to the 11th November to commemorate Armistice Day, 1918, and it has been continued at St. Stephen's, the Regimental Church. "A" Company, (N.S.W. Scottish) still continues this tradition, commenced 75 years ago (1962),....” and now we adopt it, our 30th AIF Battalion having been formed in the latter part of that month, November 1940.
A party of Noel and Janet Johnston, Ron & Gretta Maston, "Joe” and Georgina Geoghegan, Ray and Leila Simmons, Tom & Marg Davis (on holidays in Sydney from Grafton), Bruce & Betty Ford, Les and Cecily Wharton, Lady Galleghan and her sister, Douglas McLaggan and Alex Dandie attended the 10 o'clock Service, which was conducted by the Very Rev. J. Fred. McKay.
The Old Testament Lesson was read by Noel Johnston, and that in the New Testament by Lieut. R.H. Burley (H.M.A.S. Tingara Old Boys' Association). Lady Galleghan led the congregation in an Act of Remembrance, and Mrs Fred. McKay in Prayers of Remembrance.
Annual Reunion – 23/11/79 - at Public Service Association Clubs, City
The Treasurer's Report states that the Caterers at the Club accepted that there were 55 Members at this year's Annual Reunion, and that would not take into account Stuart Peach, who came late, after the Smorgasbord was finished.
Quite a few apologies were read out, of chaps sick or on holidays or caught up in business and family commitments. Ashley Pascoe intended to make it, the first for many years, but evidently the heavy rain put a stop to that. We'll have to see that one of the younger ones pick him up next time in the City. George Clarke was chauffeur for some septuagenarians, Phil Schofield and "Sammy" Hall, who were otherwise unlikely to have attended. There should be more of this sort of help.
Keith Broughton was very put out on Saturday night, as he went to dress to come in, to be told that he was 24 hours late, so I am informed.
Interstaters to come along were Cec Plews from Adelaide, and Vince O'Reilly from the Gold Coast. NSW Country folk - from the South Coast were - Horrie and "Bull" Cody from Bomaderry and Shellharbour respectively, Stewart Blow from Berry; North Coast Reps. were Neil Huntley and "Paddles" J. Clune. Don Garner (the Afghan) was a welcome bod surrounded by B Coy Members.
The Toast of the Evening, "The Battalion" was entrusted to the very capable hands of Fred Bladwell, who dwelt on the theme that those who joined the Battalion, were in the A.I.F. of their own free will, fought for the freedom of Australia and looked to the future generation to preserve it for them.
Western Suburbs Ex-P.O.W. Get Together at Granville RSL Club.
The 15th Annual Reunion held on Friday, 14th Sept. at the Granville RSL Club was well supported by 2/30 Bn Men and their wives, sons and daughters and in one case a niece. "Joe" Geoghegan did a good job rounding up supporters for "Max" and Heather McClelland, without counting Noel Johnston, who was an Official Guest Speaker, with his wife, Janet, and "Joe's" wife, Georgina and their children. The Bn Contingent included Jack Maclay and his niece, Sue Lyon, Ray and Vera Rickards, Reg, and Madge Napper, Alex and June Dandie, Dutchy and Rita Holland, George Aspinall and "Snow" and Win Mason.
Showing of Films and
Slides of Malaysian Group Tour:
This showing took place on 27th October in the 1st Floor Reception Room of the I.O.O.F. Building, Clarence St. City. A gathering of about 70 folk including Riverina and Newcastle men Curly Heckendorf, Jack Fell, Ray Godbolt and Sid Stephens, their wives and sons were there for the occasion, and the organisers were sorry that the evening was over long, with the program, that they had thought to offer. At the same time the sight of those places, where they had been in battle positions, at Batu Pahat, and on Singapore Island, brought memories back to those, who had not been able to go on the tour, and, more recent memories to others, who had gone. The womenfolk now may be able to understand more fully those things, of which the men talk whenever they meet.
(2) Far North Coast
George Aspinall's projected country trips with these films were upset by the Holiday Programme of his Employers, but he was able to have some days around Christmas. He telephoned to the North Coast on Christmas Eve and, assured of a goodly number gathering at such short notice, travelled up for a showing on 29th December.
George cannot say at this stage, how he will be placed to have leave later in the year. He wants to carry out his promise to other Areas. However, no requests have come in yet. If you want a showing, please let your Area Rep. know and get him in turn to tell us the most suitable date, with 2 or 3 alternatives and possible numbers.
Commemoration of Formation of 2nd A.I.F.
3rd November was the day set for this Commemoration. It was not well attended. All Divisions of the 2nd A.I.F, Women Services and Bands formed up in the Domain. Instead of surging crowds and Marchers, 12 abreast, as was thought might be there, the Actual Numbers caused the marshals to require 3 files only. As far as the 8 Division representation was concerned it would have meant otherwise 1 man out front with the Div. Banner, and the rest of the 13 men in the one line abreast. A peculiar fact in the support given to this Commemoration was that of the thirteen 8 Div. Men present, 8 of them were from the 2/30 Bn.
Northern Rivers Branch NSW Ex-Ps.O.W. Association Reunion, 17/11/79
Harry Rhodes reports a successful function of this 18th Annual Reunion at Grafton, with a gathering of 101 mixed.
2/30 Bn representatives were: Artie and Nancy Power and son Robert, with wife, Kaylene, (Kyogle); Fred and Jean Winters, (Copmanhurst); Arthur Roberts, Merle Rockett and Dulcie Korsch, (Grafton); Norma Lee, Con Hedwards and Bob Newman (Woolgoolga); Jack and Una Clune (Taree); 'Joe" and Norma Veivers (Coffs Harbour); and from South Grafton, Harry and Ethel Rhodes, Jack and Iris Collins, son, John, with wife, Gerel, daughter, Beverley and her husband, Allan. Whilst apologies from 2/30 were Jack Newton (Taree); Joe and Sybil Johnston (Knockrow); Neil Huntley, (Port Macquarie); Tom and Marj. Davis (Grafton), the last two explained their excuse as -attending a wedding.
Official Guest Speaker was Colonel Jack Williams OBE. ED. He gave a very interesting and enlightening address on the early history of the NSW Ex-Ps.O.W. Association - who better to acquaint us with the facts, than a man who was President of the Association for 17 years.
Lucky prizes were donated by Merv. Farmer and Clarrie Maunder and were won by Sam Blair, 2/3 MT (South Grafton) and Isabel Maunder, wife of Clarrie, 2/3 MT (Grafton) - how about that? The raffle was donated by Dulcie Korsch and won by Bert. Anderson, 2/19 Bn (Bellingen).
Jean Winters, wife of Fred, 2/30 Bn, entertained with items on the accordion, followed by requests. These were much appreciated. Many thanks, Jean.
Tentative date for the 1980 Reunion is the 15th November, this has yet to be confirmed.
NX27339 Pte. Clifford
Roy Rooney ("Mick") - Pioneer Platoon,
The Nominal Roll shows that he was born 19/1/1916, so that he was 63 years of age, when he died on 1st Nov. in Hospital.
Cliff, was one of the Battalion, who joined the Association early in 1946, but then he dropped out of sight, to be found back in Concord last year, and, although he had many of their check-ups, he kept a brave face to the world right up to the end, despite the cancer, which killed him.
It is indeed a sad blow to the Pioneer Platoon men, who were a very close knit fellowship, that Cliff succumbed to his complaint so quickly and so soon after they had found him.
The Battalion was represented at the funeral service and the subsequent Crematorium Service by "Max" McClelland and his wife, Heather, and Alex Dandie.
Our Sympathy goes out to his wife, Mildred, and their family and to his sisters and brother.
NX34337 Pte Ambrose
Albert Solway (“Sam Or Sol") - Transport Pl.
He was born on 25/4/1914 and died on 1st Nov. so that he was 65 years of age, when he died.
After he was demobbed, "Sam" carried on the trade of a painter, but his health was not the best. Stan Arneil described him in 1951 as "a toiler, who has kept his nose to the grindstone since we returned".
He and his wife, Thelma, bought their cottage in Sans Souci and spent a lifetime paying off the mortgage, as so many of us have done, but moved up to Saratoga on the Central Coast about 4 or 5 years ago.
"Sam" was disfigured in the face by the Cancer that he had, consequently he did not move around too much in public, but being a keen fisherman, he often sought solitude in the several spots, where he learnt to catch his fish.
The Battalion was represented by Alex Dandie at the Cremation Service at the Palmdale Crematorium, Ourimbah, where the pleasant bushland setting appealed to him as fitting to be his last resting place, as he bravely waited out his last years.
"Sam" had T.B., after we first came home, and Repat. had classified him as 100% pension, and given him a Service Pension but did not classify him T.P.I.
We mourn with Thelma and their children, Graeme and his wife, Myree, Karen and her husband, Tony, and their families in their loss.
NX46825, Private Michael Albert Bailey - Transport Platoon and Adam Road & River Valley Road Camps on Singapore Island, on "F" Force and X1 Tunnelling Party in Johore.
Mick was born on 22/1/1910. He died on 12 December in the Convalescent Hospital, to which he was transferred from Concord, which he had entered for removal of a cataract on one of his eyes, but whilst there a diagnosis of another complaint had been made and he was retained in hospital for further attention, though the doctors were not able to arrest the cancer which it turned out to be.
Mick was the eldest of the three Bailey Boys, who were all in the Transport Platoon. Whenever anyone might be talking of any single one of the three of them, it seemed inevitable that reference to the "Bailey Boys" would be made. There were two other Bailey's in the Battalion, Phil Bailey, famous for his chiropody, and H.A. Bailey of A Coy, but Mick, Bill and Gerry, the three "Bailey Boys" were well known, and were enjoyable company.
Mick was married already to Edna, when the Battalion left for Malaya and, when he returned to Australia, remained in Glebe Point until the move early 1957 to the cottage at 15 Badger Avenue, Sefton, where they have been living ever since.
He had a job with the Maritime Services Board in Sydney and made many friends amongst them, but in 1975 he reckoned he was slowing down and gave work away.
The loss of a leg, and then further amputation later led to lack of mobility, so that he did not get around much in his last few years, but he did like his mates keeping in touch with him and yarning over the old days.
The Battalion was represented at the Funeral Service in the Church at Sefton by Gerry Bailey, as was natural, being in the family, Steve Allardice, Jack Black, Alex Dandie, "Curly" Hardman and Beatrice, who had come down from Woy Woy, "Dutchy" Holland, Vince Leonard and Alan Pryde, whilst another four were at the Crematorium, "Joe" Geoghegan, Noel Johnston, Nev Riley and Kevin Ward. The Bass Hill RSL Sub-Branch and Club representatives carried out the RSL Service and Noel Johnston recited the Ode.
We join Edna and their son, Mike, their families and the families of Bill and Gerry in sorrowing his passing.
NX31035 Sgt. Mervyn C. Dixon, 12 Platoon, B Coy and on "A" Force, is reported to have died in a New Zealand Veterans' Home on 3rd September last. He is recorded as having been born on 28/3/1901, so that he would have been 78 years of age at death.
It is known that he was an accountant, when he enlisted, and that he was employed in the Customs Dept. here in Sydney, after he returned to Civvy Street. It appears that, it was not long after the War, that he migrated to New Zealand, and obtained employment in the Customs Dept. over there, and maintained that occupation for some years; it seemed that he felt that he had no ties here in Australia.
While he attended some functions immediately after the War here in Sydney, we had virtually little contact with him.
We Shall Remember Them
Lest We Forget.
Deaths in Families of Members
Steve Allardice - Alfred George Stratton, father of Gwen and Father-in-law of Steve, passed away suddenly on 6th December at the Frank Whiddon Homes in his 87th year. He took his first steps in Masonry in 1915 and in 1941 occupied the Chair of his Lodge.
Harry Riches - Word has come from the North Coast that Harry has lost his older brother.
We extend our sympathy to both these Members for their loss of those close to them.
Thelma Simpson - A Coy
Thelma confesses that worry and sickness, which hit her has delayed her expressing her gratitude for the Association's tribute to Jack (Curly) at the cremation service. She says, "One had to live with that man to know his wonderful courage. He was one in a million and only weighed 4½ stone when he died.
"It was the strangest thing, but our copies of the re-print of the Bn History turned up on the 25th July, the day between his death and his funeral. The Minister based his sermon on what he found in them and, it was the most beautiful sermon, that I have ever heard. I know that I have to be biased, but the chapel was crowded and I seemed to hear everyone around me afterwards say the same thing. Thanks for the lovely wreath. I brought it home with me, because that purple and gold is so special.
"I suppose being run-down, by my constant attendance on Jack, made me a sitting target, but I was hit with 'flu very badly, followed by shingles in my left hand because of a lot of nerve strain, hence my delayed letter to you.
"Your's sincerely, Thelma Simpson."
Beulah Collison and Peggy Evans
"My Sister and I wish to thank you for your kind card and sympathy towards us - Arthur dearly loved my Mother - Mum and I often went to the "Gemas" Days at Pymble.
"It was wonderful to receive such kind words and once again we, both, thank your Executive and the Men of the 2/30 Bn.
"Yours Sincerely Beulah Collison and Peggy Evans.
Beatrice and "Curly" Hardman
Many thanks for your expression of sympathy on behalf of the Men of the 2/30 Bn. Olga was a very dear sister. She died of Cancer and we will miss her very much.
"From Beatrice, Curly, Freda and Shirley and our families."
"We thank you most sincerely and deeply appreciate your thoughtfulness on the death of Cliff.
Cath Collins expressed her gratitude for the tributes given to the family on Hylton's death, and thankfulness that she had the assistance of cousin, Ray Brown, also "B" Coy.
Ruth and Stew. Blow also gave their thanks for the thoughtfulness of thinking of them at news of the death of Ruth's Sister.
Gwen and Steve Allardice were also grateful to receive a card sympathising with them at the loss of Gwen's Father.
Thanks For Flowers In Hospital
Where known that Next of Kin of Members are in Hospital it is the practice of the Executive to send them some flowers as an uplift in a time of trial.
Vi. Schofield spent quite some time in Manly Hospital with her broken ankle, a time, which was lengthened by other troubles.
Vi. rang your scribe last week to say that she was still weak and unable to write, but wished the Men of the Battalion to know that she was deeply grateful for those flowers and also for the Cards and Good Wishes from the various folk, who sent them to her.
Your scribe's wife also wishes it to be known that she was deeply touched by the thought of sending the flowers, the cards and messages of good cheer. She confessed that on the unexpected arrival of the Executive's flowers, she burst into tears, the nerve strain following the heart operation not allowing her any other expression of joy at the time.
U.S.A. Newspaper Satire at Expense of U.S.A. and The Soviet.
"Jock" Logan wants to share the humour in this tale, which appeared in some Newspapers in the U.S.A., whilst he was there, and which we quote in part, "Waiting in line for gas is nothing" says a Russian writer, who's always been in line for something, "I was born in a line. My Mother was in a Maternity Hospital at the time, waiting to be registered, when her labour pains commenced. Unfortunately, she had forgotten to bring along her passport. The internal passport required of all adult Soviet citizens.
"My father raced back home to get it, but by the time he reached my mother again, I had been born already in the corridor. Since then, standing in line has been a basic part of my existence.
"I met my wife while standing in line for a rail ticket, and not too long after that, we found ourselves in another long line of couples waiting to get married.
"I was only a boy, when I saw my first line of people waiting to be arrested. Men and Women packed their underwear and some bread and stood interminably, sleeplessly, docilely, waiting to be taken into custody. Then there was another waiting line for the investigation of their case. After the trial they stood in line again, waiting to be shipped to the deportation point, and finally in a fourth line for shipment to the labour camp. Inside the camp, there were many quite ordinary, normal lines: for a hunk of bread, say, or a mug of water.
"I once registered myself on a list of people applying to purchase a refrigerator, with the hope of receiving it in 3 years.
"After waiting 7 years to buy a car, I received a postcard: 'No 83476. Your automobile has arrived. Payment in advance by 7.30 pm today.’ First of all I stood in line waiting to buy tyres for the car, and then in a second line for a service contract. I was deliriously happy anyway, because I had been waiting already for 13 years to move out of our communal apartment into a separate one with our own kitchen and our own toilet. (Jock's underlining.)
"Every woman knows, that, if there is no line outside a shop, there is nothing inside worth buying. But the converse does not necessarily apply.
"There are certain very simple types of lines. For these one may even order by telephone. If you have no telephone, it is no cause for concern. The waiting list for a new phone is no more than 5 to 7 years.
"The ultimate art is getting what you want without you standing in line at all. Deputies to the Supreme Soviet and Heroes of the Soviet Union are entitled to this exemption, notices are posted in the shops to that effect.
"As to higher officials in general, since there are so many of them; allocations are set in advance for certain categories of individuals. Their chauffers, secretaries and maids go to special distribution centres and serve as stand-ins for the V.I.P's in line for caviar, French wines, Armenian cognac, or for out-of-season fruit flown in from exotic places. Ordinary people stand in line for ordinary potatoes.
"The right to stand in line can be inherited. If a father dies, his son is allowed to register for the father's right to buy a rug or an article of furniture. The son must put in an appearance once a month to keep his name on the list.
"A foreigner once asked me, "But why should lines exist in your country at all? Your population is so vast - couldn't you hire 3 saleswomen instead of one?" He did not understand that three saleswomen would sell out the supply of sausages in 30 minutes, and then what would the shop do for the rest of the day.
"Today, our Soviet Newspapers are filled with photos of endless lines of American cars waiting to get gas. How do we react to such scenes? To be frank, we're thrilled. You see, we Russians love lines. Standing in lines and waiting our turn is not only an occupation and a hobby, with us, it's a way of life..
"When we learnt about gas lines forming in the West of the U.S.A. as a result of your energy crisis, we were overjoyed.
"We are proud of this cultural contribution of ours and pleased to pass it on to other countries." (see page 30, "Gums' in Moscow.)
NEWS, VIEWS, and WHO's WHO
Keith Jones - HQ Coy
Keith explains? "Since attending the Ex-Ps.O.W. Reunion at Ballina in August last, most of my time has been taken up with doctors and physiotherapists.
"I know that you will have been told what a great Reunion it was; seeing so many old faces again brought back many memories. Some of the Boys I had not seen since 1945. Hopefully, I will be able to attend all gatherings in this area in the future and be able to talk over past events at them.
"I had to give up work in May 1977, after spending time in Tweed and Greenslopes Hospitals. Things were rough for quite a while, but then in November 1978 I was granted T.P.I., which has helped a great deal.
"Although I have experienced five heart attacks in conjunction with our various other ailments, common to lots of us Ps.O.W., I find it very hard to be idle. Currently I am President of the Burleigh Lions Club, Secretary of the T.P.I. Gold Coast Centre and on the Committee of the Gold Coast Orchid Society. This makes me forget about myself and keeps me very occupied. I find that work with both Lions and T.P.I. is very rewarding, in so far as you are able to assist and help others worse off than yourself.
"Since joining the T.P.I. Association. I have met a number of Queensland Ex-Ps.O.W. out of the 2/26 Bn and also 2/10 Arty, who had been in River Valley Rd. and also on "F" Force at the same time as myself.
"There are days, when one gets very down, and these are times where my orchid house helps. I just down whatever I may be doing and go in to my plants, spending the rest of the day there. To me it is better than a dose of Medicine; it gives a lift and an ability to look on the brighter side of things.
"While I am only a small orchid fancier compared to many up here, I am accumulating some good stock of show quality and am now exhibiting. So far no prizes, but here's hoping.
"I wish one and all the Best for the coming Festive Season. Yours very truly, Keith Jones."
(Can a mere scribe intrude here? This is not of Keith's asking, but would some other Bn. Orchid fancier breaking out a few back bulbs, feel like exchanging some with Keith? Would it be permitted, if rightly dealt with for quarantine regulations?)
Ray Duncombe - HQ Coy
Ray rang to proudly advise that his grandson had been presented with his Diploma in Electronics at the end of his course at the North Sydney Tech, and that the grandson and his fiancée planned to get married in October next year.
Ray also went on to talk of his football and foot racing and how at Walcha in the 30's his Father's Brother had been the coach for the Rugby Union team, in which Ray played. Then at Bathurst in the Bde Sports Ray had played Rugby Union; over in Malaya he changed to League, but returned to Union, when he came home. Ray said that he had won the 100 yards sprint at those Bde Sports at Bathurst, but had been scrubbed, because he was regarded as a professional, having taken part in Club Races where, having come first in 3 races he was paid £20.
Ray also became interested in Basketball in Malaya. He had weighed 11 to 12 stone, so trained and reduced his weight to 10½ stone and kept it at that weight, so that, when he left Selerang on "F" Force, he was still 10½ stone solid, but, when he came back to Changi, he was a mere 6 stone.
Still nostalgic, Ray also talked of pre-war military service with the 1st Battalion, when he was a Corporal in the Sig. Platoon and Bertie Farr was his Sergeant, and the Battalion was in Liverpool on a 30 day camp at the same time as the 17 Bn, to find that the 17 Bn Sgt, was reading out of a book to carry out the training, so those in their Unit, who knew Morse, were set to work teaching the 17 Bn Sigs. They made such good progress, that in sending a 25 word message by helio through several stations from the Camp to Casula and back, the first part of their message was being read at the receiving station back in Liverpool, before the end of the message had been sent.
Andy Hyslop - I Sect.
Here's another in the same class as Ben Pearce. Andy has stated, "Age is telling on me, particularly since my major operation. My mobility is reduced. (He turns 73 towards the end of November). With kind regards and best wishes to All,
"Yours sincerely, Andy Hyslop."
Bob Easton - 2/30 Bn Reinforcement Squad
That must look a funny heading to some of you, but Bobby has told me that he was in Dubbo Camp and was in the "Pool" at Sydney, when our convoy was sailing. It is well known that the Battalion strength was alright at the time, with no last minute absentees. However, the Reinforcement Groups, who also sailed had to have their strengths made up from "The Pool" and Bob says, he was sorry, that he was just 3 down the line from the last man taken, so that he was not able to soldier with mates, with whom he had done all his initial training.
Bob has said that he would very much like to hear from any of the chaps, who were with him at Tamworth and Dubbo. He drives a taxi in Sydney. One of those mates, whom he has contacted, is Alan Charlton, and he wonders, if he could hear from some others.
Alan Charlton - HQ Coy
Alan's letter reveals, "I have been helping at the Golf Club with the Ballina 'Cadets' this year, and we certainly have some good prospects. Although not a good golfer now, I can help the youngsters develop their swing and get started in the game, so Saturday Morning is the most enjoyable few hours of my week. One lass, who had been allowed to develop a bad fault in her swing, was able to respond to my tuition in two lessons, so that the fault was 'ironed out', and she had a 'Bogie' 4 on a par 3 110 metre hole last Saturday, and she's only ten years old.
"I have been batching for the last two weeks. Yvonne has been holidaying with some of her relatives at Newcastle over that time, but I expect her home on the 'Double 10th'.
"My Best Wishes to the Boys, Alan Charlton."
Geoff Alcock - B Coy.
The issue of Tuesday, October 9, 1979 of the "Northern Standard", one of the free papers circulating in the Northern Districts of Sydney, carried an item of news with banner headline- "Oldest Trader To Retire" and related that, "Mr. Geoff. Alcock, Pennant Hills Oldest Trader Will Soon Retire.
"Mr. Geoff Alcock started work at the age of 16 at Katoomba in the drapery section of a general store.
"Then Geoff spent four years in the 2nd A.I.F., but three and a half years were spent in Changi P.O.W. Camp.
"All the rest of his working life he has been in the 'rag trade'.
"Mr. Alcock built a shop on a vacant block of land in Pennant Hills Rd. in 1954 and opened as a boys' wear specialist.
"The business soon developed into general drapery with an emphasis on dress fabrics.
"Now, after 25 years in Pennant Hills, I feel it is time I retired from business but not from the local scene," he said.
"Geoff would like to thank all those good friends, who have supported him over the years and hopes that they will continue to support his successors.
"I would also like to put on public record my appreciation of the loyalty and cooperation of the staff both present and past, many of whom have been with me over a long period," he added."
(There's that recurrent theme again, we are getting old, but we can't stop the clock. Ed)
Frank Moore - HQ Coy
Nan's news has been, "At present we are selling our home and buying a Unit, as the garden and yard are now too much Frank, and I have had a lot of trouble with my eyes, as I have had two cataract operations; in addition I had a fall, breaking my right wrist.
"We will never be able to thank Les Hall for his great interest in Frank, and his help, and also have to thank Gordon Cruickshank for what he has done.
"Frank has been a wonderful husband and father, and also grandfather. We have had a lot of worries, but now we are looking forward to a few years of good health and a long deserved rest.
"We wish All the Boys Good Health and Many Happy Days.
"Sincerely, Nan Moore."
Les Melrose - HQ Coy.
Les' son, Warwick, now in the 2nd year of his Physical Education Teacher's Course, left on 20th October with the Associated Teachers' Colleges Teams to play in the World Rugby Union Championships in Hawaii.
Eight teams were to take part from Australia, and about 60 to 70 teams will be participating in a Knock-Out Competition for the World Championships.
It could be considered a chance in a lifetime, but it is due to the reputation that he had built up previously, while he was at Matraville High; chosen in 1975 in a Sydney Team for under 16 yrs Championships; in 1977 in the Aus. Schoolboys Tour Team, and now this.
Naturally Les is very proud of him. (But what a lot of work in the supporter back up, with sales of raffle tickets, and other money making schemes to help the Clubs. Good Boy, Les & Best of Luck Warwick. Ed.)
Mrs Bernice Kentwell - C Coy
One of our chaps has sent along a photo, cut out of one of the Northern Newspapers, and showing Bernice, who is disclosed as being President of the Ballina and District Garden Club, planting a red cedar sapling in Ballina Park with the assistance of the Secretary of the Garden Club, Mrs Jean Clark, to commemorate the 1979 Earth Week.
Harry Riches - HQ Coy
The same correspondent also included another cutting of another Newspaper, which had a photograph of Harry Riches under a heading, 'two old friends, George Neely, 73, of Main Arm, and Harry Riches, 76, of Brunswick Heads, find time for a chat during an impromptu meeting at Brunswick Heads. The photograph would do well for an up to date one of Harry, for comparison with a pre-war photo, for the gallery, mentioned in connection with 'Big Johnno's' suggestion in last "MAKAN".
Gordon Savage - C Coy
Another of our Reporters tells me, "Gordon Savage has not been in good health lately. He had a stroke, which left him not able to use his right side and lost him the sight of one eye. Gordon was one of the chaps in Changi Hospital list of 23/6/1942 and never went on the Main Jap Work Parties except for X1 Tunnelling Party in Johore in 1945. He was a 13 Platoon man".
Frank confesses, "I have been 'Walk-About' up to Gayndah Queensland and to Bowral, in both cases to my nieces.
"For Christmas and The New Year I wish the Boys well as ever. Frank Hannan."
Eddie Wallis - C Coy
'Punter' states, "I am doing a spot of fishing still, as the weather permits, but at present we are having a dreadfully hot time, so that a lot of my time is taken up trying to keep my garden going, but sometimes it is nearly like a losing battle that I'm fighting. We are badly in need of rain. The old Digger spirit wins out always and one just doesn't give up.
"I saw Sid Stephens the other day. He looks well, but is very worried, because his Mother is very ill. I have not seen Fred Hume for quite a while now. Hope all the Old Boys are
keeping well and enjoying life, and on that note, I will say, Cheerio, wishing one and all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
With lots of Good Wishes, ("Punter") E.W. Wallis."
Eric Arps - A Coy
Eric's excuse for not being in his usual haunts was, "I took some time off from work and Rhona and I went to Griffith, Leeton and surrounding areas, going via Goulburn, Yass, Temora, and coming back by way of West Wyalong, Cooma, Blayney, Bathurst and Katoomba, and had a good time.
"All the Best for Christmas and the New Year to the Boys. Rhona & Eric Arps."
Ernie McNiven - A Coy
Ernie states, "I had some business to do up in Rockhampton, so I also wanted to look up Paddy Walsh. He had told me, when he was at the Lismore Reunion that he was staying in Brisbane for an operation, and thought that he would keep it quiet, but someone had found out and had it put in "Barbed Wire and Bamboo". I can assure you that he looks quite fit. He was in the middle of a Bridge Tournament, when I saw him. He was endeavouring to win a place to represent Rockhampton Area in the State Championships in Brisbane. I did not hear, if he made it. He still enjoys a game of golf, but has to hit them a little shorter, as the little white ball is getting a bit hard to see in the distance.
"Hope this dispels any doubts you had of our Paddy being in ill health. He really looks well.
"May this find all the Boys in Good Health, as it leaves us here. Regards, Ern & Phyl."
Fred Newlands - A Coy
We are told that Fred's Son had his fishing trawler lost from under him a few miles off Ballina some time late August or early September. Our informant thinks that the water leaked in somehow through the propeller shaft and he and his crew-mate were afloat for some time before being rescued and as he understands that it will cost an astronomical figure to replace it with a new boat, we hope that he was well covered for insurance.
Cec. Palmer - HQ Coy
Cec. finds the going tough. He says, "I had to retire from work on the 6th July, on account of not feeling so good. I find it hard to do much work at any time, even then I can just plug along very steadily, and although I have only a small vegetable garden and have a small rotary hoe to till it, after using it for about half an hour, I am done for the rest of the day.
"My wife, Jean, is also having a bad time and I don't know how she carries on. She has had one eye taken out and the other is in such a bad state, that she can see people only as a blur, and, if she does not recognise their voices, she has not a clue, who they are, and on top of that she has bad arthritis. She is able to get talking books from the Royal Blind Society, and they prove very helpful to her.
"I have not seen Bert Stephens, who used to be up in the District here, for a few years now. Asking around I heard that he might be working on the Railways and that his last known address had been Broadmeadow. (A later address has come to us: Glebe Road, Merewether, 2291. He is C.E.J. Stephens in the Roll)
"I see Bill Elliott occasionally. He is another, who is not in good health; has had to retire and tries to live on the Service Pension. (His wife has joined him up with the Association. Ed).
"One must have something to do and not just sit around feeling sorry for oneself. It is very easy to do that. When I was working, I used to get up 5 days a week at 5.30, but now it is getting to be around 8 o’clock, so we have decided to set the alarm for about quarter to six of a morning and have a kip at midday. I have no problem with sleeping. I can still sleep on the clothes line.
"My hobby is in the garden and playing around in my workshop. In the garden I have some good tomato plants, about four feet high, and get a better flavoured tomato than those you get in the shops. I have bought myself some electric woodwork tools and am in the process of setting them up and, when they are in operation, I will have plenty to play round with.
"I have two grandchildren from my eldest son, who is a carpenter, working on his own, doing all kinds of jobs from small repair work to building houses, tiling and concrete work.
"My second eldest son is a welder by trade, but at the moment he is adding about two squares on to the home, that he bought a couple of years ago, and making a good job of it.
"The youngest son, who is 25 years of age, is working as a carpenter at Gunnedah. He is quite good at his job. He also does plastering and concrete work and has only had a few weeks off work. He is engaged to be married.
"You can see that I have not had any problems with my children, as they are very good workers, even if I say it myself. "I will close with a Cheerio and Best Wishes to All the Chaps of the Unit for Christmas and the New Year.
Bill Lamping - A Coy.
Bill notifies his change of address as above from Hillsdale, where he has been for some years and explains, "I haven't attended Unit Functions, I haven't been able to, my absences due to health reasons, not for any other reason. I have been fortunate enough to have all disabilities accepted by Repat.
"Wishing the Association All the Best, Bill Lamping."
"Curly" Hardman - HQ Coy
Beatrice wrote on behalf of Curly and sent the note to the Annual Reunion with "Paddles" Clune, saying, "We are both O.K. but we are looking after Curly's Aunt at the moment. She is not long out of hospital. We are also minding Una tonight whilst Jack is with you all at the Bn Reunion.
"Hope that you have a happy night. Una sends her best regards too.
"Every Good Wish to All, from Beatrice and Curly."
Les Perry - D Coy
Les reports, "I received a very pleasant surprise early November, when Athol and Thelma Charlesworth arrived at our front gate. They are happily settled in their new home at Leura and always pay me and Keith Mulholland a visit, when touring around this District or stopping on the way to visit, Son, Bruce, daughter-in-law, Marlene, and the two grandchildren at Red Cliffs, which is not far from Mildura. Bruce has a taxi run in their town.
"Athol looks terrific since he lost an eye, and has been well looked after always by Thelma, who was the Matron of their Private Hospital in Leura for many years.
"Keith Mulholland has improved greatly also, since his retirement from the local Bowling Club.
"Apart from defective eyesight, Victor Hamlin keeps himself reasonably fit by being kept busy with his caravans and gardening, but he's now aiming to reduce the number of vans, so he is putting some up for sale.
"Vic has been brewing his own beer for some time and we generally have a taste every time that I visit him, and it is quite good; but the best home-made brew, that I have ever tasted, was when Vic and I visited Doug. Hicks and his wife in Tamworth in about 1950, and we stayed several hours with them. The next day we saw Karl Sinclair in Armidale and the following day paid a quick visit to Bruce Ford at his Bank in Grafton. It doesn't seem 29 years since that happened.
"Our country had a very bad start this year and the Old Cynics were forecasting a very bad time for the farmers, but the rain fell, when unexpected and anyone who sowed for a late crop, has reaped the benefit. However, out in the forest, where I work, the high grass is rapidly drying off and could develop into a grave fire danger, so we hope that the many farmers will plough a wide break around their properties, which, so far, some very stupid landholders have failed to do.
"We have a good gathering every year on the 15 February when Ex-Ps.O.W. gather, at the monument, to lay a wreath, and then retire for refreshments and a natter at a different P.O.W's house every year. Our numbers have been sadly diminishing, but the Ps.O.W. and their wives join us now from Leeton (19 miles from here), which has made it all the more enjoyable, especially for me, as I have my birthday on that date. I did not really enjoy my birthday on the 15th February 1942, when I shared a trench with Athol Charlesworth near the burnt-out Indian Hospital, but I found a tin of baked beans and another of camp pie amid the ruins, combined, they made a beautiful meal.
"All the Best, Yours sincerely, Les."
Les Hall - HQ Coy.
Les regretted that he could not come to the Annual Re-union, as his health is not so good, and does not allow evening outings.
Ross Hutton - A Coy
Ross comments, "I have retired from work now through ill health, but, since retiring, I have come good. I must have been allergic to work.
"Regards to All. Yours sincerely, Ross."
Jean now has a grand-daughter to add to the three grandsons. Her note of early October states, "'My son, Barry, and his wife had a daughter last night - so I now have 3 grandsons and a grand-daughter." (As Jean is a busy Secretary for a Company in a suburb near her home, your scribe can imagine that it will be another example of a busy woman being able to organise her life to cope with any grandmother's blessings that come her way.)
Kit Vollheim - Bn HQ.
Kit advises that her three girls are happily married, 2, Peggy and Cynthia, live close to her in the Wollongong area and the third, Moira, though in Penshurst, regularly makes a trip down the coast to join in family gatherings.
Jack Wilson - D Coy
Jack reports that he is still making his Hospital visits to Greenslopes to see any ex-Ps.O.W. there but, "I haven't run into any of our boys up here of late, as a matter of fact I'm lucky to run into anyone up here in hospital now, nearly all civvies now, the ex-serviceman is a thing of the past. (So be it.) "Say Hello to the Boys for me; Good Luck and God Speed. "Yours, Jack."
R.N. (Ben) Pearce - D Coy
Writing on 1st October, Ben says, "I have been in and out of hospital a lot the last couple of months, nevertheless I seem to be making progress now. I have certainly been out of my general ways of doing things.
"I saw Bob Newman last Sunday and, although about and cheery as usual, he is not at top form. Kingie Martin is quite well. There is no doubt that we are all getting up in years and times tell on us.
"Cheerio to all, Ben."
Neville Thams - 2/10 Arty.
Neville's news is, "My good friend, Tuck Weaver, formerly USS "Barb" airmailed me a copy of Joan and Clay Blair Jnr's 'RETURN FROM THE RIVER KWAI' on the 35th Anniversary (12th Sept of the torpedoing and sinking of the Japanese transport, RAKUYO MARU. I was rescued by BARB on the late afternoon of the 17th and Tuck noted in the book ‘on the 35th Anniversary of your long swim'. I received the book on the 18th Sept. The Blair's seem to have done a terrific amount of research, not only from official records and various books, but, of course, from their many interviews. Four instalments appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald. There are quite a few photos in the book.
"To me, personally, it will become a record of these events, and will enable my family to trace the story, as seen by the prisoners and by the submarine crews, who took part in the action. Earlier books, such as 'BAMBOO & BUSHIDO' written by an English survivor rescued by Barb, and 'YASUMAI' by Parvin on 'KACHIDOKI MARU' gave the prisoners' experiences, but here we are able to read how the sinking of the convoy was planned and that it would be only a matter of time before this would happen.
"On the 12th Sept. last some of the Victorian Survivors arranged a Reunion to mark the occasion of the 35th Anniversary. Survivors were intercepted by the Japanese on 14th, these being in the lifeboats; whilst the submarines rescued others on the 15th and 17th, hence the Reunion on 12th. It was both a happy and sad occasion. Whilst not a great number of fellows were there, we did have Victorians, New South Welshmen, some from Canberra and Queenslanders. Some had not seen each other since the torpedoing, and many experiences were re-lived."
Harry Rhodes - B Coy
Harry regretted, "Unfortunately, I am unable to be present at the Bn. Reunion in Sydney on the 23rd November, but I do wish one and all, who do attend, a very happy evening. We have just been to Sydney by bus (rail strike), down 13th Sept. back on the 14th, to see our daughter, June, off to England.
"22nd November 1980, Tamworth! Definitely thinking of it - do hope we can make it.
Ethel added a postscript, "Harry is not really well at time of writing, but, hopefully, O.K. soon”.
"Best Wishes from us both, Ethel Rhodes."
Jock Logan - HQ Coy
Jock describes his overseas trip as, "I left Australia on 3rd March, 3 days early, because of a strike.
"I went straight to Johannesburg, where I stayed a month, from there I went by the Blue Train to Capetown and then by air to Durban. Here an aerial view of South Beach shows more high rise buildings but otherwise might be mistaken for a shot of parts of the Gold Coast here in Queensland, and its weather somewhat similar.
"My stay in South Africa took about 2 months. I found it a prosperous country. All shops were well stocked. There was plenty of all sports. Accommodation was cheap. Full board was available from $Aus 55 per week; and this included 3 meals a day.
"South Africans are not real happy about being out of all world sport. They have had no Test cricket for 10 years.
"Every Church is represented in South Africa. Although it is a rich country, they do have problems.
"I next went to England, Scotland, Ireland and Russia. I sent back a wee card, a free one, from Kirkcudbright on the Solway Firth in the Scottish Lowlands, and I must say that I was pleased to be in Scotland, as I found it better than London. Mid-June I spent about 5 days in Inverness in an excellent British Legion Club on the River Ness. I was very isolated from Aussie News, but did not worry on that account.
"I arrived in Tipperary, Ireland, on the 16th June, coming from Inverness via Glasgow and Ayr (Scotland) and across to Larne thence to Belfast and Dublin. There are 38 Pubs in Tipperary. They had a postal strike on, at that time, already in its 17th week, hence the reason for the London Post Mark on my Irish card.
"I went down to the Ascot Racecourse and spent 2 days in the township, mainly because I found the atmosphere so nice and everything interesting.
"Towards the end of June I flew from Gatwick Airport to MOSCOW. Russia was the direct opposite to South Africa. The only church, which I saw, where people attended, was in Sochi on the Black Sea. It was a small Russian Orthodox Church and had a full house, when I attended it at 5 pm. I was told that it was for 2 hours at 5 pm and 2 hours at 7 am.
"There is no Golf, nor Horse Racing in Russia. I saw no competitive sport, although Soccer and Rugby are played.
"Gums in Moscow, claimed by the Russians to be the largest Department Store in the World, was not even half-stocked, and there were many queues for what was in it. There was one queue for women's shoes over 40 yards long. There seemed to be no goods in plentiful supply. (see pages 16 & 17.)
"Taxi drivers in Moscow, Sochi and Leningrad all wanted to give 2 Roubles for 1 English pound. We were given 1 Rouble 41 Kopacs for 1 English pound as official rate. I don't know if anyone in our Tour Group took the taxi men up on their offer. Even the pro-Russian English, of whom we had a few, didn't fall for it.
"I had 5 days in Sochi, and 2 days in Leningrad besides the time in Moscow. Beer had to be bought with English or American money not their own money. There was no Service in the hotels, they could not be relied on for anything, "It is illegal to sell anything in Russia.
"The first Sunday, that I was in Moscow, I spent with Bernie Delaney, a son of Jim Delaney, 2/18 Bn., (deceased). Bernie and his wife and 2 children are there for 2 years. They import most of their food, even milk. They will return to Australia about October 1980.
"I would not go back to Russia, if I were paid. There is no atmosphere. The people look subdued and it appeared to me to be quite right, as Bert Delaney says, 'Their system does not work'.
"I was 3½ months in U.S.A., which is the direct opposite to Russia. Everything is plentiful except gas (petrol). All sports are played. People look happy. There are plenty of churches.
"I don't think that Russia should even be allowed to comment on world affairs at all sports or otherwise.
"In Russia I estimated that there would be 100 pedestrians to every car. In the U.S.A. there would be 100 cars to every pedestrian.
"In the U.S.A. I had excellent accommodation. The scenes of the countryside were made beautiful with the leaves turning a rust colour in the latter part of the year, while I was there, and there was nip in the air at night. There I did not speak to an Australian for weeks, and I did not look for newspapers. It was really a case that, if I did not make it home for Christmas 1979, I might make it for Christmas 1980 or 1981. (Your Scribe did get a card, however, posted at Las Vegas on 31st October, on which the Cartoon was of a bewiskered gent, with circles under his eyes, some twine around his waist to keep his tattered pants up, his small belongings in a battered suitcase and swag over his shoulder. Apparently the pockets had been cleared out in a drastic fashion. The roadside direction sign showed that he was leaving Las Vegas for Home, and Jock's message that 'the Lone Ranger’ should be home soon. Of course, Your scribe would not suggest that Jock would get himself caught up in such sinfully wicked games of chance, would he? Not ' arf. Ed., )
'"On arrival home I found Sydney and Brisbane to be much better cities than I thought that they were.
"Hope all are well, H.L. (Jock) Logan."'
Bob Wells - D Coy
Betty sent in a note on Bob's behalf, "Our move was a turmoil of buying and selling. On the day itself - 4 truck loads of machinery, one semi-trailer and 7 trucks of cattle, the furniture, the car towing a trailer stacked with odds and ends, chooks and one faithful cattle dog left Gresford and arrived to take up residence at Denman on the 19th July. It was a major step after 24 years in the one place and a life time for Rob in the one town.
"It has been a time of a lot of hard work for Rob and Ken to get the place in working order, but most of the cultivation has been put down to lucerne now, which, of course, means hard work in the future. One hundred and eighty acres of irrigation leave little time for letter writing by Rob, especially as we are in the midst of a very dry time.
"We thank God that Rob's health's standing up reasonably well and his recovery from his tractor accident two years ago is remarkable.
"Our best wishes to All for Christmas, and we are only 8 kms out of Denman, so we would be pleased to see anyone passing through.
Yours sincerely, Betty Wells."
Garry Evans - A Coy
Garry has sent, "Just a short note to tell you that I had the pleasure of winning the AIF Cup, which is held annually at my Club, Strathfield.
"I also won the same event at my old Club, Cumberland, some years ago, so that is a rare double.
"I had a very good score of 46 points and played very well. It was a great day, as we generally do have on “Diggers' Day"'.
"I have a lot on my plate right up until Christmas and may not be able to make the Reunion. (Part of the call on Garry's time has been due to the arrival of daughter, Lesley's 2nd child, hence Garry's second grandchild and also, we are sorry to say, Marie's Mother has been very sick in King George Hospital at Newtown. Ed)
"Regards and Wishing All a very Happy Christmas, Garry."
Jim Montgomery - Bn HQ.
Monty remarks, "When we lived at The Entrance I used to see some of the 30th Boys, Harry Brennan (Carriers), Paddy O'Connell (A Coy), Fred Butt, who is a very successful Builder in Gosford, but, since coming up here, I am afraid that I have not seen anyone from the Unit, so, if anybody is up this way, please call in and see us. I always have a bottle of 'Tiger' handy, "My sincere regards to the Boys.
"Yours very sincerely, Jim Montgomery ("Monty").
(Some of you proud grandfathers might think about Monty's invitation, by getting your sons or daughters to drive up to Warragamba Dam, African Lion Safari, etc,; for a family picnic and let you off the hock to go and down a noggin or two with Monty and have a good yarn. What about it? Ed.)
Ossie Jackson - D Coy
Ossie briefly reports; "No news much up here. Wishing the Boys All the Best for Christmas, Your’s, Ossie Jackson."
Jack Fell - B Coy
Jack comments; "I have just finished reading the last issue of "Makan". It is of particular interest to those of us living in the country, as it keeps us informed on what is going on in the Association.
"The special edition brought out on our recent trip to Malaysia and Singapore was very interesting to those of us, who went on that journey.
"I for one would like to see a Reunion held next year in Tamworth to mark our 40th Anniversary, and you can be assured of support from Vera and myself.
"I enjoyed the Bowls Day at Bankstown on the 14th October and so also did Joe Veivers, who travelled down with me. He did not stop talking about it all the way home and told me that he will endeavour to make it again next year.
"What a great job George Aspinall did on the film on the Unit, which we saw on the 27th October in Sydney. In some part it seemed to be a little drawn out, but it still did not detract from the fact that both Vera and I enjoyed it immensely.
"The previous Saturday Vera and I celebrated our 39th Wedding Anniversary. We had a barbeque party at home with a goodly number of friends, who must have enjoyed themselves, judging by the number of cans, that I had to take out to the dump the next day. We were married during the period that we were in camp at Wallgrove in the 19th I.T.B.
"As you may recall, we only had one uniform, in which we had to do practically everything. After plunging face down in the white dust on the parade ground at the blast of a whistle, to simulate an air raid, my uniform was getting to be a little the worse for wear. I approached the Q.M.S. to see, if I could get a new uniform, in which to get married. He said that, as there were no holes in my uniform, he could not very well give me a new one, but, if somehow I happened to wear a couple of holes in the seat of the trousers, then maybe he could do something about it. With the help of two stones rubbed together I managed to get two holes in the seat. I got a new uniform alright, but unfortunately the tunic and pants were two different shades of khaki.
"A little anecdote of the time, when we were encamped at Bathurst to finish off. "Butch" Langley, who, incidentally, I do not think that I have seen, since we came home, was a member of our Platoon. We were out on a route march up hill and down dale with the customary 10 minute rest in each hour. The further we went, the further "Butch" lagged behind, and by the time that he had caught us up, the rest period was over. Finally we turned back towards camp with Butch still bringing up the rear. The last rest period before camp Butch had caught us up before the ten minutes were up, but, instead of stopping, he kept ploughing ahead. Lieut. (later Capt.) Jones said, "Where are you going Private Langley?" Without pausing in his stride, Butch said, "I'm going back to camp, You B......'s wouldn't wait for me, I am not waiting for you." and kept going. He was showered and changed before we got back, but he finished up on a charge sheet.
"Kind Regards to All. Jack Fell."
Jack Boss - A Coy
Jack was one of the apologists for not being able to be at the Annual Reunion, as he was to be up at Lake Cathie, near to Port Macquarie, at the time on holidays. He tells me that he did not stay up there the full time as intended, as there was a lot of red weed swept into the lake, making the swimming unpleasant. He had taken a list of chaps in the vicinity up there hoping to look some of them up, but he found only "Darby" Young and Neil Huntley. He said that "Darby" seemed O.K., but Neil is a little worried because Mollie is not the best at present.
Karl Sinclair - D Coy.
Karl's son, Jolyon, is the Accountant of the Belmont Branch of the Bank of New South Wales. Karl's old mates may be interested to know that Jolyon was pictured in the October issue of that Bank's monthly "Staff News" in a group photo of 18 Bank Men attending the '45th Management Development Course' at 'Mahratta', the Bank of New South Wales Training Centre, at Turramurra. The picture shows that there were only 6 men from New South Wales, all others being from other States or from New Zealand. As attendance at such a course often leads to selection as Branch Manager, we hope to hear of promotion for Jolyon in due course.
Peter Mason - HQ Coy
Peter had to undergo an operation at Port Macquarie Hospital lately, a couple of hernias and a repair job on some post-operative trouble arising from removal of an appendix in P.O.W. days in Changi and advises, "I've been back to see the M.O. and he said that I've been given a very strong repair job, though I have still to take things easily for a good while yet. Agnes is almost run into the ground doing things before I get chance to get at them, though I can do a lot more now, except for heavy lifting.
"I had rather an experience with the operation, I went in on the Thursday evening, was shaved, needled on the Friday morning, and then they had an emergency in the theatre, so they sent me home, to go back again on the Sunday night for them to do the preparations again and I was operated on about 1 pm on the Monday. I can tell you it was a bit hard on the old nerves.
"I was very grateful for Bruce Campbell alerting the boys who called on me while I was in Hospital.
"I'm commencing to catch up on a few of the jobs around the place again. It doesn't take long for them to get in front of one.
"Please give my regards to all the Boys. Peter."
Walter Douglas - HQ Coy
Walter was 81 on 2nd November. He says, "I am keeping well since coming out of hospital, although I am still weak, as it is only two weeks since I came home. I hope that this next year will treat me much better than the last one.
"My garden is looking good after the rain, that we have had, early November, and the sunshine, that has followed, will bring plants on.
"I hope this finds All well. My kindest regards to All, especially Don Company, they were all good pals. Walt Douglas."
"Zipper" Charlton - B Coy
A letter from Pearl announces, "Zipper is very well at present, occupying himself gardening as the fish are not biting very well.
"We are expecting our 16th grandchild in January and are hoping for another girl to even things up.
"Regards to ALL, Pearl Charlton."
Stan Arneil - A Coy.
Stan was another unable to make the Annual Reunion, his letter of apology explains that he would be in Queensland on the night that it was to be held.
He goes on to comment, "The notice of deaths of some of our friends has shaken me, more than I would have thought, lately. It would be wrong to single names out here and there, but the tragic death of Johnny Parsons would sadden the whole Battalion.
"The death of Tom Nixon will leave a gap, which cannot be replaced. His delightful sense of humour, his sincerity and integrity and his love of the Battalion made him one of the 'Characters' of the Unit. I wonder, if his family realise, what a contribution to our Unit, by his presence and attitude, Tom made. I am sure that they would be very proud, if they knew of the esteem, in which he was held by us all.
"This year I was very pleased with the reception of a text book of mine, which was published in Australia. It is being used to help people in New Guinea, Africa and Thailand and received good reviews in the United States.
"In May a second text book will be published and I am hoping also for some success in that area also.
"I have proposed to Lady Galleghan that I commence on the preparation for and the writing of a full biography of our beloved "B.J.". This will necessarily have to be done in what spare time I may be able to conjure up, since I will have to still earn my 'bread and butter' for the family's existence. (Further notes on this project appear on pages 6 and 7 with an appeal for help from Men of the Battalion and anyone whom they may know as likely to be able to provide material for Stan. Ed)
Ernie Ross - A Coy
There are two gaps in the Saga of Ernie Ross's life since demobilization, as showing in the Association records, from the end of 1956 to beginning of 1970 is the first gap, whilst there is another from '71 to'77. Life has not been too easy for Ernie both in physical health and financial health, but he has not been one to make a long face over his own troubles, rather he has set himself to make life somewhat easier for his fellow man especially Returned Ex-Servicemen, and that thoughtfulness was recognised by his R.S.L. Sub-Branch at Auburn, which saw to it that he was awarded Life Membership of the R.S.L. in 1970.
Ernie was speaking on the phone to your scribe a while back and mentioned that he is making quite a few trips still to Concord for check-ups and treatment, he is an old 'chesty' you might remember. We also learnt that his present job is as Parts Manager for Brooklands Accessories (NSW) Pty Ltd, which has Branches all over the place for its business as Wholesale Automotive Supplies.
Your scribe mentioned this to the wife of one other of A Coy men and learnt that Ernie would have been well fitted for his present job, since he used to have his own business as a motor spare parts shop, until he had to give it up, because some folk took advantage of his generous nature and caused him financial embarrassment. But that is Ernie, you do not learn these things from him. He still keeps a good natured philosophical point of view and high hopes for the future.
Clarrie Burgess - A Coy
Clarrie was the first in with his Subs for 1980, and we thank him for his appreciation of the team's effort, as he puts it in his own words, "You are all doing a good job and I for one and many others appreciate the efforts you men and your wives put into "Makan" and Gatherings etc. and wish that I could partake. Maybe next year.
"I haven't been too bad this year as far as spondylitis and various belly troubles, but the nervous system is not the best - and what's more since Christmas 1978, this year I have buried 3 Brothers-in-law, 3 Sisters-in-law, 6 good Friends and now our old Mate, Tom Nixon, has passed on. I read in “Makan" that he had passed away - I must remember him to his friends at our Club - Coogee/Randwick - where we were both members. Always, before he went to Brunswick Heads, we used to have our Anzac Morning at the service at the Club and be at the Randwick Dawn Service.
Remember me to everyone. I wish All the Boys a Happy and Merry Christmas, and hope that they and their families are well, at least, as well as may be expected. Clarrie Burgess."
Vic. M.I. Gordon - B Coy
"Speed" discloses, "All one wants to do in this lovely place is Sleep, Loaf and Fish; by the way, at present the fish position is Bloody Awful. I have to leave it for 3 weeks, as of 27 Oct. and proceed to Shute Harbour, where I hope the fishing Mob will be much bigger and kinder.
"I was at the Golf Club a couple of weeks ago, waiting on the start of the Back Nine, when a cove walked up to me and said that I was a ringer for a Bloke called "Blue" Gordon, did I know him? I told him that I happened to wear his shoes, and then he replied, "You old Bastard, you have not changed a bit". Guess who it was! Chum Farley!!! I have not seen him since we left Singapore and he's no different.
"I met him again after the Game and we had a few beers upstairs. I had to leave, so I made him promise to come out to my place, when he finished at the Club. A Visit. He got into trouble at the Bar. I saw him next morning on his way home, by what I saw, only a Mother could lose the Bastard. Alex if you see any of my Mob, give them my thoughts will you.
"Cheerio, old Son and good luck to you and the Boys.
(Well there you are, an expurgated edition, and I bet that all of you can picture him, striding along, with just a slight limp from the Gemencheh fracas, shoulders back and head high. He'd have learnt so often to keep his head still, when it was pounding and aching from a night in the Mess, and never showing it, he should be the perfect golfer. A.D.)
(Sorry, there was a P.S. to that letter, but it was up at the top of the page, and read, "I used to work in those days." You see, he was using up some old Letter paper, headed up to show that, when he was at Carina, he had the high falutin' title of "Consulting Representative" for the Mutual Life and Citizens' Assurance Company Limited, with an arrow aimed at that title. Right down the bottom of the page in very small type that Coy's Stores Dept showed that the letter paper was "Form No 207 FS. 2D M. S. 9-59". God forbid that "Speed!' should have been bedevilled by a system crazed Director of Stores, who would have required him to write in such hieroglyphics, when all that was wanted was a packet of note-paper. Ed.)
H.S. ("Bill") Clayton - C Coy
A letter from Ashley Pankhurst appears elsewhere in this issue. He had also written to Bill, who confirmed to me that he had received the letter, saying, that Ashley hoped to visit Sydney and meet up with his old Platoon Commander.
Bill sends his kind regards to all.
Ian P.D. Grace - A Coy.
A letter in from Levine reports, "We, both, have been on the sick list here with our disabilities, and sometimes have been so bad, that we could not care two hoots for anything.
"I have tried to get this short letter ready, for my son to post, so that it will be in today's mail. I will drop you a few lines later on I am, Yours faithfully, Levine."
(I do hope that both your illnesses will have abated ere this "MAKAN" reaches you and that you are better. A.D.)
Laurence ("Bill") Elliott - D Coy
Bill's wife, Mavis, acted on Cecil Palmer contacting them and giving them your scribe's address. "We have been given the Battalion address and those of P.O.W. Associations and have never followed them up, even when we needed some moral support.
"Bill has been retired for quite a time with health problems, but manages a stay at home routine of house and garden very well. More reserved than ever, he has very little contact with old friends and keeps very much to himself.
"I work full time at the local hospital, which is only a few minutes walk away from our house. We have one son still at home, the others are married.
"Bill is having teeth out at present and a new plate fitted. The old one dates back to his discharge, so it's nearly time. He has a lot of Arthritis, Spondylitis and other Bone troubles, mostly in the back and legs, but one wrist gets swollen too. He has to keep up his Parnate for his nerves, but has not been hospitalized for three years, Thank God. He looks a lot better than he is and is much less grey than I am, though 17 years my senior.
"Our oldest son, John, is a Television Technician in Singleton. Errol is an electrician here in Scone and Gordon is with Water Resources at Glenbawn Dam since earlier this year. Gordon isn't in a trade, having had more problems with job shortage, as quite a few of the younger ones have.
"We own our place, modest though it is, so are perhaps luckier than some.
"Enclosed please find a cheque for Life Membership, Unit Association Badge and some "MAKAN" subscriptions.
"Yours sincerely, Mavis L. Elliott."
(Bill shows in the records in 5 Section, 17 Platoon, D Coy, on the "Shrine" Job while at Mt. Pleasant and Caldecott Hill Camps, "F" Force and X1 Tunnelling Party in Johore. Ed.)
Jim Morgan - HQ Coy
Jim sent in, "Just a short note in a hurry, to let you know of a change of address. We have just shifted into the address, as shown above, and are very busy with the fixing of things in and about the house.
"We are all well up here.
"The fishing has been poor of late, but we are hoping for a catch this weekend (early Nov.) if the weather allows it.
"Will ring off now, Cheerio to All, Jim and Margaret".
Arnie Ferry - B Coy
Arnie says, "You will notice by the address, that I have moved home from Berala, and I would like you to list it, please.
"A little of my past history is, that I had a heart attack in October 1975. I went into Concord and things didn’t look too good financially, but for a welfare worker there, who gave me a lot of help.
"I was on no pension at the time, and to go back to my trade as a plant operator with an earthmoving contractor, whom I had been with for 14 years, looked grim.
"This lass told me to apply for a pension, in fact, wrote the letter for me and I signed it. They duly gave me a 30% pension. She told me to appeal against this and I went before a tribunal and was raised to 60%.
"I was off work for eight months and at last I commenced to feel well and considered getting a job again; work was very scarce, so I was told that I should apply for unemployment pay, but this I just could not do. There were plenty, who wanted me as an operator, so I took on the machines again.
"I was being checked out still by Repat. M.O.'s at Grace Building and Concord regularly and in the end they said, that I had to give the job up. But I wanted them to tell me how I was to live, as a 60% pension didn't go far between my wife, Mavis, and myself. They checked me over again and gave me a Burnt-out Pension and raised my War Pension to 100%. I had not the least bit of trouble. I am sure that, if you are honest with them and really want to do the right thing, they will be fair with you. I knew nobody and had a letter written by a welfare lady in the first place to help me, but I was, truthful and at no time did I try to do anything but the right thing. That is just my case, as it happened to me.
"So I am retired and we have bought a little place here and would welcome anyone, who cares to look me up.
“I have been past "Batu Pahat", Jack Carey's cottage, but have not called as yet, but will one of these days.
"My Kindest Regards to All the Boys. Arnie Ferry."
Roy King - B Coy
Roy explains the above address this way, "After being a bachelor for 16 years, I found that cleaning, washing, cooking for yourself alone gets a bit too much, when old age creeps along, so I sold out and have got myself a room with nothing to do except only my light washing.
"By the way, after all these years, I put in a claim for Industrial deafness and received a fair sum of money. Not bad for 67 years of age, so it's never too late.
"I really enjoy reading "Makan", it brings back old memories - some good, and I am sorry to say, some not too good. "Give my Best Regards to all the Boys, and I wish them all good health.
"Please note my new address, as it will be my address until I get something else.
Yours, Roy King."
George Croft - Bn. Boot maker
Garry Evans found George in Concord and passed the word on, so Doc Wilson and Your scribe went over to visit him. It is some time ago but at one stage George had a grocery shop in Balmain. He bought the business off "Hank" Massey, and "Doc" Wilson and Clover occupied the flat above the shop.
George dropped a short note to Phil Schofield, commenting on having been in Concord and went on, "As I am now living in the suburbs at the above address. I would like to become a member of the 2/30 Bn Association."
Phil passed the letter on with its accompanying cheque, and Kevin Ward cemented the Membership by calling on George to join the Battalion Team in the Bowls Competition against Bankstown RSL Bowling Club on 14th October. This he did and played No 1 on No 13 Rink with "Snow" Mason, George Kinsela and Jack Maclay. (incidentally, when Jack Maclay came into the Clubroom one of the first men he came to was George, but for once Jack confessed to being beaten as to who George was, but, when once told his name, his memory began to tick over.
Harry E. Brennan - HQ Coy
Harry put in a request for a copy of the reprint of the Bn. History and then joined up the Association. He says," I have been meaning to join the Association for years, but never seemed to get around to it. As a matter of fact, it was about ten years ago, when "B.J." was up at the Entrance R.S.L. Sub Branch, opening Legacy Week, that he said to me to join the Association.
"I have been living at Long Jetty for 31 years and in that time have had a go at Deep Sea fishing amongst other activities, but finally finished up back in the butchering trade, where I have remained for the past 27 years. I am in partnership with a chap named Taylor, who was a cousin of Clem Everingham and a friend of Bob Newman from Woolgoolga.
"I have a very good affectionate wife, two sons and one daughter. Elder son is married and has 2 children; younger son is in the Army, the daughter is in New Zealand on a twelve months working holiday.
"I have accepted disabilities of ulcers and back and I am reasonably well, considering the past.
"D'Arcy Pickard is a local, and now Arthur Buckingham, so the 2/30th is becoming well represented at Long Jetty, where we have a very strong Ps.O.W. Association for the Central Coast taking in all Ps.O.W.
"Cecil Plews wrote me a line recently, so it seems that we are all commencing to find out where each other is living.
"I was in the Carriers, having transferred over to that Platoon from B Coy, 10 Platoon, originally under Maurie Lewis.
"I enclose cheque to cover joining the Association, for the copy of the History and other incidentals. All the Best & Season's Compliments to the Boys, Harry Brennan."
(The record shows that Harry was on the "Shrine" Job, in camp at Mt. Pleasant and Caldecott Hill; then moved to River Valley Road, when the "Shrine" Job finished; back to Changi, from there up on "F" Force, then X1 Tunnelling. Ed.)
William Ashley Pankhurst - C Coy
Ashley is another, who has joined up with us at last, he got the urge, after talking to Ross Madden, and did not waste time, but sent in a note next day, "I was very lucky after the "Blue". As soon as I arrived home, I was offered a good job at the Teacher's College in Armidale. This I accepted and managed to keep going for 22½ years, before the Repat. made me retire, and put me on a T.P.I. and Service Pension.
"It was a bit awful at times to try and put the time in but I have the family living here, so I go from one to the other and do a few jobs for them (no pay).
"I had two girls before the "Blue" and two more girls afterwards, no boys, and I have 14 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild.
"I am going blind, so I want to get about, as much as possible, while I can see. It is the trouble that we had in Changi with our eyes and they haven't been right since. I was in Bill Clayton's Platoon, have you his address?
"Ross Madden asked me, if I knew where "Padre" Mills was? That you wanted to know, I see him quite often when I go to Inverell. I don't know his home address now, as he has just bought a house and shifted from his old address, but, if you want to contact him, just write and address the letter to "Eric Mills, c/- East Bowling Club, Inverell, 2360". He goes down every day for a couple of hours. He is crippled in the leg, but he does get around a bit.
"I am very sorry, that I never joined the 2/30 Bn Association long before this, as I have often thought of different mates, whom I had, and am pleased to know from "MAKANS" that quite a few are left, and also sorry to learn that quite a few have passed on.
"I will keep in touch. I will write to quite a few of my old mates, whose names and addresses are in those '"MAKANS" which you sent me. In the meantime will you please tell them I wish them 'All the Best', Ashley Pankhurst."'
Bill Douglas - B Coy.
Bill rang promptly, after getting the key to his new home, so that he could register his change of address and not miss out on getting "MAKAN". He also reported that he has the phone on, and offered an apology for not being able to get to the Annual Reunion on 23rd Nov. since he had a greyhound, "Regomatic", racing at Wyong on the Saturday. He said that it had had one start and won.
Norm was not so prompt in sending in a change of address. His last "MAKAN" 250 came back from the Post Office. However his friends up that way were able to let us know where to reach him, and it is as above. (We hope that you will be better in health up there Norm, and also that Raema is O.K.? Ed,)
Ray Simmons - Bn HQ
Ray and Leila's 50th Wedding Anniversary occurred on the 16th November. That was the day, but family celebrations for the occasion had to wait until school exams were finished, and free time was afforded to their Son and Daughter and their respective families to get together.
Ray was along at Bankstown on 14th October for the Bowls Team for the Bn. against the Bankstown RSL Bowls Club, and was one of the Battalion Group at the St. Stephen's Church Service, on "Remembrance Day". Unfortunately, a car rammed the rear of "Joe" Geoghagan's car, in which Joe was taking Ray and Leila home and he is still shaken up by the "Whiplash".
Billy Senior - HQ Coy
Billy was down South in October and tells me that Dick Hanlon still lives in Queanbeyan, but his health has caused him to be classified as T.P.I. At the time, Billy could not find what he had done with his note of Dick's full address, so we are unable to let B Coy chaps have it.
Your scribe was in front of the lifts in the Main Building at Royal North Shore Hospital and Billy and his wife, with the two grandchildren came along, the younger of the youngsters a babe in a carry-basket, and both bonny looking children.
Mrs Ann Craven - HQ Coy
Ann is the wife of Frank Craven (the Transport Platoon). She wrote in for some assistance with facts to show what Frank had happen to him, as she had a Tribunal coming up in a Claim for a War Widow's Pension. Her letter of 2nd Oct. ends, ''Hoping all Frank's Mates are well.
Sincerely, Ann Craven."
Your scribe went through what records we have. They show that on 4/6/1942 he was at the "Great World" Camp. On 4/12/42 he was at River Valley Road "A" Camp. He was in Car 4, Train 5 of "F" Force and was quartered at No 1 Camp, Shimo Sonkurai, at first, then that he was moved to No 2 Camp, Naka Sonkurai, on 4/8/43. One of our chaps has said that, he was one of those to go to Burma Hospital at Tanbaya. There is no record of hen he was returned to Singapore Island. The last record shows he did not leave Changi Prison until X8 Work Party went out between May and July 1945.
Frank died of Cardiac Arrest we have been told.
A check of Transport Personnel, ho were in the same Working Parties as Frank, has been made, in order to see if they might be able to remember any of his sicknesses or whether he had been done over with more than the usual brutality by Japs or Koreans, but only a few have been able to help, and their replies have been sent to Mrs Craven.
Can anyone, who has not been contacted by your scribe, give some further evidence to help, please?
One of our Reporters here in Sydney has furnished a few notes on the next five of our Members:
Bob Morrison - D Coy
"Bob Morrison gave up smoking, but developed a nose problem. He had an operation - says that he is O.K., but, cannot taste the food that he is eating - he still has a beer.
"Ene and Bob spent several days surfing 4 times a day up at Avoca, to try to clear Bob's nose. They had a super time - but Bob says that he still cannot taste or smell. However, he and Ene are both looking fine and playing Pennants for their respective Bowling Clubs. Can't keep good men down!" (or should that be "good persons"? Does not seem to have the right ring, ED)
Alex Dandie - HQ Coy.
"Sorry to hear that June Dandie had to return to Royal North Shore Hospital, because of an infection of her leg, from which the by-pass veins were taken, consequent to her heart operation. It seems that the heart operation can be coped with, but the old legs had to pay the price, with a blood clot hardening the calf muscles. She was a super patient and is determined that she will be fit and well and helping to get "MAKAN" out next issue."
(Well there you have it, folks. My excuse for the delay with this "MAKAN". June was operated upon initially on 8th Nov for the 4 by-passes, all that has been done so far, although the testing beforehand showed that she has a faulty aorta valve and something wrong with the carotid arteries. Some trouble with the leg wounds from whence they had taken the veins for the grafting held her back, so that she was not discharged until 27th Nov. Home 3 days and soreness in the calf led to consultation with the local G.P., who suggested Casualty, as she diagnosed a blood clot, though she hoped to be proved wrong. At Casualty a precautionary measure was to admit her on the Friday night. X Rays could not be taken until Monday, when they showed that it was a clot, in the meantime, of course, a drip and injections to make the clot disperse had been instituted The second discharge to home came on 12 Dec. and as this stencil is being typed on 27 December, there's some hope that you will get the Makan soon, Ed)
Tom Bicknell - C Coy
“Tom Bicknell, after an open heart operation in Royal North Shore Hospital (same surgeon as June Dandie), with a hem-stitch cut from neck to navel, said, after what the Boys had gone through, during Jap P.O.W. days, the operation and after effects were a "Cinch". We wish him a complete and quick recovery."
Noel Johnston - HQ Coy
"Babe" Johnston was hospitalized for some days for arthritic troubles and had to be on ghastly cortisone. However she says, that she is coming on well. (although a nasty fall while visiting the hospital again afterwards, put her in the Casualty Ward there for a couple of hours and she had some bad facial wounds.) She and Noel are looking forward to their 33 day trip on the "Sea Princess" from 22/12/79. -They will be calling in for one day at the sea port for Kuala Lumpur and Ron Maston is in touch with our friend, Mubin Sheppard, to be on the lookout for them. We wish them a grand holiday, although we regret we will not have their company at Pymble on "Gemas Commemoration Day". (INCIDENTALLY, any, who have heard the rumour of the death of Mubin Sheppard, may now be well reassured. He is well. He is said to have been highly amused at the thought of his demise.)
"Joy Parsons writes that she hopes to make "Gemas Day" with some of her family. She was in hospital for a while, but now feels that she can cope with life. She and Johnny were so close and did so much together, it is a big future to be faced by Joy without Johnny. We look forward to seeing her on "Gemas Day" and wish her well."
Wilf Evans - HQ Coy
Wilf complains, "I went fishing a few weeks ago, but they are not on the bite at the moment, it wants a lot of rain.
"My regards to All the Boys in the Battalion. Wilf Evans.
"Jock" McKenzie - HQ Coy
Mrs Mary Barraclough, grand niece of "Jock", writing on his behalf, says, "Jock is still in hospital. He is improving from the stroke, which he had last year, but still has trouble with his speech and his heart is not very strong.
"He sends his best wishes to all his old Mates."
Jack Black - HQ Coy
Jack Black's Mother is 87. She was in a Nursing Home at Manly, but over the last few weeks has been in Royal North Shore Hospital for tests and a couple of operations.
Reg Etherington - HQ Coy
Reg. has had a couple of trips to Royal North Shore Hospital for tests and treatment.
He sends Best Wishes and Seasonal Greetings to All.
Sid Grattan - Bn HQ
Sid Grattan, who was on "A" Force and turned 77 in July last, has been located by Alan Pryde and his address is as above.
It had been hoped that he would have come along to that Film Night on 27 October, but, apparently, the rain put a bar to that. We hope to see him at some other functions.
Fred Butt - C Coy.
Fred Butt has agreed to be Area Representative on the Central Coast in place of Andy Hyslop, who is feeling his 73 years beginning to weigh on him, since his operation.
Fred is, however, somewhat restricted in what he may do as his wife, Paddy, has a broken hip at the present moment, and also suffers from Arthritis.
Fred says that he has been in touch with George Clarke, who is building at Koolewong on the Brisbane Water. George says that he has not changed residence. He is still at his cottage in Fairlight and goes up on the Central Coast for relaxation at hard work. It may be remembered that he let us know in 1976 that he had built his house down in Melbourne, when he had been posted down there in his Bank, and Phil Schofield helped with quite a bit of the organisation of the building, so that, the two of them had it looking respectable. George has had Phil up to this new venture already, to enable him to cast a critical eye on the workmanship, and no doubt Phil can see better now, since his eye operations have been successful for him seeing things straight ahead of himself, it is the side glances, where he has some difficulty, which requires that he has to turn his head round, in order to get a face-on view.
Kel's wife, Pearl, joined their daughters, Cheryl and Sharon in the note wishing All the Best for Christmas and for every day in the New Year to come (Thanks, Pearl. Ed.)
"Bill" Rooke - B Coy
A letter from Queensland and Sylvia advised that "Bill" Rooke was injured in an accident, which has left him with a bad arm, and she herself suffered a stroke, which makes writing difficult for her.
Nevertheless her letter ends, "With all the Best Christmas and New Year Greetings to All the Boys.
"Yours sincerely, Sylvia and Bill Rooke."
Ted Skuse - A Coy
Ted has good news, "Edna is a different woman since her heart operation.
"We have two great-grandsons, one each from two of our grand-daughters.
"A couple of months ago I met Cyril ("Curly") Stokes in Taree, and he came out and visited us here at Tuncurry. He is living in Taree. He looks the same as in Bathurst days, only a little older, but his hair is still curly with just a hint of grey.
"Please remember me to All the Boys, and I wish them the Best for the Festive Season.
"I remain, yours, Ted and Edna Skuse."
Fred Hume - Bn HQ
Fred says, I'm writing to say "Hello" and also to wish a Happy Christmas to All the Members of the 2/30 Bn. I do hope all's well, as it leaves me fairly good and I'm really hoping to get to the Reunion in Tamworth next year. I suppose we'll get more information about it later, such as accommodation etc.
"Regards from Fred Hume."
Jim Webster - B Coy
Jim has sent down a newspaper item, as he says, "on the respect in which "The Old Man" is held in his home town."
The article also has the news that Jim, Pipe Major Webster, recently donated a framed picture of "Black Jack" to the Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Association in Newcastle, and the article is illustrated with a picture of Jim and the photograph, as he was handing it over.
Jim also makes, a request, "Please pass on my Seasonal Greeting for a Happy New Year to all my Mates.
"Yours sincerely, Jim Webster."
Dave Jordan - HQ Coy
A Met. Reporter advises that Dave Jordan is at the above address with his wife, Lesley, and that their daughter celebrated her 21st Birthday recently.
Harry Griffis - D Coy.
Harry is retired and he is such a popular figure in the town, that he had the reporters for the local paper on to him for an item for the News. He gave them some notes and yet they had to make some slips on the War Service bit, he says, but he reckons, "any of the boys, reading it, won't worry about us also serving in the Islands, as the story goes."
"Noleen has had more than her share of health problems but has felt better lately.
"I take this opportunity to wish a Merry Christmas and a bright New Year to Members of our Unit and their relatives. Harry."
Supplement With "Makan" No 251, Nov/Dec -1979.
Gemas Day Commemoration
The Gemas Day Commemoration will take place at 3 pm on Sunday, 13th Jan. 1980, at the Memorial at the H.Q., 17th Royal New South Wales Regiment, 2 Suakin St., Pymble.
Entry to the Depot is from Ryde Road, about 200 yards west of the crossing of the Pacific Highway, via West St. (on the left hand or north side, coming from Ryde), or, if from Bridge St. (alongside Gordon Fire Station), then, at the T intersection at the bottom of the hill, make turn right into Suakin St., thence into the Depot.
We have received again the utmost cooperation from Lieut Col. D.R. Leece (C.O. 17 R.N.S.W.R.) and his Adjutant, Captain Pasey, who have arranged to have the Depot opened at 2.30 pm for the Ceremony at 3 pm.
A Catafalque Party of 5 from A Coy will be arranged by Major T.G. Permewan, O.C. that Company, two pipers and a Drummer, and such other details, as may be provided by the Regiment.
As the Regiment treat the day as a Formal Parade, it is requested that all Members of the Battalion wear medals and decorations.
It is most gratifying that such a helpful response, both now and in the past, has been made for our needs to be met during the rather difficult holiday period.
This event is our FAMILY GATHERING of the year for all, who at any time wore the 2/30 Bn colour patch, with Next of Kin of those, who are no longer with us, their families and friends.
14/1/1942 - Gemencheh Bridge
At 16.20 hours on 14th Jan. 1942 forward Troops of the 2/30 Bn. AIF (B Company under the command of Capt. D.J. Duffy, later, Colonel Duffy MC ED) opened the A.I.F.'s Malayan Campaign by engaging the Japanese in the 'Gemencheh Ambush' and suffered its first casualties in that action.
The Battalion, as a whole, became committed in the Battle of Gemas the next day, 15 Jan 1942, assisted by Divisional Service Units, viz: 30 Battery, 2/15 Field Regt. Artillery, a Section of 13 Battery, 4 Anti-Tank Regt. a Party of 8 Div. Engineers, and a Party of 8 Div. Signals.
Under the circumstances, with no slit trenches even, the Battalion casualties for the two days were very light: 1 Officer and 16 other ranks killed, 9 O.Rs missing and 55 wounded. The total of Casualties throughout the Campaign amounted to 83 killed; Died of Wounds or Missing presumed Dead.
The Battalion lost a further 310 during P.O.W. days and, since its return to Australia, many of our comrades have answered the "Last Call".
Since our gathering here on 14/1/79, these thirteen comrades have passed on as well:
NX67015 Pte Hylton COLLINS
In this Gemas Day Commemoration we join with their families and remember all our Comrades, who are no longer with us.
We Will Remember Them.
Lest We Forget.
2/30 Bn A.I.F. Association
The concrete cylinder, which forms the focal point of the Memorial, was one of those used as a Tank Stop at the battle of Gemas.
It remained at the side of the road, until found in 1970 by Major Ken G. MALLINSON ED, a former member of 30 Inf. Bn CMF, at that time, serving with the 1 Bn Royal Australian Regiment. 1 R.A.R. undertook the recovery of the cylinder and, subsequently, forwarded it to 17 Royal New South Wales Regiment as a War relic. They included with the cylinder a bronze plaque briefly recording its significance.
The 17 Royal New South Wales Regiment was formerly the 17 Bn CMF, which had absorbed the 30 Bn, The New South Wales Scottish Regiment CMF. An Infantry Company in Black Watch Kilt, “A” Coy, is maintained still by 17 R.N.S.W.R. in honour of 30 Bn.
The 17 Royal New South Wales Regiment has revered the traditions of all past Regiments, which carried the colours of the 30 Bn and decided that the concrete cylinder should be mounted by the flagpole on its Parade Ground, in a suitable setting.
The 17 Royal New South Wales Regiment organised all the arrangements and the construction in setting up the Memorial.
The 5 Palms, set in a semi-circle around the Memorial, were provided by our Association and represent the five Companies of 2/30 Bn A.I.F.
Ku-ring-gai Municipal Council provided the second Brass Plaque for the Memorial Stone and helped with advice and assistance to the 17 R.N.S.W.R. in the construction and setting up of the Memorial.
The Official Consecration and Unveiling of the Memorial was held on 17 Jan 1971, when our then Patron, Brigadier Sir. Frederick G. Galleghan DSO OBE ISO ED, who died later in that year on 20th April., performed the Unveiling.
2/30 Battalion A.I.F. Association
Gemas Day Commemoration – 13th January 1980 - HQ 17 R.N.S.W.R. PYMBLE.
Please wear Medals and Decorations.
Procedure To Be Followed:
This is essentially a Family Gathering, with a minimum of ceremony. There will be accordingly no parade as such or the undue issuing of orders and instructions, but some form of procedure is essential in order to avoid chaos, and to enable us to observe a reverence and dignity befitting the occasion.
The following will be observed:
The following order will please be observed:
3.10 pm The Ceremony
During the Ceremony the Pipes will render a Lament.
The Assembly will move in their own time to the Drill Hall for Afternoon Tea and Refreshments, to be joined by Members of the Regiment and their friends. Soft drinks will be provided for the children.
Notes on Procedure for the Afternoon:
The procedure, which is to be followed during the afternoon, is set out
It will be seen that provision has been made for the laying of any kind of floral tribute by any of those present, who may desire to do so. A small posy may be considered to be most suitable. A Member of the Battalion will escort each tribute bearer to the Memorial.
It will be observed also, that ample time is allowed for the Afternoon Tea and Get-Together, and, in order to provide for it, Family Groups are asked to please bring something by way of eats, sufficient for their own requirements, plus a little extra to provide for unaccompanied menfolk, for those, who may find it awkward to bring something along, and for our hosts, who have made this gathering possible.
Lt. Col. Leece has arranged to have the Depot opened at 2:30 pm and has arranged also the provision of tables, crockery etc., and hot water for tea and coffee making and washing up of utensils afterwards, in order that we may have the comfort of a gathering for afternoon tea and a yarn after the Ceremony.
All contributions for the afternoon tea will be aggregated and for this purpose may be placed on the tables for all to partake, after the Ceremony, as a Family. Tea and Coffee, Milk, Sugar, cups, etc., will be provided by the Executive for our 'Cuppa’. However will you please bring along a tea towel for the drying up of crockery etc before we depart.
The Executive especially appreciates the C.O.'s gesture in opening the Regimental Messes, in order to assist with the refreshment, but would all Members please remember that this is a Family affair and it is essential that all move freely among the gathering and refrain from a tendency to congregate near to the Bar almost exclusively.
Because of the difficulty in making personal introductions of each one to the other, we confess to age and eyesight trouble making for difficulties, we will have on hand a supply of name cards, thus making for ease of identification and introduction.
The ceremony will be held, regardless of the state of the weather, as there is ample shelter in the Drill Hall.
FORMATION FOR THE CEREMONY.
The Scottish Rifles, renamed 30 Bn. after World War 1, had nearly 100 of its men in the Boer War in South Africa. It was presented in 1903 with the Battle Honour:
SOUTH AFRICA 1900-1902
The Battle Honours won by the 30th in World War 1 were:
Battle Honours won by 2/30 Battalion in Malaya:
The Battle Honours of 30 Bn, New South Wales Scottish Regiment, won in New Guinea 1941/5 were:
SOUTH WEST PACIFIC