The Royal New South Wales Lancers

Lancers' Despatch 3

Badge of the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers Lancers' Despatch

Bi Annual Journal of the
Royal New South Wales Lancers Association
The New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated ABN 94 630 140 881
No 3 - August 2002
Tilting at the Ring

Editorial  The Museum Collection  Training in the 1950s  Balikpapan Memorials  At Balikpapan  ANZAC Day at Gallipoli  Balikpapan Remembered  2002 Regimental Church Parade  Goulburn Depot Opens  Nowra's Boer War Memorial  ANZAC Day 2002  Reserve Forces Day 2002  Snippets  Departed Comrades  Regimental CO Extended  Regimental Ties Available  National Service Medal  The Museum Needs Your Help  RAACA

 Editorial go to top of page

I am afraid that I still have to report that the Museum remains closed on Sundays. As you know, that for security reasons, the Department of Defence closed the Barracks precinct completely following the tragic event in New York on 11 September 2001. Since January we have been able to gain access to work on the collection, and can permit public access in controlled groups where all visitors are recorded and issued with visitors' passes. This has proved impractical other than for weekend tour groups when we can gather the necessary team to issue and retrieve passes and monitor the security. So far we have had one such visit.

David Crisp Guides a tour group through the museum, 16 June 2002

The Museum was also graced with a visit by His Excellency the Israeli Consul and been able to participate in the Holroyd Festival, and the Castle Hill Show.

We are lucky to have received a large number of contributions to this issue. Most were clearly typed or in electronic form, making my job as editor simple. Many thanks to Gordon Mackay, Terry Hennessey, Bryson Keenan, Mark Gibson, Brian Walters and David Craven and proof readers Mark Gibson and Wayne Higgins. Remember that we always need contributions, Closing dates for copy are 1 January and 1 July.

 The Museum Collection go to top of page

Colonel Vernon's UniformNow that our annex is complete, and thanks to the kind offices of the CO we have an excellent work room in the barracks, Ross Brown and his valiant team of workers Carol Pearce and Paul Maile have done a marvellous job on re-arranging the collection. The Vernon's now have their own panel, the illustration showing the uniform of Lieutenant Colonel WL Vernon VD, CO 1903-1906

Work on the vehicle collection continues, with the staghound nearing completion. The Matilda is proving quite a job and not likely to be finished quickly. Nonetheless work is continuing, with the vehicle at the School of Military Engineering.


 Training in the 1950s go to top of page

Gordon Mackay Reports

Gordon wrote to the editor, following our expressions of concern about a lack of interest by post war members, sending some excellent images of training in the 1950s. We have included Gordon's story and one of his images.

After service in the AIF from March 1945 to November 1947 including the BCOF in Japan, I enlisted in the CMF on the 2nd March 1950, initially with the one 1 LA.A Regiment at Haberfield, from where I transferred to RNSWL on the 21st May and served until the 27th November 1951.

A troop of 1/15 RNSWL was located at corner of Woodville Road and Merrylands Road, Merrylands and later became an Infantry Depot.

We were equipped with one Matilda tank, White Scout cars and Staghounds. I believe the Matilda was static.

Our CO was Lieutenant MacArthur-Onslow. I recall a weekend bivouac somewhere near the Cataract Dam, we slept in a pavilion, then went out the back of Campbelltown, a very enjoyable weekend.

In early 1951 the Troop travelled by train to Seymour, Victoria, then to Puckapunyal to carry out a two-week driving and maintenance exercise on Matildas. Present also were many other armoured vehicles. Cromwells, Grants, Shermans etc.. The Sergeant's mess made us most welcome and I think we all qualified.

Recovering a Matilda at Puckapunyal 1951

Unfortunately, owing to family commitments I had to apply for a discharge.

I met Dave Blackman at City of Blacktown RSL Sub Branch and he rekindled my interest. Dave, as you would know, was a long serving member and a Corporal, and we proudly wear 'Lancers' logo to Sunday bowls, and bowl together.

I have attended all Reserve Forces Day parades, and carried the flag in 2000 and 2001.

 Balikpapan Memorials go to top of page

Following John Blackberry's article in the last newsletter, we were contacted by Bryson Keenan, Assistant Army Attache, Australian Embassy Jakarta. Bryson writes:

"I have recently returned from Balikpapan, where I took some photographs (attached) of the 'Tank Memorial' on Pasir Ridge which has been the subject of attention in your organisation's newsletter.

As you will see, the site has been restored by Unocal and now lies in a garden setting. The plaques mentioned in your July 2001 newsletter have not been mounted. No one I spoke to knew anything of the whereabouts of the plaques either, so I was wondering if you or your organisation had any information in that regard (?)."

The Balikpappan Tank Memorial in its new Garden Setting

John Balckberry has written to Bryson thanking him for the information. Bryson has also offered to help with the trip to Balikpapan being organised by the Regiment in 2002, see following article.

 At Balikpapan go to top of page

David Craven

Corporal Peter Teague, 1 Armoured Regiment, showing the Japanese sword which he captured

For AWM photo No 110855 above the caption reads "Balikpapan 2 July 1945. Corporal Peter Teague, 1 Armoured Regiment, showing the Japanese sword which he captured after shooting a Japanese soldier in a tunnel on Vasey Highway during the Oboe 2 Operation."

In the picture are Lieutenant John Emmott (at right with hat, who was involved in the capture) and at right front Sapper "Tich" Russell, the engineer who was killed three days later at Manggar airstrip, while with 5 Troop A Squadron. The tank "Asp" was one of 1 Troop A Squadron. with its commander Cpl John Stephenson (wearing beret) also in-the photo. The sword was later held by both Peter and John, eventually being handed to Norman Bent by Peter, along with a Jap flag and other items, and then presented to the Lancers Museum, as reported in "Armour" of October 1985.

 ANZAC DAY at Gallipoli go to top of page

As advised in previous newsletters, the Regiment organised a visit to Gallipoli this year. The party consisted of Major Mark Gibson, Sergeant Vince Donlan and Sergeant Steve Walmsley from the Regiment along with Mick McConnell and myself from the association. For all of us it was a pilgrimage to see where our regimental forefathers had lost their lives, and performed deeds of great courage, against a background of political and military mismanagement that made their sacrifice futile. This we did. We saw the 10 Metres that B Squadron attacked over on 7 August 1915 to loose 147 lives, only to withdraw 3 hours later when their position became untenable.

Quinn's Post Cemetary  Turkish Cemetary

Lone Pine Memorial

And we saw more, we saw Western Turkey, the heart of ancient Greece, the cradle of Christian and Islamic society. We enjoyed Turkish EFES (called Effie's by us) beer for as little as $0.80 for 500ml (prices were negotiable).

Lancers Steve Walmsley, Mick McConnell, Mark Gibson, Vince Donlon and John Howells ate Gallipoli April 2002

Our own losses were high, but we had the advantage of better Regimental, Brigade and Divisional leadership than others. At Cape Helles we saw the beach where a British brigade was dissipated attempting to land on an open beach covered by three Turkish machine guns. We should always remember that while Australian losses at Gallipoli were 8,000, the British lost 30,000.

The most poignant memory we all came back with was the statement by Attaturk, (the Turkish commander who opposed the allies at Gallipoli and later became the first President of the Republic of Turkey) inscribed in stone above ANZAC Cove:

"Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives you are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You the mothers who sent there sons from far away countries wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our boson and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land they have become our sons as well." Atatürk 1934

If you wish to see more of turkey, my pictures can be viewed at the following site .

Next year the Regiment will be putting together a visit to Balikpapan I would commend it to anyone with the time and money.

 Balikpapan Remembered 2003 go to top of page

Major Mark Gibson (Regimental 2IC)

1/15 RNSWL Professional Development Trip 2003 - Balikpapan

Following the success of our professional development trip to Gallipoli this year, the Regiment's tour in 2003 will be of somewhere a little closer to home - Balikpapan.

As you are no doubt aware, Balikpapan was the Australian Army's largest amphibious operation of the Second World War and included RHQ, A and B Squadron's of the Regiment in support of the 18th, 21st (initially) and 25th (subsequently) Infantry Brigades of the 7th Division.

The Regiment's Matilda tanks were involved in the assault landings on the 1st of July 1945 and provided intimate and invaluable support to the Infantry during the landing, securing of the beachhead, and exploitation phases of the operation.

At this stage planning for the trip is in its initial stages but broadly speaking the trip will last approx seven days with the following itinerary:

Day 1: Sydney - Jakarta
Day 2: Jakarta - Kalimantan (Borneo)
Day 3: Visit the Beach (on 01 JUL 03)
Day 4: Visit Manggar (where 3 Matildas were knocked out) and Sepinggang Airstrips
Day 5: Visit Parramtta Ridge and other places of interest
Day 6: Kalimantan - Jakarta
Day 7: Jakarta - Sydney

These details are still to be confirmed, but we will be on the beach on 1 July 2003.

The visit will include historic presentations and there will be some TEWT like problems for currently serving members to consider.

As with this year the CO has agreed to authorise this as a training activity and currently serving members of the Regt will be paid.

We have been advised that there is good hotel accommodation available and appropriate support available (medical) for the veterans of the campaign who choose to go.

If you want to get some unbiased feedback on the year's trip to serve as an indicator of the standard and worth of such an activity, please talk to SGT's Walmsley and Donlon who went this year.

I'll provide additional information as it comes to hand.

See you on the Beach.

Association members are also invited, though will not be able to take advantage of the paid training to offset travel costs.

If you wish to be kept up to date please mark the response form accordingly or Click Here to send an e-Mail.

 Regimental Church Parade go to top of page

The Regimental Church Parade in March of this year was a great show. The Regiment exercised its freedom of the City of Parramatta in a mounted parade where the Commanding Officer and 2IC were mounted in the Museum's operational Ferret Scout cars. Association members showed their support by taking up a position alongside the saluting dais in Macquarie Street.

Regimental vehicles salute the Lord Mayor of Parramatta    The Association shows its support.

 Goulburn Depot Opens go to top of page

The Light Horse returned to Goulburn this year, with the official opening of the Regiment's Depot on 22 June 2002. Association with the Light Horse dates back to the Australian Horse, Australia's only ever heavy cavalry unit formed on 28 August 1897 in Murrumburrah by LTCOL James Mackay, a local grazier, politician and former Squadron Leader in NSW Lancers. The depot was named "Suvla Lines" Suvla being a 7th Light Horse battle honour. The 7th were based in the district until the 1950s; they were custodians of the WWI 7LH honours and direct descendants of the Australian Horse.

Regimental Guidon Party and Guard brave the cold at the opening of the Goulburn Depot 1 June 2002

 Centenary of Nowra's Boer War Memorial go to top of page

Terry Hennessey

Terry Hennessey sent us this article on the Nowra Boer War memorial from the Shoalhaven Historical Society Inc (by Allan Dark) and a magnificent image of Regimental members of the Kangaroo Valley Troop in the 1930s.

"NOWRA districts only memorial to the Boer War was unveiled a century ago this week (article published in South Coast Register, 14 January 2002). Originally intended to mark one aspect of the war - the relief of Mafeking - by the time it was in place, it was agreed the memorial should remember all from the district who had fallen in the war.

A committee had been formed in Nowra during May 1900 "to mark the brave defence of Mafeking by Colonel Baden-Powell by a permanent memorial in the form of a drinking fountain in front of the School of Arts". Public subscriptions were sought, and three designs were lodged with Nowra Munici pal Council the following August, each to cost about £55. However the eventual cost was £80/15/-. after duty of £10/15/- was paid on the memorial, imported from Italy where it had been made of stone from the famed Carrara quarries.

The unveiling on Wednesday, 15 January 1902 was conducted by Lieutenant Colonel Burns, commandant of the NSW Lancers. The local press noted ... the blaze of fireworks, and the wild excitement of a patriotic people cheering themselves hoarse, while the more exuberant manifested their patriotic fervour by burning Kruger in effigy. However it was a significant occasion, which began with Colonel Burns and Major Lee arriving by train to be met by the fountain committee, and driven to Nowra in a four horse drag escorted by a detachment of the Berry Lancers. ..."

Lindsay Cochrane, Tom Rendell, Jack Purcell and Jack Condon; members of the Kangaroo Valley Troop 1/21 LH (New South Wales Lancers) 1934.

 Anzac Day 2002 go to top of page

Regimental ANZAC Eve Wreath- laying Ceremony
Brian Walters

The traditional Anzac ceremony usually held at Lancer Barracks was again held on Tuesday, April 23. This is an opportunity for the Regiment and the regimental family to celebrate the most important occasion on the military calendar.

Those present from the Lancers' Association and the Museum included the following: Bob Iverach, Dave Crisp, Gordon Muddle, Jim Forsyth, Jeff Darke, Joe Tabone, Arthur Standring, Bruce Kilgour, Len Koles and Brian Walters.

A contingent from this group formed up on the parade ground.

As part of the ceremony, wreaths were laid for and by:

Regiment: Maj. Gen. Warren Glenny,
Departed Comrades: Noel O'Brien,
Widows: Mrs Marcia Newton,
Lancers' Association: Brian Walters,
Castle Hill RSL: David Wood.

Special thanks go to Mrs Newton for her part in the ceremony.

At the Gallipoli ClubRAACA ANZAC Eve Wreath-laying Ceremony
David Craven

This annual event, which lapsed for a time after the Armoured Corps Club closed, was successfully resumed on 24th April, held at the Gallipoli Club, Sydney. The short ceremony was well conducted by Bunny Austin, of 2/6th Armd Regt. 9 breaths were laid on behalf of various units of Armour. The Lancers were represented by wartime members Neville Kingcott and David Craven, post war members John Haynes, Bill Cross, Philip Bridie, Rod Cooke and Peter King, and 1/15th By CO LtCol Wayne Higgins and Capt Greg Barter. All other groups were represented.

Noel at 21ANZAC Day March
David Craven

Another very good one, with fine weather and even more cheering crowds and kids waving Australian flags. The media estimated 150,000 to 200,000, in places 8 to 10 deep. Our party again numbered around 70, including some post war members and sons of departed comrades. With Ted Martin unable to attend, we were led by Doug Ferns, accompanied by David Donald, Alan Aynsley, Col Watson and David Craven out front. Our banner with strip saying "now 117 years old" was again carried and escorted by a banner party from the 1/15th under W02 Peter Sly. Sorley O'Brien got us into shape before moving off. There was a hiccup at the start, the RSL having given the Engineers the honour of leading the 2nd AIF this year and to assemble in Hunter St where the Armoured Corps units always does, which unfortunately we weren't aware of. Some confusion, but all managed to form up and follow on. The March went well although a close following band made it hard to keep step with our leading Lancers Band. Being in the March is an honour and gives a feeling of pride in the traditions of the Armoured Corps and our Regiment. Also thoughts of our many departed comrades while passing the Cenotaph in Martin Place.


Reservist ANZAC Day March
Brian Walters

As in previous years, the Reserve Forces took part in the Sydney Anzac Day March. It was a day marked by brilliant sunny weather and large crowds. Interest in Anzac Day does not seem to be waning. There is a hard core of marchers who are turning up each year for this part of the march and those names are shown below. For some it was their second march of the day having participated with the World War 2 contingent.

Thanks again go to the Honorary Colonel of the Regiment, Major General Warren Glenny, who actually lead the whole reserve contingent.

Those present included the following: Chris Dawson, Rod Dixon, Berme Hill, John Burlison, Carl Gruber, Terry Couldwell, Ron Hodson, John Palmer, Joe Tabone, Dave Crisp, Bob Gay, Marina Laverty, Helen Clarke and Andrew Morrell. The contingent was lead by Major Len Koles and assisted by the Association Secretary, Brian Walters.

A special thank you to the serving members of the Regiment who carried the banner. These included Troopers Lance Carter (good name for a cavalry trooper), Sean Walker and David White.

After numerous delays, apparently caused by a fire in Martin Place, the contingent moved off at about 12:45 PM and marched along the usual route. It became quickly apparent that it was a case of duelling bands with the band at the front of our contingent playing a different beat to the band immediately behind! As a result the marching along George Street was not great and there were numerous mutterings and grumbles from the ranks as the marchers had to change step several times - but what else is new.

At least it was not raining and the crowds seem to appreciate the show. Despite the contrary efforts of the bands the contingent made it to the end of the march in Elizabeth Street and dispersed to various meeting places around the city.

Thanks to those who marched on the day but it would be great to see more of the post World War II people. The Army Reserve is a growing and important part of Anzac Day and needs more Lancers.

The Reunion
David Craven

Another good one at Balmain Bowling Club, with old mates sharing memories and maybe some tall tales. The dry till for drinks was on for first arrivals. At 12.40 the usual brief ceremony in joining with Harry Martin and another bowler to cross the green and lay wreaths at the flagpole, with Last Post, Reveille and The Ode. The Lancers party was Bill Halliday (wartime), Bob Iverach (post war) and RSM Nick Day (1/15th) with Tpr Brian Harriott attending the flag. Lunch at 1pm was a roast with dessert, with the Reserve Forces March group arriving soon after. At $23 covering everything, no other reunion we've heard of comes close for value. Club President Ray Leo said that major renovations are planned to improve the facilities and comfort, and should be completed by next year's reunion, to make it even better for us. It is the oldest NSW Bowling Club, from 1880. We are glad of the hospitality and service we enjoy.

63 attended, as listed below, with 63 apologies on lists at tables. Guests were our Patron Major General Warren Glenny AO RFD ED and LtCol Wayne Higgins, W01 Nick Day and Tpr Brian Marriott of 1/15th. In welcoming everyone, Len Koles said he had just received a call from John Howells at Gallipoli, 7 am their time. He said the Dawn Service at Anzac Cove was attended by 20,000, the most ever, mostly Australians. A very impressive experience. He wished us a good reunion.

Anzac Cove 25 April 2002, about the time of the 'phone call.

The Toasts were to The Queen, by Doug Ferns, and The Regiment, by Warren Glenny, the tone of which was that the Lancers Association valued and upheld the traditions of our Regiment over the many years and all should be proud of them. In responding, Wayne Higgins said the Regimental Strength is approaching 220, targeting 250 this year. We are now the largest GRes RAAC unit. 24 full time staff is indicative of recognition of status by the Defence Department. Recruiting is proceeding. The objective is training. high standards and goals. Some changes have been made to improve the training programme and the Regiment is strong.

Brian Walters read out names of 24 Departed Comrades reported since last reunion, 14 of whom were in Lancers Despatch 1 & 2, the rest in this issue. A silence was observed, with The Ode by Sorlie O'Brien.

The Annual Meeting
David Craven

David Donald briefly reported on finances for the year to 31st January 2002, paying tribute to generous donations totalling $4682. Last year's Anzac Day reunion had a deficit of $483 which along with the extra costs of printing and postage for two newsletters instead of one, contributed to a deficit for the year of $812. Detailed financial statements were available.

W01 Nick Day, in his final year as RSM, was returning officer for the re-election of the following office bearers:- President, Len Koles, Vice-Presidents, Noel O'Brien and Dr Ron Cable. Secretary, Brian Walters, Treasurer, David Donald. Committee, John Blackberry, David Craven, Geoff Morris, Bill Pokes, David Crisp, David Wood, John Howells, John Palmer, Jim Forsyth. Also new members to committee Neville Kingcott and John McManus, replacing Bob Simpson (deceased) and Sen Lowe (resigned being unable to attend meetings). The composition thus is 8 wartime and 8 post war members, total 16.

As well as our four guests we were glad to welcome John Lowe and Alan Morris (sons of Ken and Geoff), Stuart Smith (grandson of Nev Kingcott) Chris Hall and Stephen Hall (grandsons of late member Mick Wilson, and Michael de Burgh, Noel McMahon, Rory McAviney and Frank Johnson (friends of Bob Iverach).

Members from interstate and country were: Alan Aynsley (Thurgoona) Morrie Bates (Torquay) Rod Button (Valentine) David Craven (Canberra) Bill Halliday (Sanctuary Point) Bob Iverach (Springwood) Doug Jasprizza (Tuross) Jack Lamb (Ulladulla) Ken Lowe (Wollongong) Ron McKenzie (The Entrance) Geoff Morris (Gosford) Carl Noble (South West Rocks) Allan Stewart (Charlestown) Bern Temby (Dubbo) Grant Troup (Glenmore Park) Col Watson (Laurieton) Gordon Bright (Bateau Bay) Phil Wright (Bathurst). Well done, travellers.

Sydney members were: Doug Beardmore, John Blackberry, Philip Bridie, Arthur Bulgin, Stan Chivas, Graham Clarke, Doug Cliff, Denis Comber, David Crisp, David Donald, John Drews, Doug Ferns, Geoff Francis, Fred Grover, Chris Hall, Stephen Hall, Geoff James, John Kearney, Neville Kingcott, Len Koles, Bill Lynch, Bill Matthews, John McManus, Noel O'Brien, John Palmer, Bert Roughley, Ernie Syratt, Joe Tabone, Brian Walters, Steve Woods, Jim Forsythe Bob Hayes, Adrian Kenny, Karl Gruber. Apologies for any errors.

To conclude, another good reunion, with old mates getting together. Thanks to all who came to make it so. Thanks also to Balmain Bowling Club for your hospitality and good service.

 Reserve Forces Day 2002 go to top of page

Brian Walters

Reserve Forces Day was held this year on Sunday, 7 July 2002. The weather was fine and sunny if just a little windy at some of the intersections. It was a changed format this year with a march from College Street, down Macquarie Street with the saluting point outside the State Parliament House. The dispersal point was in the Domain.

Those present included: Bob Iverach, Greg Smith, Lee Long, John Haynes, Nick Brewer, Dave Crisp, Gordon Muddle, Jeff Darke, Joe Tabone, Carl Gruber, Bob Gay, Dave Black, Gordon MacKay, George Brunker, John Burlison, Merv Cummings, Rod Dixon, Steve Day, Pat Donovan, Terry McKenna, Mick Lewins, Brian Algie, John "Geordie" Ward, Bemie Hill, Ross Brown, Harry Pearson, Tony Ang, John Howells, Brian O'Donovan, Don Deakin-Bell, Tony Nelson, Ross Denny and Brian Walters. Members of associated units included Barry Starling (3/9 SAMR) and Charlie Clasper (12/16 HRL). The Lancer contingent was ably lead by Major Len Koles. Actually quite a good roll-up and one of the bigger contingents on the day!

Of interest was that Don Deakin-Bell recently served with Operation Belisi on Bougainville - he nonchalantly mentioned that they came under fire on several occasions! Well done Don.

While the assembly time was 1000 hours, it was a matter of hurry up and wait with the ceremonies proper starting at 1200 hours with speeches by the Governor, Professor Marie Bashir and Sir Laurence Street. The substantial and very colourful march moved off at about 1230 hours lead by the engineer and ordinance corps (for their centenaries). The last group finished around 1320 hours. There was a group of four mounted soldiers in front of the Lancers contingent and while we have a very proud association with horses, the defecating and the clip-clop of the hooves is certainly distracting when trying to keep step!

Joe Tabone and Gordon Muddle preparing to march on Reserve Forces Day.

After the March, the thirsty soldiers made their way to the NSW Leagues Club in Philip Street, which has been a venue for many Lancers' Anzac Day Reunions and a past RFD reunion. It was also the reunion location for the National Servicemens' Association so there was a good crowd. Thanks go to the management of the club as they wisely opened up their first floor bar especially for the day and put on extra staff.

Overall a very good day. Well done the RFD Council. Some of the faces were new and very welcome - we just need to encourage a few more to come along to an occasion that is slowly becoming part of the military calendar.

 Snippets go to top of page

David Craven

Newsletter 23 reported the death of Neyle Cameron in Jan 99, with a brief outline of his successful business career in Grafton. He was an unassuming, community minded man and a quiet achiever, who felt Grafton had been good to him and wanted to do something for Grafton in return.

Old wartime friends will be interested to know his wish has since been carried out by his sister Lisa. Various needed items of modern technology equipment have been donated to the Grafton Base Hospital, where in appreciation a plaque acknowledging them, and a photograph of Neyle were mounted. In addition, two bursaries in perpetuity have been established in his memory at The Armidale School, where Neyle was a student. Neyle wouldn't have wanted the publicity these good projects have received.

Mike Fitzgerald as Captain (Later General) Howse VCSir Neville Howse VC was the first Australian to receive the Victoria Cross. In July 1900 as a Captain in the NSW Medical Corps in the Boer War he rode out amid heavy fighting to rescue a wounded soldier. When his horse was killed he continued on foot and carried the man to safety. He is the only member of an Australian medical unit to receive the VC. He served in WWI, was later knighted, became Mayor of Orange and died in 1932. In July 2000 the images of Howse and the then three surviving VCs (Sir Roden Cutler, Ted Kenna and Keith Payne) were on a commemorative stamps issue. The big centenary celebrations at Orange included a parade in which our "K" Troop, dressed in Boer War period uniforms took part. K Troop was also in a re-enactment of the action, with OC Capt Mike Fitzgerald portraying Capt Neville Howse being awarded the VC by Governor Frederick Darley. It was widely reported by the media, with a photo of the award presentation,

Bruce Gurton said in a note - "I joined the 1/15th in 1959 and first met the 'old and bold' when Barracks Orderly Officer for your Anzac Day reunion in early 60s, my first official duty as a junior officer. Was I led up the garden path! ". In' early post war years we didn't have Anzac Day reunions, and groups got together in hotels, including the Maitland and Morpeth. Pubs weren't then open on Sundays, and when Anzac Day fell on one someone got the idea of going to lancer Barracks. Word spread, and with good attendance, tucker and amber fluid, it went well. Our first Anzac Day reunion. They were held there for years, then at NSW Leagues Club, then at Balmain. We were a playful lot in those days, so Bruce and other Orderly Officers may well have wondered what they had struck, and maybe we gave them a hard time.

Jack Curtayne was reading Winston Churchill's history of WW2 re the preparations during the "Twilight War" prior to the invasion of France and Belgium in 1940. It said "the awful gap reflecting on our pre-war arrangements was the absence of even one armoured division in the BEF. Britain, the cradle of the tank had between wars so far neglected the development of this weapon, soon to dominate the battlefields, that eight months after the declaration of war our small but good army only had with it, when the hour of trial arrived, the 1st Army Tank Brigade, comprising 17 light tanks and 100 'infantry* tanks. Only 23 of these carried even the 2pdr gun, the rest machine guns only". Makes you wonder. Some would have been the early model Matildas, and all were lost.

Doug Pinnington is an enthusiastic skier and visits the snowfields. At 85 he may not make the Guinness book, but is probably the oldest skiing Lancer. Doug joined Gordon Tp, B Squadron of our mounted regiment in 19^4. transferred to 12th/l6th Northern Rivers Lancers at Boggabri in 37, then to AIF in 2/6th Field Regt, 7 Div in 1940.

The Beersheba Commemoration at Canberra on 31st October 2001 at the Desert Mounted Corps Memorial in Anzac Parade was again well organised by Honorary Member John Munns, this time with good media publicity and coverage, thanks to Major Robert Morrison, a PR officer at RMC Duntroon, who has shown interest. That brought a good attendance for what is a significant anniversary. As well as the usual mounted lighthorsemen in WW1 uniform, a visiting troop from 2nd Cav Regt was there and formed the catafalque party. Our Association was represented by post war members John Haynes and Phil Chalker, and WW2 members Harry Britten, Allan Chanter and Bert Castellari, who laid our wreath for the 1st Light Horse (AIF), while John Smith of 2/4th Armd Regt laid one for 4th Light Horse. This year will be the 85th Anniversary for which a special event is planned on Thurs 31.10.02, including a dinner. Any Lancers able to come will be welcome. For more information contact David Craven 02 6288 6468.

Departed Comrades Roll. A list of the 15 who died on war service, and the many others with wartime and post war service through the years since (as far as known) has been passed on to the Lancers Museum. It will be progressively updated and available for reference. At 30.6.02 the roll lists 575 names. It does not include those who left the regiment and died on service with other units or afterwards. It is neither an official or complete list. Any member or family seeking information on anyone should phone David Craven (02 6288 6468) or John Blackberry (02 9534 2353).

John Emmott. of Bodalla, famous for its cheese, is well known to many veterans, especially of C Sqn. At 89 John is one of our older wartime members, and apart from walking limitations is in good shape. He is a competent carpenter and fine furniture maker. Travellers who visit the local "Big Cheese" tourist centre can see a plaque marking the official opening of it in 1984 by John, after 36 years as Chairman of the Bodalla Co-op Cheese Society. His family forebears were pioneers of the district.

On a coach holiday it was good to find that our very competent driver/ tour leader was a post war Lancer. Ray Moore was a reservist in 1/15th 1975-81, after earlier ARA service with 1st Armoured and 2nd Cavalry Regts. He later went to Commandos. Ray recalled names of some old mates, especially Brim Buddle. Some readers of that period will remember Ray.

Ralph Perrott not only served in the Lancers in New Guinea and Borneo, but after WW2 he joined 34th Brigade of BCOF. When that ended he was in Japan involved with education until in 1952 he joined 1' PAR and served in Korea for 9 months as a W02. Almost certainly our only member with Korean service after WW2 and BCOF.

Gosford Get-together Lunches - on 2nd Wednesday each month at Gosford RSL Club. Ex-armour veterans, ladies and friends welcome. Train from Central around 9am, check time. $2 for seniors. At Gosford take lift to parking area where RSL bus will be waiting. Travellers will be returned any time they wish. No need to book. For more info Geoff Morris 02 4325 2408.

 Departed Comrades go to top of page

David Craven (unless otherwise noted)

Since last issue of Feb 2002. we heard of the deaths of the following:-

The 1st Aust Armoured Regt Workshops newsletter lists 4 SA members lost in the year to March 2002. They are ALF COUZNER. BOB BURNSIDE. DEAN OLIVER. REUBEN POBKE. Of these, only Alf was on our roll to receive newsletters. He kept in touch and sent an annual donation.

RSL Reveille Last Post for Mar/Apr 02 lists ERIC BLAIR and ARTHUR MATTHEWS. Neither was on our roll, nor are we aware of any contact. However, our service records show that Eric joined HQ Sqn in Dec 41, later in B Sqn. becoming sergeant at Balik in July 45. Arthur joined our 1st LH (MG) Regt in 38, serving in New Guinea and Borneo. Both were age'd around 83/64.

RALPH STANILAND also listed in the same Last Post. Ralph was one of the many who volunteered, at Walgrove Camp in 40, to join the AIF, along with CO, LtCol Torpy Whitehead, to form the 2/2nd MG Bn. He was then a Troop Leader, later becoming Major with the 2/2nd, with service in Middle East, then New Guinea and Borneo with 9 Div. Ralph was on our roll and in contact.

TED SAUNDERS in late January 2002, aged 87. Ted joined the 0urimbah Troop of B Squadron in January 41 moving to HQ Sqn for later service including in New Guinea and Borneo. Post war he was a farmer at Narara, with the last few years at Henry Kendall Village. Geoff Morris said Ted came to the early Gosford reunions, but not to our Anzac Day events,

MORRIE READ on 25.11.01. Lived at Corlette, previously Banora Point. Advice from his daughter, after getting Lancers Despatch no. 2. He was a post-war member who joined the 1/15th soon after the Reserve Army was re-formed in 1948. We don't have details of his service, but since he was on our roll and got newsletters, he must have had some contact in recent years. We'd be glad of any information about him.

MICK WILSON of North Bondi, on 16.2.02. Noel "Sorlie" O'Brien gave a eulogy at Mick's funeral at Rose Bay Uniting Church, saying they became close mates on joining 3rd Tank Bn in Dec 41, and ever since. On joining the Lancers in Feb 43" Mick went to C Sqn, Sorlie to A, both as tank crew in New Guinea and Borneo. After WW2 both lived at Bondi, met and married Olwyn and Delias, with each being best man for the other. Mick's grandsons Chris and Steven also spoke highly of him. Arthur Bulgin and Graham Clarke also attended, with Bondi Junction RSL members, who gave an RSLservice. With daughter Cathy, Mick att-ended our 2001 Anzac Day reunion, his last one of many over the years, and was glad to be with old C Squadron mates. It was a happy day for him.

DON HARRISON of Adelong, in Dec, 2001, aged 81. Don joined 3rd Tank Bn in Dec 41, joining the 1st with the intake of Feb 43" and served with C Sqn in New Guinea and Borneo as a jeep driver. All of his post-war years were in the Adelong area, caretaking farm properties and cattle breeding. He attended local functions on Anzac Day. At his funeral we were represented by Ted Fallowfield, Roy Jessup, Doug Gilchrist and Alex Miller.

PHILIP JORDAN of Cremorne. Listed in Reveille Last Post of May/June 02. tie was in the, group who transferred from the 2nd Tank Bn, becoming Reconnaissance Officer of B Squadron. Post war he was with David Jones. Although on our roll, we had no contact for many years. Phil will be well remembered by former B Sqn and 2nd Tank Bn members.

Reveille Last Post also lists R J PRIOR. 2782417 L/Cpl 1/15RNSWL. He was not on our roll and not known to post war members of committee. Some readers may well have known him. It was said that he transferred to the Lancers from an infantry unit in the early 70s.

ROBERT SIMPSON of Caringbah, on 11.3.02. Bob was Regimental Intelligence Sergeant for our operations in New Guinea and Borneo, the latter as deputy to Jack Curtayne. From reports, did a great job. Post-war Bob was one of the pioneering group supporting Denzil MacarthurOnslow and Sam Hordern in the formation of the RAAC Association and the RAAC Club, with its planning beginning with get-togethers in a building in Hunter St, before opening the Club in Pitt St, When our first reunions were held at Lancer Barracks, Bob was much involved in the organising of them for some years until we moved to NSW Leagues Club in Philip St. Post-war Bob was a representative of John Danks, then of Blackwoods, a major hardware supplier, where his chief was Bernie Johnson. In recent years Bob rejoined the Lancers Association Committee. He was a very strong supporter in attending reunions, and other events along with June. We hear he went to school with David Donald. At the funeral we were represented by Sorlie O'Brien and John Blackberry. Sorlie gave a eulogy, supported by John, and both laid a poppy in remembrance. Bob was one of our special members, who was quiet natured and a true gentleman. He will be sadly missed.

FRANK COLLISS of Budgewoi, on 16.4.02, aged 82. Everyone knew him as "Tiger". He joined our 1st MG Regt in December 40, came in for full time service at Rutherford in Dec 41 becoming Sergeant in Aug 43 and was posted as Troop Sergeant of RHQ Tank Troop, with service in New Guinea and Borneo. Post war he was in the printing industry. Tiger was an enthusiastic and much involved member of our Association for many years, attending reunions and other events. He was for some time a Vice President of the Lancers Association until resigning in 1998. His wife Joyce died a few years ago and they had no children. In recent times, after a fall at his home he was in a nursing home at Wyee. To farewell Tiger at his funeral were members Geoff Morris, Ron McKenzie, Norman Bent, John Drews and Gordon Bright. We have since been grateful to learn that Tiger has left a bequest to the Lancers Association. - A mark of the man.

NORMAN FRITSCH - of Temora, on 22.5.02, aged 80. Norman came with the group from 3rd Tank Bn in Feb 43, joining C Squadron, serving as both a tank and jeep driver in New Guinea and Borneo. Post war he was a farmer. While he didn't attend Sydney reunions, he kept contact with local members, of whom Ted Fallowfield, Doug Gilchrist and Norm Pentland represented us at his funeral on May 27th.

ALAN BHOLE MBE of Wahroonga, on 17 February 2002. Alan was born at Lidcombe on 13 December 1913, and died at Wahroonga on 12 February 2002. Alan came from a military background, his grandfather having served with the British Army in India. At age 15 he joined the 51 Battalion Cadets. At 17 he joined the Regiment and was the last surviving member of the Governor General's guard at the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. At 21 he joined the Australian Instructional Corps (Permanent Army) with the rank of Sergeant, making Warrant Officer at the age of 22. Pre war Alan saw service in the cadre of the 15th and 12th Light Horse. In 1940 he was commissioned into the 2/4 Bn. He served in the middle east, and New Guinea. When the war ended Alan was a company commander at Itape with the rank of Captain. Post War he served with the BCOF in Japan, as a UN observer in Indonesia, and in various regimental (RAR) and staff postings. When he retired to Wahroonga, the now Lieutenant Colonel's association with the Lancers resumed. He became a Museum Volunteer, and consultant to the Mounted Detachment. His assistance during Regiment's centenary celebrations in 1985 was invaluable. The Association was represented at the funeral by: Col Adams, Ross Brown, Chris Dawson, Mark Gibson (representing the CO), Barrie and Judith Hodgson, John Howells, Bob Iverach, Len Koles, and Mick Lewins. Apologies were received from Major General Glenny, Frank Holles and John Paton. In all there were some 80 present at the service, including Alan's family and Major General Maitland. (Reported by John Howells)

BRUCE WORSLEY of RSL War Veterans' Homes, Narrabeen, on 14 July 2002, aged 84. Bruce was a special member of the Lancers Association, serving as our first and only Honorary Auditor through 54 years 1946-2000. He agreed to act as such soon after starting his practice as a public accountant and relinquished it through ill health. Long term current Honorary Treasurer David Donald, also a public accountant, said Bruce was meticulous in his task. He was a likeable, quiet natured man who occasionally attended reunions some years ago. His long service to our Association was recognised and much appreciated. Bruce took part in operations with the Regiment, but we have no details of his service. David Donald represented us at the funeral on 18 July 2002.

Our sincere sympathy to the widows and family of all those named.

 Regimental CO Extended go to top of page

Colonel HigginsThe Association is pleased to congratulate the Regimental Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Higgins RFD on the extension of his period of command by a further 12 months until 31 December 2003.

 Regimental Ties Available go to top of page

Association members will be pleased to note that a new batch of Regimental Ties has been obtained and are available for purchase. They will not be pleased at the cost, $65, (it will teach us for agreeing to joint venture with the Officers' Mess) however, they are of the finest silk and substantial research was undertaken to ensure the colours are an exact match of the Carrington Hunting (or Racing) colours. Ties can be obtained by using the response sheet attached, or by placing an order on the Museum website follow this hyperlink.

 National Service Medal go to top of page

Those who served in the national service schemes of the 1950s - 1970s or then CMF between 1966 and 1972 may be eligible for the National Service Medal. If you did serve during this period, and received a certificate of discharge of National Service obligation, make certain that you fill out and despatch the attached form if you are receiving this in hard copy or follow this hyperlink.

 The Museum Needs Your Help go to top of page

The Museum and the Regimental Association exist almost entirely because of your generosity. If you are receiving this newsletter in hard copy, please use the enclosed contribution sheet to make a donation, if not follow this hyperlink, fill out and submit the contribution form.

The Museum needs money to carry on the valuable work. Contributing $20.00 per year this ensures you will continue to receive this newsletter. All donations are tax deductible, a receipt will be provided with your next newsletter.

We also need workers and guides. Working bees are conducted every first Sunday of the month commencing at 10:00 at Lancer Barracks; if you are interested, please turn up, or drop a note or e-mail You do not have to be a former Lancer, simply a person with an interest and some skill.

All contributions to the Museum and the Association will be acknowledged in the February 2003 Newsletter

 RAACA go to top of page

We posted a note in the last two Lancers' Despatch editions about re-activation of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Association (NSW) John Haynes as President and Bill Cross as Secretary. John Haynes wrote thanking us for the note and asked if we could include it again, here it is. Should you wish to join or re-activate your membership drop a line to the association at Building 96, Victoria Barracks, Paddington NSW 2071, or contact Bill Cross

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"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 2150, AUSTRALIA,  Tel: +61 (0)414 886 461, Fax: +61 (0)2 4733 3951.

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Postal Address: PO Box 7287, PENRITH SOUTH NSW 2750, AUSTRALIA; Telephone: +61 (0)405 482 814 Email:
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