The Royal New South Wales Lancers

Lancers' Despatch 6

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 6 - February 2004
Tilting at the Ring

Editoria The Museum  Balikpapan Campaign Graves  Cambrai Day Puckapunyal 2003  RAACA NSW Dinner 2003  New Defence Force Medal  Why so Late  Balikpapan Tunnels  Jungle Juice  Serving with Don Warham  A Far North Coast Reunion?  A Lancer From Canada  Filling the Gaps  Snippets  Departed Comrades  Coming Events  Thank You  Changed Details Anzac Day Reunion 2004  RAACA

 Editorial go to top of page

Bushmaster AMVThese are interesting times for our Military Forces and the Armoured Corps in particular. Our political leaders have, it would seem have accepted that armoured fighting vehicles are an essential element of the nation's ground forces. Modern ceramic armoured tanks, more light reconnaissance vehicles and upgraded armoured personnel carriers are to be obtained. These, however, are all destined for the regular army. Reserve armoured units are to be equipped with the Bushmaster AMV. The Bushmaster, although designated an armoured vehicle, is not designed to engage in close combat. It is, however, a very capable vehicle providing significant protected mobility to infantry either for tactical movement out of contact or in a peace support or counter insurgency role.

The regiment bade farewell in December 2003 to its Commanding Officer Lieutenant Colonel Wayne Higgins RFD, and the Second in Command Major Mark Gibson. Colonel Higgins period of command has seen a resurgence in regimental strength against a background of changing training requirements. Wayne deserves great credit for this achievement. Both officers have been supporters the Regimental Association and the Museum; we thank them and wish them well in their future careers.

We understand the new Commanding Officer is Lieutenant Colonel Brett Barlow, Brett saw service in the Armoured Corps when in the ARA. He is now a reservist and lives at Orange. The Second in Command is Major Peter Guides. Peter has seen long service with the Regiment and is certainly the only former Bandmaster to have risen to such an august height, congratulations Peter and well done. Welcome gentlemen we trust the regiment will prosper in your hands.

The Museum is still under security restrictions when it comes to visitors, and as such we are only able to open once a month. However, we have been able to make great strides with work on the collection, the accession database is up to date and the WWI and between the wars room is nearing completion.

The Association reunion will not be able to be held at the Balmain Bowling Club this year. The club is being refurbished. Instead, on Anzac Day we will be meeting on the ground floor of the New South Wales Leagues Club, 165 Phillip Street, Sydney. The Annual General Meeting will be held at 10:00 am Sunday 4 April at Parramatta RSL Club.

I would like to thank very much all who contributed to this edition of Lancers' Despatch. Of special note are the articles by Terry Hennessey. Our democracy exists because of the sacrifices made by those who held back the Japanese invasion 60 years ago. Those who fought will be gone in a few short years; only their recorded memories will remain; thanks Terry for adding to that store of recorded memory. Thanks also to the proof reading team of Bill Prosser and David A Brown. Just to note that David will be moving to the UK in two months for an extended stay and will be attached to C (Kent and Sharpshooters) Squadron of the Royal Yeomanry; thank you David for your service to the Regiment and assistance to the Association and Museum during your time with 1/15 RNSWL. Good luck with your career Move.

 The Museum go to top of page

The Museum has been the lucky recipient of a complete Light Horseman's uniform. The bequest came from Earl Partridge. Earl served in the 15th Light Horse prior to World War II and into the early years of the War. However, in 1942 when the Regiment became a full time part of the AIF, the government's manpower management authority ordered him back to the farm; Earl was the only son of a Farmer.

Earl Partridge in uniform 1939Earl's UniformEarl and Elsa Partridge 2003

Earl Partridge in his uniform, that of a Corporal in the 15th Northern Rivers Lancers in 1939. Earl's uniform. Earl with his wife Elsa in August 2003

Earl's cousin Frank won a VC on Bougainville during WWII, and was later famous along with Barry Jones as a brilliant television quiz show contestant.

When Earl left the Army, there was no paperwork that he can recall; he could still nominally be on the books. Earl's uniform is as it was on the day he left camp; complete with magnificent emu plume.

Earl's uniform will be displayed in full in the re-vamped WWI and between the wars room when it is complete later in the year.

The computer we use to run the accession database is showing its age. We are upgrading it, and obtaining the resources so that we can electronically manage the Museum's image collection on site.

The Mobile Museum at Brittfest 2003The Mobile Museum at Brittfest 2003

Bill Prosser and his team have taken the mobile museum out and about on a number of occasions in the past six months. The mobile museum gets a great reception wherever it is displayed. The mobile museum is available for community events. We do ask for a donation to cover the cost of fuel. Contact Bill Prosser to book.

Joe Tabone the PainterThanks to the multi-talented Museum Treasurer Joe Tabone the Museum Building's external woodwork is no longer deteriorating, Joe returned from a holiday visiting family in Malta late in 2003 to find himself temporarily unemployed. He filled in his time by giving the door and window frames a much needed coat of paint. Thanks very much Joe.

By the way, Joe started a new paying job in mid January.

 Balikpapan Campaign War Graves go to top of page

John Blackberry

Graves at Balikpappan

Further to my report in Lancers' Despatch of 2nd February, 2002 which gave details of the burial sites of our casualties further information was received by our Workshops mate in Victoria, Tracey Hatch.

Major Ryrie's graveTrooper Broome's graveTrooper Burton's GraqveTrooper Richardson's Grave

Photographs of the graves of Major Ryrie, Troopers Keith Broome, Wilfred Burton and Ray Richardson in Labuan War Cemetery are reproduced here. Labuan is a small island in Brunei Bay off the coast of North West Borneo. It can be seen that the cemetery, maintained by the Veterans Affairs Office of Australian War Graves, is, as usual, very well maintained. Corporal Athol Playford is buried in the Ambon War Cemetery in the Molucca Islands, but no photograph of his grave has been received. A few copies of the photographs are held if anyone would like to have one. (Phone (02) 9534 2353). Thanks again to Tracey Hatch for his efforts.

 Cambrai Day at Puckapunyal 2003 go to top of page

John Blackberry

On, or about the 20th November each year the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Association remembers the original Cambrai Day of 20th November, 1917, when 400 British tanks attacked on the Western Front in France, and all other armoured actions by Australian troops in World War 11 and later conflicts.

John Blackberry lays a wreath on the Regimental Memorial at Puckapunyal on 22 November 2003

The Victorian Branch of the R.A.A.C. Association mark the occasion by holding an annual dinner at the School of Armour at Puckapunyal and this year, on Saturday, 22nd November, 110 members gathered in the Officers mess for a most enjoyable evening and excellent dinner organised by Major John Baines, Major Peter Branagan, Major Paul Handel and W.O. 2 Joe Linford. Four veterans from the 2/6th Armoured Regiment attended - sadly only I represented the 1st Armoured Regiment. We were, as usual, treated with great courtesy by all. Wreaths were laid at our separate Regimental memorials in the Tank Hanger with a gathering of serving soldiers and Vietnam Veterans present. Once again, a memorable event at a most interesting venue where veterans are welcome and treated with great respect.

 RAACA Cambrai Dinner 2003 go to top of page

The NSW branch of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps Association NSW holds an annual dinner every year, open to all association members, it is a truly great occasion. In 2003 it was held at the Royal Automobile Club, Macquarie Street Sydney on 20 November, the guest of honour was the Head of Corps, Brigadier Justin Kelly AM. Brigadier Kelly gave an update of what is happening with the corps, including the qualities of the likely contenders for the MBT replacement. If you wanted a reason to join the RAACA, this is it.

The dinner was attend by a good mixture of serving and former members of the Regular and Reserve Armoured Corps who are now domiciled in Sydney. RAACA NSW membership is recommended to all current and former members of the corps (membership is free for those >75 - see the last article in this newsletter); attendance at this dinner, it will be on again in November 2004, is highly recommended.

At the 2003 RAAC dinner.At the 2003 RAAC dinner.

 A New Defence Force Medal - The New Medal Group go to top of page

Brian Walters

There has been some activity in recent months to lobby for the striking of a new defence force medal. The push for this has come from the New Medal Group, a sub committee of the RFD Council. This group is chaired by the dynamic Lt Col John Moore, OAM, RFD, ED. The most visible expression of this activity was a public meeting held in late November, 2003 - more on that later in this article.

Many people who have served in the various units of the defence force have no tangible recognition of their valuable commitment to the Australian community. Everybody who joins the defence force is well aware of the fact that they can be sent off to war. In September 2001 (and confirmed in 2003), the RSL National Congress took the initiative and passed a resolution to address this issue. The resolution essentially said that there should be a new medal for service in the Australian Defence Force that recognises a minimum of two years full time or part time effective service.

At present there are a number of anomalies in the awarding of medals. For example, the recent National Service Medal was awarded to men who had two years service. Many of these National Servicemen were trained by regular and reserve members of the Defence Force who have not received similar recognition. In the 1/15 RNSWL, there were many examples of men and women with part-time service that would exceed the service of the average National Servicemen and likewise received no recognition of their service.

The public meeting held at Paddington RSL Club on Friday, November 28, 2003. There were about 200 in attendance with the majority being past reservists from the Navy, Army and Air Force. A number of prominent community figures attended including Graham Edwards (the Federal Opposition spokesman on defence matters) and Rusty Priest (past President of the NSW R&SL). Needless to say, the mood of the meeting was overwhelmingly in favour of the issue of the new medal with just a few dissenting voices. It is fair to say that the Federal Labour Party is sitting on the fence while members of the Federal Liberal Party generally seem to be in favour of the medal. The major consideration is cost as there are likely to be about 600,000 recipients of the medal at a total cost of around $20 million.

This medal is not going to fall like manna from heaven, we need the support of everybody in the Lancers Association. You need to write to your local Federal Member - if you have not done this before, it's not so difficult and you generally get a good response. There are also proforma petition forms available if you get real enthusiastic where you can get signatures from interested friends and neighbours.

If you need any further help or information there is plenty available in various forms. Contact the Lancers' representative on the NMG - Brian Walters, on (02) 9659 0106 (home).

 Why so Late go to top of page

Terry Hennessy OAM

Several diggers have asked me why Matildas were not used in the Milne Bay and Buna campaigns.

The answer is simple, at the time there were no cranes available that could unload them. The Tillies were loaded onto and unloaded from ships by heavy lift cranes. The only port in Australia which could load and unload them was Sydney where a couple of privately owned floating cranes were able to do the job. There was no capacity to unload Matildas in New Guinea until the Americans mounted some 50 ton cranes on Liberty ships; but this was after Milne Bay and Buna.

Things are quite different now. I recently saw a 400 tonne mobile crane lifting huge tanks at the Bombaderry ethanol plant.

 Balikpapan Tunnels go to top of page

Terry Hennessy OAM

My first experience of Japanese tunnels occurred during the Balikpapan Landings on July 1st 1945. I was on on a Landing Ship Tank (LST) waiting our turn to run up on to the beach when a large shell exploded in the sea about 200 meters from us. A big puff of smoke from a small hill on the distant shore betrayed the presence of a large gun. The Australian Destroyer, HMAS Warramunga immediately surged forward, got between the heavily laden LST and the gun and fired a broadside which was deadly accurate. The whole of the hill front exploded. The gun along with its crew may still be in that hill.

Some of us from 209 LAD had been looking forward to a visit to the Manggar Airfield. The American Air Force claimed that they had destroyed several Japanese planes on the Airfield every time they had bombed it. When 3 of A Squadron's Matildas were barged around the river mouth and moved into line ready to lead the Infantry forward a large gun barrel emerged from a tunnel driven into a hill overlooking the Airfield. The gun opened up and destroyed the Matildas. History books claimed that the gun was protected by large steel doors fitted to the mouth of the tunnel and that the 2/5th Field Regiment gunners manhandled a 25 Pounder at night through the Jungle to a point opposite the big gun. At dawn next day they were reported to have opened up and destroyed the big fortress gun. The books are wrong. I was one of a party of LAD fitters who visited the site when the War moved on. There were no doors on the tunnel, never had been. As for the dozen wrecked planes, there were about 6 old wrecks sitting up on packing cases, minus wheels, engines and anything of value. The Artillery unit was the 2/6th Field Regt. My brother, Frank Hennessy was a member of the 2/6th at me time. The tunnel contained a large fortress type gun mounted on rails so that it could be moved forward to fire and back when not in action. It also contained the bodies of 22 Japanese gunners.

The third Tunnel I experienced was located on the opposite side of Parramatta Ridge to the LAD camp. We found the tunnel and decided to to investigate but as we had no torches we had to improvise and used rubber insulated cable to provide some light. Not being John Waynes we didn't race around the blast wall protecting the tunnel but set the cable alight and poked it in on the point of a bayonet. We then placed a hat on me bayonet and repeated the process finally we threw the burning cable in. There was no reaction so we slipped into the black silent tunnel. There were 7 Japanese soldiers in the tunnel, they had been dead for a long time, anything of value was long gone. The combined stench of the burning rubber and the dead bodies made us pleased to get out and into the fresh air.


We were pleased to get off the barges and the Americans were even more pleased to get rid of us. They didn't like sauerkraut so the piled it on to us; leaving us farting like forest donkeys. We were told that when the Yanks fled to safety they broke out the Turkeys and ice cream (all of which had been hidden from us) to celebrate their Independence Day on 4th July.

 Jungle Juice go to top of page

Terry Hennessy OAM

A Squadron was camped next to an Army Service Corps [ASC] Bulk Ordanance Depot (BOD) at Morobe. It was a pleasant place with absolute beach frontage. The sea was teeming with fish but we had no means of catching them. I was approached by a couple of "Grocers" from the BOD who wanted me to lend them my soldering gear. I was hesitant, Craftsman Geoff Black saw an opportunity; he kicked me in the ankle. I said "This blow lamp is fuelled with petrol. She's pretty dangerous. Can I do the job for you?" "O.K." they replied.

Geoff was first through the gate of the locked compound. The grocers led us to an efficient looking Still. It had been made from a jerry can containing fermented dried fruit. A tub of petrol soaked sand provided the heat source. A Jeep's hydraulic brake line had been formed into a condenser cooled by a water bath.

The connection between the jerry can and the condenser had come adrift. I quickly resoldered the faulty connection and just as quickly Geoff asked for a demonstration. The grocers fired up the furnace and after a few drops of spirits had been tasted and discarded as being "weak as piss" we waited until a steady flow of spirits entered the battered enamel mug. One of the grocers said "That shouldn't be too bad" and handed me the mug. I took a mouthful, big mistake, I should have noted the evil grin on his face. He said "Hows that?" I couldn't answer, tears were running down my face, my throat felt as though I had swallowed the hot solder, I couldn't even swear at my tormenter. Geoff grabbed the mug, took a cautious sip and grinned. We had not tasted alcohol since we had landed in New Guinea. When I could breathe again I asked "You don't drink that stuff do you?". "No way" was the reply. "We mix it with cordial and sell it to the Yanks at the PT base.

Our motive for helping out was not good will, we had been conducting night raids on the BOD and returning with cans of food. The problem was we couldn't read the labels in the dark of night and some times we ended up with beetroot instead of peaches. The secret agent type reconnaissance performed during the soldering job left us with a clear picture of where the best pickings were.

 Serving With Don Warham go to top of page

John Plowman

Thank you for notifying me Donny had fallen of the perch. I was taught to drive by Don in an old White Scout car with a crash box down the back of Rosehill in the dark when I was doing my time as a "Nasho" member of the CMF. He used to stand next to me hanging onto the wind screen calling out directions as we went. He used to have a spanner in is his hand with which you copped a tap on your knee if you missed a gear or crashed the box. Needless to say I received quite a few taps on the knee but it soon encouraged me to become a better driver! I sometimes wonder whether the need for a knee replacement started then. I ended up with my G4?? and licenced to drive White APCs, "Doodle Bugs", Ferrets, 1 ton and 3 ton trucks.

I finally bought a 1937 Morris 8/40 Tourer (held together by the canvas roof) for 225 pounds. I had to sit for a civilian licence and failed because I put the front wheels just over the line at the stop sign on Pitt Street hill near PHS. Not to be outdone I took my army licence in was immediately issued with a "C" class licence which I still have as purple Class 5 licence.

Don was a sergeant in what became "Recce" Troop and of which I was a member for some 6 years. We went from White APCs to Ford "Doodle Bugs" and finally Ferrets in which we did a number of Governor's escorts after much painting of white wheel nuts. OCs of our troop in my time were John (Drolzy) Drolz, "Cowboy" MacArthur - Onslow (with pistol strapped to thigh), Warren Glenny and Graham Hodge. There was one Trooper in our troop, the rest of us were corporals who didn't want to advance any further as we had such a good time and didn't want to be transferred out. The poor old Trooper certainly gained great dexterity with a broom as he was the only one with the rank to push it. I can only remember a few of the personnel, Arthur Tidyman and "Dutchy" Holland come to mind. I remember when we were on a wireless exercise in the Mansfield area the only time I have seen a "Pioneer" Bus take to the scrub when 6 Ferrets were heading towards it at 70 MPH.

I have often wondered what has happened to my companions of that time and was only thinking of Don recently. Please convey my sympathy to his family and friends and would have attended his funeral if I was still in NSW.

 A Far North Coast Reunion? go to top of page

Sid Lewis

Just a line from an old Lancer to say how much I enjoy getting Lancers' Despatch.

Living on the far North Coast you lose contact with old comrades. I have written to Dave Wood with copies of Lance Point and also know that John McPhee has a large folder of Bruce Sawyer cartoons and stories which I loaned him many years ago. I have enclosed a copy of a Bruce Sawyer record of a 1971 Sergeants' Mess train trip; it brings back a few memories.

A cartoon by Bruce Sawyer

As there are quite a few old Lancers dwelling on the far north coast, I wondered if a reunion over a weekend would be possible at either Port Macquarie or Coffs Harbour, Most of us look at Sydney traffic on the box and have no wish to increase our blood pressure by mingling with it. Incidentally please remember me to those who I served with; I often reminisce to myself about happenings during my service.

If anyone from the Regiment comes up the coast, we are only 10-15 minutes off the highway at Wardell.

A bed, a beer and a feed are available. I would suggest a 'phone call in case we are in town or travelling (09) 6629 8471, late afternoon is best if we are down the paddock we do not hear the 'phone.

Editor's Note:- The above is an amalgam of two letters received in 2001 and 2003, sorry Sid, I am not the best of snail mail correspondent and usually do not get around to acknowledging correspondence that does not arrive electronically.

 A Lancer from Canada go to top of page

Lieutenant Colonel Adrian Tatarinoff CD SJM GJM (Retd)

Colonel Tatarinoff's LancerOver 40 years ago, I was a Trooper in the RNSWLancers. Of course, I still have many wonderful memories of those days; would you please therefore accept this little offering to the Museum from a nostalgic Lancer? For a number of years, I have been making tin/lead soldiers as a hobby, including the RCMP "Mounties"; it suddenly struck me that, with a little modification, I can make a Lancer just as easily! I based my model on the photo opposite page 37 of P:V. Vernon's "THE ROYAL NEW SOUTH WALES LANCERS 1885-1960"; Halstead Press, Sydney 1961. I had to guess the colour scheme and do hope I got it right! Two things worry me: first, I hope he reaches you safe and sound (I use "crazy glue" or "super glue" for repairs) and secondly if the Museum does not need him, could you please pass him on to some lad as a toy soldier?

Just a short note to thank you very much for the figurine ... (it) arrived in excellent condition, as can be seen from the attached images. As far as I can work out you got the details perfect. Making the black cock’s plume out of black fishing line was a great touch.

The Museum already has a collection of lead models of the mounted band, and this model would go well with that; it will be on display within a couple of weeks. ...

Glad to hear from you, hope you enjoy our newsletters. (Reply by Museum Secretary)

Thank you ever so much, first of all, for giving my little Lancer a home in your museum. ... Please keep me posted with your newsletter; it's great!

Editor's Note:- We have also been in contact with John Upton. John also migrated to Canada after serving in the Regiment. He now spends the southern summer on the Gold Coast and the northern one in Vancouver.

 Filling the Gaps go to top of page

Hugh Clark et al

Moratai bound

You will recall the article submitted by Hugh Clark in the issue before last (February 2003) Newsletter. It was about the photo above taken on the USS Carter Hall, a liberty ship bound for Moratai after the Millen Griffith another liberty ship ran aground at Finschaffen.

Standing at the rear is Eric McGuire, next line down is Les Cullen, Bill Carey, Craig Wilson, Les Chipperfield, Pat O'Toole, John Hollis, Les Laverty, Hugh Clark, ?, Jack Mitchell, the two in front are Neil McDonald and Ben Bullen.

Les Chipperfield filled in one of the gaps last newsletter.

Ron Cullen wrote:

I have just been looking through February's 2003 issue of the Lancers Despatch. The photo on page 12 of the publication titled "Can You Fill the Gaps". The soldier standing on left of the long line of men looks very much my Father, Trooper Les (Skinny) Cullen. I can remember him telling me about the Liberty Ship running aground.

I have looked at some photos of Dad taken about the same time and I'm pretty certain that is him in the photo. Dad was a member of HQ Troop, "B" Squadron, at the Balikpapan landing. Wishing you and the other members of the association all the best.

Ron (BUC) Cullen
Nightcliff NT
29 July 2003

Editor's Note:- Ron is one of three generations of Armoured Corps soldier. Ron's father Les served with the Regiment in WWII, Ron with the Regiment and the HRL during the 1970s and 1980s, Ron's son Simon served recently with 1AR.

 Snippets go to top of page

David Craven


Subsequent to progress reports in Lancers Despatch of Feb and Aug 03 further orders were received and issued, the total becoming 109. After 1st September deadline the 13 spares were issued gratis to the Tank Museum and the Lancers Museum. A surplus of around $40 resulted, a good result. At the October committee meeting it was reported that our Museum receives inquiries and orders for the Lancers History through the internet. It was agreed that further copies can be printed and supplied of both this Ron Pile's, publication and also the earlier "Memories of 'A' Squadron" if orders are received by the Museum following some publicity.


This event, of special historical interest to all with some connection to our forebears of the WWl Light Horse, marks the famous and successful charge by 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments on 31st October 1917, and is held annually at the Mounted Corps Memorial in Canberra. This year's event was again well organised by Honorary Member John Munns of Light Horse Association, and was attended by a group of uniformed Light Horsemen and a small Honour Guard. In a simple ceremony tributes were paid to all Light Horsemen and their horses, and wreaths were laid.

We were represented by post-war 1/15 members Phil Chalker (Pres of Light Horse Association), John Palmer (laid our wreath) and Bob Stenhouse (gave the Ode). WW2 veterans were Bert Castellari and David Craven, with Harry Britten and Alan Chanter unable to make it. It was good to have John and Bob this year for first time. Local mate John Smith, of 2/4th Armoured, laid the wreath for 4th Light Horse. Others included Robert Morrison of RMC Duntroon, formerly of 8/13 Victorian Mounted Rifles. Next year's event will be 31.10.04. Any who can come are welcome.


Since Australians weren't involved with tanks in WWl, it was not until 1941, in Libya, that Australians used tanks in action for the first time. They were captured Italian Mils, and were used by 6th Division Cavalry Regiment, the group being led by Lt Fred Mulally (source "Cavalry News"). He became Major and led the 2/lst Armoured Brigade Reconnaissance Squadron of our 4th Armoured Brigade in the Balikpapan operations. As LtCol he became the second post war CO of the then 1st Royal NSW Lancers from 1.7.49 to 31.12.50.

The first Australian armoured unit into action was of course the 2/6th Armoured Regt in New Guinea 1942/43, with the Lancers being the second in 1943/44 in New Guinea.


Our Anzac Day March leader Ted Martin, now 87, and his wife Kath celebrated 60 years of happy marriage in August 03, a milestone not reached by many couples. Our congratulations Ted and Kath. Around then they did a car tour - Gosford, Bourke, Gulf of Carpentaria, Cairns and back to Gosford by inland route, covering 6500 kms, with Ted doing all the driving. Then in October John Blackberry joined them for another one - Gosford, Great Ocean Rd, through Victoria and outback NSW to Bourke, back to Gosford, covering 3500 kms. No sitting around long for this couple. Any other Diamond Weddings? We'd like to hear, and report them.


Almost all wartime veteran members are now OBE, but only two have gained the OBN (over bloody ninety). They are Norman Bent (d of b 28.6.10) and John Emmott (d of b 20.2.13). Our congratulations Norman and John. Next closest are Col Williamson (1914) and Norm Faull (1915).

 Departed Comrades go to top of page

David Craven (unless otherwise noted)

Since last issue of August 2003. we heard of the deaths of the following:-

GORDON DESMOND LLOYD (known as Des) was listed in RSL "Reveille" of July/August 03. Our service file shows he was born in June 1919, came from the 2nd Tank Bn in Feb 43, and was a corporal tank driver in C Squadron.

JAMES ROACH (known as Jim), date not known. The service file shows Jim was born in August 1923, joined us in Jan 42, and was also in C Squadron as a trooper tank driver. Both he and Des had service in New Guinea and Borneo. We have had no contact with either, at least in recent years.

HARRY MATTHEWS, on 17.9.03, aged 82. Harry came from ACTR in May 43, joining 3 Tp 'A' Squadron as a tank loader-operator serving in New Guinea and Borneo. At Balikpapan, all three tanks of the troop were put out of action by a concealed Jap gun at the Manggar Airstrip. Thankfully, all the crews survived, with about half being wounded, including Harry (for the second time). Peter Teague said he and Harry had a close post war association as students at Hawkesbury Agricultural College, graduating in agriculture, food technology and livestock. Both joined the NSW Dept of Agriculture in country postings. Harry went to India on a project under the Columbo aid plan, returning to the family farm near Griffith. For years, he and his wife June visited the NT Daly River where he fished for Barramundi He didn't come to reunions, and we lost contact in recent years. Peter said Harry was a competition tennis player.

RICHARD THURBON (known as Jack) of "Dundell" Kingsdale via Goulburn, on 1.12.03, aged 82. Jack came from 3rd Tank Bn in July 42, serving in New Guinea and Borneo with 'C' Squadron as a jeep driver. Through all the post war years he was a farmer. He didn't come to our Anzac Day reunions or other events but kept contact, especially with his local C Squadron mates. At his funeral we were represented by three of them - Doug Jasprizza, "Jeep" Jessop and Ted Fallowfield.

DON WARHAM served as an officer in the Regiment in the 1950s and 60s. His funeral WAS held at Castlebrook on 19 November 2003 and was attended by the Honorary Colonel Major General Glenny, Captains Mitchell, Hodge and Phillipson all of whom served with him. See John Plowman's article above to see what it was like to serve with Don. Many of us also served with Don's son Kel and extend our condolences. (John Howells reports)

BILL WHITE Mayfield Retirement Village, Gerringong. Died September 2003, survived by wife Dorothy and three children. Bill joined A Squadron 1st/21st Light Horse (New South Wales Lancers) at Parramatta in 1934. He transferred to the 2nd/1st Machine Gun Battalion at the outbreak of World War 2. (Terry Hennessey reports)

We also learnt that Mrs Marie Bruce, of Nambucca Heads, widow of former wartime RSM W01 Ken Bruce, died on 1.9.03. Ken died in 1978.

 Coming Events go to top of page

Regimental Birthday Weekend 5-7 March 2004

The Regimental birthday weekend will be celebrated on the 5-7 March 2004 .

The Officers' Regimental Dinner will be held on the evening of Friday 5 March 2004. If you held or hold a commission in the Regiment and have not received your notice, contact the Officers' Mess Secretary.

Museum Secretary, John Howells; Association Vice President, Ron Cable; Association and Museum President, Len Koles; and Association Treasurer, David Donald at the 2003 Regimental Officers' Dinner

Museum Secretary, John Howells; Association Vice President, Ron Cable; Association and Museum President, Len Koles; and Association Treasurer, David Donald at the 2003 Regimental Officers' Dinner

The Regimental birthday Church Parade will be held on Sunday 7 March 2004. As at the time of printing, the details about this event are yet to be decided by the Regiment. The probable venue will be St John's Cathedral, Parramatta but will need to be confirmed. More details will be available in February, 2004.

Bombaderry Armour Cavalry Reunion, Friday 28 May 2004

At Bomaderry RSL Club. An informal lunch get-together for some "tipples and tall tales" (as Terry says). Ladies and friends are welcome. For advice re travel, timing etc, for new starters, phone Terry Hennessy (02) 4421 0794. Past events have been enjoyed by all.

Regimental Association Annual General Meeting, Sunday, 4 April 2004

The Annual General Meeting of the Royal New South Wales Lancers Association will be held at the Lachlan Room, Parramatta RSL, Macquarie Street, Parramatta commencing 10:00 Sunday, 4 April 2004.

The Regimental Anzac Memorial Parade Tuesday, 20 April 2004

The arrangements are the same as for previous years. The ceremony starts around 2000 hours at Lancer Barracks. Once again, the Association has been invited to take part in the parade - any past members who intend to take part should be at the barracks by 1930 hours. Dress should be jacket, tie, beret and decorations. The invitation to watch the ceremony extends to any guests. Once again, the various messes will be open after the ceremony. The attendance at this ceremony has been declining in past years and hit a low in 2003.

Anzac Day Wartime (WWII) Contingent March Sunday, 25 April 2004

Assemble in Hunter St, up from Pitt St by 0900.

Anzac Day Reserve Contingent March Sunday, 25 April 2004

Once again, the same arrangements as for previous years. The forming up point will be the corner of Philip and Bridge Streets, Sydney - look for the Lancers' banner or the distinctive black berets. Try to be there by 1100 hours but the Reserve Contingent is well down the order of march and generally moves off around 1130 hours. Dress should be jacket, tie, beret and decorations. A very good standard of dress is expected on the day! Attendance in recent years has been steady but could be much better considering the numbers of post-war Lancers. Anybody attending is encouraged to go to the reunion after the march - details are shown below. In keeping with official RSL policy, children are discouraged from marching unless they represent a departed comrade.

Annual Reunion Sunday, 25 April 2004

It is regretted that due to the refurbishment of the Balmain Bowling Club and the late notice we received of this, it will not be possible for the traditional reunion wreath laying, luncheon and annual general meeting function to be held this year. Instead we will be holding the reunion at the Ground Floor of the New South Wales Leagues Club, 165 Phillip Street, Sydney. Members will be required to pay for their food and drink as required. It would be appreciated if you could complete and send the secretary the response sheet so that we can let the club know our numbers. A donation to the Association would also be appreciated. Note below gives full details.

Reserve Forces Day March Sunday, 04 July 2004

The forming up point will be Hyde Park, Sydney - look for the Lancers' banner. Try to be there by 1030 hours but the actual march generally moves off around 1130 hours. Dress should be jacket, tie, beret and decorations. This event has been taking place in various forms since 1998 and is slowly becoming an accepted part of both the military and social calendar. Attendances have been very good over the last four years with about 5,000 taking part in the 2003 march. A mailout to interested people is intended for May or June to get some idea of attendances on the day. As in past years, there will be an informal reunion at the NSW Leagues Club in Philip Street after the march which will be a good opportunity to catch up with old mates over a drink or two and have something to eat.

 Thank You! go to top of page

The following people contributed to the Lancers' Association in the year ended December 31, 2003. Many thanks to these people as we rely solely on their donations for the running expenses of the Association. The total was around $2,850 which is less than the previous year. Apologies to those that may have been missed and any spelling errors. As ever, there were a few donations that could not be identified for various reasons.

Armstong, Bill; Aynsley, Allan; Balchin, Bill; Ballard, Ted; Bates, Morry; Beardmore, Doug; Bigland, Bert; Blackberry, John; Bourke, Brian; Britten, Harry; Brown, David; Brown, David; Bulgin, Arthur; Burlison, John; Butler, Stan; Button, Rod; Cable, Ron; Caradus, Jim; Castellari, Bert; Chanter, Allen; Chivas, Stan; Clarke, Happy; Craven, David; Crisp David; Curran, Jack; Darby, Trevor; Donald, David; Drews, John; Emmott, John; Fallowfield, Ted; Faunt, June; Fitzpatrick, Frank; Fitzsimmons, Cynthia; Fox, Ethel; Frances, Geoff; Gendle, David; Giudes, Peter; Glenny, Warren; Goodsir, Enid; Gurton, Bruce; Halliday, Bill; Hartridge, Alyson; Haynes, Geoff; Haynes, Tony; Hennessy, Terry; Holland, Eric; Howells, John; Howitt, Alan; Howlett, Hec; Iverach, Bob; Jamieson, Norma; Jessup, Roy; Kearney, John; Kingcott, Nev; Koles, Len; Lamb, Jack; Lewins, Mike; Long, Lee; Loughry, Jim; Lowe, Ken; Lynch, Bill; MacArthur-Onslow Lady D.; MacKenzie, Ron; MacRae, Kieran; Martin, Albert; Martin, Ted; McDonald, Joan; McEwan, Snow; McLean, George; McManus, John; Mikel, Henry; Miller, Alex; Morris, Donald; Morris, Geoff; Newton, Marcia; Noble, Carl; O'Sullivan, Val; O'Toole, Pat; Onslow, Neil; Palmer, John; Pearce, Ted; Pentland, Norm; Poile, Archie; Rolfe, Jack; Roseby, John; Roughley, Bert; Sandry, Richard; Sharpe, Laurel; Speary, Brian; Standring, Arthur; Stenhouse, Bob; Stewart, Allan; Syratt, Ernie; Teague, Peter; Tesoriero, Dan; Thurbon, Jack; Troup, Grant; Walters, Brian; Watson, Colin; Willington, Mike; Wright, Phil.

The following also contributed to the New South Wales Lancers Museum:

Bill Balchin, David Ballard, Ted Ballard, Valerie Boyton, Jim Caradus, Bert Castellari, Alan Chanter, Alan Chapman, Ron Cullen, Christopher Dawson, David Donald, David Downes, Cynthia Fitzsimmons, Roy Fogden, Ian Frost, John Gates, Enid Goodsir, John Haynes, Lyn Heath, Kitty Hobbs, John Howells, Les Hughes, Honorary Secretary Ingleburn RSL Sub-Branch, Norma Jamieson, John Kearney, Neville Kingcott, Jack Lamb, Geoff Lewis, Sid Lewis, Lee Long, Jean Macdonald, Gordon Mackay, Joan McDonald, Alfred (Snow) McEwan, George B McLean, Sam Mifsud, Marcia Newton, George Pennicook, Howard Perkins, Les Perrett, Doug Pollard, Eddie Polley, David Power, Peter Quilty, Mike Ribot, Jack Rolfe, Ron Rope, June Simpson, Arthur Standring, Adrian Tatarinoff, Peter Teague, Dan Tesoriero, Stewart Thompson, John Upton, Don Watson, John Wilson, Phil Wright, Charles Zarb, Albert Zehetner.

 Changed Arrangements Anzac Day Reunion 2004! go to top of page

Reason for change

Early in January Balmain Bowling Club advised that the building works there have been slower than expected, and regrettably the Club will not be available for us on Anzac Day this year.

Action taken

John Blackberry promptly visited nine likely city clubs and hotels seeking an alternate suitable venue for a reunion - which unfortunately proved fruitless. Thanks John.


It was agreed by Anzac Day Sub-Committee that we go to the NSW Leagues Club in Philip St, as in past years. With no separate room or area available, this time we'll all go as ordinary visitors for an informal get-together in the big ground floor bar area. All drinks to be bought individually at the bar, and also lunch at the bistro as required. As the wartime party finishes the March early we can get to the Club early, and should be able to form groups of old mates and grab a corner or two before it gets busy. Post war members arriving after marching with the Reserve Army party will no doubt join mates already there. The Club opens on Anzac Day at 10am, so those who don't go in the March can arrive when they like.

Changes from usual reunion

There will be no formalities - no toasts or speeches, or official guests, or Annual General Meeting, or dry till for drinks, or catered lunch. But - a great opportunity to enjoy being with good mates, to share comradeship and memories.

Annual Meeting

We are obliged to have one, and in lieu of at Balmain notice is hereby given that it will be held on Sunday 4th April 2004 at 10am at Parramatta RSL Club. The usual agenda will include the financial report, any other reports or matters raised, and election of Committee. All members are welcome. The AGM will be followed by the usual committee meeting, to which any non-committee members are also welcome.


This belated development wasn't anticipated. It left very little time for an alternate plan to be made and publicised in this newsletter. We hope members will bear with us and give what support they can to this changed interim plan. Please return the response sheet so we can know who to expect.

 RAACA go to top of page

Membership of the RAACA is free free to all applicants over 75, and only $10 per annum for those who are younger. The RAACA NSW newsletter complements Lancers' Despatch, providing news of events in the wider corps community. If you wish to join the RAACA and receive the newsletter, drop a line to the association at Building 96, Victoria Barracks, Paddington NSW 2071, or eMail .

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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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