The Royal New South Wales Lancers
|Lancers' Despatch 37|
Bi Annual Journal of the
Royal New South Wales Lancers Association
ABN 50 361 228 724
The New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated ABN 94 630 140 881
No 37 - August 2019
President's Message Coming Events The Regiment The Museum Our Association The Balikpapan Dinner The Museum's Bronze Horse Boer War Day Canberra A Visit to Horseguards Training 1950 to 2000 Departed Comrades Thank You Help RAACA NSW Online Response Sheet Download Printable Newsletter
Photos and text by the editor unless historical, submitted to the editor without attribution or otherwise noted. Thanks very much to all contributors
Expect the following in the remaining months of 2019:
• The Regimental Reunion will be held 1100 to 1400 hrs on Sunday 3 November 2019 at Lancer Barracks, Parramatta. Just turn up (no need to RSVP) and meet those you served with. Dress is casual, the ORs mess bar will be open and a barbeque lunch will be available for a small charge.
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew White, Commanding Officer
Since the last edition of the Lancer Dispatch, the Regiment has experienced an exceptionally busy period.
The Unit stood up for business in mid-January, well ahead of the rest of the Bde to take advantage of the reduced tempo.
Our first activity was EX SUVLA STRIKE at Majura, utilising a Cav Sqn with two PMV Troops and a dismounted Cav Scout Troop where we commenced work on mounted and dismounted METLs.
We then consolidated in February for Force Preservation Training at Holsworthy and Canberra. Concurrently elements of the Command team paid a visit to 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (Queensland Mounted Infantry), our paired Armoured Cavalry Regiment to confirm interoperability and mutual support through 2019. They also attended the RAAC Corps Conference, where the CO presented on the current status of the Unit and a model for better utilisation of the Part Time RAAC as part of the overall "Cavalry Effect".
In March the unit conducted EX LANCER MARKSMAN, a small arms live fire activity with the F88, honing marksmanship skills and safe conduct of ranges, before re-posturing for the 5 Bdes EX TELOPEA SPRINT. This saw all units within the 5 Bde deploy to Singleton for a 9 day field training exercise. 1/15 RNSWL deployed a Sqn with a mounted and dismounted troop and were able to design the training package for the cavalry organisation. This time was used to prepare our members for EX TALISMAN SABRE 19 by replicating an ACR Cavalry Troop and conducting a broad range of mission profiles. We also conducted protected lift and urban assault tasks with our infantry brethren. Special mention to the OPSWO WO2 Schaeffer-Steel who helped run EXCON with the CO and the two Troop Leaders, LT Emily Jarrett and LT Lucas Catalano.
The second half of April was especially busy with a wide variety of support tasks around ANZAC Day conducted by all elements of the Regiment. The Band ran their annual training activity, EX HORNBLOWER at RAAF Richmond. This was very well received by the members of the RAAF Officers Mess following a Jazz ensemble performance.
Moving into May, the ADJT, CAPT Rohan Mitchell was selected for the Army Rugby Union team and toured Tonga playing rugby and conducting international engagement. Tonga will be of increasing importance to the Regiment as we partner with 2/14 LHR (QMI) in supporting the Tongan Defence Force. Finally we finished the month of May with a Heavy Weapons Live Fire activity, EXERCISE LANCER IMPACT at Singleton. This saw the employment of .50cal, 84mm, MAG58, 40mm GLA, F89 and F88 systems from mounted and dismounted positions and was a great success in improving confidence, weapons handling, fire control orders and understanding of weapons effects by day and night. Three Troop Leaders each had a chance to deliver orders, then conduct a break hide drill before moving to an ABF to destroy a notional Enemy convoy.
June finished with an excellent Professional Military Education (PME) Day for SNCOs and Officers, followed by the Balikpapan Dinner, celebrating the 74th anniversary of the Battle. Among others, the dinner was attended by the Hon Mr Alex Hawke, MP, Assistant Minister for Defence and a former Troop Leader in the Regiment.
As we look forward, the Regiment will shortly be sending a Cav Scout Troop to EX TALISMAN SABRE 19 as part of the 2/14 LHR (QMI) OPFOR team. Later in August we will also be sending a Section of the Regiment to Tonga to conduct combined training with some of our international partners.
Tenax in Fide
Our Museum continues to make its mark as the Sydney Metropolitan Area's premier military Museum. New security requirements have not daunted us; we are still open every Sunday 1000 to 1600, and at other times by appointment; appointments able to be made using an on-line booking system equal if not superior to the system used to book a visit to the Sir John Monash Centre. Mobile Museum exhibits also extend our reach by appearing at the likes of the Castle Hill Anzac Day ceremony and the Battle of Crete anniversary in Sydney.
The fact that our construction of overhead cover for our vehicle collection has run in to almost incomprehensible bureaucratic hurdles has been balanced by the donation of a half-sized replica of one of the bronze Australian Horse Statues in the National Boer War Memorial, Canberra, by Colonel John Haynes AM, OAM and the work of our volunteers on our M113 and in renovating the World War 2 room. Work by our indominable force of volunteers; this usually goes unsung so I feel the work of John Anderson, Tom Asher, George Baczocha, Dianne Barnes, Dave Crisp, Jeff Darke, Chris Dawson, Steve Dowsett, George Glass, Brian Hanlon, Ian Hawthorn, Tony Jenkins, Steve Lesley, Michael McGraw, Catherine Pearman, Athol Sansom, Brian Staniland, Joe Tabone, Ansley Taylor, Isobel Twist, and the leadership of Len Koles must not go unmentioned.
On 13 July, ACE the Matilda, JORDAN the Ferret Mk 1 and BINH BA the 106 and our Fitters Landrover got a run at the annual Military Muster at Campbelltown Steam and Machinery Museum, Menangle, check out the video to see the vehicles including ACE in motion.
And always remember our Museum exhibits are constantly changing, so if you have not been for a while, come and visit.
Photos and Video Mike McGraw
In the 1970s, the members of our Regimental Association, mostly World War 2 veterans determined that all those who served in the Regiment, including those presently serving are members of the Royal New South Wales Lancers’ Association. If you fit into this category, you do not have to join the Association. In order to be advised that Lancers’ Despatch is available online you have to be on the list maintained by the Association Secretary. To get on this list, all you have to is use THIS LINK and fill in your details. We are not exclusive. If you served in the RAAC or broader ADF and wish to become a member, just let us know and we will be happy to have you as an associate.
The Association marched behind the Regimental Band with the Armoured Corps Contingent in the Sydney Anzac Day Parade. Resplendent in black berets, regimental ties and medals we make up the largest identifiable group in the march. A great time is always had by all meeting old friends and re-living the near and distant past.
The Editor of Lancers' Despatch was asked again to give the Balikpapan Address at the Dinner. This time it covered a bit more than just the Regiment's Last Battle.
"Distinguished guests, fellow lancers.
The successful landing on the southern shore of the eastern headland of Balikpapan Bay on the 1 July 1945: with B squadron landing near where the Novotel stands today; A squadron to their right covering B’s flank then sending an expedition to Manggar 15 km further eastward. Then the Regiment fighting through to secure the target oil refinery was the last but not the only significant battle fought by the Regiment.
On 23 November 1899 some 29 New South Wales Lancers lent carbine fire to support the withdrawal of the British 9th Lancers when the Boer force covering their Maggersfontein position was first engaged. In so doing they became the first soldiers in an Australian (NSW) uniform to engage an enemy in combat.
On 6 December 1899 the Lancers were acting as advance guard for General French's force moving up the railway line from Naauwpoort to Arundel. Patrols for moving over the veldt were usually four men of a section in line and from 30 to 100 metres apart. If fire was drawn from an enemy position, the section leader would give a signal and the patrol would turn round and gallop bringing out the desired information. Moving on the flat ground between a kopje and a low ridge the lead Lancer patrol was engaged. The forward scout, Bernie Harrison turned but had his horse shot from under him. Next man in the line, Tom Roberts glanced over his shoulder to see Boers moving out of position intent on taking his friend a prisoner. Without hesitation Tom turned his horse and with 7mm Spanish Mauser bullets whistling ‘round him galloped back. Bernie jumped and Tom swung him onto the back of his horse galloping to safety. Tom was the first Australian nominated for the VC; Tom was a farm labourer from Singleton.
Now for the issue to ponder, is the soil embedded in the floor of the Anzac Memorial Sydney marked Stinkhoutboom actually from the place near Vredefort where the more suitable professional was awarded Australia’s first VC. Or is it from the flat ground near that kopje just south of Arundel?
On 17 January 1900 a patrol from Sliggersfontein led by an Australian Horseman included a number of Lancers. Fred Kilpatrick, a Carlingford schoolteacher was a member. Ambushed by a superior Boer force, Fred was shot through the jaw. He died on the way back to the camp. Our first death in battle.
On 7 August 1915, 150 metres from Turkish Nek position, an hour before the 8 LH made their fateful charge. B Sqn 1 LH attacked a chessboard of Turkish trenches using rather more innovative tactics than the 3 LH Bde. Nonetheless a lack of support to exploit the initial success and with bombs running low, the squadron withdrew after 3 hours. 86 were killed, same number that 10 LH lost on that day.
On 31 October 1917 1 LH supported the NZMR Bde in their attack at Tel El Saba. The position taken, the Regiment with the sun glinting on their bayonets fought their way onward using fire and manoeuvre light horse tactics thus securing the right flank of those who had charged.
The landing at Sepinggan was made on 1 July 1945, the target committee for the first use of nuclear weapons had met in April 1945. From the end of 1943 when the strategy to by-pass most of the Japanese forces in the South West Pacific was implemented, General Macarthur ensured that the battle to take Japan would be a US one. This would not be seen by anyone as a “johnny come lately” stunt like the US efforts in France 1918 and 1944; it would be an unequivocal US victory. Australia offered to assist and Macarthur agreed to accept 6 Div but only if they were disguised as Americans.
The shouldn't have been Field Marshal (at least not for his work in World War 2) and near death Prime Minister may have known of plans for the Manhattan Project. Quite regardless Australian military planners must have recognised that any action so far from Tokyo at that time would have little effect on the course of the war. 114 Australians died at Balikpapan in July 1945.
It was the largest tank deployment the Australian Army has made to date. A and B squadrons were part of the amphibious landing on 1 July, C squadron was held as on the water reserve, landing on 19 July.
Just a couple of anecdotes from that conflict:
Ace our restored Museum exhibit was the first tank ashore.
On 2 July 1945 Corporal Peter Teague, the Regimen's intelligence corporal was checking out a tunnel off the Vasey Highway as A squadron advanced toward Manggar. He was with two colleagues. As they came around a corner, three Japanese were surprised to see them. The Australians engaged the Japs with their pistols, killing them. One Jap was an officer with a ceremonial Katana. The Katana is in our Museum. Peter Teague was the youngest member of the Regiment, joining the Regiment at age 15 in 1939. He was reputed to have been bullied until he displayed proficiency with his fists becoming first Regimental then Brigade boxing champion.
On 5 July 1945, 3 and 4 Troops embarked on a landing craft and at 13:00, 3 Troop, landed near the Manggar River under cover of smoke laid by the artillery; they moved off the beach to be de-waterproofed in readiness for action. At 13:45 the area came under heavy mortar fire, following which a 120 mm naval gun opened up at a range of some 1,200 metres. All three tanks were hit, two of them "brewing up" and becoming total losses. During the shelling six crew members were wounded: John Blackberry, Bill Cunynghame, David Dalziell, Harry Matthews, Bert Pope and Bill Twine. John Blackberry was dragged from beneath his damaged tank by a young medic Doug Watkins. Salvation Army Major Doug Watkins officiated at John Blackberry’s funeral when John passed away on 12 August 2011, aged 88.
Five men of this Regiment died at Balikpapan in July 1945:
Trooper Broome, B Sqn – Killed in Action 2 July 1945
Trooper Burton, B Sqn – Died of Wounds – 2 July 1945
Corporal Playford, B Sqn – Died of Wounds – 2 July 1945
Trooper Richardson, B Sqn – Died of Wounds – 2 July 1945
Major Ryrie, REGT 2IC – Killed in Action 10 July 1945"
Lest we forget"
The City of Parramatta, some 20 kilometres west of Sydney, and the population epicentre of the greater Sydney conurbation now has its own part of the National Boer War Memorial. Parramatta's horse was the initial bronze half size example produced by Louis Laumen when preparing the sculptures for the National Memorial. Paid for and presented to the New South Wales Lancers' Memorial Museum by Colonel John Haynes AM. Taking pride of place, the statue sits on a plinth outside the Museum building.
The Horseman represents Trooper Malcom Stewart Haynes of A Squadron, 6th Imperial Bushmen and his horse "Toby" in Australian Commonwealth Horse (ACH) rig. The ACH was the first force raised by the new Australian Commonwealth, it built on the traditions of the colonial units who had been in action in South Africa since the New South Wales Lancers' (NSWL) Fighting 29 first fired their Martini-Enfields at Belmont on 23 November 1899. The NSWL supplied the soldiers of A Squadron of the 5th ACH. 4 Troop, A Squadron, 5 ACH was enrolled at Parramatta in January 1902.
The horse arrived outside the Museum and was secured in place during a tour by members of the University of the Third Age on 28 February 2019; most impressed, tour group members were excited to be the first to see it in place.
The Statue was unveiled by Colonel Haynes on 5 March 2019 at a parade by the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers to commemorate significant anniversaries: 199 years since Lancer Barracks were completed, 134 years since the Regiment's formation and 100 years since members of the Regiment were first in action in South Africa. The parade commanded by the Regiment's Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Andrew White was attended by The Hon Julie Owens MP (Federal Member for Parramatta), The Hon David Elliott MStJ MP (NSW Minister for Veterans Affairs), the Regiment's Honorary Colonel Brigadier Philip Bridie AM and the Commander 5 Brigade.
At the conclusion of the parade, the Regiment (less B Squadron based in Canberra) with members of the Regimental Association gathered in the historic (C1900) drill hall to cut the birthday cake. The cutting, performed with the Commanding Officer's sword by the oldest and youngest members of the Regiment.
Colonel John Haynes AM (Ret'd)
John Haynes joined the Royal New South Wales Lancers in 1948 as a trooper, he was Commissioned in the Regiment in 1950.
Soon after he transferred to the Regular Army, serving in 13 different Royal Australian Armoured Corps units.
He did a tour of duty in Vietnam in the early 1970s.
The late 1970s saw him as Chief of Staff 2 Div.
His last posting was Inspector of Administration for the Army.
He retired from the Army in the mid 1980s and became the President of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Association, New South Wales Branch (RAACANSW), later serving as President of the National Association. In this role he instituted a number of successful initiatives for soldiers including the Army Combat Badge, the medal for National Service and the Australian Defence Medal.
For these good works he was awarded the OAM.
At the opening of the Light Horse Interchange west of Sydney in December 2005, Colonel Haynes struck up a conversation with the then Prime Minister John Howard. They noted that the service of Australian Soldiers in the Boer War was not commemorated at a memorial in the nation's capital, Canberra.
The National Boer War Memorial project was born. Colonel Haynes gathered a group of volunteers initially under the banner of the RAACANSW and work started. Committees were formed throughout Australia, and funds raised. Those whose relatives had served in the war were encouraged to tell their stories and these were published on the Memorial Association's internet site, a place where all matter of material was to appear. To garner support volunteers gave presentations to any group interested. A design competition was held. The designs submitted did not meet with approval, an amalgam of designs was agreed on. Then the costing came. For the result to be achieved a figure just short of $4M was needed. Many thought this a bridge too far. Not John Haynes, he called on support from every quarter and eventually on 31 May 2017, His Excellency, General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Ret'd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia dedicated the memorial in Anzac Parade, Canberra.
For this effort, in the Australia Day honours 2019 Colonel Haynes was awarded an AM. Generous to a fault, he ensured that others on his committee were also honoured. Three received OAMs in the same honours list.
Investiture Photos - Rob Tuckwell Photography
In 2019 the Boer War Day commemoration in Canberra was supported by the Australian Light Horse Association, B Squadron and the Regimental Padre. A very moving ceremony.
Photos courtesy the ACT Boer War Memorial Association
On 1 May 2019, your editor visited Horseguards in London. I was struck with the similarities with Lancer Barracks and Museum. The site dates back before the formation of the British Army during and soon after the Commonwealth period in the mid to late 17th Century. It is in the centre of the London CBD. Just like the site at Parramatta relates back before the time when the Australian Army was formed in the late 19th Century. It is in the centre of the CBD. There is a great parade ground just like we have at Lancer Barracks and a Regimental Museum.
One thing that stands out, is that although the Horseguards site may be coveted by developers; its sale will never be contemplated.
Thanks very much to those who sent me these photos of Lancers training in the 1950s to the 1990s. A great collection.
Captain DAVID HOUSEGO aged 58 of Collaroy, died in the early hours of 28 May 2019. David served in the Regiment, 1 Cdo Coy, and the British Territorial Army.
As Fairfax Media's Chief Financial Officer, David spent 2018 negotiating and putting together the media deal of the century. This saw the old print mastheads of the Sydney Morning Herald, Age, and Financial Review, together with some 300 other local newspapers merge with the Nine Group to form a rival to News Limited.
Toward the end of 2018 after returning from a road-show to overseas fund investors where David had lost his balance a couple of times, he went for a check-up. This revealed he had an aggressive brain tumour. Although this was successfully removed, the cancer had unfortunately already spread through his body.
After spending some time in Royal North Shore, David returned home on 25 May to die in the care of his wife, Christine, and children Sophie and Ben.
David joined the Army Reserve in 1980. After graduating as a star student from 33 Course OCTU, 2 Trg Gp, he was commissioned into the Lancers in October 1981. David rapidly completed his special to corps training while concurrently commanding 1 Troop, A Squadron, devoting a remarkable amount of his free time to the Reserve. He was an inspirational troop leader.
He continued to serve with the regiment while graduating as an accountant. He then completed Junior Course RCSC and qualified as captain. Seeking more challenges, David then passed Commando Selection Course and then headed over to work as an accountant in the UK. Unfortunately his Observation - Orientation - Decision - Action loop was faster than the army's, and it failed to organise an attachment to the Royal Yeomanry. Undaunted, David joined 21 SAS (Artist's Rifles, British Army) as a trooper, quickly passed selection and basic training, and was about to obtain SAS wings when he broke his ankle on his last parachute jump.
David returned to Australia, but not to the regiment. Instead he threw himself into work. He was responsible for floating the hugely successful Australian engineering company Worley (revenue $4,750 million, 57,000 employees) as Chief Financial Officer. Then, searching for a bigger challenge, he took over as Fairfax CFO and negotiated the arrangement described above that saw it merge with Nine. Nic Stuart
A Memorial Service was held on Tuesday, 4 June 2019 at 1230, Long Reef Golf Club, Collaroy. Looking out over a very angry Pacific Ocean. The club is just a couple of blocks from the house where David lived and died. It commands the spectacular views David loved so much, watching the waves roll in along Fisherman's and Collaroy beach. The venue was packed, Lancers Graham Bradley, Mike Fitzgerald, Mark Gibson, Wayne Higgins, John Howells, Len Koles and Nic Stuart were there to say goodbye. Nic Stuart gave a eulogy on behalf of the Regimental Association, it can be downloaded HERE.
Frank Holles sent this message:
"I am shocked and deeply saddened to hear of David’s death.
I knew he had been sick but thought that he was getting through it.
He was one of the most competent officers, I have met who was fair to a fault, but possessed an enormous amount of strength of character. He was a wonderful person to be with, had an excellent sense of humour and a lightening fast wit. It was a privilege to serve with him and to call him a friend.
Cancer is such a curse , it has no respect for the worth of people or the contribution they make .
I will miss him very much."
Mike Krause this message:
" Please pass on our condolences to David's family. It is always sad to hear of the passing of a fellow member. So few of us old diggers remain. It is now up to the young ones to carry on the tradition of the Regiment and the Corps. May David rest in peace at Fiddlers Green."
Wayne Clark this message:
"What a great loss - a great and funny guy."
"Little did I know it at the time, I was experiencing the honing of David's negotiating skills. Skills that would eventually rise to an unsurpassable level.
As he was commissioned before he graduated from university, like many of us, he was commissioned 2LT. Had he graduated before being commissioned; he would have been made a LT. David paraded himself to me complaining that he was qualified (having graduated) and was not yet promoted. I explained the rules that the LT for graduates was to encourage the intelligentsia to join the Army and it was not retrospective, all he had to do was to serve 18 months, he had already completed his ROBC. He forcefully put to me about how I would feel if I was fully qualified for the next rank and not promoted (at the time, I recall that I was).
The argument so effectively put, had I the power, he would have achieved his goal; rules, however, in the Army, are rules."
"Regrettably I will be interstate on Tues and won't be able to attend the service please pass on my regrets."
"Sincerely regret that I will be unable to attend David's Memorial Service on Tuesday. I have an early appointment that usually occupies the whole day. Please offer my apology and condolences to family. Regards."
CHRIS LAWLEY of Caboolture died after a prolonged illness on 8 May 2019. Chris was an M113 vehicle crewman who served with the Regiment in the 1970s and 1980s. Chris, a firemen by profession also spent some time in the RAAF Reserve.
Chris at approx 190 cm was nicknamed "Stretch",. As a vehicle crewman, his height required him to be rather flexible when moving about in an M113. After leaving the Army Chris was a regular attendee at Association activities, marching with us on Anzac Day, Reserve Forces Day, and being at the Annual Regimental Reunion.
In the past year cancer caught up with Chris, when a delegation of his old B Squadron colleagues visited him earlier this year on 26 February, he was glad to see the throng but was noted to be suffering. Chris, you now have no more pain.
Chris at his request did not have a funeral or memorial service. The colleagues he served with, however, did not want his passing to go un-noticed, they collected their thoughts, downloadable HERE.
Thank you all very much for your assistance in supporting the Museum and Association financially in the 2018/19 Financial Year to date. Our records (and they may not be perfect, human data entry has been involved) show the following supported by donation, the Association:
Douglas Black, Tony Blissett, John Bollard, Cynthia Booth, Lindsay Boyton, David Brown, Ron Cable, Joseph Camilleri, John Carruthers, Bert Castellari, Glen Eaves, June Faunt, Mary Lamb, Terry Lynch, Danny Marriott, David Meidling, Dorothy Pollard, Kevin Regan, Joyce Sharpe, Norma Swadling, Vergola (NSW) Pty Ltd, Kel Warham.
and the following the Museum:
Douglas Black, Tony Blissett, David Brown, John Carruthers, Mary Lamb, Terry Lynch, Danny Marriott, Kevin Regan, Kel Warham.
Donations to the Museum (the Museum is registered with the charity tick) and Association are possible securely using PayPal from your credit card (Visa, Mastercard, AMEX) or from your PayPal account:
Click Here to go to the donation page. Donations to the Museum are tax deductible.
Don't forget your memorabilia, the online shop now has Regimental coat etc badges for sale; we have secure payment facilities available using your credit card (now including AMEX) or your PayPal account. Click Here for the Museum Shop.
Membership of the RAACA NSW is free to all applicants over 75. The RAACA NSW newsletter complements Lancers' Despatch, providing news of events in the wider corps community. If you wish to join the RAACA and receive the newsletter, drop a line to the Association at Bld 96, Victoria Barracks (Sydney), Locked Bag 7005, Liverpool NSW 1871, or visit the website: www.raacansw.org.au.
"A regiment is not solely the men who presently comprise its strength. It is an entity stretching back in time to its beginnings. It is all the men who have served in its ranks, with their traditions and achievements. The serving unit, like the tip of an iceberg, may be the only part you see, but underneath, supporting it, there is a great deal more." (These words, often quoted, were introduced by our Patron, Major General Warren Glenny, AO RFD ED, during his term as 2IC of 1st/15th Royal NSW Lancers in the 1960s)
Lancers' Despatch is Published in February and August each year by the New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated ABN 94 630 140 881 and the Royal New South Wales Lancers Association. All material is copyright. John Howells - Editor, New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated, Linden House, Lancer Barracks, 2 Smith Street, PARRAMATTA NSW, AUSTRALIA, (Postal Address: PO Box 7287, PENRITH SOUTH NSW 2750, AUSTRALIA) Tel: +61 (0)405 482 814.
© New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated ABN 94 630 140 881;
Linden House, Lancer Barracks, 2 Smith Street, PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA
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