The Royal New South Wales Lancers

Lancers' Despatch 2

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 2 - February 2002
Tilting at the Ring

Editorial  Bushfire Volunteers  The Museum  The Regiment Mechanised  The Lancers in Africa  War Memorials at Balikpapan  War Graves Balikpapan   Cambrai Day  The World War 2 Regiment  Launch Reserve Forces Day 2002  Keeping in Touch  Snowy Baker  Other Association Activities  Canberra Reserve Forces Day  CO's Message  Gallipoli Visit  Squadron Reports  K Troop  New Publications  Departed Comrade Acknowledgements  Updating the Regimental History  Coming Events  RAACA

 Editorial go to top of page

A lot has happened since our last newsletter, in particular the events of 11 September in New York and Washington and the aftermath of Australian soldiers being called again to fight, this time in Afghanistan. Let us trust that all this sacrifice will result in a World where jealousy does not express itself in wanton destruction, and provides a chance for the Afghan people to rebuild their once great country rather than having to flee as refugees.

A minor ripple from this crisis has been an increase in security at Australian Defence establishments. Lancer Barracks was closed to all civilians (including former service personnel). This has meant closure of the Museum and curtailment of all Museum activities other than some of our extension services.

We now have permission to enter the Barracks, work on the collection and provide some public access in a controlled fashion. Working bees will be re-instituted and supervised public tours organised in February.

We have received some great contributions for this issue, particular thanks to David Craven for his association input, and Peter Guides for supplying a soft copy of "The Lance" and permission to reprint. I would also like to thank proofreaders John Blackberry, David Craven and David Crisp. Please note that we did get too many contributions to include all.

 Bushfire Volunteers go to top of page

Len Koles Reports

A few days after Christmas day Ross Brown, one of the senior officers in the State Emergency Services, contacted Mark Gibson and Len Koles and asked for some help in the worsening fires that flared up on chinstraps day. Ross had served in the Regiment in the eighty’s and has been a very active member of the Museum Committee ever since.

There was a critical need for an Intelligence Cell to be formed at the SES Operation Centre in Police Headquarters. It would need to be staffed with experienced operators who could collect, interpret and prepare intelligence summaries for the staff manning the state wide SES hotline number. This hotline was just as important as the 000 number. After a ring around, a team of serving and retired Lancers was sent up and they started working 12-hour shifts at the Operations Centre for a period of 14 days.

The first task was to develop and implement a system that would collect information from many different sources such as police reports, Rural Fire Services reports, Main Roads, Bureau of Metrology, Ambulance Services and Red Cross. Once the reports and procedures were designed, the Lancers swung into action providing the most current information available for the public during some of the most critical times of the emergency.

The SES Operations Managers made a request that, as the Lancers Int cell was managing all of the available information that the cell prepares a SITREP (situation report) every eight hours for distribution to all SES units across the state. The SITREP was so well prepared the Premier’s Department wanted copies as soon as they were produced.

The day shift was staffed by two to three Lancers and the night shift by one Lancer. It should be pointed out that Mark Gibson and Nick Weston not only did most of the night shifts between them but they also used their extensive computer expertise to correct and improve the computer systems in the operations centre.

The members that participated in the operation included Dave Crisp, John Palmer, Mark Gibson, Nick Weston, Howard Burvill, John McPhee, Brian Walters, and Bob Harding, an engineer made an honorary Lancer for the occasion and Len Koles. It should be noted that many members of this team worked in the communications centre at the Sydney Olympic games.

So once again the army training and esprit de corps of the Lancers responded when called upon.

 The Museum go to top of page

As indicated above, the museum's activities have been somewhat restricted. Work had to stop on Staghound restoration. Some work has been possible on the Matilda (ACE), located at the School of Military Engineering, some volunteer access has been possible. In January it will be moved to a location at St Marys organised by Bruce Kilgour. Here unrestricted access will be possible and heavy lift equipment available. David Crisp will be organising the removal of the power plants for refurbishment as a Wetherill Park TAFE project.

The Power Plants in "Ace" to be removed and refurbished as a Wetherill Park TAFE Project in February 2002

The work of Ross Brown, Paul Maile and Carol Pearce on the Museum's document collection has not been able to proceed.

We were able to continue with some of our extension services. We moved the Ferret Scout Cars from the Barracks and put on a display complete with the "Mobile Museum" photographic collection assembled by Bill Prosser at Brittfest, Blacktown in October.

Bill Prosser's Mobile Museum at Brittfest, Blacktown, October 2001   The Museum's Ferret Scout Cars at Brittfest, Blacktown, October 2001

 We were also able to publish the Regimental Journal (The Lancer, Vol 1, No 4) of August 1939 on the internet. This journal published one month before World War II was declared and four years after the Regiment was mechanised has some very interesting articles. Two, "The Regiment Mechanised" and "The Lancers in Africa", are re-printed in this newsletter. If you want to read the rest (it prints out at 36 A4 pages, they wrote more then than we do now) you will need to go to the internet. We also have a copy of No 4, May 1941; we will endeavour to publish this over the next few months.

We sent David Crisp, Paul Maile and Len Koles to a workshop conducted by the Department of Veterans' Affairs on "Caring for Wartime Memorabilia" in November. The course was of great value, the information on how to care for and preserve our valuable and extensive photographic collection will be put to good use next year when this is to be the Museum's major non-vehicle conservation effort.

 The Regiment Mechanised go to top of page

Reprinted from "The Lancer" August 1939

On the 1st November, 1936, the Regiment was mechanised and converted to a Machine Gun Regiment. The idea of such a unit was new, and the unit was the First of its kind in the Empire. We knew that we were to be armed with Vickers Machine Guns and we should be mounted on thirty cwt. motor lorries. Our role was to be that of Support Regiment to the 4th Cav. Brigade. That was the full extent of our knowledge; and at first we had to improvise our section and vehicle drill as we went along. Our first vehicles were fitted with discarded tram seats, and we tried them in various positions with several alternative methods of packing stores. The dismounted drill was modified cavalry drill, finally a definite system was evolved and portee fitments were designed and manufactured. They had many disadvantages and are soon to be replaced by a new type.

The Regiment Mechanised

Major J.B. Pye led the Regiment into its first Mechanised Camp at Campbelltown in March, 1937. Everything was strange at first with no horses to look after, but the drivers soon learned that a vehicle requires just as much attention as a horse. We learned, too, some of the disadvantages of mechanised units under wet weather conditions.

In our second camp in November of the same year, we had become accustomed to vehicles and were able to carry out some advanced work. We tried our first night march without lights, and found it impossible on rough ground with inexperienced drivers. We also made our first attempt at feeding the troops in the field. The Q people had a difficult task, with insufficient and unsuitable equipment, but gained valuable experience.

Moving to Camp at Berry the following year gave us our first long march and was a good test of drivers, vehicles, and of March Discipline generally. The work became more strenuous than usual and the physical condition of the men was proved to be quite satisfactory. We used travelling kitchens for the first time and found that we will have to evolve a kitchen with pneumatic tyres, which can be towed by a lorry,

The beach defence exercise held at Berry in February 1939 was our biggest job to date. We made a long night march which tested the endurance of drivers and men. It gave us, too, our first opportunity for doing our job of co-operation with Light Horse. We found that our biggest problem was one of speed. Owing to the great difference between the speeds of horses and motorised transport, great difficulty will be experienced in keeping touch, and the problem is one which will have to receive much consideration. We also gained further experience in feeding the troops in the field. By using fast utility trucks to transport food from kitchens to the troops we were able to get meals out in time and hot on most occasions.

With our increased establishment of personnel and vehicles, we should have an opportunity of covering much ground in our next camp.

 The Lancers in Africa go to top of page

Reprinted from "The Lancer" August 1939

In "A Sahibs' War", a story by the late Rudyard Kipling, there is a description of certain strange men met by a Sikh trooper, who had gone to South Africa as bearer to a British Officer. Here is an extract:

"The Ustrelyahs spoke through their noses not little, and they were tall, dark men, with grey clear eyes, heavily eyelashed like camels' eyes - very proper men. They said on all occasions "No fee-ah", which in. our tongue means 'Durro mut', (do not be afraid), so we called them the Durro Muts. Dark, tall men, most excellent horsemen, hot and angry, waging war as war, and drinking tea as a sandhill drinks water. Thieves? A little, Sahib. Sikander Khan swore to me - and he comes of a horse stealing clan for ten generations - he swore that a Pathan was a babe beside a Durro Mut in regard to horse lifting. The Durro Muts cannot walk on their feet at all. They are like hens on the high road. Therefore they must have horses. Very proper men with a just lust for the war."

 War Memorials at Balikpapan go to top of page

John Blackberry Reports

There has been a deafening silence from those "in the know" about this matter. Letters to Bruce Ruxton, Thiess Contractors in Borneo and John Ellice-Flint of Unocal Oil in South Australia remain unanswered.

A 2½ minute video received from an employee of Coates Hire in Balikpapan on 15 July 2001 shows the "Tank Memorial" now surrounded by building materials and debris at the site of a new hospital under construction by Unocal on Pasir Ridge (Parramatta Ridge). We are assured that the memorial will be cleaned up when work is completed but there is nothing to indicate that the plaque shown in the last issue of Lancers' Despatch has been mounted, therefore no dedication can have occurred. Many Australians have now left and the political situation has again deteriorated with Australian pupil schools being attacked and the 7th Division memorial vandalised.

Balikpapan Tank Memorial during construction of Hospital 15 July 2001

Again thanks are due to Tracey Hatch for his interest and assistance, but it may be that we will not hear much more about this matter unless the situation improves.

 War Graves: Balikpapan Campaign go to top of page

John Blackberry Reports

Tracey Hatch has received a reply to his letter to the Australian War Graves Commission in which he requested information regarding our casualties in Borneo. Veterans will recall that there was a temporary cemetery near the beach landing area. Post -war, the deceased were moved to permanent sites as is the usual practice. The remains of Troopers, Keith Broome, Mick Button, and Ray Richardson who all died on 2 July 1945, and Major Ted Ryrie who died 10 July 1945 were transferred to the Australian War Cemetery at Labuan, a small island in Brunei Bay off the coast of North West Borneo. Corporal Athol Playford, badly wounded on 2 July 1945, was taken to Moratai where he died and was buried on 7 July 1945. On 1 October 1946 he was reburied in Macassar War Cemetery and finally on 7 December 1941 he was finally laid to rest in Ambon War Cemetery. Ambon is a small island South West of Ceram in the Molucca Islands group. "Rest In Peace"??. Photographs of the headstones have been requested and it may be possible to show them in our next issue.

 The World War 2 Regiment go to top of page

This is a personal account of the Armoured Corps and their role in the defence of Australia from the Japanese in WW2 by Trooper Noel (Sorlie) O'Brien

The following story is written for the post war Lancers and members of the present Regiment.

The Regiment had made its mark by 1939. Formed in 1885, it had fought with lances in South Africa, and with other Australian Militia Light Horse formed the backbone of the Light Horse in World War One. It had been awarded two King's Banners, a Guidon, 11 Battle Honours and was the only Australian Cavalry unit with the title "Royal" (it still is the only RAAC unit with this honour).

The Museum's Bren Gun CarrierWhen WW2 began on the 3rd September 1939, volunteers from the Regiment immediately joined the Permanent Forces known as the AIF. They were with our 6th and 7th Divisions sent to the Middle East. Part of the Div Cav units with Bren carriers. In 1940 they where in action against the Italians with success. At this time the German Army controlled Europe and a strong force was sent to Africa to support the flagging Italians. The 9th Division arrived and the 8th Division was sent to Malaya.

In Australia conscription was introduced 19 and 20 year olds where called up for six weeks training. They were to bolster the Citizens' Military Force (CMF). In 1940 the Parramatta Lancers were the 1st Machine Gun Regiment (CMF).

The Japanese entered the War when their 6 Aircraft carriers bombed Pearl Harbour on the 7th December 1941, and in the following months controlled most of the Pacific. Planes from 4 Aircraft Carriers bombed Darwin for 2 days in February of 1942. Our situation was real desperate the 6th, 7th and 9th Divisions were away in the Middle East and the 8th trapped in Singapore. Japanese forces controlled all the landing strips in the Pacific region.

Fortunately for Australia, in May-June of 1942 the American and Australian Navys destroyed a large Japanese Naval force in the battle of the Coral Sea. And our (CMF) army was was able to hold advancing Japanese forces on the Kokoda Track. This gained time for the 6th and 7th Divisions to be brought home from the Middle East. These Divisions were the first to defeat the Japanese Army. The Japanese advance was halted just short of Port Moresby, and a force that landed at Milne Bay was destroyed.

The Museum's MatildaArmoured Divisions were formed, tanks were in short supply, but at least there were some, a good defence if necessary. American Tanks began arriving during 1941 and Puckapunyal training began for Officers and NCOs. In mid 1942 the British provided Matilda Tanks to help Australia defend itself from any Japanese land attack, if it came.

It was decided to form a brigade of Army Tank Battalions. The 3rd Armoured Regiment (CMF) was brought to full strength with 19 year old conscripts from Riverina towns. It was based initially at Cowra Army Camp, later at Greta, then Singleton, where they became the 3rd Army Tank Battalion (CMF). The the Lancers were designated the 1st Army Tank Battalion (CMF) with troops from Sydney suburban areas and the northwest Hills District. The 2nd Army Tank Battalion (CMF) was formed mainly from the 2/1st Armoured Car Regiment. Other Armoured troops were selected to form the other Army Tank Battalion. Many CMF men had volunteered to join the AIF. It was announced that that only one unit from the Brigade was to form the 1st Australian Army Tank Battalion (AIF), which meant they could be sent overseas. The CMF could not fight outside Australia and its mandated territories. The new unit was formed at Singleton and soon sent to Caboolture Camp for amphibious training at Toorbul Point and Bribie Island. After training at the Jungle Training Centre at Canungra, the unit was sent to New Guinea and stationed at Milne Bay, Morobe, and Buna, where C Squadron joined the 9th Division at the Finschhafen landing, then to Sattleburg and other areas. A Squadron took over as the Japanese where routed along the New Guinea coast .The Japanese where defeated. All unit actions are described in full in the two editions of the Lancers History (it should be noted that copies of the history can still be purchased, the details are also available on the battle honours page of the website).

After home leave and joining the 4th Armoured Brigade at Southport, the 7th Division selected the now re-named 1st Armoured Regiment (AIF) to join them in the largest Australian amphibious landing of World War 2 at Balikpapan in Borneo on the 1st July 1945. This alone would take a book to describe. A convoy of 100 ships including many Royal Australian Navy vessels approached firing broadsides over our heads as we observed dozens of Liberator Heavy Bombers dropping thousands of bombs on the area. From our Landing Craft Tank ships, we had a box seat to the biggest show anyone one could witness. Seven weeks later the war was over.

To conclude my story, other Armoured units to serve overseas were, the 2nd/6th Armoured Regiment AIF with "Stuart' Tanks at Buna in 1942. The 2nd/4th Armoured Regiment AIF who took over our Matilda tanks at Madang in 1944. They served at the landing of Wewak and on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands campaigns. The 2nd/19th Armoured Regiment with Matildas in North Borneo. The unfortunate Armoured Division formed in 1941 and 1942 did not get overseas because of the perceived threat from a landing by the Japanese on Australia soil. By December 1942 the tank strength in Australia was almost 1500 and that does not count hundreds of Bren Gun Carriers.

 Cambrai Day Service At The Garrison Church go to top of page

Len Koles Reports

On Sunday the 18th November 2001, the Lancers were represented at the 84th anniversary of the Battle of Cambrai service by a number of past and serving members. These included David Crisp, Len Koles, Warren Glenny, Bob Iverach, Mick Lewins, Craig Muller from Canberra, Greg Smith and Bill Cross.

Music was provided by the regimental band under Band Master CPL Steve Wood.

A display was set up using the Museum’s mobile display in the recently restored RAEME fitter’s vehicle. The photographs from the Matilda days at Greta were greatly appreciated by all of the veterans.

As the regiment was on a range weekend, the guard commander and members of the guard were made up of a number of the above members of the association.

This is an annual event that should receive more recognition as this is the only occasion when the 8 major associations of the RAAC come together. The church was decorated by the banners of the associations for the occasion. A lance guard made up of representatives from each of the associations carried a lance bearing the colours of their regiments.

A wreath was laid at the altar by each association representative. The ode was read by Bill Cross with the readings by Greg Smith, Mike Butler (Vietnam Veterans) and Warren Glenny.

It was a great opportunity to meet members of the brother associations such as the 1st Armoured Regiment, 2/4th, 2/6th, 2/7th Armoured Regiments, 2/1st Recce Squadron, 1 Aust Armd Bde ASC and the Vietnam Veterans.

Details of this year’s service will be given in the next Lancers' Despatch.

 Launch of Reserve Forces Day 2002 go to top of page

Len Koles and Brian Walters Report

The Reserve Forces Day March in 2001 was fully reported in the August 2001 edition of Lancers' Despatch. It was held on a brilliant, fine Sunday in July. In line with the other major occurrences during 2001, the march was considered as an official Centenary of Federation event. Once again, the Lancers were there in force to continue an association going back to the first RFD March. As most soldiers know, parades can be short and sweet or long and hot. Unfortunately, this parade was of the later type!

On Saturday the 17th November the Association banner led a contingent of Reserve Forces associations at the official launch of Reserve Forces Day 2002. Each association was represented by their President and a banner party. Our banner party included David Crisp, Len Koles and Brian Walters. Our association led the march which was held at HMAS Waterhen at Wollstonecraft.

The Governor, Professor Marie Bashir arrived at the parade on board the Fleet Commander’s Admiral’s barge. She was welcomed by former Honorary Colonel of the Regiment Sir Laurence Street. At a short conference held after the parade MAJ GEN Goud discussed the changing role of the Reserve in light of our overseas commitments.

 Keeping in Touch go to top of page

News and comments from responses to newsletter 25 of March 2001
David Craven Reports

A good response again, mainly with Anzac Day reunion bookings or apologies, and with donations. They came from WW2 members 103, post war members 58, and others (widows and honorary members) 24 - a total of 185. More than last year, especially from post war members - good to see, and thanks to all who sent one, especially with bits of news etc. Here are some:-

Frank Aldous (SA W/shops group) said their 51st Anzac Day reunion again went well, at Seaton's Hotel Adelaide. 72 attended, including members, wives, widows and family. 3 members came from NSW & 2 from Victoria, and were farewelled next day by Reg & Betty Mead with a beaut lunch at home.

Brian Algie (Thirroul) returned from a Vietnam trip the day before Anzac Day. Is interested in going to Gallipoli in 2002 if a tour is arranged.

Ray Birks (Castle Hill) - sad at death of Ben Hall. Both were in 1 Tp A Sqn 1938-40, most went into AIF. Has a large photo of the troop, also of it being inspected by Gov-General Lord, Gowrie in 39.

Tony Blissett (Terrigal) congratulates Len Koles, John Palmer, Tony Fryer & the Olympics radio team. The exercise was a good achievement.

Una Boyton (Gorokan) likes newsletters to keep informed of Ken's old army buddies. Misses the old reunions & often thinks of old friends.

Val Boyton (Broulee) advised of death of Bill Boyton and gave details of his army career, (see Departed Comrades).

Max Brennan (Dapto) planned to attend the 50 years of the Nashos March in Wollongong with the Illawarra Branch of National Servicemens Assocn.

Felicitie Brierley (Turramurra) was especially sorry to learn of the death of Max Edwards.

Stan Butler has moved from Bankstown to Narellan. Looks forward to future newsletters.

Jim Chidgey (Wahroonga) - as previously reported, lost a leg while a POW in Changi. Is now confined to home. (our good wishes Jim)

Les Chipperfield (Currumbin Waters) invites any old mates travelling to the Gold Coast to call in. Ph (07)5598 6992.

Greg Conner advised death of his father, (see Departed Comrades)

Ron "Buc" Cullen (Rapid Creek NT) said son lan is now in B Sqn 1st Armoured Regt ARA, the third generation of Cullens to serve in Armour. Grandfather Les was in B Sqn of Lancers in NG and Borneo, Buc was in B Sqn of 1/15th and retired from Army Reserve after 35 years, in 1997.

Jeff Darke (Quakers Hill) is another proud father. His son Pte Benjamin Darke served In 1st Bn Group in East Timor 2000-01.

David Downes (Wyoming) attended Anzac Day ceremony at Henry Kendall Village, with about 100 attending. Very moving. He was in Camden Troop 1st Light Horse MG Regt 1938, then a pilot in RAAF 1939-46.

Ted Fallowfield (Wagga) visited Don & "Bub" Harrison (Don passed away in December - see Departed Comrades) at Adelong, also Alec & Val Miller who are still running their farm at Adelong.

Ruby Graham (Cremorne) is a special lady who said she has enjoyed the newsletters these past 12 years since Lex (Will) died. Sends good wishes

Fred Grover (Mt Colah) was having a second holiday in New Zealand on Anzac Day. (by chance he and I met up there in 1996). In 98 he had a 3 months trip to Gallipoli for Anzac Day, the Normandy landings events on 6th June and 4th July celebrations in Washington USA. Also visited Cambrai and other battlefields, memorials, museums and cemetries of WW1. Sad to learn of Max Tomlins death & recalled his wounding at Sattelberg from the displaced Besa in his tank. Plans to be at 2002 reunion.

Lindsay Hamilton (Sanctuary Cove) recalls that in 1951, for the 50th Federation Anniversary, the 1/15th Lancers provided a mounted escort to the Governor General at the Opening of Parliament in Canberra, in which he took part as a corporal.

John Haynes (Randwick) is on a committee aiming to have a Boer War Memorial placed in Anzac Pde, Canberra. The Mint will produce a special medallion, which it is hoped will help raise the $$s.

Allan Hoad (Walcha) recalled a pub crawl with Bob Lord & Wal Gunn in Sydney after getting back to Australia. Hopes Bob's condition improves.

Eric Holland (Thurgoona) would also like to go to Gallipoli in 02 if the tour eventuates. Is glad of newsletters to keep contact with-'old mates.

Sid Lewis (Marom Creek) paid tribute to Ken Deal's knowledge of Australian 'VC winners. Ken is now at Ballina.

Keith Linnert (Burwood) now depends on a scooter to get around.

Bob Lord (Randwick) has had right leg amputated. Hopes to make Anzac Day next year, 2002.

Gordon McKay (Rooty Hill) only recently listed as a postwar member. He liked the newsletter, will march with BCOF on Anzac Day.

Geoff Moran (Hawks Nest) was glad to be with old friends at 2000 Reserve Forces Day. Has visited the Lancers internet web site, thinks it well presented and a credit to the Regt and those involved.

Sorlie O'Brien (Lakemba) was disappointed at falling attendances at Regimental Anzac Parade, Lancer Barracks, also at Cambrai Commemoration at Garrison Church. Urges better support by 'attending.

Doug Pinnington (Orange) recalls early wartime service in 24th Light Horse and 2/6th Field Regt. Has a list for George McLean (passed it on).

John Plowman (Sandy Bay) was in 1/15th Recce Tp about 1954-60. Recalls driving John Drolz, Neil Macarthur-Onslow and Warren Glenny. Is also interested in possible Gallipoli trip in 2002. Would like to know if a video is available of first Reserve Forces March, (ph 04 1490 5225).

George McLean (Guyra) commented on the Neyle Kingsmill Cameron Bursary, which-he saw reported by the Armidale School.(see our item in snippets).

Ed Polley (Blacktown) confirmed that departed comrade Ken Dowton was a cook in B Squadron, saying they both were.

Bill Richardson (Arncliffe) says vascular problems in one leg restricts his walking now. Is ex-FHQ Troop B Sqn.

Rod Russell, formerly at Duntroon has moved to Annandale Qld.

Carmelo Scibberas (Wahroonga) was twice Chaplain to 1/15th, becoming Senior Chaplain (LtCol) to 2nd Div and now retired from Reserve Army after 18 years service. Is Parish Priest of Holy Name, Wahroonga. He enjoys the newsletter and is considering Gallipoli 2002, if it is on.

Joyce Sharpe (Gerringong) is still on the farm which Neil and she ran, It is leased out now. She enjoys being on the land.

Bob Stenhouse (Hornsby)is involved all day in pipe bands on Anzac Day.

Stewart Thompson (Tennyson) said that in the Federation Parade 12 lighthorsemen wearing the 1st LH colour patch came from A Troop(Windsor/ Richmond) so named after the troop in that area in 1900. They were also in the Boer War Centenary Parade in Canberra.

Jack Thurbon (Goulburn) - keeps contact with Don Harrison, Adelong. Says both OK and sends regards to all.

Russ Townsend (Marrar) wrote from hospital in Canberra. Plans to sell his house and go to USA later on (maybe gone now?) Cheerio to all mates.

Grant Troup (Glenmore Park) was having a shoulder transplant.

Geordie Ward (Peakhurst) got newsletter while touring Australia. Met up with Percy White, Henry Wood, Ivan Bates and others.

Ted Waterhouse (Morphett Vale SA) also advised death of Bill Boyton.

Fred Wilkins (Earlwood) recalls being in 1 Tp A Sqn at Campbelltown in 1939 and at Walgrove in 40.under Fred Fitzsimmons. Joined 6 Div Cav, with whom he marches on Anzac Day, and is MC at their reunion.

Col Williamson (Bolton Point) sent a special cheerio to Tiger Colliss.

Some of the those also made nice comments about the newsletters, with thanks and good wishes. So did many others, as follows;-

Bill Armstrong, Bill Balchin, Vie Buttenshaw, Jim Caradus, Allen Chanter Allan Chapman, Les Chipperfield, Graham "Happy" Clark, Horrie Cross, Bill Cross, Mona Dalziell, Philip Edwards, John Emmott, Col Goodyear, Bill Halliday, Alison Hartridge, Ron Heath, J W Heath, Allan Howitt, Jim Heine, Geoff James, Norma Jamieson, John Kearney, Chris Lawley, Alf "Snow"'McEwan, Gordon Mackay, Albert Martin, David Meidling, Henry Mikel, Valerie O'Sullivan, Pat O'Toole, Ted Pearce, George Pennicook, Bill Philip, Jack Rolfe, John Roseby, Laurel Sharpe, Judy Spadaro, Arthur Standring, Allan Stewart, Ray Stone, Col Watson, Phil Wright.

Subsequently other much appreciated messages came, by letter and phone from Maj-Gen Warren Glenny AO RFD ED, George McLean, Geoff James, Bill Halliday, David Donald, Sorlie O'Brien, John Blackberry, Ron Davies (2/6th Armd Regt), Neville Kidd (1 Armd Bde ASC) and LtGen Peter Cosgrove AC MC, whose father was a former Lancers RSM.

 Snowy Baker go to top of page

David Craven Reports

A bit of history. Came across an item on famous old sportsman "Snowy" Baker, said to be Australia's best ever sports all-rounders who excelled in 26 disciplines. He was schools track champion at age 11, NSW swimming champion when 13, played Rugby Union for NSW at 16 and for Australia against Britain at 20 in 1904. At age 24 in 1908 at the Olympic Games in London, in the final of the middleweight boxing division he was beaten on points in a controversial decision by Johnny Douglas - whose father was the referee! They met later with Baker winning by knockout in round 2. One of Australia's best divers, he was also a leading still water and surf boat rower. Along with other sporting interests, in 1914 he bought Rushcutters Bay Stadium and became manager of boxing champion Les Darcy. In 1918 he was in film acting in Australia, and again in USA in 1920, where he lived and died in 1955 aged 69. This is a condensation of an interesting full page article with photographs. The point of the item is - to quote verbatim - "in 1902, Baker joined the NSW Lancers, becoming a sergeant. Not surprisingly, he excelled at military sports - fencing, shooting, tent pegging, and horseback wrestling, in which he won 25 competitions." So, quite a famous and unique person among our regimental forbears.

 Other Association Activities go to top of page

by David Wood, Lancer Association Committee Member

In the August 2001 edition of the Lancers' Despatch, I asked post war members of the Regiment for feedback on their preferred items of interest for this journal and their feelings regarding re-union activities.

Sadly I had only (4) four replies from members, it seems that there is an extremely poor lack of interest in the Association or the Regiment by most post war ex-members of the Regiment. Like the current serving members who are carrying on the Tradition and History of the Oldest Serving Regiment, it is also up to the ex-members to carry on the tradition of the Lancer Association.

Those who replied were Sid Lewis who now lives at Moram Creek NSW, Sid would be happy to have members who are travelling up the north coast to have a visit on their trip or have a chat, give Sid a call on 02 6629 8471.

Brian Staniland and Bob Gay who are locals around the Sydney area, both of these members have given their thoughts and the Committee will consider them.

From out of the blue I received a call from Ian “Jacky” Aiken who now lives in the Northern Territory. Ian had read the August 2001 Lancer Despatch on the Internet and after some searching gave me a telephone call, we like many other members from the Regiment had not been in contact for many years. Ian is now on the mailing list again with his new address, Ian can be contacted at the Palmerston RSL Club of which he is President, or at PO Box 995, Palmerston, Northern Territory, 0831.

Ian reminded me that Ron “Buck” Cullen is also a resident of the Northern Territory, I am sure that he would also welcome a call on 08 8985 5074. So if any member is planning a visit to the Darwin area, give these members a call or look them up, I am sure they would both be pleased to see some old faces from the Regiment.

Bruce Gurton has also made the move to Foster NSW, trying the easy life whilst some of us are still working for a living, Bruce would also be pleased to hear from members visiting the Forster area, give him a call on 02 6555 7991.

It seems that with our members spread all over the country, there could be satellite groups of the Lancer Association, these groups could keep us informed with local events, and as suggested by Sid Lewis we could have some re-unions in the country areas.

My offer is still open to all members to keep us up to date with your ideas and suggestions on what type of material we can provide in this journal. Also any ideas for re-unions, or information on members “ Good, Bad or Indifferent” in an effort to create more interest in the Association Activities.

The Regimental Church Parade will be held on Sunday, March 03, 2002, it would be good if a few more ex-members could turn up and support the Regiment, I am sure the serving members would make you welcome.

On ANZAC Day, there has been an increasing group of post war members marching with the WW2 members building up the ever decreasing numbers, a regular over the past couple of years has been Jim Squires who has travelled up from Croydon in Victoria where he now lives. Jim I am sure would also be pleased to hear from members, give him a call on 03 9723 6681.

ANZAC Day this year will be as normal and the march will be held on April 25th 2002, with the forming up point being the corner east of Pitt Street in Hunter St, at 0845 hrs for 0900 hrs, this year we hope to see many more new faces.

Anyone wishing to make a comment or contribution can contact me via mail to the Lancer Association PO Box 4171 Parramatta NSW 2124 or on home Email

 The Canberra Reserve Forces Day, Sunday 1 July 2001 go to top of page

David Craven Reports

On a cool but sunny day, the ceremony at the Australian War Memorial .was well attended by about 200 former Army Reserve members, numbers down a bit on last year. After forming up, a short march into the Memorial to line both sides of the Pool of Remembrance for the Service, conducted this year by a RAN Chaplain. The Principal Guest was Chief of- Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barry AO who gave the address. A number of military, community and parliamentary VIPs were present. It all went well.

With Harry Britten and Alan Chanter unable to make it, Bert Castellari and David Craven represented our Association also Allan Chapman of Goulburn, a post war member who joined the Lancers on 1st July 1948, which was day 1 of the post war Reserve Army. Only a few were wearing WW2 medals, quite a number from Vietnam. Several banners of National Service Association groups were there, and having no particular lot to join we got in with those behind the Canberra banner. Afterwards, at the Army Reserve depot, a get together with drinks and sausage sizzle lunch. Met and chatted with interesting people and glad we went.

 Commanding Officer's Message to the Regiment go to top of page

Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Higgins RFD
Re-Printed from "The Lance" December 2001 (with permission)

2001 has been a challenging and busy year for the Regiment, but through your hard work, we are on a significant growth curve - our strength is now well over the 200 mark, next target 250. This success has enabled us to man A Squadron with three, 6 AFV troops which gives us a real capability.

I am also delighted to announce the raising of B Squadron, based on Canberra and Goulburn. We have now secured a depot and commenced parading in Goulburn; I plan to start parading the Canberra Troop before the end of this year.

Our recent AFX at Shoalwater Bay was an educational experience for us all and the success of our Crew Commander and Driving & Servicing courses at Puckapunyal showed that the Regiment has the capacity to conduct high quality armoured training.

The changes that I mention require a reorganisation of senior personnel and the following postings are to occur:

MAJ Rob Lording is posted to IOC and will be replaced by MAJ Mark Gibson as the Regimental 2IC

MAJ Mike Kalms has already taken command of A Squadron
CAPT Dean Godfrey is appointed Officer Commanding, B Squadron
CAPT Greg Barter is appointed Officer Commanding, C Squadron
CAPT Scott Francis is appointed Officer Commanding, Combat Services Support Squadron
MAJ Iain Adams is to raise the Strategic Recruiting Cell

I know that you will serve these officers well and congratulate them all on their new postings.

To the partners and families who support us; my sincere thanks. Without your continued support, the Regiment would not be the strong unit that it is today.

In 2002, we are going to change the way that we serve. Based on the results of the survey that was conducted by the Project Team earlier this year, I have introduced the 9 day block, designed to optimise our training time. This style of service will allow you to achieve much more in the time you serve but will also give you more free weekends. For those who cannot serve under this system, regular weekend training will still be available. No member of the Regiment will be disadvantaged by this new method of service.

Have a safe and enjoyable Christmas.

 Gallipoli Visit go to top of page

Major Mark Gibson
Re-Printed from "The Lance" December 2001 (with permission)

Some time ago, the CO tasked me to arrange for a group from the Regt to visit (or in some cases re-visit) Gallipoli and the surrounding area with the aim being to deepen members understanding of what happened there, in both the more general ANZAC sense and the specific actions involving the Regt.

I have received some expressions of interest and I’m sure that some of these may have been adversely effected by the events of Sept 11 this year.

The purpose of this article is to re-confirm some information issued to Squadrons earlier this year about the trip and to start to firm up the list of those who wish to go

The proposed itinerary is as follows:

19 APR 02 Depart Sydney (Sydney – Singapore- Istanbul)
20 APR Arrive Istanbul (1930 local time)
21 APR Free time
22 APR Tour of Istanbul
23 APR Transit to Chunuk Bair and local accommodation
24 APR Tour / TEWT of Ari Burnu, Quinn’s Post, The Nek, The Chessboard, Chunuk Bair, Sulva Bay and Cape Helles
25 APR Dawn Service at Ari Burnu, Noon service at Lone Pine. Depart for Bursa (perhaps time to visit Troy)
26 APR Transit Bursa to Istanbul (Spice Market and Grand Bazaar)
27 APR Transit Istanbul – Sydney
28 APR Arrive Sydney

The total planned cost for the trip is $3,800.00. The deadline for Regimental Members was 9 December 2001. Should any association member wish to be part of the tour, please contact the Regiment 02 9635 7822 and leave a message for Major Gibson or contact him directly on .

 Squadron Reports go to top of page

Re-Printed from "The Lance" December 2001 (with permission)

Combat Support Squadron - MAJ Iain Adams

The aim of CSS in 2001 was to provide combat service support to the Regiment. This included quartermaster, cooking, clerical, medical, maintenance and repair, command and control and transport. Much of our work is to respond routine and often adhoc taskings. This we did.

However, our main focus was to meets the CO's objectives set out for us. They were to ensure that the Regiment had:

Vehicles and equipment that were serviced;

People that were suitably current in weapon skills and medically and physically fit for deployment;

Sabre elements that were re-supplied in barracks and field;

An Echelon manned with people who understood their tactical and technical roles and deployed over 1000km to AFX as a viable tactical entity;

Sufficient trained B vehicle drivers; and of course

An echelon group that was rewarded with a challenging Adventurous Training activity.

CSS exceeded its objectives in 2001. This was despite being significantly undermanned, and losing the Artificer Sergeant Major (ASM), ARA RAEME advisor and SSM early in the year and the 2IC later.

This may well be the year that is remembered as the year that CSS:

Drove over 1000km in its deployment to SWBTA,

Supported the Sabre elements over many tens of kilometres,

Dug in and camouflaged itself so as to have reconnaissance helicopters struggle to find us; and

Successfully defended itself against low level ground incursion.

Specific thanks goes to (but is not limited to):

WO1 Kevin Hobbs: For ensuring that the Regiments "A" vehicle fleet achieved its highest level of availability in memory;

SGT Paul Harris: For accepting the mantle of ASM and keeping Tech Spt on track;

TPR Brian Hackland: For accepting his tireless work on the bulk refueling TPA on AFX;

SGT Graeme Hellwig: The level of technical support was such that the comment was overheard that "This is the 1st time in my career that the Regiment has returned from an AFX with more functional / serviceable radios than it started with." Well Done Graeme!

WO2 Brice Rawson: For accepting the mantle of SSM with little notice but considerable success;

TPR Higginbotham: For his energy, totally positive attitude and belief in the Regiment;

WO2 Greg Baker: For accepting the role as the Chief Instructor of the 1/15 RNSWL B Vehicle Course in both 2001 and again in 2002; and

CPL John Van Gelderen: For his tireless efforts on AFX and 17 good years with the regiment.

A Squadron - MAJ Mark Gibson

A Squadron started the year at a fairly low ebb, we hadn’t been near an A vehicle for the last half of 2000 as 2nd Division‘s focus became the then upcoming Olympics. Soldiers put down their rifles, maps and compasses and took up fluro vests and search wands. Many members of the Squadron were employed in the Operational Search Battalion for 2 weeks or more during the events themselves.

As a result of this necessary change in focus, many of our vehicle and reconnaissance skills were left dormant and this was the challenge that presented itself to us in 2001. We needed to re-focus the Squadron on more conventional military skills, rebuild the Squadron from the departures we had seen post Olympics (to either the Army’s full time component or “life beyond the Regiment“). On top of this the Squadron had to come to grips with a new OC and SSM.

These challenges were addressed by a return to regular vehicle servicing (as part of the training regime), using a training plan based on progressive weekends (the skills re-learnt in one weekend became the foundation of the next weekend’s training) and implementing Mission Command throughout the Squadron (where Officers and NCOs within the Squadron were given more latitude in how they achieved results but were responsible for achieving the goals set).

This approach was complemented by support from RHQ and CSS in the form of the RTA, Training staff and the Regimental servicing period. By the time AFX arrived the Squadron’s tech state was very good and we had consolidated our RAAC skills (albeit at a fairly base level). We had also done very well in terms of AIRN compliance.

Unfortunately I was directed to conduct the courses component of AFX at Puckapunyal and did not have the opportunity to command the Squadron during its deployment to Shoalwater Bay training area (SWBTA). However the feedback I have received indicated that the exercise proved challenging (in various ways) and that most members enjoyed the deployment away from the usual exercise locations.

Lest you think those who went south did less work than those who went north, it should be noted that between the various ROBC courses run during the year and the two courses run whilst the Squadron was at SWBTA, A Squadron is now able to field a tactical HQ (Tasked by both RHQ and SHQ) and three, six vehicle, recon Troops (3 Tp will not be full strength until early next year).

A short Courses Camp aside - If you have TPR Coyne in your Troop, beware! During his two BattleRuns, he believed that the enemy was too easy and using his own initiative upgunned them from BRDM-2 and BTR-70PB to T-72 and BMP – he obviously sets high standards for himself and those around him. During his debrief I pointed out to him that while he may be happy to advance against these vehicles he might find himself all alone as the rest of his Troop (and perhaps the Squadron) uses him to make sure they achieve a clean break!

The last major activity planned for this year is the Adventure Training. Unfortunately the recent overseas events have impacted on the planned activities and the Squadron staff is currently working on a contingency plan which will provide challenging training (albeit different to what was previously planned).

2002 brings some changes to the Squadron. You should be aware that I’m off to RHQ as the Regimental Second in Command and I’m replaced by MAJ Mike Kalms (previously OC C Squadron). MAJ Kalms is an excellent officer and has experience following in my footsteps. Rumour has it that he doesn’t mind a beer or two once the work is done! CAPT Scandurra is off to CSS (replaced by CAPT Jozwiak), as is Admin Troop and that LCPL Wilson is off to C Squadron to assist with instructing. I’m sure you will also make SGT Donlon (and his pet ACV) most welcome.

I’ll look forward to observing the Squadron’s continued progress throughout next year and not just via SITREP’s at RHQ. MAJ Kalms has invited me back to assist with the training on an “as required basis“ so don’t be too surprised if I climb onto your vehicle during a weekend!

Where does the Squadron go from here? Now that the foundation has been laid, it is up to YOU the members of the Squadron to maintain the momentum. You need to ensure that not only you but the other members of your crew and Troop continue to parade regularly. It is only through maintaining this “critical mass” that you can go on to more interesting and challenging levels of training. A Squadron is no longer the sole focus for recruiting (the Regt now needs to look at building up both CSS and B Squadron as well) so you should not assume that anyone who goes missing from your Troop will be automatically replaced. Troop manning and effectiveness is not just your Troop leader or Troop Sergeant’s problem it is a joint responsibility shared by everyone within a given Troop.

I’d like to again thank you all for your work and support throughout 2001 and wish you and your families a most enjoyable and safe break before you return to put your nose against the grindstone again next year.

C Squadron - MAJ Mike Kalms

2001 has been an excellent year for C Squadron. To gain a perspective on the results generated by in 2001, here are some statistics.

Manning at the end of the year - 75 personnel all ranks

Courses conducted in 2001 - 12

IET students panelled on a C Squadron course in 2001 - 150 personnel

IET graduates in 2001 - 12

Much of the effort expended in 2001 is yet to be realised by the Regiment, there are 50+ soldiers in Recruit and IET Troops currently, and these are set to graduate to A Squadron and CSS in 2002.

The primary reason for this success is simple - dedication to duty by the instructional staff. In this I must particularly single out the efforts of the SSM C Squadron, WO2 Sly who has been a regular attender and tireless performer in support of our operational objectives, but also socially with his work on the Regimental Ball and Sergeants Mess. Along with WO2 Sly, the 2IC CAPT Gwynn-Jones must be applauded for his foresight and attention to detail in the administration of the Squadron. Singling out individuals for praise in what has been an excellent team effort is always dangerous, but all the instructors deserve special mention for a terrific years service.

Well done.

Promotional highlights for the year include: the posting on promotion of WO2 Collyer to APA as a soldier career adviser following many years of service to the Regiment, and the promotion of CPL Sinnett following his return to the Regiment following active service in East Timor. Well done to both, very much deserved.

Finally, C Squadron is well set to continue on its upwards path as a new OC, CAPT Barter and 2IC, CAPT King are posted in. Both are excellent hands that come with good reputations and plenty of energy, I ask all the soldiers of C Squadron to give their full support to the new leadership team. Importantly, the SSM and all the senior instructors are staying on, ensuring continuity. A new Radio Package Master will arrive/return at the beginning of 2002. SGT Chris Guest is a familiar face to many at the Regiment and will be warmly welcomed back by his colleagues.

Enjoy your break over Xmas, spend time with your family, stay fit, and see you back in uniform in 2002 for another year of challenge, achievement and learning.

The Regimental Band - SGT Steve Wood

The Regimental Band of the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers conducted its Annual Band Camp at Randwick Barracks during the period SAT 07 JUL 01 – SAT 21 JUL 01.

The Camp was a resounding success and all objectives were met. Training focussed on the key aspect of “teamwork”, which resulted in substantial improvements in all areas of the Band’s performance. MAJ Rugers’ (OC UNSWR Band) considerable knowledge and experience in this regard assisted the Band greatly in many areas.

Accommodation was located at Randwick Barracks, situated in Avoca Street, Randwick, with Band rehearsal and administration facilities co-located in the Conference Centre.

With the actual physical change in the Band’s Corps status from RAAC to AABC imminent, Band Camp was seen as an ideal time to attempt to update the Band’s Ceremonial uniforms and equipment to reflect the change. This resulted in 10 Band members being measured for new tailored Band Ceremonial Whites during Band Camp, and the issuance from the Clothing Store of new AABC accoutrements in anticipation of the target date for the Band’s Corps “change”, since having occurred on 01 AUG 01.

SUB 2 SGT (AABC) training was conducted for CPL Wood and CPL Crellin. CPL Wood has since been promoted to SGT, on 27 OCT 01.

As stated, training concentrated on team skills, with a large inward focus adopted in view of recent changes the band had undergone. As such, team skills in drill and concert performances saw significant improvement over that which has been achieved in previous years. Many new tunes were rehearsed and added to the Band’s play lists.

On FRI 13 JUL 01 the Band travelled to Lone Pine Barracks, Singleton, to rehearse and perform with Australian Army Band Newcastle (AABN). The Band performed in an IET March Out Parade at Lone Pine Barracks, and then travelled to Muswellbrook to perform in a Combined Concert at Muswellbrook Workers Club, also with Muswellbrook Shire Band. On parade, Band members were much improved in their Band drill movements and music performance with AABN. At Muswellbrook Workers Club, the Band excelled in their performance standard, to such an extent that members of AABN and Muswellbrook Shire Band congratulated Band members individually and collectively on the their performance. It was the teamwork and dedication to the task by all members of the Band that enabled the performance to be the success that it was, and a benchmark for future performances.

This Band Camp was my first as Bandmaster following my return to the Regiment, and was more than extremely successful, with all Band members assisting greatly in their dedication and support of all activities. My thanks to MAJ Rugers and WO1 Beavis, and to members of 23 Fd Regt Band, for joining and assisting us during Band Camp.

 K Troop go to top of page

James Butler Reports

The Century of Federation year has been a busy one for K Troop with attendances at events averaging one every three weeks. The major event the troop attended in the second part of the year was at Fox Studios in Sydney (the former RAS showground). The event was the annual fund raising dinner for the Sydney Theatre Company held in the old show bag pavilion. Wendy Harmer was the MC for over 1,000 guests including Bob Carr MP, Dick Smith and Quentin Tarantino (director of Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown). K Troop led the Grand Parade of the Century consisting of hundreds of performers right through the diners. The parade consisted of icons from throughout the last century from bushrangers to lifeguards. The diners were surprised when three horses and riders with lances, sabres and rifles and in full uniform rode right past their tables. Schoolgirls with streamers and flags flanked both sides of the procession and stirring music filled the air. The horses were on their best behaviour and really set the scene for the procession.

The troop has nearly expended the Federation Grant and is currently working on finishing as many of the uniforms as possible with buttons and badges and other small items. The saddlery is nearly complete and it is surprising the amount of space a fully equipped cavalry troop takes up.

The Christmas fires have taken their tolls but luckily the troop horses where not injured, the fire came right up to the fence on three sides of the property at Penrith but could not take hold on the horse paddock. The air force paddock a few kilometres down the road was completely burnt out so it was lucky the horses were evicted from there after all, as we may have lost the whole herd.

 New Publications go to top of page

Two New Publications have become available that might be of interest to those interested in the history of the Regiment and the Armoured Corps.

The Featherbed Soldiers - The New South Wales Lancers in the Boer War 1899 - 1902

This history by Neil Smith and Cameron Simpson is well written. It details the involvement of the Regiment in the South African War. The book goes into the internal politics in rather more detail that the Regimental History, in particular the opinions of the then Trooper Hugh Vernon of the Officers and Senior NCOs. Covers the death of Corporal Fred Kilpatrick, and the non-award of a VC to Trooper Tom Morris. The maps are well drawn and of excellent quality. There are a number of photos. A detailed nominal roll with much biographical and service information is also appended.

To obtain a copy contact: "Mostly Unsung Military Research and Publications, LPO Box 7020, Brighton VIC 3186, Phone/Fax 03 9555 5401, EMail:". The cost is $30.00 plus $3.00 postage and packing to Sydney.

Tank Tracks
David Craven Reports

History of 2/4th Armoured Regt. Gordon Yabsley. editor of their quarterly newsletter "Keeping in Touch", recently organised a reprint of their history, of 152 pages, which was first published in 1953. None have been available for years. Gordon ordered 230 from the printer, and all have been sold @ $20"each including 12 to some of our members who heard about it. A further re-print is possible but only if he receives further requests for a copy to make a further minimum order of 50. It is absorbing reading, tracing the formation of the regiment in 42 and its training and operations in New Guinea and Bougainville in 1944-45. It was a kindred unit of our own in 4th Armoured Brigade, with interesting experiences, and of course the sentimental link is that they took over our A and C Squadron tanks at Madang when we returned to Australia. They got new names and markings so can't be identified with ours.

It obviously interests members of 2/4th and their families more than others, but since the only publicity was in their newsletter, possibly some of our readers might like a copy if it again becomes available. If another reprint proceeds, we'll give details in a future newsletter.

It would help if anyone interested contacts: David Craven (02) 6288 6468, 5 Burrendong St, Duffy ACT 2611.

 Departed Comrades go to top of page

David Craven et al Reports

Since the Lancers' Despatch issue no 1 of August 2001, we have heard of the deaths of the following:-

WILLIAM (BILL) CONNER on 28.11.00, aged 77. After our newsletter, his son Greg said Bill died in Bowral of a heart attack. Our service file shows he joined us at Rutherford in December 41 and served in New Guinea and Borneo as a tank crew member of 1 Tp A Sqn. Although not at reunions for many years and living near Kempsey, he was in contact,

ALBERT NICHOLS . Listed in Last Post of RSL "Reveille" of July/August 01. Our service record file shows Albert was born on 23*9.23 and joined the regiment on 5.5.42, and apparently was a cook in C Squadron, serving in New Guinea and Borneo. He wasn't on our roll and it is unlikely there has been any contact in over 20 years. Maybe some readers remember him,

WILLIAM BOYTON of Broulee, on 3.2.01, aged 78. Living at Wagga, Bill initially joined 21st Riverina Horse in 1940, then the AIF in 41 to 2/6th Armoured Regt, serving in their New Guinea operations in 42. At war's end he joined BCOF with three periods in Japan in 1st Aust Armoured Cavalry Sqn. He returned to Australia in 1948, having transferred to the Regular Army while in Japan, with the unit re-named later as 1st Aust Armoured Regt. After three years with 12/16th Hunter River Lancers later on, he joined the 1st/15th in 1957 as a W02 and was for some time RQMS. He later transferred to Reserves, with final discharge in 1971. When he left the Lancers, or his subsequent unit if any is not known. Before moving from Belmore to Broulee in 1995, Bill regularly attended the pre-Anzac gatherings at the Armoured Corps Club, and reunions of the 2/6th Armoured Regt. He- will be well remembered by their members as well as some of our postwar members of the 50s and 60s. (Some of the above was kindly supplied by his widow Val Boyton with a generous donation. We are grateful for both.)

MERVYN TACON of Curl Curl. In "Reveille" of Sept/Oct 01. Merv was a tank crew member of 3 Tp A Sqn in New Guinea but left the regiment before Borneo. Although on our roll he hasn't been in contact for years. Post war he was in the NSW Police.

MERV LUSTY of Randwick 1 January 2002. Merv served as loader operator with 3 Troop B Squadron in Balikpapan. Merv was known as the alert guard that shot Bernie Johnson in the foot when Bernie failed to react to Merv's command to halt. Bernie was returning from a troop leaders' meeting. Just as Merv called out, Bernie slipped on the track. Merv interpreted the sharp movement as the action of an enemy and fired. Merv never married. He lived a quiet life, living with his mother then after she passed away, with the Hill family at Randwick. (Thanks to Hugh Clark for this info.)

MAJOR GENERAL JOHN KELDIE. AO MC - in July 01. An Honorary Member of the Lancers, he served in Armour in Vietnam, gaining his MC, and finally aecome GOC 2nd Division, to be followed by Major General Warren Glenny AO RFD ED. He was both Federal and State President of the Royal Aust Armd Corps Assoc in the early 90s. John Keldie was a guest at some of our Anzac Day reunions at the NSW Leagues Club, and was well known. liked and respected by our members. Norman Bent kept close contact with him, especially in his final years.

JOHN 0 SWELL of Noosaville, on, aged 83. After Militia service with a Light Horse unit he joined the 2nd AIF in November 39 with the low army no VX543, and served with 6th Div Recce Regiment in the Libya and Syrian campaigns. He was wounded in June 41, later re-joining the regiment, until finally coming to our 1st Aust Tank Bn AIF in 43, serving as Signals Officer and Troop Leader in C Sqn in the New Guinea Campaign* Our history tells that John remained at Southport after the regiment left for Borneo, as OC of 24 C Sqn members awaiting the modifications of 6 "hedgehog" tanks. Then instead of following the regiment, in July 45 the group joined 2/4th Armoured -Kegt in Bougainville. Post war he was involved in banking and real estate. Many C Squadron members will remember John, a well known and liked member. He was not on our roll and has had no contact in recent years. (Thanks to Fred Wilkins for this info.)

RICHARD STEELE of Banora Point, on 5.1.02, aged 80. Dick joined the Lancers on 19.5.40, and after promotions, was commissioned on 14.8.42. He was posted as Leader of 3 Troop A Squadron, serving in New Guinea and Borneo. In July 45 undetected Jap artillery at Manggar airstrip unfortunately put all three tanks out of action, with fortunately all crew members surviving, some wounded. Post war Dick was Manager of the cane processing mill at Condong, with he and Beryl living finally in retirement at Banora Point. He attended reunions of the Tweed Heads/ Gold Coast area armour group, initiated by Ron Pile and Merv Canham.

Dick's son David was one of the sons of proud fathers reported in newsletter 25. At the funeral service on 9.1.02, he and his brother Tony gave eulogies. Dick had an interesting life, was a gentleman, highly regarded and respected, helping people through Legacy and other ways. Frank Pederson and Gwen Chipperfield (representing Les) of the Lancers, and Aub Ducat and Col Turner, of other armour units, were at the funeral,

BRIM BUDDLE. His death on 20.4.01 was reported in the previous issue. We subsequently had word that fellow Lancers who travelled far and wide to pay respects at his funeral included Warren Glenny, Eric Drew, John McPhee, Dave Crisp, Ron Brettle, John Palmer, Gordon Ayres, Graham Hodge, Mike McConnell, Brian Brackenreg, Steve Hadfield, Mark Killick, Merv Cummings, Bob Gaye, Harry Crampton, Joe Tabone, Bob iverach. Ray Jones, Mark Gibson, Steve Dorrington, Phil Harris, Greg Wallace, Jim Scholfied, Greg Yovan, David Wood, Bill Mantweathers, Gordon Muddle, Rusty Gates, Terry Boardman, Seg Swadling, Helen Clarke, Martine Laverty, Dicky Paul, Harry Halleron, Brian Hagglin, Keith Hobbs, Bruce Gurton, Scott Terry, Ocker Keys, Tammy Cofax, Len Koles and others. As Len said, "I agree .with the words of the minister when he said that we are saddened by his passing but our lives are richer for knowing him." Certainly a tribute to the popularity of, and respect for a good mate. (Info from Len Koles.)

DON HARRISON of Adelong. A late entry, passed away December 2001. A much regarded wartime member of C Squadron, more information next newsletter. (Info from Noel O'Brien.)


 Acknowledgements go to top of page

We would like to acknowledge:

1. Those who contributed to the Lancers Association in 2001. The list below covers the period 1.2.01 to 31.12.01. With financial year ending on 31.1.02, the newsletter deadline was earlier. Some donations were very generous, and some were from widows and honorary members. The total of around $4500 was an excellent and appreciated amount, contributing to our satisfactory financial position. Detailed statements will be available to take at the AGM on Anzac Day, and any member can have one posted on request. Thanks again to the following , (with apology for any error or omission):-

Frank Aldous, Brian Algie, Bill Armstrong, Alan Aynsley, Bill Balchin, Ted Ballard, John Bartlett, Morry Bates, Ron Bath, Norm Bice, Bert Bigland, Ray Birks, John Blackberry, Tony Blissett, Michael Booth, Brian Bourke, Una Boyton, Bill Boyton, Jim Breakwell, Harry Britten, David Brown, Arthur Bulgin John Burlison Stan Butler Jim Caradus, Bert Castellari Allan Chanter Alan Chapman Jim Chidgey Les Chipperfield Stan Chivas Helen Clarke Happy Clarke, Doug Cliff, Tiger Colliss, Denis Comber, David Craven, Bill Cross Horrie Cross, Buc Cullen, Jack Curtayne, Trevor Darby, Jeff Darke, CS Davies, Stephen Day, David Donald, David Downes, John Drews, John Emmott, Ted Fallowfield, Doug Ferns, Cynthia Fitzsimmons, Koy Fogden, Geoff Francis, Tony Fryer, Jim Gellett, David Gendle, Doug Gilchrist, Gordon Glasgow, Warren Glenny, Enid Goodsir, Colin Goodyear, Ruby Graham, Norm Grinyer, Fred Grover, Bruce Gurton, Bill Halliday, Lindsay Hamilton, Alison Hartridge, Bobby Hayes, John Haynes, Geoff Haynes, Ron Heath, Lyn Heath, Jim Heine, Terry Hennessy, Alan Hitchell, Alan Hoad, Eric Holland, George Horsfall, John Howells, Alan Howitt, Hec Hewlett, Les Hughes, Bob Iverach, Geoff James, Norma Jamieson, Doug Jasprizza, John Kearney, Nev Kingcott, Len Koles, Jack Lamb, Chris Lawley, Geoff Lewis, Sid Lewis, Keith Linnert, Lee Long, Bob Lord, Jim Loughry, Ken Lowe, Bill Lynch, Gordon McKay, Ron McKenzie, Keiran MacRae, Paul Maile, Colin Markwick, Albert Martin, Joan McDonald, Alfred McEwan, George McLean, John McManus, David Meidling, Sam Mifsud, Henry Mikel, Fred Moir, Geoff Moran, Geoff Morris, Gordon Muddle, Carl Noble, Noel O'Brien, Pat O'Toole, Valerie 0'Sullivan, John Palmer, Ted Pearce, George Pennicook, Norm Pentland, Bill Philip, Doug Pinnington, John Plowman, Ed Polley, David Power, Bill Richardson, Bill Rokes, Jack Roife, Ron Rope, John Roseby, Doug Ross, Bert Roughley, Bill Roughton, Dick Sandry, Carmelo Scibberas, Laurel Sharpe, Joyce Sharpe, Bob Simpson, Jim Squires, Judy Spadaro, Arthur Standring, Bob Stenhouse, Allan Stewart, Ray Stone 'Ernie Syratt Dan Tesoriero Jack Thompson Stewart Thompson Jack Thurbon Grant Troup Brian Walters Geordie Ward, Colin Watson, Ted Waterhouse, Don Watson, Col Weir, Aubrey Wheeler, Fred Wilkins, Colin Williamson, Mick Wilson, Bruse Winter, Phil Wright. 2. Those who contributed to the Museum since 1 July 2001 (contributions to the Museum are TAX FREE, all contributors listed below will have received a receipt with this newsletter).

Bill Balchin, Ted Ballard, John Bartlett, John Blackberry, John Bollard, John Booth, Valerie Boyton, John Burlison, Lisa Cameron, Bert Castellari, Jim Chidgey, Denis Comber, Terry Couldwell, David Craven, Horrie Cross, Jeffrey Darke, Boyd Farlow, Cynthia Fitzsimmons, Ted Forsyth, Bruce Gurton, John Haynes, Chris Heath, John Howells, Les Hughes, Bob Iverach, Bernie Kestel, Jack Lamb, Fred Legg, Sid Lewis, Graham Lovegrove, Ken Lowe, Neil Macarthur-Onslow, Jean Macdonald, Ted Martin, Albert Martin, Mick McConnell, Joan McDonald, Geoff Moran, Keith Mountain, Marcia Newton, Valerie O'Sullivan, Earle Partridge, Joyce Peterson, John David Plowman, John Rodwell, Walter Smith, Arthur Standring, Bob Stenhouse, Ray Stone, Reg Swadling, Dan Tesoriero, Russell Townsend, Col Watson, Nick Weston, Glen Williamson, Phil Wright.

 Updating the Regimental History go to top of page

Len Koles

This is a call to the post war lancers to help with the up date of the Regimental history. The current edition covers the 1885 to 1985 period and I am now calling on post war lancers to dig deep and provide material, stories and photos from 1985 onwards. I am also seeking a number of volunteers to form a History committee which will review the information collected and help draft the new history. The committee will be chaired by John Palmer. Please send your contributions to John Palmer C/- The Museum 1/15 RNSWL Lancer Barracks Smith Street Parramatta. NSW 2150 or eMail .

 Coming Events go to top of page

The Regimental Dinner - 1 March 2002

If you were a Commissioned Officer make certain that you receive your invitation.

The Church Parade - 3 March 2002

At St John's Cathedral, Parramatta commencing 10:00 - all are invited to attend.

Anzac Day March 25 April 2002 - WW2 Regiment Party

Usual arrangements. Assemble in Hunter St, up from Pitt St, by around 09:00. Any post war members who join our party are asked to please march in the rear ranks and wear jacket and tie (preferably regimental) as our WW2 veterans do, and so help maintain a good standard of dress and march discipline.

Anzac Day March 25 April 2002 - Reserve Forces Party

As last year, form up in Philip St by around 10:30. Look for a Lancers banner. Our post war members of committee would also like to see a good standard of dress and so give a good impression to the watching public.

Annual Re-Union and Association Annual General Meeting - 25 April 2002

Again at Balmain Bowling Club. Bus 442 to Balmain leaves Queen Victoria Building York St half hourly. At time of writing (Dec 01), same as last year at 10:34, 11:04 etc, with returns from Bowling Club at 15:40, 16:10 etc For ferry times, please phone to inquire. Cost is again $23 covering roast lunch and drinks in the dry till period, and is unchanged in recent years despite cost increases. The Association covers the deficiency. Exact numbers are needed, so please book in. There are problems in arriving unexpected. Advance payment is preferred, and we refund cancellations if we are told. Please plan to sit with mates from whatever squadron, as in recent years. Please book by downloading, completing and posting the response sheet with your cheque prior to 1 April 2002. DOWNLOAD RESPONSE SHEET HERE

Timing The bowlers wreathlaying is at 12:30, with lunch at 13:00. No delays. Post war members arriving later after the Reserve Army's March will have lunch held. To help us know numbers for this please indicate on response sheet.

Annual Meeting Will be brief and interesting. Your chance for questions or to raise matters. We have a Toast to The Regiment, response by the CO, Silence for Departed Comrades, finance report and election of committee.

Invitation Interested wartime and post war members are welcome, with sons and sons-in-law if desired. Your annual chance to get together with old mates to share comradeship and good memories, with a few tall tales and tipples (as Terry Hennessy puts it).

The 2002 Reserve Forces Day Parade

The Reserve Forces Day Parade will be held in July 2002. Regimental Associations will be honoured and the parade will be rather more low key than 2001. All post war members can expect to receive a circular in June 2002 with the details.

 RAACA go to top of page

We posted a note in the last Lancers' Despatch 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.

© New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated ABN 94 630 140 881; Linden House, Lancer Barracks, 2 Smith Street, PARRAMATTA, AUSTRALIA
Postal Address: PO Box 7287, PENRITH SOUTH NSW 2750, AUSTRALIA; Telephone: +61 (0)405 482 814 Email:
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