Attachments to Weekly News

Attachment to Weekly News LEEUWIN 63 of 29 November 2020

 

Happy Birthday to our birthday boys for this week, Rod, Lew and Gil, hope you three blokes enjoy your special day sharing with your besties, your family and your mates.

 

Rod

King

 

Lew

Smith

jlsmith39@outlook.com

Gil

Larsson

gilmourlarsson@bigpond.com

 

 

I ASKED RUSS DALE ABOUT THE RESPONSE TO HIS APPEAL – CONSIDERING A PACEMAKER

 

 

In fact, I received quite few calls or emails from ex JRs and their wives.

 

The advice received was great because it was coming direct from similar aged, experience users. All being quiet positive about the benefits of where needed, using a pace maker.

 

I suppose I don’t need to tell you what a brotherhood we have out there, while over the last week I’ve talked to only a few of the many still with us, some of whom I haven’t seen since ‘63, in every case I felt like I was talking to family.

 

Please accept and pass on our best wishes for a happy, healthy, festive season and New Year, to you and  yours and all of JR Mates and theirs,



All the very best

 

Russel Dale

 

 

JIM BUSH

 

 

I am seeking assistance in obtaining a previously issued Gold Right Arm Safety Equipment (SE) Badge for the Junior Sailors’ No 1’s Blue Winter Uniform Jacket. The SE Branch no longer exists and these badges are no longer in production any more.

 

If anyone who may have or know of anyone who may have one of these badges, your help and assistance will be most appreciated.  

 

My contact details are as follows.

 

Jim Bush

 

Email; toojays@tpg.com.au

 

Phone; 08 9574 4937

 

Mobile; 0409 884 545

 

Cheers

 

Jim Bush

 

 

ULVERSTONE TASMANIA 19-21 MARCH 2021

 

Please email me to let us know:

  1. if you are a potential starter or,
  2. will not attend

There are 65 Potential starters to date.  

Spook Carirns, Jeff and Kay Dunn, Knocker and Marilyn Whyte, Russ and Georgina Nelson, Marty and Lyn Edwards, Doug and Trish Wilson, Nifty and Dianne Thomas, Rass and Ada Rasmussen, Doug and Nyree Brown, Grant and Basia Dernedde, Kev and Larraine Uttley, Mike and Jill Hogan, Schubes and Marian Schubert, Bryan and Kay Stapley, Mick Gallagher, Rocky and Linda Freier, John and Lyn Hatchman, Stan and Margaret Church, Tom and Val Houldsworth, Rick and Lea Avery, Bongo and Jo Di Betta, Mal and Rob Chatfield, Ron and Bev Giveen, Roger and Dee Collins, Jock McGregor and his wife, Jim Harris, Terry and Helen Dack, Narra and Tracy Narramore, Russ and Joy Dale, James Carroll, Wally and Robyn Gawne and Ted and Fiona Hase.

 

HMAS KIAMA

 

A funny piece sent me by Sam’s great nephew Bruce Lees. Post WWII Sam was the federal member for Batman Vic & was one of the federal parliamentarians who was involved in the VOYAGER inquiries. Despite being a Labor man, he & Bob Menzies were great mates.

 

Fresh Eggs For the Captain by Lcdr Colin Fiford

 

On 13 July 1945, HMAS Kiama berthed at Cairns. Scheduled for a boiler clean, the ship’s company was looking forward to some well-earned rest and recreation. About a week later, a contraption constructed of wood and wire netting was delivered to the ship, addressed to the skipper, Sam Benson. He ordered it be placed on Y Deck by the potato and vegetable locker, under the Oerlikon gun. And there it sat, evoking curious glances and many theories as to its purpose, until the day before departure. In the mid-afternoon of that day, Sam Benson handed Able Seaman Ray ‘Bluey’ Paley two pound notes, with instructions to go ashore and purchase two healthy young laying hens. A short time later, Paley returned and passed the fowls to Sam, who placed them in their new wire netting home on Y Deck. There was no change from the two pounds (the equivalent of an AB’s weekly wage) which were tucked safely away in Paley’s pocket. Later in the afternoon it was reported that the Cairns police were looking for a redheaded sailor who had stolen two prime pullets from the fowl house of a Cairns citizen. Kiama slipped away quietly early next morning, bound for Milne Bay, New Guinea. Elected as keepers of the fowlhouse, the Captain’s steward, Joe Howell, and officers’ steward, Jack Thompson (not the film actor!) were held responsible for the care and wellbeing of the two pullets. They also had to account for all eggs laid. Now, it was routine that each evening at sunset the crew would close up for action stations, when guns were tested and fired. On the first night out from Cairns, it was the Oerlikon gun that was fired. When action stations ended there were two freshly-laid eggs in the hen house. Consequently, the Captain had two fresh, boiled eggs for breakfast next morning. After a short settling-down period, adjusting to shipboard life, the two stewards assured the Captain that the two birds had each continued to lay one egg a day, usually during or just after action stations. And, although Joe Howell continued to assure Sam that the two eggs he had each morning were fresh from the nest the previous evening, some of the shells were clean while others were stamped QEB (Queensland Egg Board). Sam Benson never queried this anomaly, and no explanation was ever given, but he regularly commented on how delicious freshly-laid boiled eggs were. Later, one mid-afternoon when Kiama was escorting a convoy from Langemak Bay through calm seas to the Admiralty Islands, the alarm was raised. One of the chooks had literally flown the coop, and was strutting casually around Y Deck. Naturally, nobody knew how it had happened. Conveniently, everyone in the area at the time had gone temporarily blind! It was proposed later however, that the breakout probably occurred either during an exchange of QEB eggs for freshly-laid, clean ones, or the surreptitious placement of two QEB eggs in the nest before action stations. One of the crew tried to catch the fugitive, but it evaded him and flew overboard. There was no way that Sam Benson was going to forego his standard breakfast as easily as that. He turned the ship around, stopped near the chook, and called for a volunteer. ‘Lightning’ Martin stepped forward, donned his gear, and dived into the sea. When he reached the water-borne fowl it immediately leapt onto his head and hung on for dear life. Martin began to swim back to the ship, freestyle, but every time his arm came over he knocked the startled chook into the sea. Sam Benson quickly assessed the situation. “Swim breast stroke,” he yelled. ‘Lightning’ did so, and brought his bedraggled friend back to safety. For a while the pair continued to ‘lay’ QEB eggs. But whether they stopped producing any of their own, or whether Sam finally twigged the game, or just got sick of eggs, we’ll never know. Whatever the reason, he eventually gave the chooks to the Petty Officers Mess at Madang, hoping they would do better ashore. They later advised him the baked chooks had been delicious and tender. 

 

AFGHANISTAN – THERE ARE 3 ARTICLES

 

“Judge Softly” was written by Mary T. Lathrap in 1895

 

“Just walk a mile in his moccasins
Before you abuse, criticize and accuse.
If just for one hour, you could find a way
To see through his eyes, instead of your own muse”

 

Every Australian needs to read this.

It illustrates a systemic failure of the ADF leadership and the media that prioritised to investigate alleged outcomes of a few, rather than address and examine the cause.

The suicide rate of those who served is 7 times the KIA deaths.

Who is responsible for that outcome?

  The contributors of this piece were junior Officers, NCOs, or Diggers in Vietnam. We served in combat roles with 2RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Battalion June 1967 to June 1971, experiencing the horrors and triumphs of armed conflict. We understand the ongoing effects on ourselves and our comrades. We wish to record our disappointment and distress on how the allegations of alleged atrocities in Afghanistan have been addressed by the Prime Minister and in particular the Chief of the Defence Forces.

 Before the release of the report, the PM created an expectation of horror, with at least an impression that the contents were proof of criminal conduct by members of SASR. On the release of the report, his obvious rage supported the impression he had given the week before. To confirm that impression, he advised that he had formally apologised to the Government of Afghanistan. It is not unreasonable to conclude that the various addresses adopted a ‘Presumption of Guilt’, contrary to Australian Law and the UN Charter.

 The CDF essentially echoed the words of the PM. He compounded the issue by not only adopting the ‘Presumption of Guilt’, but by announcing the initial retributions that would be imposed. The CDF then offended many veterans and current service members by restating the unfortunate observation in the report that ‘no officers were involved’ in the various activities. No mention of the other 26,000 armed service personnel who served there, many of whom sacrificed life and limb and mental health, and insulting many officers who consider that they are an integral part of the unit they serve or served with. His address was insulting, inappropriate, self-serving, and an extremely poor example of leadership. The CDF may well be a person who has to bear part of the responsibility for the numerous failures obvious in the conduct of the conflict.

 The PM and the CDF were intense in their moral indignation, clearly intended to represent their responses and behaviour as virtuous. Having clearly adopted and encouraged the Presumption of Guilt, they then promised all accused an independent investigation and a fair trial.

It may be the case that no officer has been identified as being involved in any of the events. To suggest that for more than five years and thirty-nine atrocities, not one officer was close enough to his troops, or had access to the usual boozer gossip to at least be aware of some allegations, is simply not credible.

 Official reports inform that in the period 2001 – 2016, a total of fifty-six Australian service personnel were killed in action, and three hundred and seventy-three of the veterans who served in that period committed suicide. The suicide rate was seven times more than battle casualties. What more warning was required to the Government and the military hierarchy to thoroughly investigate the causes of suicide and develop appropriate responses? To our national shame, the suicide rate has increased and is more likely to be ten times above battle fatalities with another nine suicides in the last few weeks. If the same proportions applied to all wars we have been involved in, we would have experienced over one million suicides. Unimaginable.

We are of the view that with the retirement of General Peter Cosgrove, the army lost the last Commander who had any serious and life-threatening battle experience. Those who followed were undoubtedly qualified academically, but did not, and probably could not, have a meaningful understanding of the psychological impacts of battle, including the impact of overexposure to traumatic experiences, the initial paralysis of fear, the horror of loss or mutilation of comrades, and the images that will never be erased.

It is a simple reality that soldiers dehumanise their immediate enemy combatants. Any one of sound mind could not callously take the life of another non-combatant human being, yet innocents have been massacred in every war in history. It is only when the perpetrator dehumanises an entire country or a section of a country, that this will happen, and has happened throughout history, and continues in many conflicts today. The focus for Australia should have been on the origin of mental health issues, starting with the initial recruitment, basic and corps training, leadership, tolerance assessment, and overexposure to battle.

 Many SASR soldiers have served multiple tours of Afghanistan. Up to six or eight tours are not uncommon, with one reported as having had sixteen tours. In time spent in actual operations on six tours, it would equate to the actual time spent in operations that a digger would have served in the entire WW2. Sixteen tours would equate to the time spent in all wars since Federation.

 The ADF senior management, including the CDF, will eventually have to answer for their failures.

 We do not in any way condone any violations of the Geneva Convention, notwithstanding that in both Vietnam and Afghanistan our enemies were not distracted by any such niceties. We are however determined to ensure that all relevant matters required to give a complete perspective are canvassed.

 Any of those accused who are of sound mind and are found or plead guilty will have seriously diminished the proud reputation Australians have earned in battle since Federation. They will receive no sympathy.

 

Andrew Wilkie MP 

 

My Reflections On The Afghanistan  Inquiry

 

As published today in the Australian.

 

Red rocky earth cut into our flesh, numbing our hands. It was well  after midnight, perhaps 3am. Floodlights lit up the group. Cadence  push-ups on bleeding knuckles in the dead of night is the sort of  misery that either consumes you, or clarifies your sense of  mission. 

 

Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith, fresh back from the Battle of Tizak,  towered over us, the 25 officer candidates on the 2010 SASR selection  course. His displeasure writ large in his menacing body language. He  switched out our hand position from palms down to knuckles. 

 

‘You f—ing officers. You always take the easy option. Lower.  Hold.’

 

An eternity passed as our fatigued muscles trembled close to the  ground. 

 

‘Raise!’ 

 

The irony might have been lost on him, but not on me. Humbling  myself before Ben Roberts-Smith was not easy. Nor would be serving in  the Special Air Service Regiment in the weeks, months and years ahead.  SASR selection is an exacting experience. For an officer, your  command, leadership and character is closely scrutinised for 21 days.  They break down your body to see who you really are—what you are like  when you’re tired, hungry and dejected. 

 

Moments like this over the following fortnight thinned the ranks of  officers. Men, gifted in command and planning, departed on their own  terms—withdrawing quietly. Others were removed by the Directing  Staff.

 

The rest of us pressed on, reaching a point of insanity in the  final week. No food for days, almost no sleep, impossible physical  tasks. What was the point of it all? The last week posed this question  for those candidates remaining: when there is nothing left to give—who  can go beyond and finish the mission? For the first time I understood  Clausewitz’s dictum that war is a contest of wills. Finish the job, or  fail. 

 

We finished Selection on Friday 13 August 2010. When I called my  wife to tell her, I wept. I was cold, shivering and spent. I’d lost 12  kilograms in three weeks and I had no emotional reserves. That day  SASR Trooper Jason Brown died bravely—under fire—in Afghanistan  serving with the Special Operations Task Group. It was a subdued mood  back at Swanbourne. There were no high fives. 

 

Starved, physically exhausted and emotionally shattered, we sat  around a radio cleaning our rifles the next morning. We quietly  listened to the voices of our Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Leader  of the Opposition Tony Abbott express their condolences at the death  of another digger in Australia’s longest war. 

 

That day set a course for me. I served in the SAS for the next five  years, deploying to Afghanistan as a Troop Commander in 2013 as part  of the Special Operations Task Group. I did not anticipate that ten  years later I would be a Member of Parliament, explaining how we found  ourselves in a dark place. 

 

Like all of us, I am grieved by the findings of the Brereton  Report, handed down by the Chief of the Defence Force. There is much  to be troubled by: the report details credible information regarding  allegations of unlawful killings by Australian soldiers. Specifically,  23 incidents of alleged unlawful killings of 39 people, perpetrated by  25 Australian Special Forces soldiers, mainly from the Special Air  Service Regiment.

 

The report is hard reading. It is comprehensive, detailed and  unsparing in its judgement on those alleged to have committed war  crimes. As a former officer of the SASR and someone who believes in  Regimental honour, I feel great shame in what has occurred. We were  sent to Afghanistan in a double trust—to defend Australia’s values and  interests by force, but also to uphold those values in our battlefield  conduct. Many good soldiers honoured that trust; a small number of  soldiers did not. 

 

Many people want to know: how did this happen? Here are some  personal observations on the Brereton Inquiry that are shaped by five  years of service in SASR and five years as a Member of the Federal  Parliament. 

 

First, we have forgotten basic truths about human nature that  previous generations of Australians better understood. We live in a  bent world. We all carry man’s smudge: people do bad things.  Christians call it sin in a fallen world. Enlightenment thinkers like  Immanuel Kant called it the ‘crooked timber’ of humanity. Whatever  name we give our condition, we should always guard against the reality  of people doing bad things when they are left unaccountable.

 

The Australian constitution aligned our system of government to  this realist view of human nature. The drafters understood the  importance of the rule of law, the separation of powers and the need  for accountability amongst those who serve in government. Our soldiers  and officers are no different: they need accountability and firm  leadership in the degrading cockpit of war. It appears this did not  happen from the very top to the bottom of the command chain. 

 

Second, we ignored the true nature of war and sanitised it. We  pretended it was no different to any other form of unilateral  government policy. But the reality is that war is inherently violent,  escalatory and degrading. It is a modern conceit to pretend that war  can be managed with a set of safe technocratic hands. The brutal  reality is that no plan ever survives the first shot. People lose  their way and become hard of heart, especially after multiple  deployments.  

 

During the Second World War, the Churchill government commissioned  Laurence Olivier to make a technicolor film version of  Shakespeare’s Henry V to boost wartime morale. Olivier edited  out one third of the play,  excising Henry’s violent speech demanding  surrender of the Governor of Harfleur. King Henry, understanding the  nature of ‘impious war’ once unleashed, posed the question: 

 

What rein can hold licentious wickedness

 

When down the hill he holds his fierce career?

 

Shakespeare paints violent imagery of the ‘blind and bloody soldier  with foul hand’ committing all sorts of atrocities. He saw that war  has its own dark energy. He knew it consumes people in ways that  modern society cannot comprehend, largely because we have packaged it  up nicely for the evening news. 

 

The Australian Defence Force was very effective at sanitising our  longest war with its legions of Public Affairs Officers. The United  Kingdom and the USA took a liberal approach, allowing reporters to see  their soldiers at war. However, we stage-managed Australia’s  contribution to Afghanistan through a carefully crafted information  operation. This approach stifled public interest reporting. Perhaps  with greater access for the Australian media, some of the events  alleged by the Brereton Report might never have happened. 

 

Third, parliamentary scrutiny of Defence is broken and needs  fixing. Politicians routinely visited Aussie troops in Tarin Kot. I  first met Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop in 2009, on my first  deployment with the 2nd Mentoring and Reconstruction Task Force. I  harangued a Labor MP in 2013 about Defence budget cuts when he visited  the Special Operations Task Group. Each of them were interested and  supportive, but it seemed they didn’t know what questions to ask. I  now realise this is partly a function of a deficient Parliamentary  Committee system. 

 

There is no independent Joint Defence Committee where tough  questions can be asked in a classified, protected space. Parliamentary  scrutiny these days is surface level. It amounts to senior Defence  leadership presenting a few PowerPoint slides and giving  parliamentarians a pat on the head. This is an area of urgent reform.  If we are serious about increased accountability and transparency,  then we need proper parliamentary scrutiny of the Department of  Defence and the Australian Defence Force. Without it, our parliament  can’t exercise proper civilian oversight of our military. 

 

Fourth, the Brereton Report rightly condemns a warrior culture that  fused ‘military excellence with ego, entitlement and exceptionalism’.  Sometimes SASR operators carried themselves like modern incarnations  of Achilles, Thor or Mars. I reject that culture, too. But I believe a  warrior culture is an important part of an elite combat unit. It all  depends on the beliefs and values you build that culture on. 

 

When I posted to SASR as a non-qualified Captain in January 2010, I  was befriended by the Unit Chaplain, a bloke by the initials of SB. He  had an Irish temperament and liked to box, often with the operators.  He was refreshingly confrontational, not a social worker in uniform.  SB confronted what he called a ‘pagan warrior ethos’, shorn of any  connection to the Just War tradition that has shaped our approach to  warfare. As Saint Augustine wrote near the end of the Roman Empire, we  must:

 

“In waging war, cherish the spirit of a peacemaker, that by  conquering those whom you attack, you may lead them back to the  advantages of peace.” 

 

Our boxing chaplain was right. The warrior ethos I sometimes saw  was about power, ego and self-adulation. It worshipped war itself. It  was the opposite of the humility that I expected to find at SASR. 

 

But there was a competing, more positive warrior culture at SASR,  it just wasn’t the prevailing one at the time. If you looked closely,  you’d find humble, quiet operators. Tough as nails. Fiercely  competitive. Supremely competent at arms. The sort of bloke that you’d  want next to you in a gunfight. They never thought themselves bigger  than the team or the mission. They were humble. They were committed to  truth. They were the ones who blew the whistle and repudiated the dark  toxic personalities that have shamed the SASR in Afghanistan. Many are  still serving quietly in the shadows. 

 

So before people cry for a repudiation of all warrior culture, they  should first understand what you need in an elite special operations  unit. You need people who run to the sound of the guns. Who are  prepared to fight and destroy Australia’s enemies. Who will die doing  so, if necessary. Those men exist. They are serving at present. They  have done nothing wrong. We need to uphold them and their vital  mission. They will not be helped by soulless modern cultural theory,  derived from the academic ivory tower. It may well diminish our  effectiveness if shoe-horned and institutionalised. 

 

Fifth, in the hierarchy of virtues, moral courage remains paramount  to physical courage. The public record doesn’t reflect this as our  military honours and awards system preferences the recognition of  physical courage. Acts of conscience are hard to write up in vigorous  prose and people rarely thank leaders who make unpopular  decisions. 

 

Yet there were acts of command moral courage during the period  investigated by the Brereton Inquiry. History won’t record these good  deeds the way it will the battlefield criminality of a few, but there  were junior leaders at SASR who made hard decisions to uphold the  sacred trust reposed in them by the Australian people. Leaders who  took responsibility for their command. They know who they are and we  honour them. 

 

Finally, despite the Brereton Report, I still believe the  profession of arms is a noble one. In any case, a survey of history  shows us that war is part of the human experience. Australia has  fought wars in the past; we will fight them in the future. We must be  ready. And we cannot afford to lose. As Ernest Hemingway wrote, “I  have seen much war in my lifetime and I hate it profoundly. But there  are worse things than war, and all of them come with defeat.” 

 

In July, the Prime Minister spoke of the post-pandemic world being  poorer, more dangerous and more disorderly. We cannot afford to draw  the wrong lessons from the Brereton Report. The mission of the ADF  remains unchanged: to win our wars. We must prepare ourselves for the  challenges ahead. But we must always hold ourselves to high moral  standards. When wrong is done, we must hold ourselves to account.

 

That’s why I have supported the Brereton Inquiry: I love my country  and want to protect it from those who would harm us from both without  and within.

 

War crimes???

 

Let’s start at the beginning. On 12th February, 2009, two Australian commandos on a night operation were fired upon by an Afghan in the doorway of his mud hut. Not wanting to be killed by an Afghan with an AK-47, the commandos threw grenades through the door of the mud hut to kill the insurgent. The grenades also killed half a dozen members of the insurgent’s family. A year later the Director of Military Prosecutions, a Brigadier Lyn McDade, brought charges against the commandos for defending themselves. The charges were dismissed by more senior military staff with a better grip on reality. The episode revealed Brigadier McDade to be a self-absorbed, useless person.

In early 2016, the then head of Australian special operations suspended operations and invited everyone under his command to write to him personally, and advise him of any unacceptable behaviour they had witnessed or conducted. He received 209 letters that contained no evidence of criminal behaviour.

Then things deteriorated. In March, 2016 the then head of the army, now chief of defence General Angus Campbell commissioned a secret report on SAS culture from a Canberra sociologist, Dr Samantha Crompvoets. Members of the SAS, past and present, were encouraged to contact Dr Crompvoets anonymously and tell tales of what went on in the regiment. Some of the lurid tales were included in her report as fact. For example:

‘The inquiry has found that there is credible information that junior soldiers were required by the patrol commanders to shoot a prisoner, in order to achieve that solider’s first kill, in a practice that was known as ‘blooding’. ‘Throwdowns would be placed with the body, and a ‘cover story’ was created for the purposes of operational reporting and to deflect scrutiny. This was reinforced with a code of silence.’

As several thousand Australian troops have rotated through Afghanistan, you would expect at least several hundred of those to undergone the ‘blooding’ initiation. But strangely the just-released Brereton report doesn’t cite a single, individual case. Another SAS practice cited by the Crompvoets report and repeated in the Brereton report is that:

‘after squirters (runners) were dealt with, Special Forces would then cordon off a whole village, taking men and boys to guesthouses, which are typically on the edge of a village. There they would be tied up and tortured by Special Forces, sometimes for days. When the Special Forces left, the men and boys would be found dead: shot in the head or blindfolded and with throats slit.”

That passage implies that there should be a lot of villages in which only the women and girls survived a visit from Australian special forces. Such atrocities of that magnitude should be easy to track down but strangely the Brereton report does not include a single instance. By comparison the Surafend massacre of 1918 in which New Zealand troops massacred 40 Arab men in Palestinian village gets its own Wikipedia entry.

The soldiers that Dr Crompvoets was interviewing knew what she was about and gave her what she wanted to hear, like Margaret Mead in Samoa. Old army lags can be quite entertaining and would have competed with each other to make up the most far-fetched stories for her report.

The fact that General Campbell swallowed the Crompvoets tales and Major General Brereton repeated them as fact in his report tells us that both these men are complete idiots. Normally that would be enough to dismiss the Brereton report as useless garbage but it does give us an insight into the preoccupations of Australia’s high command.

The report says that the warrior culture in the SAS is a bad thing and that soldiers should be more caring and sharing. To give his report more gravitas and to pad it out, Brereton included a section on the history of Australian war crimes. There is not much to report so he included the glorious Battle of the Bismarck Sea as a war crime.

The senior officers of the ADF are jealous of the SAS because the SAS get most of the medals for gallantry. And so the person they hate most is Ben Roberts-Smith because he earned both the Victoria Cross and the Medal for Gallantry by conspicuous acts of bravery. Relations between the Army and Mr Roberts-Smith started deteriorating years ago.

On the Australian Army website Mr Roberts-Smith is mentioned as having received a Victoria Cross but the link to the citation in broken. Fortunately the National Library’s Trove service provides a snapshot of his citations as at 10.17 on 4th April, 2012.

As the Army’s persecution of Mr Roberts-Smith intensifies, it would be good to keep in mind what he did to earn his Victoria Cross in a helicopter assault into Tizak, Kandahar Province on 11th June, 2010:

Corporal Roberts-Smith and his patrol manoeuvred to within 70 metres of the enemy position in order to neutralise the enemy machine gun positions and regain the initiative.


Upon commencement of the assault, the patrol drew very heavy, intense, effective and sustained fire from the enemy position. Corporal Roberts-Smith and his patrol members fought towards the enemy position until, at a range of 40 metres, the weight of fire prevented further movement forward. At this point, he identified the opportunity to exploit some cover provided by a small structure.


As he approached the structure, Corporal Roberts-Smith identified an insurgent grenadier in the throes of engaging his patrol. Corporal Roberts-Smith instinctively engaged the insurgent at point-blank range resulting in the death of the insurgent. With the members of his patrol still pinned down by the three enemy machine gun positions, he exposed his own position in order to draw fire away from his patrol, which enabled them to bring fire to bear against the enemy. His actions enabled his Patrol Commander to throw a grenade and silence one of the machine guns. Seizing the advantage, and demonstrating extreme devotion to duty and the most conspicuous gallantry, Corporal Roberts-Smith, with a total disregard for his own safety, stormed the enemy position killing the two remaining machine gunners.


His act of valour enabled his patrol to break-in to the enemy position and to lift the weight of fire from the remainder of the troop who had been pinned down by the machine gun fire. On seizing the fortified gun position, Corporal Roberts-Smith then took the initiative again and continued to assault enemy positions in depth during which he and another patrol member engaged and killed further enemy. His acts of selfless valour directly enabled his troop to go on and clear the village of Tizak of Taliban. This decisive engagement subsequently caused the remainder of the Taliban in Shah Wali Kot District to retreat from the area.

Corporal Roberts-Smith’s most conspicuous gallantry in a circumstance of extreme peril was instrumental to the seizure of the initiative and the success of the troop against a numerically superior enemy force. His valour was an inspiration to the soldiers with whom he fought alongside and is in keeping with the finest traditions of the Australian Army and the Australian Defence Force.

Neither General Campbell or his pet fantasist Major General Brereton have seen combat while Mr Roberts-Smith has wiped out multiple enemy machine gun positions in an afternoon. I know who I would believe.

The Federal Police will be given the job of prosecuting the servicemen mentioned in the Brereton report but the effort will go the way of the McDade prosecutions. They will be dropped for lack of evidence because mostly they are complete fabrications.

David Archibald is the author of American Gripen: The Solution to the F-35 Nightmare

SUGGESTED ARTICLES

 

Barry Howe

It is with regret that I must onforward recent advice that Barrie Howe passed away on 9 November 2020.

 Barrie was a former JR, a 1967 entry I believe, who later became a Supply Officer.  During his service he acted as Secretary to NOCWA.  A quiet individual who always got on with the job at hand.  I am sure that he will be missed by many.

 Yours aye

 Bob Mummery

 

BROADSIDE

 

NVN’s November edition of Broadside is now available to download:
https://navyvic.net/news/broadside/november2020broadside.pdf 

 

 

HMAS ARUNTA ends North Korea sanctions duty”! https://www.contactairlandandsea.com/2020/11/18/hmas-arunta-ends-north-korea-sanctions-duty/ 

 

 

 

 

Attachment to Weekly News of 22 November 2020

 

Happy Birthday to Barry, Peewee, John, Charley, Col and Karl.  Hope all you blokes enjoy your special day celebrating with your family and friends.  Does anybody remember John Hunter?

 

Barry

Andrew

barryandrew63@gmail.com

Peewee

Petherick

dcpetherick@gmail.com

John

Hunter

 

Charley

Burrows

no record

Col

Mundt

mundtcol@outlook.com

Karl

Csendes

no record

 

ULVERSTONE TASMANIA 19-21 MARCH 2021

 

Please email me to let us know:

  1. if you are a potential starter or,
  2. will not attend

There are 70 Potential starters to date.  

Jeff and Kay Dunn, Knocker and Marilyn Whyte, Russ and Georgina Nelson, Marty and Lyn Edwards, Doug and Trish Wilson, Nifty and Dianne Thomas, Rass and Ada Rasmussen, Doug and Nyree Brown, Grant and Basia Dernedde, Kev and Larraine Uttley, Mike and Jill Hogan, Schubes and Marian Schubert, Bryan and Kay Stapley, Mick Gallagher, Rocky and Linda Freier, John and Lyn Hatchman, Stan and Margaret Church, Tom and Val Houldsworth, Rick and Lea Avery, Bongo and Jo Di Betta, Dave and Louie Borgo, Mal and Rob Chatfield, Ron and Bev Giveen, Fred Howes, Dave Scarce, Ian and Val Smith, Roger and Dee Collins, Jock McGregor and his wife, Jim Harris, Terry and Helen Dack, Narra and Tracy Narramore, Russ and Joy Dale, James Carroll, Wally and Robyn Gawne and Ted and Fiona Hase.

 

WAR CRIMES??

 

 

Form your own conclusions on these war of words.

 

War Crimes Inquiry – The Grunt Vs General #POSTS

 

From: graeme gaunson [mailto:graemegaunson@hotmail.com
Sent: Sunday, 15 November 2020 3:22 PM
To: jimmolan@ozemail.com.au
Subject: RE: War Crimes Inquiry – Interesting read

 

I am quite happy not to converse with you again James, if that is your wish, however let me correct you.

I see what happened as an incident of a guerrilla war, fighting terrorists & terrorism, & I am quite aware as to where a lot of the allegations come from. I never once intimated that it was an officer involved in those allegations

 

You incorrectly accuse me of condoning murder, for suggesting any accusations should be handled in another manner. The attempt to make scapegoats out of soldiers fighting political dirty wars is not productive. Remember these are terrorists, and politicians gave it the name of a war on terror. We see terrorists continually shot on TV. Not many prisoners there.

 

You say to me “Don’t let facts get in the way of your views”. This paltry attempt to put me down is laughable. I spoke of nothing but facts. Every word is a fact. I take it in light of your strong moral views you will be pushing to bring charges against the politicians & Army officials who sanctioned the use of Agent Orange, for killing hundreds of thousands……but of course you won’t, your above that. I could name incidents in every conventional war, but won’t waste your time.

Keep fighting for us old diggers James, & enjoy your pension when it’s over. It’s a pity none our TPI’s aren’t fairly compensated similarly for their injuries & their loss of earnings.

 

 

From: jimmolan@ozemail.com.au [mailto:jimmolan@ozemail.com.au
Sent: Sunday, 15 November 2020 1:08 PM

Subject: RE: War Crimes Inquiry – Interesting read

 

Graeme, keep thinking like that if it makes you happy. Funnily enough, it was their mates that made the allegations, not senior officers. Strange that. You can condone murder which is the allegations, I will not. But don’t let the fact get in the way of your views. Please don’t reply, we are wasting our time talking. All the best to you, Jim

 

Senator Jim Molan AO DSC

Senator for New South Wales

Suite S1.46 | Parliament House | CANBERRA ACT 2600 | P: 02 6277 3695 

E: Senator.Molan@aph.gov.au

 


Sent: Sunday, 15 November 2020 2:35 PM
read

 

You can think what you like Jim. I don’t call them irresponsible. Many high ranking officers send troops on dangerous missions & monitor their progress from the safety of a bunker. Then they are the 1st to put their hands up for awards or medals for themselves & the troops get little to nothing, as quotas were full. They accept all the glory but few accept the responsibility when something goes wrong, like when soldiers are shot by supposedly friendly coalition forces or allies. Nothing changes, no blame accepted. Or the bright spark who instigated the minefield in Vietnam. It probably killed more of our soldiers than it did the enemy. 

 

We fought in Vietnam supposedly at the behest of the USA. The same politicians let our troops be sprayed with Agent Orange, gave us WW11 equipment, “called time out” for Xmas & other occasions, gave the enemy 24 hrs notice before bombing  them, & of course we gave them free mines. The enemy were laughing at the stupidity of it all, because they, like the Muslims, didn’t play by the rules. (I won’t  pander over the bullshit of what we were told about Iraq & weapons of mass production.)

 

I bet a lot of politicians would waffle on about what they’ve done for TPI’s, when we are the ones getting played every day. Not much achieved on that front either in the last 30 yrs. & not much responsibility accepted for the cause. Just excuses. This whole investigation is a witch hunt, no doubt instigated by some left wing group & probably the Govt funded ABC, with ulterior motives.  To my mind we achieve nothing by publicly humiliating soldiers who were involved in a guerrilla war, where there are no rules. The rules were shot out of  the window by the Muslim opposition years ago, just as they were by the Vietnamese. 

 

The system turned out soldiers to perform. If they go off the rails, rectify the system, & don’t crucify the product that you have produced.

 

From: Jim Molan [mailto:jimmolan@ozemail.com.au
Sent: Sunday, 15 November 2020 8:31 AM

Subject: Re: War Crimes Inquiry – Interesting read

 

Graeme hi, thanks for the article which came to me through Allen Petersen. The article is not too bad and there is much in it that is really true. 

But your comments are silly and spoil it. If you are going to send out such articles, can I suggest you don’t lead with your irresponsible comments.

 

Regards Jim Senator Jim Molan AO DSC

Senator for New South Wales

Suite S1.46 | Parliament House | CANBERRA ACT 2600 | P: 02 6277 3695

E: Senator.Molan@aph.gov.au

 


Sent: Sunday, 15 November 2020 9:14 AM
           RE: War Crimes Inquiry – Interesting read

 

 

There was a reason no indigenous locals (Viets) were permitted into Nui Dat, not even ARVN…their security was so shot full of holes it wasn’t worth taking the risk…Pity the hierarchy forgot those incredibly valuable lessons<img draggable=” />

 

 

From: 
Sent: Sunday, 15 November 2020 5:17 AM
Subject: RE: War Crimes Inquiry – Interesting read

 

This is nothing but a witch hunt, instigated by people pushing an agenda & who have never faced an angry man. Maybe the buck should go all the way to the generals & not the digger. Not too many prisoners were taken in New Guinea, & I heard & read of a few prisoners who skydived from helicopters from a few thousand feet up, in Vietnam. No one addressed the uncountable atrocities carried out by the North Vietnamese. Afghanistan was & is a dirty war where your so called allies murdered you in your camp or organised IED’s to be placed. Trust towards them was not on the card, just like Nam. Those that weren’t there shouldn’t judge. If there’s a problem fix it in house, & not publicly ridicule & bring heroes to their knees. Govt’s & Generals are totally to blame, but they’ll do a Pontius Pilate as always. 

 

War crimes inquiry: Joel Fitzgibbon lays responsibility with the national cabinet.
Joel Fitzgibbon believes the responsibility for any war crimes committed by Australian special forces in Afghanistan goes right to the top  national cabinet.

Defence top brass and politicians were condemned yesterday for sending special forces troops to Afghanistan up to 16 times, in a cultural failure that went right to the top.

Former Labor defence Minister Joel Fitzgibbon said SAS troops had been sent on too many deployments for too long and the responsibility lay with the national cabinet.

Mr Fitzgibbon was defence Minister from the end of 2007 until the middle of 2009 – during the period Prime Minister Scott Morrison said was at the centre of the damning report to be released next week.

“Culture comes from the top and when poor culture emerges we must all take responsibility, all the way up the chain of command and into the National Security Committee of the cabinet,” Mr Fitzgibbon said.

He was pushing through Defence strategic reform when he was forced to resign over a breach of the ministerial code of conduct.

Suggestions at the time that Defence officials had secretly investigated his relationship with a Chinese businesswoman were dismissed.

Mr Morrison said his government had never received any word of the alleged atrocities listed in the report. “The matters contained in the report were never raised … with government, with ministers at the political level,” he said.

Mr Fitzgibbon said the SAS had been deployed too often.

“Members of our Special Forces were sent to Afghanistan too often and rotations were too long,” he told The Daily Telegraph.
“The strategic objective was vague and the prospects of success were poor. Close air support and Medevac retrievals were unreliable.

“Our boys were operating under their Rules of Engagement and international law. 

Their enemy was not constrained by rules or Western values. It’s no wonder things went wrong”.

Former defence force chief Sir Peter Cosgrove said last month: “Some of the people who are swept up in this have had multiple tours in a very, very dangerous place. This has to have an impact.”

Australian Defence Association executive director Neil James said the average number of Afghanistan tours of duty were between eight and 12, and they were of between three and four months, shorter than the usual regular army deployments.

“I have heard of one person who did 16,” he said. “That’s part of the problem. The reason for this is governments because they feared the political blowback of higher casualties.

“The ADF should have protested, they should have said you need a balance of conventional forces. This is a big lesson for next time around.”

Mr James said the high tempo “stressed unit cultural norms, taxed individuals psychologically” and may have “diluted accountability mechanisms”.

Another major problem was that, under international law, the conflict was not defined as an international war but as a conflict within one country.

“And that’s why they had the stupid catch-and-release policy where you could capture someone but three days later they had to let them go.”

Mr James said that might prompt soldiers to think “why should I risk my life to catch someone who keeps getting released and why don’t we put a bullet in them”.

He said: “You should never put someone in that situation.”

Australian Defence Force Academy academic at UNSW in Canberra James Connor said it was time to think about “what created the conditions for the special forces to do this – how did they get away with it for so long?”

“This is about command, people not being responsible, the band of brothers idea and how special forces are bonded tightly together which goes with how they look after one another, but it sometimes means covering up or allowing bad things to happen.”

Dr O’Connor said the report would inevitably lead to major changes.

“There is something very problematic within the culture of the special forces and perhaps more widely in the ADF.”

Former soldier Bernard Gaynor said top brass in Defence were focusing too hard on cultural shifts – such as advertising female-only infantry jobs – and political correctness rather than the business of soldiering.

“I think this inquiry has been nothing but an arse-covering exercise by military leadership obsessed with political correctness,” he said.

The alleged war crimes were brought to light in a 2016 report by sociologist Samantha Crompvoets, who was hired to examine cultural issues in the ADF and SAS.

“I am very concerned that this investigation will do nothing more than provide an opening for military-hating leftists to impose their radical agendas in the SAS,” Mr Gaynor said.

“I would not be surprised if we soon hear the usual mantras that the SAS is too patriarchal and too masculine to stamp out micro-aggressions and unconscious bias,” he said.

 

NAVAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 

Dear NHSA Subscriber,

Please find attached an invitation to next week’s Zoom presentation.

The link to join this Webinar is in the invitation and repeated below.

Kind regards,

 

David Michael

President

 

Please click the link below to join the webinar:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88546648259

Webinar ID: 885 4664 8259

 

The Red Baron’s last flight re-enacted

 

Whoever put this together and produced it did a very good job.  Well worth watching.  

 

http://www.youtube.com/embed/ywug11nLFfg?feature=player_detailpage

 

Attachment to Weekly News of 15 November 2020

 

Happy Birthday to John, Dave, Phil, Bocky, Phil, Shiner, Soz and Tom.   Hope all you blokes enjoy your special day celebrating with your family and friends.

 

John

Stephens

 

Dave

Hanlon

dehanlon@bigpond.net.au

Phil

O’Meara

no record

Kev

Bock

boggy1947@hotmail.com

Phil

Clements

towdogmack@gmail.com

John

Wright

 

Vic

Soszynski

 

Tom

Houldsworth

tgh2111@bigpond.com

 

 

RUSS DALE

 

About ten years ago I was told that one day  I might need a pace maker.

 

It seems that is getting much closer, so if you know of any of our mob who have one and are willing to discuss the ins and outs. Upper chamber back of heart.

 

I would be very pleased to talk to them.

 

I’m really not concerned about the concept it is more that I have three options and would like to find someone who had to make a similar decision.

 

I know it is a strange request, but I’d rather trust someone who has addressed  the issue than a young surgeon who really can’t put themselves in a satisfied senior position.

 

Russ

0428559001

 

ULVERSTONE TASMANIA 19-21 MARCH 2021

 

Please email me to let us know:

  1. if you are a potential starter or,
  2. will not attend

There are 71 Potential starters to date.  

 Knocker and Marilyn Whyte, Russ and Georgina Nelson, Marty and Lyn Edwards, Doug and Trish Wilson, Nifty and Dianne Thomas, Rass and Ada Rasmussen, Doug and Nyree Brown, Grant and Basia Dernedde, Kev and Larraine Uttley, Mike and Jill Hogan, Schubes and Marian Schubert, Bryan and Kay Stapley, Kim Dawe, Mick Gallagher, Rocky and Linda Freier, John and Lyn Hatchman, Stan and Margaret Church, Tom and Val Houldsworth, Rick and Lea Avery, Bongo and Jo Di Betta, Dave and Louie Borgo, Mal and Rob Chatfield, Ron and Bev Giveen, Fred Howes, Dave Scarce, Ian and Val Smith, Roger and Dee Collins, Jock McGregor and his wife, Jim Harris, Terry and Helen Dack, Narra and Tracy Narramore, Russ and Joy Dale, James Carroll, Wally and Robyn Gawne and Ted and Fiona Hase and Bristles and Lou Lassau.

Non-Starters

Barry and Alice Quigley, Norm and Narelle Freibe, Rod and Karin Hazell, Max and Ann Lampo, John and Wanda Stockings, Gordon and Nita Stringer, Sandy and Rhonda Michels, Surfie and Joy Richards, Bob and Pat Stupple, Knocker (Steve) White, Ross Fullarton, Butts and Margaret Butterfield, Darby Ashton, Spike and Jean Jones, Errol Delaney, Knobby and Rhonda Clarke, Irish O’Leary, Barry and Kayemarie Andrews, Ron Pope, Greg Williams, Terry Coulthard, Ross Muller, Vic Dzodz, Dave Hanlon, Roy Rigg, Chris and Angela Jamieson, Davo and Faye Davison, Darkie and Shirley Rowland, Trevor Elias, Pooley and Janis Poole, Lew and Jo Smith, Tom Kinross, Boong Bartlett, Sandy Powell, Ross Gowers, Kev Bock, Spook Cairns, Les Barclay, Stevan Coll, Nick and Lynda Bryant, Barry and Margaret Parker, John and Luba Miscamble, George and Carol Pike, Jeff and Jenny Wake, Garry and Helen McGrath, Stewie Dewar, Gil Larsson, Rob Cavanagh, Jim Bush and Mal Ritchie.

 

SHROPSHIRE PARK

Sent in by Ward Hack on his venture to Ulverstone 

” src=”cid:0D46D3E0-E3BB-4A13-B13D-394A5BFD3FF5″ alt=”Tasmania 2005 033.jpeg” apple-inline=”yes” class=”Apple-web-attachment Singleton” style=”opacity: 1;”>

 ” src=”cid:2E425B90-5CA3-4695-9AD4-DD4F50FC5CA4″ alt=”Tasmania 2005 035.jpeg” apple-inline=”yes” class=”Apple-web-attachment Singleton” style=”opacity: 1;”>

 

Enjoy our history.


OFFICIAL

In commemorating the WWI Armistice 102 years ago on 11 November 1918, some history here: https://www.airforce.gov.au/about-us/history/traditions/remembrance-day

For our 7 RAR colleagues, a WW I history of the 7th Battalion is here: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/U51447 and the battalion’s War Diaries 1914-1919 are here: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/RCDIG1000600/

 

World War I

Rabaul and the Half Flight

The start of World War I in August 1914 coincided with the birth of military aviation in Australia.

Australian pilots and mechanics from Point Cook were soon required to take part in the campaign against German colonial forces in New Guinea. The rapid capture of Rabaul in November 1914 by Australian naval and land forces left the small Australian Flying Corps (AFC) contingent with little to do and it returned to Melbourne with two aircraft still packed in crates.

On 20 April 1915, four officers and forty-one airmen commanded by Captain Henry Petre sailed from Melbourne for Mesopotamia (now Iraq). Known as the Half Flight, the Australians were to operate with British forces against the Turkish Army with aircraft supplied from India.

Flying primitive aircraft in a harsh climate, the Half Flight fought until almost all of the original aircraft were destroyed and three of the four pilots were dead or captured. Lieutenant George Merz was the first Australian airman to be killed in action when his Caudron aircraft force-landed in the desert. Hostile tribesmen killed Merz and his New Zealand observer. Turkish forces later captured nine Australian mechanics after the siege of Kut. Seven of these men later died as prisoners of war.

Australian Airmen In the Middle East

Formed at Point Cook in January 1916, No 1 Squadron AFC arrived in Egypt in April 1916 to support British Army and Australian Light Horse formations fighting Turkish and German forces in Palestine.

Flying a mixture of aircraft types, the squadron took on tasks including reconnaissance, photography, bombing and air fighting. It was now possible to see and strike beyond the enemy’s front line and Australian airmen in the Middle East took a leading role in the development of air power. Unlike the Western Front, fighting in the Middle East was highly mobile, allowing aircraft to find and attack the enemy across vast distances.

By September 1918, Turkish defences in Palestine were collapsing and No 1 Squadron AFC, along with British squadrons, bombed and destroyed most of the Turkish Seventh Army of 7000 men that had been trapped in a valley. Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Williams, who planned the attack, was one of the first four pilots trained at Point Cook in 1914 and now commanded a Wing of three squadrons, including No 1 Squadron AFC. Williams later wrote that

The Turkish Seventh Army ceased to exist and it must be noted that this was entirely the result of attack from the air.

No 1 Squadron AFC also supported Colonel T.E. Lawrence’s Arab Army with Bristol fighter aircraft and a giant Handley Page bomber.

Over the Western Front

Fighting the first war in the air required all new tactics, training and equipment. As part of the army, the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) operated in support of Allied ground forces in Belgium and France but developed a distinct Australian identity. 

Three AFC squadrons served on the Western Front between 1917 and 1918, integrated with the British Royal Flying Corps. Nos 2 and 4 Squadrons were equipped with single-seat SE5a, Sopwith Camel and Snipe ‘fighting scout’ aircraft and No 3 Squadron with RE8 two-seat reconnaissance machines. 

Flying and fighting the Germans over the Western Front in open cockpits was as uncomfortable as it was dangerous. Pilots and observers did not wear parachutes. Captain George Jones, a Sopwith Camel pilot with No 4 Squadron, later wrote:

We all wore knee-length leather coats, fur-lined leather flying helmets, goggles, fleecy-lined thigh boots and silk gloves beneath our leather gauntlets, but even with all that we suffered and found it very difficult to concentrate at times because of the cold.

When the war ended on 11 November 1918, 178 Australian airmen had been killed.

Several hundred Australians also served with the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. These elements combined to become the Royal Air Force in April 1918.

Training For War

Point Cook remained the home of the Central Flying School, where many pilots received their initial training before being sent overseas. Australian Flying Corps mechanics were initially recruited from skilled civilian tradesmen.

The New South Wales Government also sponsored training courses for pilots, observers and mechanics at a State Aviation School located at the site of the present-day RAAF Base Richmond, near Sydney. Many of these trainees joined the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

Four Australian Flying Corps training squadrons were based in Gloucestershire, England, between 1917 and 1918. Nos 5 and 6 Squadrons were located at Minchinhampton and Nos 7 and 8 Squadrons at Leighterton. Pupils received basic flying instruction and had to complete twenty hours solo flying and pass a series of tests before gaining their ‘wings’. Experienced instructors passed on hard-won lessons in air combat, as well as familiarising novice Australian pilots and observers with the types of aircraft they would operate over the Western Front. Mechanics were trained at Halton Camp in England.

Flying training was dangerous. Twenty-five Australians who were killed during their training are buried at Leighterton cemetery in England.

A Divided Nation

As part of the British Empire, most Australians viewed involvement in World War I as a natural response. However, the war exposed political and social divisions, especially over the issue of conscription for overseas military service. 

Prime Minister Billy Hughes strongly supported conscription and put the matter before the people at referenda in October 1916 and December 1917.   The rejection of conscription on both occasions was accompanied by heated debate and led to Hughes leaving the Labor Party following the 1916 referendum.

On 11 November 1918, World War I ended.   Four years of conflict had cost the lives of 61,720 Australians.

———–

And some other WW I statistics – Source: Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War, 1914 – 1920, London, The War Office. ISBN 0 948130 14 8. pp 759-770

Comment: These figures (58,126 KIA) do not match the figure quoted above (61,720); this latter figure is close to that cited by Les Carlyon (below). There is no precise, agreed figure of WW I casualties. The Australian population in 1914 was less than 5 million. According to the Australian War Memorial, the number of males enlisted represented 38.7% of the total male population aged between 18 and, as two WW I conscription referenda failed,  the First AIF comprised volunteers only.

416,809 personnel enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force (including the Australian Flying Corps) 
331,781 of these people served overseas (RAN figures are not available) 

EMBARKATION OF AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE FROM AUSTRALIA BY ARMS

Unit

Total Strength

Infantry

210,981

Machine gunners

4,476

Tunnellers

3,970

Artillery

23,387

Australian Army Medical Corps

12,945

Australian Army Service Corps

9,735

Engineers

9,950

Australian Light Horse

30,365

Veterinary

378

Australian Flying Corps

2,275

Wireless

434

Cyclists

570

Trench Mortars

1,218

Chaplains

386

Transport officers

531

Australian Army Nursing Service

2,054

General Reinforcements

15,071

Miscellaneous Arms returned to   Australia

2,555

Total Forces Overseas all Theatres of War

331,781


TOTAL CASUALTIES OF THE AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE

Killed in Action Died of Wounds
Officers 1,907 Officers 679
Other Ranks 37,832 Other Ranks 12,661

Died of Disease Died of Gas Poisoning
Officers 128 Officers 17
Other Ranks 3,791 Other Ranks 308

Died of Other Causes Total Deaths
Officers 95 Officers 2,826
Other Ranks 714 Other Ranks 55,306

Casualties that Survived

Wounded In Action Gassed
Officers 5,721 Officers 583
Other Ranks 129,963 Other Ranks 15,904

Prisoners Of War
Officers 170
Other Ranks 3,887

Total Battle Casualties including Deaths

Officers 9,300
Other Ranks 205,060
——-
Total All Ranks 214,360

————————–

Extracted from ‘The Great War’, Les Carlyon, Pan Macmillan Australia, 2006.

pp 752-753

“Some 61,700 Australians didn’t come home. They were in the ground on Gallipoli and in Palestine and – most, about two-thirds of them – along the line that stretched from Villers-Bretonneux to Passchendaele.   The wounded ran to 155,000, or about half the 324,000 men who had served overseas, and this figure excludes a large number who were gassed but did not seek treatment and spent the rest of their lives coughing and scratching.   The Australian casualty rate was the highest among the British empire forces. Perhaps one-quarter of the original force of about 30,000 that left Australia in 1914 had survived.   The casualties were still being counted during the 1930s. By then another 60,000 had died from wounds or illnesses caused by the war. At least one generation of women and children, and maybe a second, suffered terribly from all this, and it is impossible to count others turned drunk and violent.   This legacy has been little explored.   It may explain why many Australians in the thirty years after 1918 did not see the war, and Gallipoli in particular, in the romantic lights that have flickered around it in the new century.”

p755

“A generation had lost many of its most generous male spirits.   Geoffrey Blainey wrote that the worst effect of the war on Australia could never be enumerated.   It was the loss of all those talented people who would have become prime ministers and premiers, judges, divines, engineers, teachers, doctors, poets, inventors and farmers, the mayors of towns and leaders of trade unions, and the fathers of another generation of Australians.”

Post-War Repatriation

The first transport with Australian service men and women returning home, HMT Port Hacking, embarked from the UK on 3 December 1918.   The last transport, HMT Port Sydney, docked in Fremantle on 22 September 1919.   Between these two voyages, 135,000 troops were transported to Australia from Britain in 147 shipments.   Another repatriation operation moved 16,773 troops from the Middle East in 56 shipments.

The journey to Australia lasted around 2 months.  One such journey was that of HMT Norman, which left the UK at the start of July 1919 and arrived at its final destination, Sydney, on 20 August 1919. HMT Norman was fitted out to carry 841 personnel split between:

  • first class – 75 officers, six nurses and an ‘imperial’ allotment of 55
  • second class – 101 Warrant Officers and Sergeants
  • third class – 608 other ranks

Unlike most transports to Europe during the war, the repatriation transports had a general and isolation hospital located on the poop deck. They were also ‘dry’, with no consumption of alcohol permitted for all onboard.  Apart from the ship’s Captain who was responsible for his crew, each ship also had an Officer Commanding Troops who was:

Actually and morally, personally responsible for everything connected with the voyage so as concerns the troops committed to his charge.  Each Officer Commanding Troops was given a set of instructions for the voyage that covered issues such as embarkation, the voyage and disembarkation in Australia.

During World War I, some 10,000 Australian troops met and married local women in the places where they had served.   By the time they were repatriated, some also had children and pregnant wives.  As such, the Australian Government organised for around 20,000 women and children to be repatriated to Australia. This included those married or engaged to Australian soldiers, as well as dependants of munition workers who had come to the UK to work during the war.

Marriage to non-Australian women caused discussion amongst the troops in Europe and back home in Australia.  For example, around 20 soldiers of the 1st Australian Division married Belgians after the Armistice. As entertainment, the 7th Battalion held a debate on whether Australian soldiers should marry Belgian women.

History of the Red Poppy – https://www.airforce.gov.au/about-us/history/traditions/red-poppy

  

Lest We Forget

 

 

Attachment to Weekly News of 8 November 2020

 

Happy Birthday to Terry, Pete, Bill, Max and Stevan.  Hope all you blokes are able to celebrate your special day with your family and mates.

 

Terry

Coulthard

tcoulthard@bigpond.com

Peter

McMillan

 

Bil

Healey

 

Max

Nugent

 

Stevan

Coll

stevan47@live.com.au

 

 

ULVERSTONE TASMANIA 19-21 MARCH 2021

 

Please email me to let us know:

  1. if you are a potential starter or,
  2. will not attend

There are 85 Potential starters to date.  

 Russ and Georgina Nelson, Marty and Lyn Edwards, Doug and Trish Wilson, Nifty and Dianne Thomas, Rass and Ada Rasmussen, Knocker (Steve) White, Doug and Nyree Brown, Sandy and Rhonda Michels, Grant and Basia Dernedde, Kev and Larraine Uttley, Gordon and Nita Stringer, Mike and Jill Hogan, Schubes and Marian Schubert, Bryan and Kay Stapley, Max and Ann Lampo, Kim Dawe, Mick Gallagher, Rocky and Linda Freier, John and Lyn Hatchman, Stan and Margaret Church, Tom and Val Houldsworth, Bob and Pat Stupple, Rod and Karin Hazell, Rick and Lea Avery, Bongo and Jo Di Betta, Dave and Louie Borgo, Mal and Rob Chatfield, Ron and Bev Giveen, Fred Howes, Surfie and Joy Richards, Dave Scarce, Ian and Val Smith, Roger and Dee Collins, Jock McGregor and his wife, Jim Harris, Terry and Helen Dack, Narra and Tracy Narramore, Russ and Joy Dale, James Carroll, Wally and Robyn Gawne and Ted and Fiona Hase and Bristles and Lou Lassau.

Non-Starters

Ross Fullarton, Butts and Margaret Butterfield, Darby Ashton, Spike and Jean Jones, Errol Delaney, Knobby and Rhonda Clarke, Irish O’Leary, Barry and Kayemarie Andrews, Ron Pope, Greg Williams, Terry Coulthard, Ross Muller, Vic Dzodz, Dave Hanlon, Roy Rigg, Chris and Angela Jamieson, Davo and Faye Davison, Darkie and Shirley Rowland, Trevor Elias, Pooley and Janis Poole, Lew and Jo Smith, Tom Kinross, Boong Bartlett, Sandy Powell, Ross Gowers, Kev Bock, Spook Cairns, Les Barclay, Stevan Coll, Nick and Lynda Bryant, Barry and Margaret Parker, John and Luba Miscamble, George and Carol Pike, Jeff and Jenny Wake, Garry and Helen McGrath, Stewie Dewar, Gil Larsson, Rob Cavanagh, Jim Bush and Mal Ritchie.

 

Courtesy of the Naval Historical Society Association

 

NHSA Members and Subscribers,

 

Please find attached the November 2020 edition of Call The Hands, the Naval Historical Society’s monthly newsletter. 

Attached also are Occasional Papers 94 to 96.  

 

All are now available on the Society’s website via the following links.

Call the Hands

Occasional Paper 94

Occasional Paper 95

Occasional Paper 96

 

Back copies are also available on the Society’s website Research page.

 

If you are receiving Call the Hands for the first time, unsolicited, it is because you are a new member or have come to our attention as a person who may find it of interest.

 

As always, feedback is welcome as are contributions in the form of factual stories and anecdotes which may not have been previously published.

 

Regards,

 

David Michael

President

 

 

 

Attachment to Weekly News of 1 November 2020

 

Happy Birthday to Guy, Allen, Rocky, Marty and Wayne.  Hope you blokes all have a wonderful time celebrating your special day with family and friends.

Guy

Irwin

Guy.Irwin@cbre.com.au

Allen

Sams

 

Rocky

Freier

brian.freier@yahoo.com.au

Marty

Edwards

edwardsmartin011@gmail.com

Wayne

Godenzie

wandagodenzie@gmail.com

  

Sailor shortage strands Australian warship HMAS Perth in dry dock for two years

By Defence correspondent Andrew Greene

Posted Thursday 6 June 2019 at 1:10am, updated Thursday 6 June 2019 at 10:50am

The recently upgraded Anzac class frigate HMAS Perth has been stuck in dry dock since 2017.(Supplied: ANAO)

One of the Navy’s recently upgraded Anzac class frigates has been stuck in dry dock since 2017, because the ADF is struggling to find enough sailors to put the warship to sea.

Key points:

  • A report from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute confirms military spending will reach the Government’s target of 2 per cent of GDP by next financial year
  • But the ADF has failed to meet recruitment targets, increasing by 600 people against a target of about 1,730
  • The report calls on the ADF to devote more resources to autonomous systems, such as unmanned submarines and aircraft drones

The situation, first uncovered by the auditor-general in March, has been highlighted in a new report that closely examines Australia’s $38.7 billion annual defence spend.

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s (ASPI) latest “The Cost of Defence” report confirms military spending will easily reach the Government’s target of 2 per cent of GDP by next financial year.

However, the ASPI study also found the ADF had failed to achieve “modest” personnel recruitment goals laid out in the most recent defence white paper, published in 2016.

“Overall, it’s only increased by 600 actual people against a target of around 1,730 over the period since the white paper,” the report concluded.

“If increasing capital spending quickly is hard, increasing ADF numbers seems even harder.”

Report author and former Defence official Marcus Hellyer said the recruitment problem was underlined by the case of an Anzac frigate that had been out of operation since October 2017.

“HMAS Perth, one of Navy’s frigates, had gone through a very extensive refit and upgrade, got new radar capabilities, so a lot of investment went into that, but at the end of that process Navy couldn’t find a crew for it,” Dr Hellyer said.

“So, it’s essentially sitting up on blocks for two years, out of the water because Navy doesn’t have the people and I think that’s really a microcosm of the challenges the defence force is facing.

“Defence is finding it really hard to recruit: it takes a long time to train a submarine captain or to train a fighter pilot — you can’t just do that overnight.”

Australia maintains a fleet of eight Anzac class frigates, although Dr Hellyer noted two of the warships were almost always in deep maintenance, meaning only six at most were available at any one time.

Report calls for more unmanned technology

The ASPI report also called on the Australian Defence Force to “devote more resources to autonomous systems”, such as unmanned submarines and aircraft drones.

“One of the advantages of autonomous systems is less people, because these systems can do a lot of the job themselves,” Dr Hellyer said.

“Much of the cost of military platforms is due to the need to keep the crew alive, as is much of the complexity of design.

 

From Senator Jacqui Lambie

Where do I start?

The Government said the National Commissioner for Veteran Suicide Prevention would be completely independent from Defence.

In the Senate this week, we’ve learned:

  • The Commissioner’s actually a close mate of the Defence Minister (20 years!)
  • The Commissioner only resigned from the ADF two days before she was announced as the National Commissioner
  • The Defence Minister personally recommended her mate for the gig
  • Defence and DVA designed every part of the role — from start to finish

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This would be like putting the police in charge of the NSW Royal Commission into police corruption.

Or putting John Setka in charge of the Trade Union Royal Commission.

It’s not independent. It’s a mockery. It’s a scam. And we’ve got to stop it. 

Can you help get the word out about this? Veterans deserve so much more than this two-bob stitch up. 

Thanks,

Jacqui

PS: If you haven’t reached out to your local MP yet, can you hit them up here? And if you have, did you get a response? I’m collecting them all in a spreadsheet so if you’ve got an email, can you send it over to me? 

 

TPI LETTER TO PM

 

 

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27th October 2020 

The Hon Scott Morrison MP Prime Minister
Parliament House CANBERRA, ACT 2600 

Dear Prime Minister, 

Dear Prime Minister,
The TPI Federation (the Federation) feels obliged to respond to you over serious concerns regarding your ‘Independent Review into the TPI Payment Report by Mr David Tune AO PSM’ (Tune Review). 

Whilst the Federation acknowledges your 2019 promise to hold such a review, based on your own recognition of the Federation’s ‘compelling case’1 in for a fair and equitable ‘economic loss’ compensation for approximately 28,000 Veterans who have been medically retired and classed Totally & Permanently Incapacitated (TPI), as a result of their Service to this Nation. 

The Federation is grateful that, finally, its 15-year campaign to have ‘rent assistance’ extended to TPI Veterans has now been fulfilled, in-part, for just ~2,600 TPIs. However, the Federation nevertheless feels that the Tune Review has failed dismally in regards to a proper analysis of the TPI compensation payment issue, because, just like the flawed Productivity Commission and DVA/KPMG exercises before it, it appears that the Tune Review is nothing more than yet another distorted reverberation emanating out of that echo chamber known as DVA. 

Contrary to Mr Tune’s assertion, the Federation has only ever sought to affect a structural increase to the overall total payment in TPI compensation, as a means of restoring the ‘Living Wage’ legislative provision for which the Parliament had intended almost 100 years ago now, but for which DVA has allowed to erode. 

The Federation’s 7-year campaign to have the total payment structurally adjusted remains ever persistent in the unquestionable image that is seen at Figure 1, where the dialogue box alone remains a testament to this fact. 

As you are aware, the total payment has been described as being broken into ‘notional’ ‘non-economic’ and ‘economic loss’ components, descriptors not that of the Federation, but instead that of past Ministers and senior bureaucrats. 

Unfortunately, Mr Tune has attempted to re-engineer the language by dismissing these components. Should this be allowed to happen, this would negate the ‘pain and suffering’ component of the TPI compensation. This must never be allowed to occur. 

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1 Your letter to TPI Federation of 2nd April 2019 

PRESIDENT 

Ms Pat McCabe OAM 0417 291 546 

VICE PRESIDENT 

John Reeves 0478 609 046 

SECRETARY 

Shayne Eades 0411 296 711 

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The Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Servicemen & Women Ltd (Incorporated in the ACT) ACN 008 591 704 ABN 61 008 591 704 

Patron-In-Chief: His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Retd) 

TPI FEDERATION AUSTRALIA 

“Disabled in our Service United in our Cause” 

PO Box 450, ERINDALE, ACT 2903 Mob – 0411 296 711 | Email secretary@tpifed.org.au 

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Figure 1 

In line with this, the Federation has only ever petitioned you and a succession of LNP Governments since 2013 to affect a single line amendment to VEA legislation (i.e. s24(4)2), using only the differential between the tax- adjusted minimum wage (less Medicare levy) and the ‘notional economic loss’ component (as described by others) as a legitimate means for doing so.3 

The Federation takes great exception to the continuous and scurrilous suggestion by bureaucratic forces that in order to affect a rightful and justified modest restoration of the total tax-free TPI compensation payment, that such restoration would require them to fundamentally change a notional component that makes up the total fabric of a 100-year compensation entitlement. 

This is not the first time that such disgraceful and reprehensible language has been used, presumably in an attempt to adversely influence Veterans and policy makers who may not be well acquainted with the issue. The Federation believes that such nefarious ideas and communication, if left unchecked, reflects rather poorly upon the Government; a Government that claims to put ‘Veterans first’. 

When the Federation met with Mr Tune on the 18th of July, he went to great lengths to suggest that he was “independent”, presumably on the back of our 7th July 2019 communique to PM&C expressing considerable concern and disquiet about his appointment. Whilst we accepted assurances of independence at face value, it became quite evident to TPI Federation Executives and our independent adviser, that Mr Tune had already been captured and was heavily influenced by the flawed thinking and misconceptions of DVA and its KPMG/Productivity Commission enablers. 

So evident and palpable was this feeling that the Federation felt it necessary to provide yet another detailed research paper, together with the offer of Federation data4, which was dispatched to Mr Tune on the 7th August 2019.5 Disappointingly, Mr Tune offered no further correspondence, no follow-up consultation, and no right of reply to any draft. 

2 Which by direct legislative association extends to MRCA Special Rate Disability Payment (SRDP) recipients also.
3 One such request, as sent by email directly to you on the 31st of March 2020, is copied at Attachment B.
4 Mr. Thornton graciously offered to relinquish 7 years of intellectual property and data to Tune providing Tune made a modest charitable donation to the Federation.
5 As per our correspondence to you of 22nd Oct 2019, an abridged copy of that research is once again attached at Attachment C for your quick reference. 

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“Disabled in our Service United in our Cause” 2 

The Federation is at a loss as to understand how Mr Tune, appointed on the 5th July 2019, could have reasonably availed himself to such an important review (i.e. TPI), when over the same period he was consumed by the National Archives Review and then appointed to the NDIS Review shortly thereafter on the 12th of August as well. 

In the report, Mr Tune summarily dismisses the Federation’s sound AWE analysis, in favour of its own questionable Basic/Minimum wage and MTAWE distributions, presumably acquired from DVA/KPMG; distributions seemly concocted and stitched together from multiple ABS source files, and that of DVA’s ‘unpublished data’. 

Outrageously, the Tune Review misrepresents the Federation by stating that the Federation was unable to construct an index from reliable sources, thereby permitting Mr Tune to then favour and build upon DVA/KPMG’s flawed modelling and narrative, presumably as a means to continue to deflect attention away from the ineptitude of a Department that for decades has failed to ‘maintain and enhance’ the very legislative provisions for which it is responsible for. 

The Federation’s ‘Data Sources’, as can be seen in the legend of Figure 1, have remained front and centre and ever persistent for over 7-years, and is not in dispute. 

With the Federation’s AWE analysis as a firm backdrop, the Federation treats Mr Tune’s Fig. 4 distributions with great caution and scepticism, because as can be seen at Attachment A, Justice Toose provided official tabulated data where in 1950 the TPI Payment was $14/week, measuring at 104% of the then (Basic) ‘Wage Index’, and where visual observation between 1974 to 1980, shows unbelievably that the total TPI payment declined against the Minimum Wage, from 100% to 60%. As per Fig.1, such anomalies are not well reflected or supported against TPI payment rates as per Toose/DVA and/or the RBA’s published AWE data. 

Contrary to the Tune Review’s assertion, the fact remains that any modicum of research will reveal that AWE is a mature statistic used widely in compensation literature and application, both locally and internationally. Indeed, AWE better reflects the long-term and relative nature of wages/compensation across the whole community. 

Unwittingly, the Tune Review reveals firsthand how an implied ‘economic loss’ under TPI Compensation (i.e. $935.60/wk or $24,325.60 p.a.6) reflects rather poorly against a SRCA/DRCA Incapacity Payment of anywhere up to $125.181.20 p.a., and where an uncapped payment reflecting Normal Weekly Earnings of 100%/75% can exist for any MRCA recipient7. 

No matter whether one was a Private solider or a Major General, at a fundamental level, the compensation afforded under the Veterans’ Entitlements Act is no comparison to contemporary compensation schemes. 

Indeed, the Federation provided the Tune Review with a specific example of how a modern day Private soldier who may be medically discharged on Pay Group 10, earning a current NWE of $104,304p.a8., could receive Incapacity Payments at 100% for first 45 weeks, rate adapting down thereafter to 75% until Age Pension age. This example, when compared to a Private solider at the other end of the pay spectrum, only reinforces the Federation’s advocacy about the deleterious nature of the MRCA SRDP, as explained on pages 7 & 8 of the attached research paper. 

Even when explained in great detail, each and every one of these reviews has elected to ignore the fact that the TPI Federation has only ever sought to obtain a structural increase to the whole payment, using only the notional economic loss component (as described officially by others) as a defensible means to determine a quantifiable deficiency, as measured against Australia’s National Minimum Wage, in doing so. 

6 Including energy supplement.
7 Page 26. By way of an extreme example, if the CDF was to be medically retired under MRCA, he would receive 100% of his current salary for 45 weeks and then 75% of that figure until he reaches Age Pension age.
8 Annual Salary plus Service Allowance. 

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“Disabled in our Service United in our Cause” 3 

By any measure, 62% of the gross minimum wage for a TPI’s notional economic loss compensation remains a disgrace and a blight on a succession of LNP Governments, that for over the last 7 years, have allowed themselves to be “hoodwinked” by a cabal of bureaucrats who continue to perpetuate financial harm against Australia’s most disabled TPI Veterans. 

Notwithstanding some minor adjustments to some welfare provisioning in the last Budget (i.e. rent assistance), it seems rather churlish to have not acquiesced to the Federation’s main contention, when for 7 years, the Commonwealth has knowingly continued to equivocate on doing ‘The Right Thing’ whilst banking the quantifiable deficiency. 

More galling, without any follow-up consultation, and with the Tune Review Report purposely buried under ‘Cabinet-In-Confidence’ until after the Budget, your Government has proceeded to deliver tax cuts to the general community that has in effect, only marginalised the relative purchasing power of the TPI compensation payment even further. 

Prime Minister, if you think this is the last hurrah, then Sir, you have not fully grasped a true meaning of the ANZAC spirit, because like Teddy Sheehan VC, every constituent member of this Federation will continue to ‘keep firing their collective guns’ for the benefit of 28,000 of Australia’s most disabled Veterans until we ‘sink below the water line’. 

Given all the misrepresentations and the dubious analysis presented by DVA/KPMG/PC and now the Tune Review, the Federation now calls upon you, and your Government, to unequivocally and forcefully repudiate these toxic reviews in favour of the TPI Federation’s rightful claim, by immediately facilitating a corrective action to that ‘compelling case’ that you, and so many others, have identified “as the most deserving issue in the Veteran community9 & 10”. 

Yours sincerely 

Ms Pat McCabe OAM President 

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9 Senator Jim Molan – Senate Estimates, Feb 2019 https://bit.ly/322Cee6 10 Senator Michael Ronaldson – 4BC Radio Aug 2013 https://bit.ly/3gNbpPc 

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“Disabled in our Service United in our Cause” 4 

A letter to an Editor

ADF Afghanistan Inquiry 

The Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) is conducting an Inquiry into rumours of possible breaches of the Laws of Armed Conflict by members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in Afghanistan, between 2005 and 2016. 

To do this inquiry, the IGADF has placed notices in local Afghani newspapers seeking evidence of possible breaches of the laws of armed conflict by Australian servicemen while on operations in a war zone. What an incredible ask. What kind of un-Australian legal professional suggested this approach. Basically, they are asking the enemy to list their complaints into Aussie behaviour while on patrols—no doubt the Afghanis are expecting some monetary compensation. I find the IGADF approach positively appalling. 

Being a retired serviceman who served as a Forward Air Controller in Vietnam, where I heard of Viet Cong atrocities against local village leaders and others, I know that usual standards deteriorate when on the battlefield. One cannot suppress the emotion of hate for an enemy combatant when one sees the enemy soldier cut a mate’s throat. Do you kill that enemy soldier or take him as a prisoner during the hectic battle in progress? If arresting him may cause you to be killed, you kill him. All readers will have experienced the hate that I’m trying to describe when they viewed videos of recent Islamic State atrocities such as the cutting off of a defenceless prisoner’s head with a knife and the burning alive of captives in a cage—and that was not while under extreme pressure on the battlefield. The current enemies who we are fighting have no rules. 

Changes were made to the Military Justice System in 1985 where the purpose of the Defence Force Discipline Act (DFDA) is to maintain and enforce military discipline. It applies to all Australian Defence Force members in times of peace and war and includes offences that are uniquely military and other offences that occur in a military environment. However, having legal professionals, or anybody else without battlefield experience making decisions on a soldier’s behaviour on the battlefield is just not appropriate. They don’t understand the complex emotions involved in battle. I often heard the fear in the voices of the infantrymen under attack when they asked me for help. Prior to 1985, Commanding Officers in a combat zone heard charges against their subordinates, and understanding the environment in which the offence occurred, made a decision to punish the offender or not. More serious charges were heard by a Courts Martial panel comprised of senior war experienced officers. The decision was not handed to higher headquarters in Australia years later where the legal teams have no clues other than what is written in a book of law. Peacetime experiences cannot be compared. 

Some time ago I researched Charles Bean’s writing on the Gallipoli landing in 1915 and I thought I should include a couple of quotes here for the members of the IGADF team. When the Aussie soldiers were rushing up the side of Ari Burnu Knoll only minutes after landing in their small boats, an Australian soldier captured a Turk soldier with his bayonet because his rifle was still full of sand. “Prisoner here” he shouted. “Shoot the bastard” was all he heard from his mates scrambling up the hill. The men had been constantly warned that Turks mutilated men whom they captured or found wounded; but in this case the Turk soldier was escorted down to the beach. War is a dirty business. 

Soon after the Turk was spared, some Turks who had caused havoc on one of the landing boats at close range below the Knoll ran from their trench hoping to escape along Shrapnel Gully, but they were chased and caught. “As the Australians got among them, the Turks threw down their rifles; but they were too many to capture, and they were consequently shot.” These two incidents happened in the first 60 minutes after landing so any reader should get an appreciation of what probably went on for the remainder of the first day—let alone the whole war. Hate in war is normal. In fact, if you want to win the war, hate is expected. 

The Afghanistan Inquiry called by the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force is a most un-Australian move. May I suggest that the Australian Government steps in and stops this extraordinary hearing. To me it is downright disgusting for the Australian Defence Force to be investigating battlefield actions of our soldiers years after the events supposedly took place. Are they going to go back and examine all of the WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam actions too? Yes, there were more. Remember, besides hate on the battlefield there is plenty of fear there too; combine the two and you get some pretty unpredictable soldiers. Unfortunately, the inquiry lawyers would not have experienced those battlefield emotions. Let’s hope the judges have front line experience, or at least can suggest to the government that the inquiry be abandoned because their task involves more than the written law; and they are not qualified to judge. 

A shameful episode in the governance of the Australian Defence Force. 

Peter Condon, Southport QLD 4215 (Retired RAAF Officer) 

Peter Condon
U2605 / 4 Como Crescent Southport QLD 4215 

petercondon@icunet.com.au 

0402 073 464 

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ANZAC DAY BRISBANE 2021

 

Hi Shipmates,

Just in the ANZAC Day Parade Committee has just released its proposal for the 2021 ANZAC Day march in Brisbane.

 

In a nutshell, the proposal is to hold the Brisbane parade at the Brisbane Showgrounds with banners only to be marched in the 2021 Parade to limit participation outside of serving ADF personnel.   Association attendance will be limited to the banner carriers and 2 guests in the stand.

 

We have to respond with our participation intentions by the end of November.    I would like everyone’s thoughts.   I am a little disappointed because I thought we could be over it all by then.

 

William L Krause

President

Vendetta Veterans Association (Qld)

58 Fiona Street

Bellbird Park   Qld   4300

0417 700 531

mkrause2@bigpond.com

 

 Worth reading.

 

Professor of Pharmacy at U of Toronto update on advances made to deal with COVID-19

A professor of Pharmacy at U of Toronto sent this clearly worded update to his family.
For this pandemic there’s a greater chance of survival for those getting infected later than those who got infected earlier say February 2020. The reason for this is that Doctors and scientists know more about Covid-19 now and hence are able to treat patients better. I will list 5 important things that we know now that we didn’t know in February 2020 for your understanding.  
 
1. COVID-19 was initially thought to cause deaths due to pneumonia – a lung infection and so ventilators were thought to be the best way to treat sick patients who couldn’t breathe. Now we are realizing that the virus causes blood clots in the blood vessels of the lungs and other parts of the body and this causes the reduced oxygenation. Now we know that just providing oxygen by ventilators will not help but we have to prevent and dissolve the micro clots in the lungs. This is why we are using drugs like Aspirin and Heparin (blood thinners that prevents clotting) as protocol in treatment regimens.
 
2. Previously patients used to drop dead on the road or even before reaching a hospital due to reduced oxygen in their blood – OXYGEN SATURATION. This was because of HAPPY HYPOXIA where even though the oxygen saturation was gradually reducing the COVID-19 patients did not have symptoms until it became critically less, like sometimes even 70%. Normally we become breathless if oxygen saturation reduces below 90%. This breathlessness is not triggered in Covid patients and so we were getting the sick patients very late to the hospitals in February 2020. Now since knowing about happy hypoxia we are monitoring oxygen saturation of all Covid patients with a simple home use pulse oximeter and getting them to hospital if their oxygen saturation drops to 93% or less. This gives more time for doctors to correct the oxygen deficiency in the blood and a better survival chance.
 
3. We did not have drugs to fight the corona virus in February 2020. We were only treating the complications caused by it… hypoxia. Hence most patients became severely infected. Now we have 2 important medicines FAVIPIRAVIR & REMDESIVIR … These are ANTIVIRALS that can kill the corona virus. By using these two medicines we can prevent patients from becoming severely infected and therefore cure them BEFORE THEY GO TO HYPOXIA. This knowledge we now have .. not in February 2020.
 
4. Many Covid-19 patients die not just because of the virus but also due the patient’s own immune system responding in an exaggerated manner called CYTOKINE STORM. This stormy strong immune response not only kills the virus but also kills the patients. In February 2020 we didn’t know how to prevent it from happening. We know that easily available medicines called Steroids, that doctors around the world have been using for almost 80 years can be used to prevent the cytokine storm in some patients.
 
5. Now we also know that people with hypoxia became better just by making them lie down on their belly – known as prone position. Apart from this a few days ago Israeli scientists have discovered that a chemical known as Alpha Defensin produced by the patients White blood cells can cause the micro clots in blood vessels of the lungs, and this could possibly be prevented by a drug called Colchicine used over many decades in the treatment of Gout. So now we know for sure that patients have a better chance at surviving the COVID-19 infection now than in February 2020, for sure.
 
Going forward there’s nothing to panic about Covid-19 if we remember that a person who gets infected later has a better chance at survival than one who got infected early. 
 
Let’s continue to follow precautions, wear masks and practice social distancing.
 
Please distribute this message, as we all need some positive news…

 

 

 

Attachment to Weekly News of 25 October 2020

 

Happy Birthday to Nicho and Roy.  Hope both you blokes celebrate your special day with your family and friends.

 

Darrel

Nicholson

learnorburn@hotmail.com.au

Roy

Rigg

rssarigg@bigpond.com

 

 

PORT ADELAIDE NAVAL ASSOCIATION SUB SECTION

 

Around Australia Channel who are based here in Adelaide have produced for us a very informative video depicting the Naval Association of Australia Port Adelaide Sub Section.

 

We at the Port Adelaide Sub Section are very proud of our club room and the memorabilia contained within and are very pleased with the end result of the video.

 

The video not only showcases the Port Adelaide Sub Section but the history of the Naval Association of Australia which is very fitting in the 100th year.

 

We have attached the link to the video so that  you too will hopefully view it and enjoy it as we have.

 

Our thanks go out to our Vice President Darryl Heron, his wife Sharen Heron of our Social Committee and the producer of Around Australia Channel, Eugene for organising this  video at no cost to our Sub Section.  

 

On checking yesterday we have already had 1.6k views which to us is very pleasing.

 

 

https://m.youtube.v /watch?feature=youtu.be&v=aOEQTJRcUNc

 

Richard Savage

President

Naval Association of Australia

Port Adelaide Sub Section

 

REMEMBRANCE DAY – COMMANDO ASSOCIATION

 

Hello Ron, 

 

Thank you for contacting us, this year has been problematic at ANMM with Covid 19 restrictions and holding a service. We really wanted to maintain and conduct a service there this year but were restricted for numbers when planning earlier this year so had to consider other options. 

 

The other thing that occurred is that we have been working on an upgrade of our Commando Memorial with a new plaque and initially were looking at unveiling and having a rededication on ANZAC day 2020 but this was delayed . 

 

The above two incidents have led to the decision to hold our Remembrance Day in the open spaces of the Martin Place location at the Commando Memorial. We will be rededicating our memorial unveiling the new plaque and holding the Remembrance Day ceremony . 

 

We are likely to return to ANMM next year. 

 

You and the others that usually attend the Australian National  Maritime Museum are very welcome to attend as per the attached notice. Numbers and restricted to 100 so a booking is essential to comply with the Covid 19 regulations. 

 

It would be great to have you there and in any case please keep in touch and we should be back at ANMM next year .

 

Regards 

Wayne Havenaar 

President 

Australian Commando Association NSW

 

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SAM BATEMAN

 

Commodore Sam Bateman died last week.  This video of his trip up the Sepik River in HMAS AITAPE in February 1969 is a real nostalgia trip for me.

 

Ward

see: https://www.navy.gov.au/history/videos/navigating-sepik ) visiting Angoram.

 

 

 

 

 

Attachment to Weekly News of 18 October 2020

 

Happy Birthday to Sandy, Ian, Len and John.  Hope you blokes have a wonderful day celebrating your special day with your family and friends.

 

Wilson

aaw59973@bigpond.com

 

Ian

Curwood

silvagrey@hotmail.com

Len

Bodimeade

lenbodi@iinet.net.au

John

Nicholson

 
     

 

Tasmania 2020 March 26-28 

 

We have 85 potential starters for Ulverstone.

 

I booked a room at the Bass and Flinders Motor Inn for Bev and myself this week.  Please be aware there is a National Rowing Regatta in Ulverstone that weekend and I was told bookings were ‘first in, best served’.  Also the rooms have been taken off all the agencies.  You need to book direct.  Telephone Number is 03 64253011.  $120 a night for 4 days or less, $110 for 5 plus.

 

 

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DFWA National E-News

Issue 7 – October 2020

Dear Members

The 2020-21 Federal Budget was tabled on Tuesday 6 October 2020. It is certainly a Budget for the interesting times the nation is presently experiencing. Money is being spread across so many programs that even the financial experts are debating among themselves as to the benefit they will give to the economy and over how many years. I will leave the detail analysis of the whole document for those of you who take such documents to bed in order to induce sleep.

The Minister for Veterans Affairs and the Secretary DVA conducted a Briefing for ESORT members and others on Wednesday 7 October 2020. Some interesting highlights that background the evolving nature of DVA, its responses to the demands of the veteran space in the 21st century  and the changes fashioned by, for example, the changed understanding of the term ‘veteran’ and the emphasis on ‘Transition’ of veteran into civilian life. Much is happening. Some salient points about DVA and its activities include:

  • There are now over 200,000 veterans and 100,000 dependents.
  • More than 19,000 ‘Welcome’ emails have been sent to newly enlisted ADF members.
  • Veteran Support Officers are located at more than 56 ADF bases across the country.
  • Over 122,000 claims have been submitted online.
  • Paper-based forms with 40+ questions reduced to a single form with only 3-7 questions online.
  • From 47,500  claims in 2015-16 there are 121,000 in 2019-20.
  • Veterans are now automatically registered with DVA upon transition.
  • Since March 2020 the new DVA website is supporting over 200,000 users per month.
  • 179 telephone lines have been reduced to just 14. 
  • Invalidity benefits are not being included in the Service Pension Income Test
  • Post transition veterans are eligible for comprehensive health check for five years.  
  • There are 19,000 known veterans in Age Care facilities.
  • The links between the DVA, Department of Health and Department of Social Services are ‘improving’ but remains a work in progress.

While the developments in DVA and its responding to the ever changing veteran space warrant our support and congratulation some concerns remain. These are:

  • The full extent of the government’s response to the Productivity Commission’s Report is yet to be revealed. On the positive side of the ledger are that the Gold Card remains unchanged, and DVA will remain as a stand-alone entity.
  • The Minister is to make Statement to Parliament in the near future and is expected (hope) to outline the governments approach to the Productivity Report. DFWA will keep you updated.

You can read about specific budget measures in the update below.

As always, if you would like an issue which affects Defence members, veterans, or their families, then please let us know at national@dfwa.org.au.

Kel Ryan, President

 

Consider Donating

The Defence Force Welfare Association advocates for issues affecting current and former members of the Australian Defence Force, including:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Compensation schemes
  • Superannuation and retirement benefits
  • Defence Force remuneration and pay cases

Please consider donating to the Association. Your donations will enable this important policy advocacy on behalf of current and former members of the Australian Defence Force, as well as their families.

 

Donate Now

Latest News

 

09 Oct 2020 

Budget 2020-21: Outcomes for Veterans and their Families 

On 6th October 2020, the Treasurer handed down the 2020-21 Federal Budget that reflects the extraordinary year in Australian history. Through unprecedented spending, the budget aims to fight off the coronavirus recession and address the economic and health challenges emerging from the pandemic. Here are the biggest measures affecting veterans and their families. 

Read more…

23 Sep 2020 

Submission to Attorney-General: Review of Bills Establishing the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention 

The Association has presented its submission to the Attorney-General Task Force reviewing the bills to establish the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention. 

Read more…

Connect with us

 

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National Office

National President – president@dfwa.org.au
Executive Director – national@dfwa.org.au
Camaraderie Editor – editor@dfwa.org.au
Newsletter – newsletter@dfwa.org.au


Branches

ACT Chapter – actchapter@dfwa.org.au
New South Wales Branch – nswbranch@dfwa.org.au
Queensland Branch – qldbranch@dfwa.org.au
South Australia Branch – sabranch@dfwa.org.au
Victoria Branch – vicbranch@dfwa.org.au
Western Australia Branch – wabranch@dfwa.org.au

Defence Force Welfare Association – National Inc. 
PO Box 4166, Kingston ACT 2604 

 

 

 

 

  ADF REVIEW INTO ALLEGED WAR CRIMES IN AFGHANISTAN

 

Army sharpens focus on ethical soldiering amid war crimes allegations Special Operations Task Group soldiers at Multinational Base Tarin Kowt in Afghanistan, where some elite troops have been accused of committing acts of unsanctioned and illegal violence. Picture: Corporal Chris Moore.

BRENDAN NICHOLSON·         12:00AM OCTOBER 3, 2020 -·         72 COMMENTS

The Australian Army was focused intensely on rebuilding the cultural and ethical base of its special forces even before shocking allegations emerged that soldiers carried out multiple war crimes in Afghanistan.

NSW Supreme Court judge Paul Brereton, a major-general in the Army Reserve, has spent four years investigating claims that members of the Special Operations Task Group breached the Laws of Armed Conflict between 2005 and 2016.

Army commander Lieutenant General Rick Burr tells Inquirer he has not yet seen Justice Brereton’s report, as the inquiry is independent and ongoing. But as a special forces officer he finds the allegations deeply troubling.

“These are extremely serious allegations and not reflective of who we are, and who we must be as a professional institution. We are all determined to establish the facts so that we can act on them.”

Burr has written today to all Australian soldiers explaining why the investigation was launched and telling them to prepare for serious findings. “This is not who we are and not what we stand for,” he says.

“I am also concerned about the impact of those findings on those of you who served in Afghanistan and other operations and who served as professionals with pride and integrity. You did the right thing. You and your families should be proud of what you did and be confident to tell that story.”

He urges soldiers to reach out if they need help and says that support will be provided by the Army.

Brereton’s initial brief from the Inspector-General of the ADF (IGADF) was to ascertain whether there was truth in widespread rumours, but the result was much worse than most imagined.

In February, the inspector-general’s annual report revealed that there were 55 separate incidents or issues under inquiry, “predominantly unlawful killings of persons who were non-combatants or were no longer combatants, but also cruel treatment of such persons.”

Defence Minister Linda Reynolds said weeks ago the investigation was nearing its conclusion and warned that Australians would be dismayed by its findings.

ADF commanders have been working to rectify what they’ve described as “catastrophic cultural and professional shortfalls” within Special Operations Command (SOCOMD) and “corrosive’’ friction between the major special forces units, the Special Air Service Regiment and the commandos. Under the pressure of 20 intense rotations in Afghanistan, the special forces had become isolated from the rest of the Army.

They say this decline has been reversed and a restructured SOCOMD is now positioned to implement the Afghanistan inquiry’s findings and to rebuild the trust of government, defence and the public.

Identifying what went wrong on the Afghanistan missions, how deep a distorted warrior ethos went within the SAS, straightening out that ethos and ensuring that what appears to have been an entrenched culture of impunity in key parts of the special forces doesn’t emerge again, is a priority for the Army.

Burr, who commanded the SASR in 2003 and 2004, said that since the Army became aware of the allegations it had focused strongly on changing elements of the culture in the special forces and had introduced strong ethics training with the help of outside specialists.

“We’re holding ourselves to account,” he says. “We asked for this inquiry when we became aware of rumours around these matters. We needed to understand exactly what had happened and an independent inquiry was the only way to gain a clear picture.”

Lieutenant General Rick Burr

Burr says the most important job now facing him and Australian Defence Force chief General Angus Campbell is managing this issue and they will consider the report’s findings in detail.

He says he is concerned about the impact the findings would have on the thousands of men and women who have served in Afghanistan and who have behaved impeccably.

“Most people in Afghanistan did the right thing. The veterans and their families need to know that. Waiting for this report is exacting a very heavy toll.”

Burr says the Army had not been sitting back waiting for the Afghanistan report to be delivered. After a continuous operational effort for the Army and the ADF since East Timor in 1999, the need to consolidate lessons from operations and to implement reforms to be prepared for future challenges has been the focus of Army’s leadership.

Over the past five years, SOCOMD had been integrated within the broader Army structure and the command had embraced significant organisational, cultural and capability reforms.

“The leadership, structures and plans are now in place to assure the momentum of this substantial cultural and professional transformation,” Burr says. “Today our special forces are ready and deployable. They are a critical capability and there are many challenges on the horizon that we will need them for.”

Along with comprehensive reforms, the natural flow of new personnel through the ADF means 80 per cent of those serving in the SAS Regiment now had not deployed to Afghanistan in a special operations task group, Burr says.

“That reflects how quickly we can refresh and regenerate capability, and that gives us a strong platform to make sure we are embracing and inculcating these new initiatives and making sure that we are living these expectations every day.”

In 2015, the then special forces commander, Major General Jeff Sengelman, was concerned about the persistent allegations of special forces atrocities and raised them with Campbell, who was then chief of the army. Campbell, now chief of the ADF, is also a former special forces commander.

They commissioned sociologist Samantha Crompvoets to interview soldiers from the special forces and other ADF units and members of agencies who worked with them.

Crompvoets confirmed that there appeared to be serious problems with the behaviour of some members of the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan that may have extended to unsanctioned and illegal violence.

In 2018, Burr asked former ASIO chief David Irvine to review the comprehensive reforms that had been put in place in SOCOMD and gave him unfettered access to all aspects of the command.

Irvine found that after a decade of constant combat in Afghanistan and the Middle East, coupled with its other responsibilities, SOCOMD was “worn out and run down”. He warned that in an elite unit, esprit de corps could quickly turn into arrogance. In a closely-knit, inward-looking unit, “can do” could become “only we can do”. Australia’s special forces had to be well-grounded and humble, he said.

Irvine stressed the importance of a “redemption initiative” introduced by Sengelman which provided SOCOMD members with the opportunity to confess to transgressions and hold themselves to account. That enabled personnel who had conducted themselves in ways inconsistent with Army values to be “managed out”. He noted that the culture among some soldiers was such that they did not report serious crimes to senior officers, “sometimes for fear of ostracisation — or worse — within the unit.” Others did take the risk and spoke up enabling the IGADF to investigate.

Burr says the Army’s approach to bystander behaviour is very clear. “It’s critical to our profession that people call out bad behaviour when they see it. Concealing misconduct is not acceptable and does not align with our values. We want our people to call it out so it can be acted on quickly.

Burr says any bad behaviour in the armed forces should be called out.

“Moral courage and integrity are critical to our profession, and especially so for the sensitive capabilities held in our special forces. Army must be a safe environment where people feel empowered to come forward, confident that Army will take action against reports of misconduct.

“This culture is essential to being a trusted, respected, safe and high performing organisation at every level.”

Asked if the fact that the special forces operate in small groups, outside the immediate view of commanders, played a role in what has happened and meant that the model was no longer sustainable, Burr says that model did work and needed to be sustained.

“It has delivered us enormous success over many years and it’s a model that is used in many armies and, in particular, in special forces.

“The Australian Army relies on small teams. They have to be well led and they can make a big difference on the ground, whether that is supporting bushfire or counter-COVID operations, or warfighting. That is our command and control philosophy. In special forces it is an imperative.

“They need to be able to act with autonomy, to take advantage of a local situation to achieve their mission. For this operating model to continue to remain strong, trust in our junior leaders is critical. We must continue to invest in leadership and accountability and culture — which are my three key themes — and we will make our army as effective as it can be.”

One of Irvine’s recommendations was the appointment of a senior officer with considerable command experience from outside SOCOMD as an independent special forces adviser.

Major General Shane Caughey was appointed to that role in 2019 and he supports and monitors the implementation of reforms. “As a mentor, he’s lending his insight to SOCOMD and he’s an independent sounding board for me on special forces matters.” Burr says.

In any future operation, the adviser would ensure SOCOMD maintained good governance and oversight. A former warrant officer of the army has been appointed to ensure clear communications between the adviser and SOCOMD’s other ranks.

In March this year, to again assure himself that the necessary reforms were being implemented, Burr asked Irvine to re-examine the progress of the cultural and professional reforms within SOCOMD. Irvine concluded that the command was on target to meet its targets of major renewal and regeneration but the challenge remained substantial.

The three main goals were to deal with the most serious issues from Afghanistan, to reset the command to meet Australia’s special operations requirements and to prepare it for the changing strategic environment to come.

In terms of cultural change, there remained some pockets of resistance among old hands in the units, and these had been described as “pockets of permafrost”. And while pleasing progress had been made to restore the unit’s ethical base, more work could be done.

“Mr Irvine gave me independent assurance that we are indeed doing all of the right things but never to be complacent, to absolutely stay focused on the further implementation and consolidation of these initiatives, which I’m determined to do,” Burr says.

“And what I see every day in our Army is truly inspiring — selfless service, good people helping others, soldiers doing exactly what our nation expects. But if people do misstep there are structures in place to take action quickly. It is understood that behaviour inconsistent with our values is not tolerated.”

The Army is focussed on rebuilding the culture of its special forces.

As the Army prepares for the release of Brereton’s report, the existence emerged of an Instagram account tagged “State Sanctioned Violence” which the ABC reported was run by one former and one serving special forces soldier. The site reportedly had thousands of followers and carried a photograph of a bumper sticker declaring: “Make Diggers Violent Again”.

Burr says the Army is investigating. “I want to make it clear, this behaviour, this attitude, is not tolerated and does not align with Army’s values. Individuals who act contrary to our values compromise the respect and trust of their mates, their chain of command and the Australian public.

“If these allegations are substantiated, those at fault will be held accountable.” He says regardless of these challenges, the whole Army is focused on strengthening the individual character of all soldiers and ensuring they have a values-based approach to everything they do.

“A Good Soldiering framework has been designed to ensure that Army builds leaders of character who make good decisions, who always expect the best of themselves and of their teammates and collectively build high performing teams, teams based on trust and always operating in a legal, ethical and responsible way in everything that we do,” Burr says. “I want all Australians to be confident in their Army. We remain resolute in our commitment to serve the nation.”

Brendan Nicholson is the executive editor of The Strategist at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute

 

Attachment to Weekly News of 11 October 2020

 

Happy Birthday to Fred, Grant, Tom and John.   Hope all you blokes celebrate your special day with your family and friends.  Haven’t heard from Fred for a long time, has anybody else.

 

Fred

Auty

 

Grant

Dernedde

grabasia@hotmail.com

Tom

Shakespeare

 

John

Amourous

d.amourous@bigpond.com

 

 Ulverstone TASMANIA 26-28 March 2021

Please email me to let us know:

  1. if you are a potential starter or,
  2. will not attend

There are 86 Potential starters to date.  

 

Russ and Georgina Nelson, Marty and Lyn Edwards, Doug and Trish Wilson, Nifty and Dianne Thomas, Rass and Ada Rasmussen, Knocker (Steve) White, Doug and Nyree Brown, Sandy and Rhonda Michels, Grant and Basia Dernedde, Kev and Larraine Uttley, Gordon and Nita Stringer, Mike and Jill Hogan, Schubes and Marian Schubert, Bryan and Kay Stapley, Max and Ann Lampo, Kim Dawe, Mick Gallagher, Rocky and Linda Freier, John and Lyn Hatchman, Stan and Margaret Church, Tom and Val Houldsworth, Darby Ashton, Bob and Pat Stupple, Rod and Karin Hazell, Rick and Lea Avery, Bongo and Jo Di Betta, Dave and Louie Borgo, Mal and Rob Chatfield, Ron and Bev Giveen, Fred Howes, Surfie and Joy Richards, Dave Scarce, Ian and Val Smith, Roger and Dee Collins, Butts and Margaret Butterfield, Jock McGregor and his wife, Jim Harris, Terry and Helen Dack, Narra and Tracy Narramore, Russ and Joy Dale, James Carroll, Wally and Robyn Gawne and Ted and Fiona Hase and Bristles and Lou Lassau.

Non-Starters

Spike and Jean Jones, Errol Delaney, Knobby and Rhonda Clarke, Irish O’Leary, Barry and Kayemarie Andrews, Ron Pope, Greg Williams, Terry Coulthard, Ross Muller, Vic Dzodz, Dave Hanlon, Roy Rigg, Chris and Angela Jamieson, Davo and Faye Davison, Darkie and Shirley Rowland, Trevor Elias, Pooley and Janis Poole, Lew and Jo Smith, Tom Kinross, Boong Bartlett, Sandy Powell, Ross Gowers, Kev Bock, Spook Cairns, Les Barclay, Stevan Coll, Nick and Lynda Bryant, Barry and Margaret Parker, John and Luba Miscamble, George and Carol Pike, Jeff and Jenny Wake, Garry and Helen McGrath, Stewie Dewar, Gil Larsson, Rob Cavanagh, Jim Bush and Mal Ritchie.

 There is a Rowing Club Regatta at Ulverstone on the same weekend.  This group will compete for accommodation.

 

RAN Uniforms

Have a look at this.  This may take you back a few years.

 

https://www.navy.gov.au/customs-and-traditions/brief-history-australian-naval-uniforms-0

 

 

RICK AVERY FORWARDED THIS

 

From: Jacqui Lambie <jacqui@lambienetwork.com.au
Sent: Sunday, 11 October 2020 12:27 PM
To: Rick Avey <ricklea2@outlook.com>
Subject: Onya mate, our veterans thank you

 

Hey Rick Avey, thanks for getting on board! I’ll keep you in the loop about ways to help push this campaign all the way to a Royal Commission. We’ve got heaps coming, and I’m going to need all the help I can get.

While I’ve got you, have you seen our little contact your MP tool?

It’s a chance to actually directly lobby your local MP via email. We give you some facts about the need for a Royal Commission, we give you their contact details and help find them for you too. Plus, if you send it through this form and if they don’t respond, we can help chase them up with you. It’s pretty cool! Check it out here.

There’s other ways you can turbocharge this push for a Royal Commission. We need people to come on board in numbers I’ve never seen before.

I know it’s possible. Julie-Ann Finney’s petition has more than 300,000 signatures already. The public is on our side. We just need to show them that we have a chance to get a Royal Commission, but it’s a chance that closes soon.

Can you help us get the word out? You can pick which part of our outreach campaign to support on the page here.

Thanks again. Let’s push on.

Jacqui

 

 

Copied from Maccas Blog

 

“Continued support but nothing new for veterans in budget“! This is the direct link: https://www.contactairlandandsea.com/2020/10/07/continued-support-but-nothing-new-for-veterans-in-budget/ 

 “Re-commitment to growth but nothing new in Defence budget”! This is the direct link: https://www.contactairlandandsea.com/2020/10/07/re-commitment-to-growth-but-nothing-new-in-defence-budget/ 

Heston Russell. He has put together a good yarn. His story relating to DVA chimes with a lot of peoples experiences. Not a good experience. Combative & so on is DVA. 
Over the seventeen years I had to deal with DVA I had three startling experiences. A DVA lady  found my  three   psyche reports in a stack of sheets a foot and a half high. She rang me and told me how to find them when I inspected my Documents in Newcastle. 

A Doctor working for DVA wrote a report that shocked me, The  AAT Judge & the DVA legal beagle.  The Gold Card arrived within the week. Dont give up. If you give up DVA  WIN.

Did you know a KIWI was KIA in East Timor? 

WARSHIPS of the RAN photos. Bruce Abbott (two tours to VIETNAM on the good ship HOBART) has taken over our South Lake Macquarie Sub Branch and wants more RAN memorabilia than our RANCDA framed Flag Alpha. 
The photos dont have to be framed as the Sub Branch has plenty thank you. 
South Lake Macquarie RSL sub-Branch. 7 Yambo St, Morisset NSW 2264. Office: 02 49735680

Aged Care. ALLITY is an aged care provider in forty four areas across Australia. My wife, Barb works for ALLITY locally (4 KLICKS away) & they are lucky to have her. She cares does our Barb. She caters to 140 Residents a shift.  
                     ALLITY have requested staff to forsake Clubs & Pubs (crowded venues) to help protect the aged residents. I attend DCWC for two hours on a Thursday arvo when the club is not crowded to assist that objective. 
                     Because of the COVID outbreak in Macarthur LGA I wont be attending Harrys function. Fourteen days isolated doesn’t appeal at all. 
                     I had withdrawn from a motor bike ride and a caravan trip so I could attend the INGLEBURN RSL function.
                     Very disappointing outcome. 

 

 

Attachment to Weekly News of 4 October 2020

 Happy Birthday to Krackers, Russ, Davo, Robin and Jim.   Hope all you blokes celebrate your special day with your family and friendsl

 

Bernard

Krajewsky

  

Russ

Nelson

outnaboutnelsons@gmail.com

 

Davo

Davison

gcd93814@yahoo.com.au

 

Robin

Mackinnon

 

 

Jim

Claypole

 

 

 

KNOCKER WHYTE AND GIL LARSSON

 Today at Westmar QLD

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NAVAL HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AUSTRALIA

 

Please find attached the October 2020 edition of Call The Hands, the Naval Historical Society’s monthly newsletter. 

Attached also are Occasional Papers 91 to 93.

 

Back copies of this newsletter and Occasional Papers are available on the Society’s website Research page.

Call the Hands

Occasional Paper 91

Occasional Paper 92

Occasional Paper 93

 

If you are receiving Call the Hands for the first time, unsolicited, it is because you are a new member or have come to our attention as a person who may find it of interest.

 

As always, feedback is welcome as are contributions in the form of factual stories and anecdotes which may not have been previously published.

 

Regards,

 

David Michael

President

 

 

Attachment to Weekly News of 27 September 2020

 

Happy Birthday to Russ, Vic, Mick, Barry and Rick.  Hope all you blokes enjoy your special day celebrating with your family and friends.

Russ

Dale

russjoydale@hotmail.com

Vic

Dzodz

vicdzodz@hotmail.com

Mick

Roberts

mickecroberts@gmail.com

Barry

Quigley

quigs1@bigpond.com

Rick

Avey

ricklea2@outlook.com

 

Tasmania 2021

Please email me to let us know:

  1. if you are a potential starter or,
  2. will not attend

There are 74 Potential starters to date.  

Marty and Lyn Edwards, Doug and Trish Wilson, Nifty and Dianne Thomas, Rass and Ada Rasmussen, Knocker (Steve) White, Doug and Nyree Brown, Sandy and Rhonda Michels, Grant and Basia Dernedde, Kev and Larraine Uttley, Gordon and Nita Stringer, Mike and Jill Hogan, Schubes and Marian Schubert, Bryan and Kay Stapley, Mike and Jean Shephard, Max and Ann Lampo, Kim Dawe, Mick Gallagher, Rocky and Linda Freier, John and Lyn Hatchman, Stan and Margaret Church, Tom and Val Houldsworth, Darby Ashton, Bob and Pat Stupple, Rod and Karin Hazell, Rick and Lea Avery, Bongo and Jo Di Betta, Dave and Louie Borgo, Mal and Rob Chatfield, Ron and Bev Giveen, Fred Howes, Surfie and Joy Richards, Dave Scarce, Ian and Val Smith, Roger and Dee Collins, Butts and Margaret Butterfield, Jock McGregor and his wife, Jim Harris, Terry and Helen Dack, Narra and Tracy Narramore, Russ and Joy Dale, James Carroll, Wally and Robyn Gawne and Ted and Fiona Hase and Bristles and Lou Lassau.

Terry Coulthard, Ross Muller, Vic Dzodz, Dave Hanlon, Roy Rigg, Chris and Angela Jamieson, Davo and Faye Davison, Darkie and Shirley Rowland, Trevor Elias, Pooley and Janis Poole, Lew and Jo Smith, Tom Kinross, Boong Bartlett, Sandy Powell, Ross Gowers, Kev Bock, Spook Cairns, Les Barclay, Stevan Coll, Nick and Lynda Bryant, Barry and Margaret Parker, John and Luba Miscamble, George and Carol Pike, Jeff and Jenny Wake, Garry and Helen McGrath, Stewie Dewar, Gil Larsson, Rob Cavanagh, Jim Bush and Mal Ritchie have indicated they are non starters.    Thanks Blokes.

 

Ben Roberts-Smith VC

 

This is the case against Ben Roberts-Smith VC

 

This is part of an email trail (comments are not mine but I agree with them)


Life and death, no-one will want to become a copper or join military

 

Regards

 
Begin 

This was on a navy website…pretty damn awful.

https://www.fedcourt.gov.au/…/NSD1485of2018…

 

 

MELBOURNE 1931

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx4itqLZfwc&feature=youtu.be

 

 

Battle for FSB Andersen

FSB Anderson was a major battle, a forerunner to Coral and Balmoral, yet few know about it.

Good read

Click on the link
http://rarasa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/FSB-ANDERSEN-A-NIGHT-OF-THE-YEAR-OF-THE-MONKEY-1968.pdf

 HMAS CHOULES

https://youtu.be/_LtN0-C-Ey0

A wonderful bit of history as to where the name Choules comes from and after which the RAN ship is named. 

Although this video goes for over 29 minutes I found it extremely interesting and well worth watching – particularly those with a Defence Service / Naval background. 

It very easy to watch.   ESP if your working from home. <img role=” /><img role=” />

 

ADMIRAL GUY GRIFFITHS RAN

 This is a part autobiography of Guy Griffiths.

An interesting article by Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths – he was still playing competitive squash while still serving as an Admiral.

https://www.navalofficer.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Guy-Griffiths-.pdf

 

TPI VETERANS ENTITLEMENTS.

 

An Email trail…..

FYI

Mac

 G’Day Pat, anything positive to report from the Federations Virtual Congress on 16th/17th Sept?? Also the piece below is interesting re Tune Review, and why are rank and file TPI’s not told this?” What are these 29 recommendations affecting TPI’s??. And are TPI’s affected by the ‘Participant Service Guarantee’ and NDIS legislation??. Has the Federations give serious consideration to Jock O’Neill’s suggestion the Federation engage a professional lobbyist to advocate the TPI case 

for compensation parity  and justice and perhaps legal moves to hold the Morrison Govt accountable in High Court??…. regards, Allen

 The Governments response to the Tune report was (read excuses)

“The Government supports or supports in principle all 29 recommendations made in the Report.

While the Australian Government had previously committed to legislate the Participant Service Guarantee by 1 July 2020, 

this was delayed by the need to focus on the COVID-19 response and subsequent changes to 

Parliamentary and other processes. Draft amendments to the NDIS legislation to bring in the Guarantee and other 

improvements recommended by Mr Tune are in development.

Con Sappelli <csappell@bigpond.net.au

 

Attachment to Weekly News of 20 September 2020

Happy Birthday to Mick (current 63 JR of the year), Bungy, Ken (2010 co-ordinator of 50 year bash at LEEUWIN), Jeff (host of our Darwin wake in 2019). Irish, Harold, Ron and Selywn.  Hope all you blokes enjoy your special day celebrating with your family and friends.

 

Mick

Gallagher

mick_gallagher@bigpond.com

Greg

Williams

mwi46648@bigpond.net.au

Ken

Dobbie

Ken.dobbie@bigpond.com

Jeff

Dunn

dsscullenbay@optusnet.com.au

Irish

O’Leary

noelsue@westnet.com.au

Harold

Hunt

 

Ron 

May

 

Selwyn 

Trott

selwyn_trott@toll.com.au

 

Tasmania 2021

Please email me to let us know:

  1. if you are a potential starter or,
  2. will not attend

There are 74 Potential starters to date.  

Marty and Lyn Edwards, Doug and Trish Wilson, Nifty and Dianne Thomas, Rass and Ada Rasmussen, Knocker (Steve) White, Doug and Nyree Brown, Sandy and Rhonda Michels, Grant and Basia Dernedde, Kev and Larraine Uttley, Gordon and Nita Stringer, Mike and Jill Hogan, Schubes and Marian Schubert, Bryan and Kay Stapley, Mike and Jean Shephard, Max and Ann Lampo, Kim Dawe, Mick Gallagher, Rocky and Linda Freier, John and Lyn Hatchman, Stan and Margaret Church, Tom and Val Houldsworth, Darby Ashton, Bob and Pat Stupple, Rod and Karin Hazell, Rick and Lea Avery, Bongo and Jo Di Betta, Dave and Louie Borgo, Mal and Rob Chatfield, Ron and Bev Giveen, Fred Howes, Surfie and Joy Richards, Dave Scarce, Ian and Val Smith, Roger and Dee Collins, Butts and Margaret Butterfield, Jock McGregor and his wife, Jim Harris, Terry and Helen Dack, Narra and Tracy Narramore, Russ and Joy Dale, James Carroll, Wally and Robyn Gawne and Ted and Fiona Hase and Bristles and Lou Lassau.

Vic Dzodz, Dave Hanlon, Roy Rigg, Chris and Angela Jamieson, Davo and Faye Davison, Darkie and Shirley Rowland, Trevor Elias, Pooley and Janis Poole, Lew and Jo Smith, Tom Kinross, Boong Bartlett, Sandy Powell, Ross Gowers, Kev Bock, Spook Cairns, Les Barclay, Stevan Coll, Nick and Lynda Bryant, Barry and Margaret Parker, John and Luba Miscamble, George and Carol Pike, Jeff and Jenny Wake, Garry and Helen McGrath, Stewie Dewar, Gil Larsson, Rob Cavanagh, Jim Bush and Mal Ritchie have indicated they are non starters.    Thanks Blokes.

 

CAUSES OF MENTAL CONFUSION  By the Professor Laurette of good books.

 

Mate I have been dealing with Mental illness in RAN Veterans for 17 years  as a volunteer by providing support to the veteran and his/her family  before they even get to Open Arms.

 

The problem in the West is we do not have enough people putting their hands up for volunteer duties.

 

I am 73 years young and I can last for approx. 1 year from now.  So who is going to relieve me.  No one.  And I do not have a problem with that.  All I hope is some of the Afghan and Iraq blokes will put up their hand.   If they do not do this will mean NO volunteer advocates at all in WA.   Regardless of what he RSLHQ WA says they will not be able to cope as the Vietnam Vets Volunteers withdraw.

 

This applies to across the board for every state.  Although I believe that RSL VIC has a problem in balancing the books.

 

So what is new?

 

Take care.

 

Jeff Wake OAM, RFD

2 ½ Pusser RAN Retd

 

 

 

100 years of Service

 

https://www.facebook.com/RoyalAustralianNavy/videos/953447745154955/

 

 

 

DARINGS REUNION

 

Hi Shipmates,

 

Sorry about the glitch on the Vendetta web site it turned out to be a server/cache issue that has now been resolved.   Be assured your good looks have not been lost into the cyber black hole and you are all now back on display in all your glory for all to see.

 

As for the planned All Darings Reunion in 2021 please don’t send your expressions of interest back to me.   I am not organising the reunion.   

 

Please send your expressions of interest to Bowie at any of the following contact points:

 

  HMAS Duchess Association                  2A Vince Place, MALUA BAY, NSW, 2536 

  Email.                                                        d154shipsoffice@gmail.com           

     Landline.                                                  +61 2 4471 2936                                                                 

     Mobile.                                                     +61 4 0324 3795                                                                 

 

Cheers

Bill K.

 

 

 

 

Attachment to Weekly News of 13 September 2020

 

 

Happy Birthday to Spook, Bill, Roger, Bob, Terry Bruce, Bob, Don, Jim and Darryl.  Hope you all have a fabulous time celebrating your special day with family and friends.

 

 

Chris

Neville

 

Bill

Chapman

wchappo@ozemail.com.au

Roger

Collins

rogercollins1333@gmail.com

Bob

Dearden

no address

Terry

King

no address

Bruce

Oliver

 

Bob

Pollard

bob_pollard@hotmail.com

Don

Campbell

 

Jim

Hammond

 

Darryl

Walker

 

 

Tasmania 2021

Please email me to let us know:

  1. if you are a potential starter or,
  2. will not attend

There are 74 Potential starters to date.  

Marty and Lyn Edwards, Doug and Trish Wilson, Nifty and Dianne Thomas, Rass and Ada Rasmussen, Knocker (Steve) White, Doug and Nyree Brown, Sandy and Rhonda Michels, Grant and Basia Dernedde, Kev and Larraine Uttley, Gordon and Nita Stringer, Mike and Jill Hogan, Schubes and Marian Schubert, Bryan and Kay Stapley, Mike and Jean Shephard, Max and Ann Lampo, Kim Dawe, Mick Gallagher, Rocky and Linda Freier, John and Lyn Hatchman, Stan and Margaret Church, Tom and Val Houldsworth, Darby Ashton, Bob and Pat Stupple, Rod and Karin Hazell, Rick and Lea Avery, Bongo and Jo Di Betta, Dave and Louie Borgo, Mal and Rob Chatfield, Ron and Bev Giveen, Fred Howes, Surfie and Joy Richards, Dave Scarce, Ian and Val Smith, Roger and Dee Collins, Butts and Margaret Butterfield, Jock McGregor and his wife, Jim Harris, Terry and Helen Dack, Narra and Tracy Narramore, Russ and Joy Dale, James Carroll, Wally and Robyn Gawne and Ted and Fiona Hase.   Bristles and Lou Lassau attendance is conditional on circumstances.

Vic Dzodz, Dave Hanlon, Roy Rigg, Chris and Angela Jamieson, Davo and Faye Davison, Darkie and Shirley Rowland, Trevor Elias, Pooley and Janis Poole, Lew and Jo Smith, Tom Kinross, Boong Bartlett, Sandy Powell, Ross Gowers, Kev Bock, Spook Cairns, Les Barclay, Stevan Coll, Nick and Lynda Bryant, Barry and Margaret Parker, John and Luba Miscamble, George and Carol Pike, Jeff and Jenny Wake, Garry and Helen McGrath, Stewie Dewar, Gil Larsson, Rob Cavanagh, Jim Bush and Mal Ritchie have indicated they are non starters.    Thanks Blokes.

Does anybody remember Peter Dahlstrom

 

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Deceased 1995 (circa) buried at Daylesford

 

 

DVA CONTACT NUMBER


OFFICIAL

 

 

I’m writing to advise you that DVA’s new number 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) will become DVA’s primary access number for veterans and their families.

 

This change is part of DVA’s Veteran Centric Reform Program which includes improvements to our telephone channel to make it easier for veterans and their families to speak to the right person at the first point of contact.

 

You will start to see 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) rather than the previous general enquiry number 1800 555 254 in our publications and correspondence and on our website and other online portals. This is a gradual process and 1800 555 254 will remain active for some time yet until 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) is well embedded. Some other external-facing numbers will remain for specific needs, including the transport bookings and Ex-service Organisation lines.

 

Phone numbers for other non-DVA services will stay the same. For example, the current phone numbers for Open Arms and the Veterans’ Review Board, will stay the same.

 

I appreciate your support when communicating with your members to please start referring them to 1800 VETERAN (1800 838 372) as the primary contact number for DVA.

 

 

VENDETTA VETERANS WEB SITE

 

The Vendetta Veterans Association has upgraded our web site and it is now available at www.vendettaveterans.com.au .  The old web site was hijacked by a Chinese casino and now has dropped off the horizon.

 

The information on the web site has been updated but all the history and old photos have been retained.

 

There are a number of pages containing information but keep an eye on the “Coming Events & News” page which is updated on a regular basis.

 

Please take an opportunity to visit the web site and enjoy the content.

 

 

Causes of: MENTAL CONFUSION IN THE THIRD AGE

By: Arnaldo Liechtenstein, physician.

 

Whenever I teach clinical medicine to students in the fourth year of medicine, I ask  the following question:

What are the causes of mental confusion in the elderly?

Some offer: “Tumors in the head”.  I answer: No!

Others suggest: “Early symptoms of Alzheimer’s”.  I answer again: No!

With each rejection of their answers, their responses dry up. And they are even more  open-mouthed when I list the three most common causes:

– uncontrolled diabetes;

– urinary infection;

– dehydration

 It may sound like a joke, but it isn’t.  People over 60 constantly stop feeling thirsty  and consequently stop drinking fluids. When no one is around to remind them to drink fluids, they quickly dehydrate.  Dehydration is severe and affects the entire body.  It may cause abrupt mental confusion, a drop in blood pressure, increased heart palpitations,  angina (chest pain), coma and even death. *This habit of forgetting to drink fluids begins at age 60, when we have just over 50% of the water we should have in our bodies.  People over 60 have a lower water reserve. This is part of the natural aging process.*

 

 But there are more complications. Although they are dehydrated, they don’t feel like  drinking water, because their internal balance mechanisms don’t work very well. 

 

 *Conclusion:* People over 60 years old dehydrate easily, not only because they have a  smaller water supply, but also because they do not feel the lack of water in the body. Although people over 60 may look healthy, the performance of reactions and chemical functions can damage their entire body. 

 

So here are two alerts:

 1) *Get into the habit of drinking liquids*. Liquids include water, juices, teas, coconut water,  milk, soups, and water-rich fruits, such as watermelon, melon, peaches and pineapple; Orange and tangerine also work, as well as cucumbers.

 

 *The important thing is that, every two hours, you must drink some liquid.  Remember  this!*

 

2) Alert for family members: constantly offer fluids to people over 60.  At the same  time, observe them. If you realize that they are rejecting liquids and, from one day to the next, they are irritable, breathless or display a lack of attention, these are almost certainly recurrent symptoms of dehydration. 

 

Arnaldo Liechtenstein (46), physician, is a general practitioner at Hospital das Clínicas and  a collaborating professor in the Department of Clinical Medicine at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo (USP).

 Your friends and family need to know for themselves and help you to be healthier and happier.

 

It’s good to share!  

 

*For people over 60* (Note, he doesn’t include Whisky or Beer!)