Makan No. 234
OFFICIAL JOURNAL 2/30 Bn. A. I. F. ASSOCIATION
Subscription Rate: $1.50 per Year
Registered for Posting as Periodical: Category A
Anzac Day, Sydney, 25th April 1977
Once again we have commemorated Anzac Day. We marched past the Cenotaph and paid homage to those Australians, who gave their lives in the Great War of 1914/18; in earlier wars and since; to those of our own vintage, whom we left behind, they having died in battle or from the sicknesses suffered whilst in the hands of the Japanese, and to those, who, since our return to Australia, have passed on, relieved of further suffering.
102 of the Battalion marched behind Andy Hyslop, who was the bearer of the 2/30th Banner this year, and who said that he felt it an honour to be allowed to carry it. Alan Pryde led us, as senior officer in Sydney of the Battalion as it was constituted on demobilisation; Arch Thorburn, as Association President, was on his left.
Len Barnes was down from Cairns Q., Harry Riches from Brunswick Heads, accompanied by Keith Richardson from Tullera, Lismore; Norm King was from Golspie near Goulburn; Derek Smith from Bargo; Con Hedwards and Wally Scott from Wollongong and Athol Charlesworth from Leura.
"Gentleman George" our C.O. and Patron came to the Assembly point and took his place on a folding chair, with which Mrs Ramsay had struggled through the crowds, as their car could not be brought through the barriers. We must thank Mrs Ramsay and Max for their kindnesses in making it possible for "Gentleman George" being able to see the boys, who came in a steady flow to his chair to shake hands with him, let him know who it was and exchange a few brief words with him.
Lennie Lansdown, despite his 78 years, was his old smiling self, although we have learnt that he is now in Concord and Jack Heasman's son was there to march in memory of his Dad and, subsequently, at the Club, where we had our get-together in the afternoon. Jack (Senior) was with us in the Transport Platoon. Junior seems to be a pretty nice type of young man and we were very glad to have his easy-going company at the Club and note his keen interest in the wartime doings of the Battalion and the post war activities of the Association. Ernie Ross, with eyesight a bit better after some operations, was enthusiastically greeting old friends. Once again we were most pleased to see big Jim Saunderson on the March. Jim who went off with "A" Force in May '42, had no contact with the Association until recent years, when he began to join us, in the Anzac Day marches. He has never joined as a member, but we are very happy to have him with us on the March. He is a fine figure of a man, well over 6 ft. tall with the physical appearance of a first grade footballer, and he is totally blind (in consequence of malnutrition as a P.O.W. in Burma / Siam). He abhors anyone or any action suggestive of compassion or our attentiveness.
That much respected memorable character, who hails from among our very active and well integrated group of Association members in the Far Northern Rivers region, Harry Riches, was in Sydney for some days, during which he was able to pay a visit to Sefton to yarn with Mick Bailey, one of his Transport mates, and able to join us during the Anzac Day gatherings. He never seems to look any older on any of the unfortunately infrequent occasions we see him; although we are aware that he has had a few health problems over the years. A cheerful person and one whom we are always happy to encounter.
"Dinny" Lane, from Heathcote, was a very welcome participant in the March and subsequent gathering. He looks and sounds pretty well, health-wise, and would be twice the weight he was whilst with "A" Force in 1943, P.O.W. days, on the railway job. The impression came that "Dinny" was not, by any standard, in untoward circumstances. Indeed his subscription contribution, suggests that he plans to be around for many years to come. He has retired from his Newsagency at Heathcote and has moved, but he did not get around to giving the C.C. his new address.
When the marshal reckoned on it being time for the boys to be formed up, Alan Pryde and Arch Thorburn worked on getting the ranks of twelve abreast. We were glad that we had a good pipe band with their steady rate in front, but somewhat dismayed with the brass band in the rear, when it competed with a different tempo, although it was good on its own; for some part of the time we marched very well, at others we skipped along, changing step far too often.
A pleasing sight during the progress of the March was to see a group of wives of three Battalion members, stationed strategically at the G.P.O. corner of Pitt Street and Martin Plaza; Ene Morrison (and her eldest grand-daughter), Betty Parry and Betty Pryde, gave our boys a great hand as the Marchers turned towards the Cenotaph.
It was at this very intersection that the Jeep conveying the leader of the 8th Division (Colonel Jeater) and our Patron Colonel Ramsay was halted for almost 10 minutes. Although he was unable to see them, "Gentleman George" certainly became most aware that some of the 2/30th Battalion supporters were on hand - and duly acknowledged the fact.
As we crossed the King St. intersection with George Street, Lady Galleghan was greeted on the left, as she proudly waved to her boys. Then further on to the right was "Mum" Duffy waving most vigorously to all.
Some hours after the March concluded, a rather distinguished looking gentleman, wearing a string of medals, including the OBE came up to a group of our men. He said that he wished to congratulate us on a very fine showing in the March. It seems that he was in the T.V. broadcasting box as our Unit went past, and he stated that the announcer had spoken over the air in highly glowing terms of the Unit in action and its post-war activities. Those, who were in the group, were much impressed by the obvious sincerity of the utterly unsolicited remarks.
The gathering point after the March was at 101 Clarence Street, the ex-P.O.W. Rooms. "Changi George" Aspinall had a display on the walls of the section, which had been set aside for the Battalion, of enlargements of some of the photos that he had taken as a P.O.W. and smuggled past the Japanese. He has done a marvellous job, despite, as he says, the fact that very bad vision of his left eye refuses to allow him more than one hour or so at a time in retouching the negatives and it costs too much to have that done by commercial men. His other photos of the 1974 March and of the "Gemas Memorial" at Pymble in colour as a contrast show the beauty of George's work with modern day equipment. I'm sure that the enthusiasm of the boys and others in the Rooms, crowding around all these photos, must have shown their thanks to him for taking the trouble to set them up, and I take the opportunity to say to George, here and now, "Thank You George, for thinking of making this display, on behalf of all, who saw them, you did a good job." Incidentally it is such a display George is contemplating for "Gemas Day" next, as was mentioned in last "Makan", set off by those little things, that were made over there by you and your cobbers, if you will only bring them along then: the aluminium match box holders, the crib boards and the like, little mementoes in themselves, but which mean so much to each one, who now owns them.
Speaking of "Changi George", I forgot to mention him as also being on the sidelines of the march with a first rate l6mm camera to record on film the marching of the Battalion. He was with us at the Assembly Point, where shade precluded the taking of shots and he must have done some speeding to get in positions to his liking. He also took other shots in Hyde Park of some of the boys around the Battalion Banner. These are all to be incorporated with other shots to put on film some of the history of the Association; a project, which will not be done quickly nor even solely this year, but over a period of time and taking in some of the other Association functions and commemorations, as at the Cairn in Limekilns Road Kelso, "Gemas Day" etc.
A few of the regulars, who are not able to manage the March came along in the afternoon; "Cappy" Bligh, Ray Duncombe Alan McNickle, Ray Simmons, Harry Wilson were among these additional folk, bringing the total of those meeting together on the day to somewhere like the 110 mark.
Your scribe called it a day somewhere about 3:30pm, most had drifted away by that time, but there was still a small group battling on in the corner.
Anzac Day at Bathurst
Our two official representatives at Bathurst this year were Jack Fell, who made the trip from Cessnock, and Bruce Pratt, who is resident in Bathurst; he and his family are now our custodians of the Cairn in Limekilns Road, Kelso, and who the Executive felt could not be bettered as one of our representatives.
Jack wrote in, as he says, "Just a short note to give a report on the Anzac Day Services in Bathurst.”
I travelled up to Bathurst by myself on Sunday, leaving home about 8:30am. I went by the Putty Road, which is the shortest route from Cessnock. After a short break at Lithgow R.S.L. Club for refreshments, I arrived at Bathurst at about 2:30pm. Bruce Ford had told me that I was booked in the Sunset Motel so I went there immediately after arriving.
After a short siesta I went up to the R.S.L. Club to contact Col Watson, who, unfortunately was not there. However the chap who signed me in, contacted Bruce Pratt for me and Bruce gave me directions for finding where he lived. Although I cannot remember ever meeting Bruce before, both he and his wife, Marjorie, made me most welcome. I stayed for about an hour, after which I returned to the motel.
I had made myself comfortable and was going to watch TV for a while, when I heard a voice say, "in room twenty-five". Having seen the "No Vacancy" sign outside I immediately thought that I was expected to share my double bed with a complete stranger. I answered the knock on the door and imagine my surprise to see Ray Streatfeild, whom I had not seen for possibly twenty years. Ray and Joyce had made their minds up on the spur of the moment that they would come up to Bathurst for the memorial service. I spent a pleasant hour with them in their room before going back to my own room for a fairly early night. I had been up at 4:30 that morning to prepare the greens before I left and as I had driven about 200 miles, I was starting to feel tired.
The long day had taken its toll and I failed to wake up in time to attend the Dawn Service.
After breakfast and to fill in time before the march, I went for a drive around the city. I was amazed at the growth that has taken place even in the last seven years, since we were there for the Reunion. Out in the direction of the jail is a new housing development called "Stewart”, and it really is something to see.
I returned to the R.S.L. Club in time to take part in the March. A pipe band from the Scots College led the March, with the usual rousing music. The assembly was drawn up in a hollow square fronting the War Memorial and the service took place. I was most impressed by the address by the President of the R.S.L. whose remarks were aimed mainly at the younger generation.
After the March we strolled back to the R.S.L. and after a few drinks we all went to Bruce's place for lunch. Marjorie served a delightful lunch and over coffee we discussed the ills of the world and what a hell of a mess it was in.
We left Bruce's and followed him to the Cairn by way of a cross country road. Not having been out to the Cairn before, I was agreeably surprised to see so many people, who had made the trip out for the Service. It seemed evident that the Service at the Cairn was just as important as the March in the city. The police were there and they stopped all traffic, once the Service was in progress.
It seemed hard to visualise this almost deserted site as our home for about six months. As I waited for the Service to start, I let my thoughts stray back over the years, to the time we detrained at Kelso Railway Station and made our way out to a camp that was almost deserted, but for our advance party. I could see the hills around swarming with giggle-suited young men and hear their voices echoing from the hills and valleys. I thought back to the bitterly cold night spent at Sunny Corner; the hike out to Sofala, where we spent hours looking for fellows who had fallen in the old mine workings; the weekend when we travelled to Orange; the ceremonial march through Bathurst; the arguments, which at times became quite heated, about which was best of the three units in this camp; how many times that the round window in the Knickerbocker Hotel was broken; the scuffles in the bus bringing us back from leave.
I was brought back from my reverie by the fact that the Service was about to commence. It was short but solemn. Ray Streatfeild and I placed wreaths on the 2/30th Cairn and 9th Division Cairn. Bruce Pratt responded on our behalf to Councillor Locke of Turon Shire Council. I recited the Ode. After the Benediction the Service was finished.
We met the Mother of Ted Campbell. She will be 100 years old in August, and comes to this Service each year.
I made my goodbyes to Bruce and his wife and daughter, and to Ray and Joyce Streatfeild and headed back to the Highway for the long drive home. It was about 10:30pm when I arrived home.
I was glad that I went, although it seemed a long way to go for such a short time.
Best regards, Jack Fell.
NX29704 L/Cpl Allan K.
Smith - "D" Company Storeman
Allan did a great job in the position that he occupied in "D" Company's Q. Store. He was a member of "F" Force and also was on X1 Tunnelling Party. The privations, suffered on both parties, would have been undoubtedly important factors in his troubles, which had caused him to be classified as T.P.I. As late as October 1950 he was receiving treatment still for hookworm like many other Ps.O.W.
Allan did not marry and lived at Fairlight, Sydney, with his father and stepmother.
He was employed in the city for some time after the War but as a T.P.I. gave up the daily grind. Later he ran a small tobacco kiosk in the Manly area, but found even that too demanding in his condition and had to give that away too.
We also note with regret that Doug Blanshard, "A" Company lost his Mother at the age of 88 years on 20th April last.
WE SHALL REMEMBER THEM
Kevin Ward reports that those who have been discharged from Hospital
since last report have been:
Convalescent Home, Stanmore:
The Annual Meeting was held on 15th April as notified, with 13 Members gathering on the ground floor of the Combined Services Club, having some drinks and then proceeding to the next floor down for a meal. Later arrivals gathered around the diners and at 8 pm all went upstairs for the business part of the Meeting.
Unfortunately there were only 6 members other than the Committee men present. Neil Huntley (Port Macquarie) was the only long distance runner. Ray Rickards was a welcome participant; he had recently been on a JETSET Tour, during which he and Vera spent eight days in Singapore, finding it very different to his last sight of it in 1945. Joe Geoghegan, Ron Maston, Reg Napper and Ray Simmons were the others to join the Committee in the Meeting
Annual Report was read out by Bruce Ford:
Your Executive has met regularly each-second month and attendance has been satisfactory.
The 1976 Annual General Meeting was held on the 9th April 1976 with a disappointing attendance - only 3 persons apart from the Executive attending.
Anzac Day 1976
Church Service at St. Stephen's Presbyterian Church was held on the 15th August. There was a pleasing attendance at this service. Members will recall that the Battalion's colours are laid up at St. Stephens. Our thanks are due to Doug McLaggan for his initiative in suggesting the Association attending.
Hospital Visitation has been kept up with Kevin Ward's splendid work. He does have difficulties in obtaining knowledge of all admissions to Concord R.G.H. He is to be commended for the attention and devotion he gives to this service for the Association.
Publication Of "Makan" has been maintained. This is without doubt, the most important operation of your Executive. In June, Phil Schofield stepped down, because of indifferent health from the position of Editor and Chief Correspondent. You are all aware of the standards set by Phil in his editorship of our magazine and there would be no need to dwell on the regrets of your Executive on receiving his letter of resignation. The Association has been extremely fortunate in having Alex. Dandie take up the editorship, so that the publication has continued without any break and the extremely high standard has been maintained.
As a mark of appreciation of his services, a social evening, a very happy one, for Phil and Vi Schofield was held at the Anzac R.S.L. Club, Cammeray, on 15th August.
The Annual "B.J." Memorial Bowls Day was held with the Bankstown R.S.L. Bowling Club in October; it being another successful function. The Association has not yet got it's name on the shield, but it's still trying.
The Annual Reunion, as you are all aware, was not held in Sydney in October, as originally planned. The advices of attendance were simply not enough to warrant the Association entering into a commitment of $70.00 on the off chance of a satisfactory roll-up. Your Executive has received some criticism for not going on with the Reunion and much consideration is being given as to what can be done to avoid any more such failures. A Sub-Committee has the matter in hand for examination and recommendations.
Gemas Day has come to be the highlight of the Association's calendar. 16th January this year, despite extremely hot weather, saw, possibly the highest attendance to date, with the usual excellent facilities. The Association's grateful thanks go to our Hosts, 17 Bn Royal New South Wales Regiment.
8th Division and Services Association's Annual Function at the Cenotaph on 15th February 1977 was attended by representatives of the Association and a wreath was laid in memory of our lost ones.
Membership over the year showed a decline of 12 in Ordinary and Life Members; this leaves membership at 346, with an increase of 6 in Next of Kin Correspondents to 76.
On behalf of your Executive, I take this opportunity to thank all those, who have assisted in the functioning of your Association by way of items of interest for publishing in the ""MAKAN", assistance in producing and dispatching "'MAKAN"; our Regional Representatives and all those people, who have kept our interests alive in outlying areas.
Thank you Gentlemen,
Arch. Thorburn, PRESIDENT.
The list of deceased
members of the battalion, who had died since last annual meeting
Ted Barnes - D Company
Statement of Receipts
and Payments for Year Ended 31/12/1976
We have examined the above statement with the records of 2/30 Bn. A.I.F. Association and in our opinion the statement is a true record of all monies received and expended by the Association during the year ended 31 December 1976.
Balance Sheet as at 31st December 1976
Comments on these accounts by Hon. Treasurer
The accounts and financial statements for the last year have been examined and confirmed by the Auditor. No criticism has been made of any aspect of the accounting procedures adopted, which were said to be correctly and adequately presented.
Due to circumstances beyond the control of either the Editor or myself, it was not possible to incorporate the financial report in the last issue of "MAKAN". However it is planned to do so in the next issue and this will give Members, who were unable to attend the Annual Meeting, particularly country members, the opportunity to examine our financial circumstances.
I would like to express my appreciation to both the former and present Editor/Chief Correspondent, Phil Schofield and Alex Dandie, for the cooperation and assistance they have given me in the course of my duties as Hon. Treasurer.
By far the greatest outlay of our funds goes in the production and postage of “MAKAN", which we all realise is the life-blood of the Association. There has been a substantial increase in such outgoings - over $200 in fact. Typing of five (5) issues of "MAKAN" and other distributed bulletins cost $296, postage $139 and stationery $532. Whilst this latter figure is enormously higher than that for the year 1975, it should be pointed out that a very advantageous purchase opportunity occurred to acquire substantial stocks of paper, etc. for future use before greatly increased price rises came into effect. Furthermore, a purchase of 6,000 covers for "MAKAN" at the very generous outlay to us of $162, gives us a stock-on-hand, which will last us for several years and we are very grateful for the generosity of Dr. Sands and his sister, Mrs. Lamble, in continuing to assist us with the outlay on the covers in continuation of the association of their Father with us and in memory of their brother, and our comrade, Richard Sands.
The Editor will, undoubtedly, be reporting on the subject of the postal concessions, which we presently enjoy in respect of "MAKAN", but a warning is given, that should we no longer qualify to receive the concession, known as "Category A", consequential additional cost of postage will create a serious drain on our resources.
38 personnel were advised during the year that, although they had been unfinancial for some time, their names had been restored to the list of current membership. Of these, no word has come from ten (10), and their names have been removed from our rolls.
It will be noted that there was an increase of $155 in the interest received on the Bonds we hold and on our Savings Bank Accounts.
In the financial periods prior to 31st Dec. 1976, Members had remitted funds to meet dues for future years. At the end of the year under review the "Subscriptions in Advance A/c" had a balance of $1,107, as shown in the Balance Sheet. Since then, $382.50 has been transferred by contra entries to credit the Members involved with having paid fees and subscriptions for this current year.
I submit, Mr. President, that the Association is in a satisfactory financial position, as indicated by the audited accounts. Nevertheless, it will be understood that, neither the Gestetner machine nor the typewriter, used in conjunction with preparation of "MAKAN" will last for many years. Replacement of these will be very costly at present day prices.
Alan Pryde, Hon. Treasurer.
Report by Editor of "Makan"
Circulation of "MAKAN" amounts to 433 copies. These are sent to:
All Members are NOT financial. There are still 61 members, who require to pay their 1977 Annual Subscription for "MAKAN" and on these figures the % of fully paids of 289 to the total circulation of 433 is 66.7%, which is still well below the 75% required for compliance with postal regulations for Category "A". The last two issues of "MAKAN", both of 48 pages, have each weighed 70 grams, but cost of posting has been at the equivalent of 7 cents each, a variation in charges levied since last year. BUT, IF WE DO NOT ACHIEVE THE 75% each such copy of "MAKAN" would cost 30 cents to post.
Election of Office
Bearers for the Year 1977/78
Representatives of the Association at Bathurst on Anzac Day, 1977
Report of sub-committee set up at February meeting of executive to consider all suggestions about Annual Reunion with a view to aid decision on future policy in connection with Annual Reunion
This report was submitted to the Executive at its April Meeting and it was there decided that the recommendations be presented to the annual Meeting for its considerations.
The small number of members present at the Annual Meeting precluded any quick decision being made. Accordingly it was decided that the recommendations be published in "MAKAN", for the benefit of all members, who are asked to let the Chief Correspondent know their thoughts about the recommendations by the 15th October next, and the Meeting of the Executive, next after that date will make a decision as to future policy. In the meantime planning for a 1977 Annual Reunion in Sydney will be taking place.
Noel Johnston submitted the Sub-Committee's report, as follows:
The Sub-Committee, comprising Bob Jack, George Winchester and myself, met at my house on Saturday afternoon, 25/2/77.
We first considered all the suggestions made by members which were the subject of "extracts made from letters" as made by the "MAKAN" Editor, Alex Dandie.
It was decided that the proposals, which merited more serious consideration were:
(a) That the ''standard" for future reunions should be
attractive to members and thereby encourage higher attendances.
Additionally, the Sub-Committee discussed at length the following
matters, raised at the last meeting of the Executive:
These three decisions of the Sub-Committee ARE HEREBY SUBMITTED AS RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE CONSIDERATION of the Executive.
Re Mixed gatherings - this matter was not difficult to decide, as it was clear from the correspondence, from the discussions in the Executive and from the situation now existing in country areas, that the consensus of opinion is in favour of our womenfolk attending our Official Reunion.
Therefore Recommendation (4) is:
The venue and standard of future Reunions was then discussed. It was felt generally that the future venue, whilst being more central (i.e. in the City area) should be appropriately attractive and suitably catered for and staffed - also the accommodation provided, should be restricted to 2/30 Association members and guests. This becomes Recommendation (5).
Re Subsidising of Reunion Expenses
This matter was raised at the last meeting of the Executive, when it was pointed out that the capital funds of the Association had remained largely untouched for a period of over 30 years and the annual interest thereon was exceeding $700 year. It was felt that the time had arrived for the element of "benefit to members" from the situation to be studied.
The Sub-Committee, following discussion in some depth, decided to support the proposal that future official Reunions of 2/30 Bn Association personnel be subsidised, whether held in the Metropolitan or in Country Areas. Whilst it would be for the decision each year of the Executive as to the extent of subsidy for that year, it would seem necessary for the policy in this regard to be endorsed by the next Annual General Meeting to be held on 15 April 1977 (NOW BY EXECUTIVE AFTER PLEBISCITE OF MEMBERS, WHOSE ANSWERS ARE REQUESTED BEFORE 15/10/1977).
Several 'side-issues' to this proposed policy were examined and the following Recommendation (6) and its subsidiary paragraphs clarify the final decision of the Sub-Committee.
(6) That the Association subsidise future official reunions of Association Members - whether in Metropolitan or Country Centres - to an extent per member attending such functions - as may be determined each year by the Executive and conditional on:
(a) the subsidy being applicable only to members of the Association
attending the approved functions.
Submitted for the Sub-Committee
It was decided that the Recommendations be tabled; publicised through "MAKAN"; that a period, while the matter maybe still in suspense, be for 6 months from the date of the Annual Meeting, i.e. until the 15th October; that members be asked for their opinions and, if either for or against any or all of the recommendations, be asked to write in the form of a motion before that date; that the Executive will make its decision on the strength of the report, as submitted and on the strength of support for any motions as may come forward.
Members are asked to fully understand that there is no suggestion that the Annual Meeting was asked to support the Recommendations there and then.
It is felt that there is no need for any panic over the situation that caused the cancellation of last year's Reunion; but, that something must be done to overcome any apathy to Battalion affairs; that we should not get into a negative attitude, and that whilst there are some at least of the Battalion there should be Reunions, whether the number be 2,5,10, 20 or whatever.
Ballina Ex-Ps.O.W. Reunion, 15th August, 1976.
It must be recognised that the most successful Reunions in the past took a lot of organising, many letters, phone calls and time in stirring folk to agree to come.
Most places for holding of Reunions require a financial guarantee and no Executive will go for a loss.
In the discussion there was an enquiry from one of the members whether it were known how other Units of the 8th Div. were faring, as we are all small in number in comparison with other Divisions, whose reinforcements over years allowed of greater strengths in their Associations.
There was another query, had there been any thought of holding a combined Reunion with any other Unit that had been in Malaya, say, the 2/15th Artillery, seeing that that Unit was predominately of strength in N.S.W. and was with us in the moves down from Gemas to Johore Bahru.
Thirdly, despite the text of the Recommendations, had there been any thought of moving away from a date near to the Anniversary of the founding of the Battalion, the Constitution now sets out, that it shall be held 'on a, date and at a place to be determined by the Central Executive from year to year'; it would seem easy therefore to move to a date, as mentioned by some, 'near to a time', when there are other things of importance on in Sydney; Football Grand Final; "B.J. Memorial" Bowls; Sydney Cup; Easter Show; anything to get away from harvest time which ties country folk down, and yet with diversification of farming, are all really tied down.
(A Supplement to this issue of "MAKAN" is offered as a guide in letting the Executive have your opinions. Ed.)
News, Views and Who's Who
George Lister -
Mummulgum, 2470 - (“B” Company)
Alice Larkin - Evans
Head 2473 - (Widow Of Stan, “B" Company)
My other son, Mark, does year 10 at Ballina High this year.
Jeff and I attended a wedding on the 8th January at Evans Head, amongst the guests being Sybil and Joe Johnston of Knockrow. They were both well then."
Don Devey - Matraville,
2036 - (HQ Company)
Don and his wife spent three weeks holiday visiting Manila (P.I.) and Singapore. Although they were able to have only a short time at Kranji Cemetery, he says that he was able to locate the grave of one of his mates in the Transport Platoon, Les Marshall, who died in Changi, after coming back with "F" Force from the railway.
Ross Madden - Armidale,
2350 - (“A” Company)
Molly reports that she and Ross had been to Newcastle in January for a short stay with their youngest daughter, Judith and her husband, Geoff.
She says that she had had a letter at Christmas time from Gwen and Vince O'Reilly, who seemed to be well and looking forward to a Happy Christmas with all their family.
Ray Duncombe - Balmain,
2041 - (HQ Company)
My wife and I will celebrate 49 years of married life in May and, God willing, we'll see our Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1978.
Ernie Stratford - Main
Arm Via Mullumbimby, 2482 - (“D” Company)
Ernie has two boys, Noel aged 26 and Graham 20 years of age. Both boys play cricket, tennis, indoor bowls and football. Noel did eight years in the Bank of New South Wales but was offered a job with Theiss, BHP and Mitsui Mines at Moura as Paymaster, so he resigned from the Bank to take up the offer. He became engaged last Christmas and hopes to be married this coming Christmas.
Graham is in third year at New England University, Armidale making Maths his major subject.
Ernie reports that mid-January he ran into Keith Williams of “A” Company, pre-war from Tregeagle via Lismore. Ernie found Keith looking very well and reckoned that he had not changed. He works and lives in Brisbane and was down to see his mother.
Ernie is old enough to have the Service Pension; he has some pigs and five cows, so that his workload around home is just a comfortable chore.
Ossie Jackson and Harley Forrester called on Ernie. He reckons Harley is a bit overweight.
Carl Odgers - Kyogle,
2474 - (HQ Company)
Vernon Baynes - Pymble,
2073 - (“D” Company)
Family wise he says his son, 25 yrs old, is an executive with E.M.I.; daughter, 20, with Wales Travel and 2nd daughter (18) is starting a Hotel Management Diploma Course at Sydney Technical College this year.
Des Gee - Moonee Ponds,
3039 - (HQ Company)
He is another planing to retire. He comments that, "generally speaking, I am pretty fit, but I am planning to retire, probably about November 1977, so that after then I should be able to tour around and see some of the chaps."
Ron Ollis (HQ Company)
- Caringbah, 2229
Their further objective for 1977 is to fit in a trip o overseas, but this has to be arranged around the building of the house and the arrival of the first grandchild, due in April (he comments "I always was backward") so here's hoping.
Derek Smith - Bargo,
2574 - (“A” Company)
"A" Company Soccer Team, Batu Pahat, 1941.
Front (L to R): C. Gilmore, Jimmy Angus, Jack
Salisbury, Ross Madden.
Derek's thoughts on Reunions, are for "Family Reunions or Get Togethers, Picnics or Fetes. Maybe hold a Charity Day for Legacy or some worthwhile charity, with the ladies having a stall and selling tickets in a guessing competition, plus a barbeque, where the menfolk could show off their culinary arts (those of you, who attended the Picnics at Lane Cove National Park, may remember that Derek came to all of them bringing his family, by train, all the way from Bargo and the family had a wow of a time). He says, 'Johnny Parsons' place at Rossmore would fit the bill for a setting, or anywhere with a large area of ground, where people can fraternise in the open, in preference to a hall. Tickets could be sold beforehand, maybe someone like Slim de Grey could come and sing a couple of songs for us?”
(Johnnie, maybe you could get up a working bee of the old and bold and get yourself your own private bowling rink, out of something like this. Ed)
Barbecue at "Joe" Johnston's home, Tintenbar, Sunday, 13/2/1977.
L to R: Artie Power, Len Clavan, Vi Crawford, Jim Crawford (2/18 Bn)
Front (L to R): Alex Dandie, Clarrie Lattimer,
Kevin Ward, Bruce Greer, Tom Nixon, Len Clavan, ?.
Ray Simmons - Bexley,
2207 - (B.H.Q.)
Ray says, "I am reasonably fit now and have taken up bowls again, enjoying it as much as ever. Leila, my wife, is in wonderful health and, thank God, has a constitution of iron. (Anzac Day report on his bowls was that to the consternation of a reigning champion at his Club, St. George at Rockdale, and the glee of other members Ray extended said reigning champion without knowing his identity and when Ray was just playing for the fun of the game. (What would he be like in Championships? Ed)
Ray has passed on to me a copy of the Jan. 1977 journal of the United Service Institute and drawn attention to a paragraph under the heading "Galleghan Memorial Awards" containing a letter from the first Malayan, to win one of these awards, Mohamed Iqbal of the Faculty of Economics, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, saying:
”Sir, I came to Australia as the Malaysian winner of the Sir Frederick Galleghan Memorial Award sponsored by the Australia-Malaysia-Singapore Association, which is an Australian organisation dedicated to the promotion of goodwill and friendship between the countries.
Throughout my stay in the country in November 1976 I had a golden opportunity to visit management schools and institutions to exchange views and to study some of the most recent researches, which will be beneficial to me as a lecturer at the University of Malaya.
I was also able to see and gain experience from numerous youth organisations and movements in Australia. This rich experience will enable me to contribute better to my involvement as a youth leader in Malaysia.
My visit has not been completely one-sided. My discussions and talks with the Australian people have been beneficial to convey impressions of Malaysia.
I would like to record my appreciation to all those who have been able to contribute to the success of my award studies in Australia. In particular, I wish to record my appreciation, through your newspaper (Sydney Morning Herald of Oct. 7th last) to the Australia - Malaysia - Singapore Association for their excellent effort, and I further hope that such efforts will bring the people of the two countries together in goodwill and friendship.”
Another article in the same journal reports on an "R.A.R. Memorial", now established in Sydney, and we quote:
"In Wynyard Street, Sydney, one of several small areas, which the Sydney City Council is converting into pedestrian plazas, a Memorial has been erected to commemorate the campaigns of the Royal Australian Regiment.
The Memorial consists of a series of bronze sculptures of soldiers in action in Korea, Malaya and Vietnam, which are attached to a wall of Sydney sandstone, 8 metres long x 1½ metres high.
It is the work of Sydney sculptor, Dennis Adams, who was an official war artist in World War II. Mr. Adams was commissioned, to create the Memorial, by the Royal Australian Regt. Association, which raised the necessary funds through subscriptions from members and friends, supplemented by a gift of $3,000 from the Government of South Korea.
At an impressive ceremony on December 8th, after the formal opening of the "Wynyard streetscape", the Memorial was unveiled by the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Roden Cutler.
The unveiling was preceded by a March through Sydney by a Company and the Colours of 5/7 R.A.R., the combined Pipes and Drums of 3 and 5/7 R.A.R. and a contingent from the R.A.R. Association.
Sydney City Council has recommended to, the Geographical Names Board, that the new plaza be re-named "Regiment Square". This proposal is doubly appropriate, because the plaza contains the Memorial and in the early 1800's, the area' was part of the Army Barracks.
(Many of our chaps will be interested in the Memorial due to the fact that either sons or grandsons may have served in these Regiments).
Also heavy type above a section of "Government Notices" on the back page of last Friday's S.M.H. caught my eye and it was the Notice calling for objections to the naming of an unnamed feature in City of Sydney as "Regimental Square" so it looks as though such name may be accepted. Ed).
Don Schumacher -
Birmingham Gardens, 2287 - (D Company)
Mrs. Clare Pluis -
Parkes, 2870 - (Cyril Pluis - Transport)
Jack ("Curly") Simpson
- Minnamurra, 2532 - (“A” Company)
Betty Dawson -
Narrabeen North, 2101 - (Len Dawson - HQ Company)
Eva Standing - Lismore,
2480 - (Ted Standing - HQ Company)
Weekend of Lismore Ex-Ps.O.W. Reunion, February
1977. Shown at Lismore Catholic Hospital are:
Ray Body - Raymond
Terrace, 2324 - (HQ Company)
Ray said that he was to pick up "Sandy" Christensen on Anzac Day; come to The Battalion Rendezvous and hopes to have a most enjoyable day, as they always do, and this would make it the tenth year that he and "Sandy" have been getting together; they both look forward to it, as they have been very close mates, and it also makes the day, meeting all the boys. (But, Ray, what happened on Anzac Day? Surely I could not have mistaken the two of you? Or was I "blind”? Ed).
George Kingston -
Woodstock, 2793 - ("A" Company )
He is still head stockman for Talinga Pastoral Company and still breaks in all the young horses, but feels that he will have to stand down and let a younger man take his place, at 60 it's time to put the saddles away, he says.
He comments that he does not see any of the boys ''as there are not too many up this way, and I never seem to get time to get to the Big Smoke He asks to "please give his regards to the boys and the best of luck to all".
Neil Sellers -
Brushgrove, 2460 - ("B" Company)
Harry Teasdale -
Lismore, 2480 - ("D" Company)
Keith Broughton -
Summer Hill., 2130 - (HQ Company)
In commenting on a trip that he had to the East some time ago now, Keith said that at Singapore he was in touch with the Chinese lad, Wu Wen Kay, who was of so much assistance with the lads, on the march to the 'Shrine Job' and in camp at Mount Pleasant. He is now Chief Storeman in one of the Govt. Stores, and treasures a book "The Australians" given to him by "B.J.".
Frank Topham -
Eastlakes , 2018 - ("C” Company)
Frank is another one who is seeking a copy of "Galleghan's Greyhounds". So, if anyone knows of any one at all, who wishes to sell a copy of the Battalion History, please let me know so that these enquirers may be satisfied.
George Stephenson -
Mollymook, 2539 - (HQ Company)
He says that his health is pretty good, although he did have to visit a specialist recently and have X-Rays taken.
Golf these days is a thing of the past, but he can manage bowls at least once weekly. There are two Bowls Clubs, where he can play, Mollymook and Milton-Ulladulla. Mollymook has other attractions for the holiday maker in that it has two Golf Courses, the original 9 holes at Mollymook Beach and a new 18 hole Championship Course on the Mollymook Estate with a new Club House. George says that the tourists mainly use the Club House at the beach and the "dyed-in-the Wool" golfers use the new course.
An indoor sport for George is snooker, which he plays quite a bit and, as well as playing, he looks after 2 tables at the old Club House and a new one at the new Golf Course Club House.
He sends a message of Best Wishes to All of the 2/30th Boys and reports Arnie Ainsworth as now settled in at Mollymook having sold his home in Canberra. (Now then Arnie! I have not yet had a letter telling me what this new address is. What about dropping me a line please? Ed).
A.J. ("Snowy") Mason -
Dundas, 2117 - ("D" Company)
"Snowy" is no mean hand on the bowling green and he adds to his practice with Indoor Championship Bowls, not with any small sized bowls, but with the normal bowls, as if on the green outside.
Steve Kirton - Burnaby
(British Columbia) - (HQ Company)
Steve says, "'I’m finding it hard to settle down in harness, since I've been back and would gladly retire, if I could afford to do so".
However he does not draw a rosy picture, economically or weatherwise over there. Vancouver seems to have missed out on winter this year. I have known colder winters in Sydney. Even the usual winter rains seem to have deserted us. We can do without, but in California the fruit trees are dying for lack of water; the farmers are going broke, paying a fortune for water rights, even though they get no water. We get most of our vegetables from California, so I guess they will be up in price later this year. 'Gas' will soon be $1 a gallon; coffee $5 per lb is predicted; tea prices are going up, because so many coffee drinkers are switching over; saccharine is going out of production for health reasons. So I guess I'll have to drink more, beer." and he signs off on that philosophical note.
Vince Leonard -
Fairfield, 2165 - (HQ Company)
Dave Tate - Garradunga
Q. 4860 - (HQ Company)
I've now learned why Dave is such a poor correspondent, He prefers to get on the "blower". Talking over the phone certainly does allow that you're not left waiting for answers to your enquiries; you get your answers straight away and learn how folks are at the time that you're in touch.
I will confess, though, that it was a bit staggering for me, when I answered the phone one night, and the bloke on the other end started tearing the tripe out of me, for trying to get him to answer a letter and, not only that, did not let me know who it was that was speaking, but reckoned that I should know who it was. Boy! Oh! Boy! Who was it I'd upset? Did the wheels race? I could not make a guess. Then worse. He said that he would have to get "Snowy" Stevens let me know how he felt. Well, that only made it worse. I was still in the dark, and who of Snow's friends would take this to heart so much? I was so flabbergasted, that I did not make first base and realise that it must have been a bloke out of the Mortars. He told me that he did not even write to his sister, but always phoned her. So, who was I, to try and get a letter out of him? Snow has often reminded me of the incident, before I got to know him well and just after I had come down from "A" Company to HQ Company Orderly Room, when I would not let him have the Mortar Platoon incoming mail, and now, this chap on the other end of the line proposed to have Snow tear me to pieces? It was not so however, in the next breath he had let me know that Snow was just beside him, and that he would put Snow on the phone. Snow soon said that the chap, who had been bedevilling me, was Dave, so now I know that Dave will not be answering my letters.
On Anzac Day I learned a little more from Snow of his trip to Garradunga. Snow went up there to enjoy a fortnight's holiday in SUNNY QUEENSLAND, and what do you think Dave had turned on for him, FOURTEEN DAYS OF RAIN. Not that a bit of rain deterred Dave from driving Snow round to see the District and that Snow did not appreciate, that, when Dave went up towards Mareeba, there was quite good rugged scenery to see, BUT, it was the 14 days of rain, every day, without change, all the time that he was up there, that ''got" Snow.
"Baldy" Barnes, interjected, with a grin, that you get the rain, but it soon runs away. Often, shortly after rain, "Baldy" has had to get the sprinklers going on his farm.
Stan Grainger -
Caboolture -Q. 4510 - ("C" Company)
She also says that "she hopes that Stan will travel and see some of the boys". (He will get a great welcome if he does travel, and, Colleen, see that he takes his "List of Members & Next of Kin, so long as it is up to date. Ed).
Five Weeks Cruise as described by Dick Tompson
We travelled on the Sitmar liner "Fairstar", for a cruise of some 5 weeks. The ship was only comfortably booked and the food, grog, and service was excellent. Many of the ports visited had not been included in "Sitmar" cruises previously and an officer on the bridge described the journey as ‘an interesting passage', which it certainly was.
We left Sydney on 2nd June '76 for Brisbane. The next port of call, was Port Moresby, where we toured the area, seeing the Museum, House of Assembly, University; Air Port and the Look-Out on Paga Hill, where you obtain a magnificent view of the City Area and the Harbour. The highlight of Port Moresby, however, was the Bomana War Cemetery. Later we were to see the War Cemeteries at Ambon and Kranji. While Bomana and Ambon are smaller, I think that they are more impressive than Kranji, about which I had heard so much. The care and attention paid to all three however reflect great credit on those responsible.
During the evening the Royal Constabulary Band visited the ship and played in the main lounge. They were fine looking men and the music was appreciated.
We next sailed to our first Indonesian port, Ambon. This Island is densely populated. I was told that there were only 5 white people on the island altogether. The wharf area, the town and the streets were dirty and untidy. It was here that we were to see our first Indonesian troops. The country has 17 divisions of troops, but I could not find out if this included the three services. I talked to an Indonesian captain who wished to practice his English and on whom I practiced my Malay and he assured me that their forces were maintained purely for internal security against Communist Insurgency. Each town has its quota of troops and guard houses are maintained everywhere with an armed guard on the road, all of which was very reminiscent of Japanese guard houses. The troops were well turned out and at times were used for civilian duties, such as crowd and traffic control.
The children in Ambon had a holiday on the day of the ship's visit and swarmed about us. They and the adults as well were absolutely fascinated by a very small baby, which had been taken ashore by its parents in a stroller. They had never seen a white baby before and, while they were very gentle, they all insisted on touching it. The child, virtually, had a police escort to clear a way for it through the town.
Our next port was Ujung Pandang (which was formerly known as Macassar), in the Celebes (now Sulawesi) and immortalised in the stories of Somerset Maugham and Josef Conrad. We saw Maugham's Grand Hotel, which is not so grand now. There were many signs of the old Dutch Colonial days and we visited Fort Rotterdam, an old Dutch fort, steeped in history; then Penisi Harbour to see the famous Macassar sailing ships.
Then on to Surabaya in Java. Here we crossed the Straits of Madura to Madura Island to see the Bull Races. This proved to be an hilarious expedition. Stud Bull breeding is big business on the island and the animals are sleek and well cared for. On the day of the races they have 50 eggs each and as much beer and rice as they want. The highly decorated bulls are yoked in pairs and a "jockey" sits on a pole, which trails behind along the ground. He has a prodder in each hand to prod the bulls' backsides. There were thousands of yelling Javanese in attendance and a lot of money changed hands.
Next day we were at Semarang. This town is the capital of the Province of Central Java. There are many old Dutch relics, great warehouses, and colourful Chinese temples. We spent a whole day touring the countryside and saw Merapi, an active volcano, rice fields, coffee and cocoa plantations and various displays of silverware and batik cloth.
As usual the air-conditioned ship and a few cold beers proved very attractive at the end of the day.
Leaving Semarang we sailed for Singapore. The memories began crowding in as we berthed at No. 45 Keppel Harbour.
The "Fairstar" went into dry-dock in Singapore for four days and Anne and I stayed at the Shangri-La Hotel, which is a magnificent international standard hotel - one of many in Singapore.
We did not stop sightseeing for the four days and I was able to show Anne the whole of Singapore and Johore Bahru.
It would be impossible to detail our four days. The highlight, of course, was our Changi visit. I engaged an Indian taxi-driver at the hotel and, when he discovered that I had been a P.O.W., he became our best friend. His only interest and sole topic of conversation was the Japanese and how he hated the Japanese. He told us how they advanced through his front garden, while he hid his mother and father under their house, "And then, Sir, the British Troops drove them back, Sir, that was a great moment, Sir!". He had also worked on the ‘drome as a-civilian.
Anne and I spent an hour in the goal and after refusing a very pressing invitation to stay for bed and breakfast, we took a lot of photos outside the goal, including the site of Hut E3, and the garden, where Jack Boss, Jim Cooper and I laboured to grow vegetables for the hospital.
We then rejoined our taxi-driver, who took us all over the place on our way back to the city. We saw the old Kalang Airport buildings and the site of the Seaview Hotel, which used to be on the edge of the sea, but which is now a mile from the water, the area having been reclaimed for high-rise flat buildings.
Later we went to the cemetery at Kranji, where I photographed all the 2/30 Bn names. We also crossed the causeway and visited the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque and the Istana Besar.
I had hoped to find Tyersall Palace, but we just did not fit it in. I vas very interested to read about it in the notes in the last "MAKAN" by Col Tuckfield and Graham McLeod.
(Would one of you please send me a photo of the place? - because of the holding up of this tale. I was in touch and have been told that a photo has been sent. Have you it now Dick? Ed). I can only tell you that the building is soon to be demolished.
We saw Bukit Timah, The Cathay, Raffles, Change Alley, Blakang Mati (now Sentosa Island), the Padang and the Administrative Building, where Des Kearney and I watched the Japanese generals marched in to sign the surrender.
I had hoped to set a day aside to go up to Batu Pahat but found it impossible.
Jakarta was our next port. This proved to be a crowded dirty place compared to Singapore. The poorer areas and the garbage compared strangely with the impressive large buildings, the stadium and the monuments, which were built, I'm sure, to impress visitors and create an atmosphere of affluence.
Once again there were plenty of troops and guardhouses and a lot of relics of the Dutch Colonial days. We saw quite a lot in two days and then sailed away to Bali.
Bali lived up to its reputation. A rural atmosphere with plenty of jungle growth, mountains and beaches. The capital, Denpasar, is only a small unimpressive town. We covered a lot of ground in two days, visited temples, batik factories, watched wood carvers and silversmiths at work and lunched at the Bali Beach Hotel, a most luxurious place, where I could easily while away a few weeks.
Our last port was Darwin. We got well away from the city and out along the Arnhem Highway; across the Adelaide River; had a beer at Humpty Doo Hotel, in the area where rice growing was attempted some time ago.
It only remained now to sail back to Sydney. We had a leisurely cruise through the Whitsunday Passage on the most perfect day imaginable and arrived in Sydney on a similar day. In fact we only saw a few minutes rain in Ambon and had perfect weather for the rest of the time.
We flew home to Hobart and snow on Mt. Wellington, which was a bit hard to take after, the weather, which we had been experiencing.
Tours Around The River Kawai
Rex Bowman, who served with 27th Brigade Workshops and was on "A" Force with Clarrie Burgess, provided Clarrie with a report of a trip he and his wife had back to the old "River Kwai", and which Clarrie thought might be of interest to any of our Ps.O.W. or 2/30 Bn, if ever they anticipate a return.
Every year thousands of tourists and ex-prisoners of war wend their way to the Bridge on the River Kawai.
The vast majority of visitors are just curious. 'Is the real bridge like the one in the movie?' they say. Picturing a bamboo and rough wooden affair in their minds, they are often disappointed by the stout concrete pillars and steel girders that make up today's River Kawai Bridge.
On the other hand ex-prisoners of war are returning on a pilgrimage and, to them, it is a journey into a past that is bitter and sad. The bamboo bridge might have disappeared along with the flood waters but, of course, that concrete and steel bridge was also built by the prisoners and probably cost more in sweat and tears than the much publicised temporary bridge.
There is not much to see in Kanburi besides the cemetery and the bridge. One can sit at the riverside restaurant that overlooks the bridge and eat some delicious Thai food, but it is all a rather expensive experience. Of course, what else would you expect at the Bridge on the River Kawai, where just about everything is expensive, including a bottle of coke, a colour film for your camera and a five minute ride up the River Kawai.
What however is interesting is the number of new holiday projects that are being operated in the area of the River Kawai, which means that you can explore, if you wish, and discover the secrets of the Death Railway, travelling into parts of the country that are completely unspoilt.
Dick Sadleir's River Kwai Farm is an ideal place for a relaxing weekend. Good farm fresh cooking in the real traditional Thai manner. At the farm you may either sleep in the floating houses moored to the banks of the River Kwai or opt for the more comfortable Thai style farmhouse. Take your camera and a good stock of film, as you are a long, long way from the nearest town. M.E.I. Travel Agency situated on Sathorn Rd. Bangkok near Convent Road owns the project.
More difficult to reach is the modern Diethelm River Kwai Village. Don't be deceived by the name, it is not a village, but a complete resort hotel facility with hot and cold running water, and, of all things, air conditioning. The whole complex containing 120 units, has been built on a steep mountain side. A small brook supplies a swimming pool with icy cold spring water. A teak and bamboo restaurant looks over the meanderings of the famous river as it rushes south from the rugged terrain of the Burmese border area and tree top houses give the intrepid traveller a view of how the birds live in the tough world of the River Kwai Valley.
Even further into the wilds of the North is a real floating village, actually on the waters of the River Kwai. Five houseboats are being built at present. Two of them are already in use. The houseboats are moored to a beach of fine white silica sand on a sweeping bend of the River. Above the beach is a Thai style restaurant - cum bar that gives you a bird's eye view of the whole area, while you sip on the golden.
Apart from treks into the mountains, hunting, fishing, and trips by boat and elephant, the floating village offers a total absence of noise and the hustle and bustle of city life. Bookings for this require contact with the Tour Centre, Borneo Company, opposite the Victory Hotel on Silom Road, Bangkok.
A Mr Bes is the owner of the floating village, and took Rex Bowman and others aboard the train north for Nam Tok on the famous Death Railway. It was only a third class carriage, that the steam engine pulled over the rickety trestle bridge. At Nam Tok they climbed on a long tail speed boat for what was to be a two hour boat ride north to the floating village.
The following morning, he did what so many ex-prisoners of war have failed to do on their trips to Thailand. He travelled with a Mons guide and the owner of the floating village, Mr Bes, along jungle paths that lead to what remains of that infamous railway track. He inspected the old ruins of a bridge and saw the railway sleepers, that the Ps.O.W. had laid in the River Kwai jungles, old Japanese rail engines, trucks and a broken down station.
Other activities to be enjoyed there were swimming, sunbathing, butterfly catching, hiking through bamboo and teak forests, or fishing. At other cost, visits could be arranged to the Dawadoing Caves to see their fantastic stone formations, to visit the Hot Springs or the Coconut plantations by the Mons village and the factory for extracting oil from the nuts; or to attempt bird catching with the native villagers.
On the return journey as they came down the river a stop was made at Kaeng Lawa to see its beautiful caves, whose complex is very extensive and which has many grottoes enclosing extraordinary scenes. Lunch at Nam Tok and then visit the nearby Saiyoke Noi Waterfall, rejoining the train, since Nam Tok is its present terminal station, alighting at Lum Sum and returning to Bangkok by road transport.
Visitors To Singapore and Thailand
These advices, below, have been taken from the Magazine of the 2/19 Bn Association and we crave their indulgence.
If you want to visit the old "Square" and environments at Selerang, or the Changi Goal, you have no hope of being permitted to wander around at will or get into the Goal unless you make arrangements well before you leave Australia. You are advised to write to the Commissioner of Prisons and also to the Minister of Defence, Singapore, requesting permission to visit and inspect the chapel and/or the Selerang area and the aerodrome site. Security is very strict, but it is possible to have a look-see ONLY IF YOU APPLY BEFOREHAND SETTING OUT THE DATE AND TIME OF VISIT. EVEN IF YOU CAN ARRANGE THE DATE AND MORNING OR AFTERNOON, it does help, if you cannot set down a firm time. On top of this application, it is suggested that you get your local FEDERAL member to write on your behalf to the Australian High Commissioner in Singapore asking that assistance be given you to arrange the visits required to the security areas.
Similarly, if you intend visiting Bangkok and then on to the bottom end of the Thai-Burma Railway to the Kanburi Cemetery area and Tamarkan Bridge, it is suggested that again your FEDERAL member write to our ambassador in Bangkok, for the attention of the Services Attaché, for assistance to visit the Cemetery and surrounding area. On top of this write yourself to the Services Attaché setting out the date of the proposed visit and ask if transport could be arranged for you to travel the sixty miles out and back to Kanburi. (Note - use Thailand spelling "Kanchanburi” NOT "Kanburi").
Keith Broughton's experience was a complete refusal by a taxi driver to go one inch towards the Kanburi Cemetery.
The Grim Glory of the 2/19 Battalion
The last issue of "MAKAN" carried a note from Ted Campbell (Tumbarumba) - "I'm in the process of reading "Grim Glory", the 2/19th record of their days in Malaya. A monstrous tome and certainly covers their doings completely."
We exchange issues of magazines with other Units of the 8th Division and Service Units and a spokesman for the 2/19th Bn has taken me up on this reference to their History as being a " monstrous tome " and I am happy to make a clarification on Ted's use of those words.
Large it certainly is, being of 850 pages, with approx. 720,000 words, 270 photos and 80 maps and sketches. A review has said "It is probably the longest and largest Unit History produced during the post-war years."
However I own a copy, having sent for one when I. first saw the note in "Reveille" that it was on sale. It takes quite a while to read, but it makes interesting reading, and I would recommend anyone, who wants to know a bit more of others' parts in the resistance by the 8th Div. to the Japanese, especially the courageous stand at Muar and on the North-West of Singapore Island, to get hold of it and read it. It is not dull.
It is a pity questions of cost cut the size of our own History.
Chapel - Changi Goal
Ron Maston and Gretta were most impressed with the way in which the Chapel in Changi Goal is being maintained and in the fact that it is being used for the Sunday Church Service, which is attended by over 200 prisoners.
The colour scheme in the Chapel is changed regularly to give it a homely atmosphere, thus giving the prisoners a place where they can have some change at least once a week.
Ron and Gretta were shown around by the Principal Rehabilitation Officer, Mr. J.W. Tailford, an Englishman, who came to Singapore with the relieving forces in 1945 and has been in the prison service for many years. He is very interested in the Chapel and speaks well about its background and the effect that it has on the prisoners.
The Chapel is therefore a living memorial, which is being used.
Funds have been provided by the R.S.L. to help maintain it, but Mr. Tailford indicated that there is a need for a flow of money to keep the Chapel spick and span.
It has occurred to Ron, that there may be some who might be interested to send some money across to be placed in the General Fund, that is used for the maintenance of the Chapel. This would need to be done on an official basis, so as to ensure that the funds were properly used.
Ron says that he would be happy to write to the Chief Warden at the Goal or to Mr. Tailford in order to find out what they need and how the money would be used, and then it would seem that activities would have to be directed through the Australian High Commissioner in Singapore.
If anyone is interested in this proposal will they please contact Ron.
Do You Remember?
He showed it to your Scribe at the "Gemas Day Commemoration" at Pymble in January and we repeat a part of it:
"The trip so far has been uneventful. The sea is smooth as glass, and no one is sea-sick.
"The captain of the ship says 'these troops are the best he's ever carried and he's been troop carrying practically all the war. He says they're not like Australians, they're too well disciplined.' How's that for a feather in our (the Battalion's) cap."
He was doing just this, when he was warned urgently, that word had been received of an imminent shelling of the area by the Japanese and he'd better get out of the place.
It is reported that Ken promptly donned his steel helmet and pursued his ablutions, naked, except for that head-gear. Minor shades of Drake of Portsmouth, when informed that the Spanish Armada was moving up the English Channel, says my informant.
"I arrived in Singapore with the 3rd Reinforcements, mid October 1941, and spent the next few months at G.B.D. Johore Bahru, where, at the outbreak of War, I was attached to the Intelligence Section for that marvellous training centre.
On the 8th January 1942, I, together with about 20 other chaps was drafted to join the Unit per train to Kluang under the control of Ron Stoner.
On arrival at the Kluang Railway Station, we were met by someone from the 2/29 Bn and were informed that the 2/30 Bn had departed, for a destination unknown and we would be taken to the 2/29th position.
During the night the 2/29th commenced to pull out and we were informed that we would have to remain, so that we would be picked up by the 2/30th.
We remained where we were for about 2 days, completely to ourselves until a Battalion Don R. came our way, and, in due course, we were transported to Gemas, arriving there on or about the 12th January.
Here we were, and I will never forget the words of an officer, who cheered us up no end, by pointing to the jungle and remarking, "You are in the Front Line, the Japs are just out there."
Just imagine, not knowing another person, except the only other chap to be drafted into "D" Company and to have that sort of greeting, and, of course, you know how it rained those days, which didn't help at all.
After Gemas and the withdrawal, at around Segamat, I was detached from the Unit, with several other chaps, whose names I forget, as guards to the Engineers, while they prepared bridges to be blown up. One of the bridges was over the Sembrong River, just behind Lalang Hill, Ayer Hitam.
During the early hours of one morning about 24th January a patrol from "D" Company came along the road from Ayer Hitam and when we were sighted by the patrol leader, the question came, "Who are you?". In good soldier fashion came the reply, -"Tom Davis". To which came the remarkable statement, "But you have been reported “missing"'.
My faith in an efficient fighting unit suddenly dropped to zero. The outcome of this meeting was, that I joined the patrol back to their positions at Ayer Hitam, and I think later, that day or the next day, we had that bombing of our positions and I still have in my possession the small propeller of a 500 lb aerial bomb, which landed just 3 ft from the slit trench I was in, and which, fortunately for me failed to explode. When I managed to come out of the hole in the ground to see this monster lying just feet away, unexploded, you can guess how I felt, and as a souvenir of my escape, I picked up the propeller and today it is one of my treasured possessions.
Came the 26th January 1942 and the 21st Birthday of one, Tom Davis, who, only a few months before, was an extremely shy country boy, who had lived his 20½ years on a Dairy Farm now having before him in a matter of a few days
Taken part in the "D" Company attack at Gemas.
I remember thinking, "What a day to spend one's 21st Birthday," but, then fate was kind to me and so it is 35 years later, apart from continued migraine headaches, my health has been remarkably good and soon I will be living and working back in the town, where it all started from 56 years ago."
He says that "the nickname was, "SEARCHLIGHT" to a number of us, as he was the lad, who pulled the switch and lit up the boat, going over to Singapore."
Jack also says, "I never saw so many men vanish so quickly.
of No. 12 Platoon, B Company at Tamworth weapon pits.
Part of No. 18 Platoon, D Company, at Bathurst.
Bob Wright and Steve Kirton, HQ Company Signals, Singapore, 1941
Jack Grossmith, HQ Company Signals, Singapore, 1941
Signal Platoon, Batu Pahat, 1941.
Charlie Golledge, Batu Pahat, 1941.
Signals Platoon, Birdwood
Camp, Singapore, 1941. Who else remembers?
Official Journal of 2/30 Bn A.I.F. Association
It is desired that as many members as possible express their views on these propositions.
Please consider these propositions, tick appropriate "Yes" or "No" box; and also set out amendment to any proposition, if that is your wish.
Please return the completed form, to Chief Correspondent, Alex. Dandie, as soon as possible and no later than 15th October,1977.
That Anzac Day Commemoration not be changed from its specific present
nature involving all ex-servicemen one day each year.
That 2/30 Bn Reunion in the Metropolitan Area be held, in future, on a
Friday or other week-night (NOT on a-Saturday - for reasons of cost,
mainly) and as near to 22nd November as practicable.
That NO OTHER Association function should be arranged in the period
Aug/Sep/Oct, each year, so as to avoid adversely affecting attendance at
the November Reunion.
That future Metropolitan Reunions be "mixed" gatherings.
That the future venue, whilst being more central (i.e. in the City Area)
should be appropriately attractive and suitably catered for and staffed
- also the accommodation provided, should be restricted to 2/30 Bn
Association members and guest.
That the Association subsidises future official Reunions of Association
members whether in Metropolitan or Country Centres to an extent per
member attending such functions as may be determined each year by the
(a) The subsidy being applicable only to members of the Association
attending the approved functions.
(b) Country Reunions of an official nature embracing 2/30 Bn personnel
(amongst other Ps.O.W.) be recognised for subsidy purposes.
(c) In certain country areas, where no official (Ex Ps.O.W. or 8 Div)
Reunion is organised annually, special approval for a subsidy to a group
of at least six (6) Association members may be granted by the Executive,
(d) That the ‘subsidy per member’, be determined by the Executive on a
basis estimated to be within the sum of the 'interest from accumulated
funds' for the same year - until further notice.
(e) That 'Members of the Association' for the purposes of this subsidy
do not include widows, parents or other next of kin to whom "MAKAN" may
Name please in block letters………………………………………..
PLEASE USE SPACE BELOW FOR ANY NEWS FOR NEXT "MAKAN"
Official Journal of 2/30 Bn A.I.F. Association
Included with this Makan was a copy of “The Syonan Times” of Sunday, February 22, 2602, provided by Joe Geoghegan.