The Royal New South Wales Lancers

Lancers' Despatch 42

Lancers' Despatch

Bi Annual Journal of the
Royal New South Wales Lancers Association
ABN 50 361 228 724
The New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated ABN 94 630 140 881
No 42 - February 2022

 President's Report    Coming Events    The Regiment    Your Association    The Museum    Henry Robson's Trophies 
 A Letter From Gallipoli   Preparing for War 1939-1943   When we had MRV Scorpions   Departed Comrades   Thank You  Help  
 RAACA NSW    Online Response Sheet     Download Printable Newsletter   

Photos and text by the editor unless historical, submitted to the editor without attribution or otherwise noted. Thanks very much to all contributors.

 President's Report go to top of page

Len Koles

It's been a difficult six months for many of us with the pandemic impacting on our families, friends and work. The restrictions have made many of us feel isolated or stressed as we are losing physical contact with people who are important to us. However, I am absolutely overjoyed that there have been no reports of any members of our Lancer family being infected with the virus. I hope it stays that way.

The big question that is often asked, is the date for the postponed Lancer Reunion. As mentioned previously, it was agreed to hold the reunion as soon as possible in 2022 when, the Army rules for gatherings in military barracks have been reviewed and amended. Also of course when the advice of the health experts states that gatherings such as ours would be safe or pose little risk. We will keep you informed.

Some of us are not travelling well health wise and my thoughts are often with you.

Stay safe;
Your brother Len

 Coming Events go to top of page

Expect the following:

• Thursday 17 February 2022 - Battle for Australia Oration by Professor Frank Bongiorno AM - "Arguing About 1942" - 1000 Anzac Memorial Auditorium, Sydney (RSVP required).

• Wednesday 30 March 2022 - Annual General Meetings; New South Wales Lancers' Memorial Museum Inc and Royal New South Wales Lancers' Association, 1930, Lancer Barracks, Parramatta. (Should pandemic restrictions preclude or restrict face to face meetings, the meetings will all or part be online. Details will be emailed closer to the event.)

• Monday 25 April 2022 - Anzac Day March in Sydney or Ceremony / Reunion at Lancer Barracks - Details to be Advised - watch your email.

 The Regiment go to top of page

Captain Jerome Abdelmessih Adjutant 1/15 RNSWL

Despite the Regiments planned training and professional development for the second half of 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic once again halted our training and parading as planned. After a strong start to the year, the Regiment had to once again adapt to online training and remote parading whilst also dealing with the difficulties of working from home.

Remote training, despite its difficulties, allowed for some excellent professional development to be conducted. The Squadrons took this time to focus on and deliver training revolving around dismounted tactics, first aid and a range of historical case studies.

Although the Regiments remote training plan was robust and through the lessons of 2020 we were able to adapt quickly, as soon as the lock down restrictions were lifted, the Squadrons wasted no time in getting back to training in the field environment.

EXERCISE NOBEL SKYWAVE was one of the first activities our Sydney based soldiers were able to take part in and was an international communications competition. The competition included teams from across the ADF as well as from the US, UK, Canada and Peru. 1/15 RNSWL was the first Australian team to score points and had some excellent success throughout the day placing first on the leader board for a good period of the competition.

A few days later over 30-31 October 2021, B Squadron conducted their own communications training weekend, EXERCISE WALER LINK. The exercise was designed to test the Squadrons individual and collective communications skills, mainly focussing on establishing and operating HF communications equipment.

Photos: Members of B SQN conduct theory and practical communications training in a field environment around the ACT on EX WALER LINK.

The Regiment was then able to run a suite of driver and driving instructor courses to prepare for the introduction of the 40M protected vehicle fleet. The courses took place over a period of two weeks and saw members of the Regiment and others from across the BDE get qualified in both on and off road driving. The qualifications achieved are critical to the continuation of regular operations but also are setting conditions for the introduction of PMV-L Hawkei into the Regiment in the near future.

Photos: PMV and 40M drivers' courses conducted in Holsworthy Training area, over Oct-Nov 2021.

The next target of opportunity for the Regiment was a unique experience to integrate into a 9 REGT life fire field activity. The weekend was an opportunity for some of the JNCOs and Junior Officers to practice their all arms call for fire and also practice the integration of UAS systems from mounted platforms. The exercise provided some excellent lessons learned and continued to build our relationship with 9 REGT and their teams.

Photos: LT Davison Launches the WASP UAS from the commander's hatch of her PMV.

B Squadron decided to round out the year with EXERCISE WALER ASSIST, which tested Squadron recall and HQ procedures which enabled the Squadron to deploy at short notice to a non-Defence training area in Crookwell NSW and practice some key disaster relief and aid tasks. The SQN integrated with elements of 5ER and 5CSSB to provide a combined arms team effect on the ground. The Squadron experienced some adverse ground conditions and despite not being part of the planned training were able to test and refine their vehicle recovery skills. An excellent way to finish off the year and get the Squadron ready for a much deserved stand down period.

Photos: A member from 5ER cuts some dead fall to open a blocked track and members from 1/15 RNSWL attempt to recover their PMVs on EX WALER ASSIST.

After another challenging but rewarding year the Regiment is now preparing for 2022 and the incredibly large training effort that is required to catch up on missed courses and exercises from the previous pandemic affected years. Then end of 2021 also sees the farewell of the Commanding Officer, LTCOL Andrew White and the Regimental Sergeant Major, WO1 Wayne Chetcuti. The Regiment as a whole was unable to farewell the RSM due to interstate travel requirements however the Regiment farewelled the CO and other departing members at a Regimental parade on 07 December 2021. This marked the handing over of the unit to LTCOL Colin Shadbolt as the new Commanding Officer. In addition the Regiment welcomes WO1 Bill Doodie as the new RSM for 2022.

We look forward to a new year, and the opportunities and challenges it will bring and as always we remain Tenax in Fide – Steadfast in Faith.

The video below covers the handover of command from Lieutenant Colonel Andrew White to Lieutenant Colonel Colin Shadbolt and 2021 soldier's awards.

The Regiment's New CO

We in the Association and Museum will miss the stalwart support of Lieutenant Colonel White as commanding officer and wish him well in his future career. The new commander is no stranger to the Regiment.

Colin Shadbolt joined the Regiment as a trooper in 1988. Later he was commissioned into the Royal Australian Armoured Corps and was appointed as a Sabre Troop Leader in A Squadron 1/15 RNSWL.

Colin held a number of Regimental postings including Squadron Technical Officer/Battle Captain, and had responsibility for training junior officers prior to their attendance at ROBC.

In 2006 Colin was provisionally promoted to Major. In 2007 he was posted as Officer Commanding A SQN 1/15 RNSWL where he oversaw the Squadron's conversion from Armoured Reconnaissance to Light Cavalry.

In 2018, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and posted to HQ NSW Australian Army Cadets (AAC) as Deputy Commander of the NSW AAC Brigade.

Colin deployed to Afghanistan in 2019 as the J3 advisor to Kabul Garrison Command.

In January 2021 Colin was posted as SO1 Plans to HQ 5 BDE. In April 2021 he was appointed as the CO of JTU629.1.1 commanding the NSW Joint Task Unit in support of Op Covid Assist, for which he received a commendation.

In his civilian career, Colin works with AI, data and analytics companies to identify and develop intellectual property for commercialisation and productisation, including the business casing and go to market process.

Lieutenant Colonel Shadbolt was appointed to command 1/15 RNSWL in January 2022. Colin is married to Kathryn and has a 2 year old daughter. He has two sons from an earlier marriage aged 18 and 19.

Read the new CO’s full biography HERE.

We in the Association and Museum look forward to a continuing strong partnership with the Regiment under Colonel Shadbolt.

 Your Association go to top of page

The primary function to be conducted in the second half of 2021 by the Royal New South Wales Lancers Association was the Annual Reunion. It was to be held in November and to be a somewhat grand affair to include overnight accommodation for those coming from afar. This could not take place, Lancer Barracks were placed under COVID lockdown from 23 July. There was no timeframe to reopen, and when the Barracks were able to reopen in late October, it was a bit late to organise a function; the decision was made to delay 'till February/March 2022. Now with Omicron and rising cases, no date has yet been determined. Watch your email.

In 2021 the intention to hold the RAAC Corporation Conference and AGM as a physical get together was again thwarted by pandemic lockdowns. Undaunted and courtesy the 1AR Association Zoom account the meet went virtual on 9 October. RAACA NSW was represented by the then president Rob Lording. From NSW Lee Long attended as a member of the advisory board, the HRL Association was represented by Wayne Clark and Jim Gillett, the RNSWL Association by John Howells.

The keynote addresses on the state of the Corps were given by the Head of Corps Brigadier Duncan Hayward CSC and the Corps RSM Tony Lynch. And it was noted that the 10th Light Horse, Western Australia has regained Regimental Status.

Association Reports can be accessed below:

•  Royal Australian Armoured Corps Corporation;

•  Royal New South Wales Lancers' Association;

•  1st Armoured Regiment Association;

•  2nd/14th Light Horse (QMI) Association;

•  South Australian Mounted Rifles Association;

•  Prince of Wales' Light Horse Association;

•  12th/4th HRL and 24th Light Horse Association;

In October 2022 let us trust COVID is suppressed enough for association representatives to physically gather in Canberra for the RAAC Corporation Conference and AGM.

 Our Museum go to top of page

Our Museum has been a hive of activity over the past six months. Apart from a period from 23 July to 24 October 2021 when we were forced by COVID lockdown restrictions to close our doors we have been open every Sunday. The Parramatta Foundation weekend 7 and 8 November was particularly successful. We had vehicle displays both days; when on day 2 ACE failed to proceed, the 106 stood-in youngsters getting the thrill of a ride.

On a particularly poignant note Aiden McIntosh aged 10 had visited the Museum with his Dad the week before. This time he came with a jar full of coins. He had told his school mates of our collection and asked them to contribute; he had raised $11.50 in silver coins. We thanked Aiden very much for his effort; our hearts were truly touched.

Thanks very much to the Regiment and Brigade for allowing us to stay open as much as possible. Yes there has been a lot of work to produce COVID compliant documents, lotsa cleaning, masking and the unvaccinated remain excluded (rightly so - misguided idiots in the editor's opinion). However, when we compare our fate with that of the Army Museum of NSW, Victoria Barracks who are yet to be able open since February 2020, we have been doing all right.

We have also been immersed in a number of projects:

•  Staghound Refurbishment;
•  Covenanter Refurbishment;
•  Exhibit Relocation; and
•  M113 Refurbishment.


For some time we have been working to fully restore the Museum's Staghound Armoured Car. There have been problems in obtaining parts and conflicts with other projects where a more spectacular result was possible. We therefore made the decision that whilst full restoration might not be possible, the vehicle could be restored to the point where it has its turret mounted, it can be tow relocated, and the cosmetics of painting can at least restore it visually to part of its former glory.


A similar fate has befallen the Covenanter Bridgelayer. The Matilda did not have a bridgelayer variant so the government secured a limited number of Covenanter vehicles to fill the critical requirement for bridgelayer support in the jungles of New Guinea and Borneo. Our example is one of only two in Australia, one of the very few left in the World. Apart from work by TAFE students in the late 1980s to stabilise the exhibit, it has been rusting away, the superstructure is unsuitable for tarping and NIG has proven unable to approve our proposed overhead cover.

It was therefore decided that restoration to the point where it can be a great static display is essential. Ian Hawthorn was able to get us a grant for the work much of which our volunteers lack the heavy engineering skills to do. Nonetheless those with the welding and fabrication skills have been found and work has proceeded apace assisted by much volunteer activity. The vehicle will never move under its own power, but in 2022 it will be a fine static exhibit, well protected by overhead cover if the build can be approved.

Exhibit Relocation

For some months now, we have been advised of a plan for a more secure gating system for the entry and exit of PMV vehicles from Little Street into and out of Lancer Barracks. This is now proceeding. The Cadet Unit office has been removed, as has the cover for the vehicle wash. The Cadet Unit office will be replaced when the gate work is complete.

Our heavy vehicle exhibits also had to be moved. This was done by 5 CER as an exercise, a great job.

The centurion could not be moved to the exact position needed, because of the limited turning circle of the heavy recovery vehicle used by 5 CER. So a small team moved it the last 5 meters using a tufer winch and bottle jacks under the tracks of the tank. This task took all day and the team included, George Glass, Brian Stanilands, Mike McGraw, Joe Tabone and Len Koles (last three included in the photo)

M113 Refurbishment

The project to restore the Museum's M113 LRV/APC to its operational former glory is forging ahead. So far we have focussed on fundraising. Just short of $4,000 has been raised by our online appeal. You can contribute HERE.

Refurbishment slowly continues pending completion of the Little Street gate project when more workspace within the barracks can be made available.

Readers should note that the Museum is also seeking to obtain an MRV (M113 Scorpion). So far all efforts have proven unsuccessful. If anyone can assist it would be greatly appreciated.

Photos by the Editor and Joe Tabone

 Henry Robson's Trophies go to top of page

I was contacted in November 2021 by Brad Warren. Brad's wife Amanda was a friend of Henry Robson's daughter Kit (Katie/Katherine) for many years prior to her passing in about 2005. Amanda was executor of Kit's estate. The estate included a number of trophies won by Katie's father.

Henry Robson went as a young corporal with the contingent that took part in the Royal Military Tournament at Islington UK in 1893. Then in 1899 he went as a staff sergeant-major with the squadron that trained with British regular cavalry and stopped off at Cape Town to take part in the Second Anglo-Boer War. His military career then progressed, 1901 saw him as a lieutenant with 3 NSWMR again in South Africa. At Anzac Cove in July 1915 he was 6LH's Quartermaster, at age 47 he copped a stray bullet, it ended his life. He left his wife and two daughters one of which was Katie back in the Northern Rivers area of NSW.

You can read more about Henry Robson's life and service HERE.

The trophies are quite impressive, pewter and silver plate, of great contextual relevance to Regiment's history.

Brad Warren said he will visit the Museum in 2022 and might just might consider our Museum as a place of repository for all or part of the collection.

Photos by Brad Warren

 A Letter from Gallipoli 1915 go to top of page

Trooper Arthur Sydney Bellenger, 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment AIF, wrote to his sister at Temora, New South Wales, on 25 August 1915.

"I have been here over six weeks now, and have had one or two narrow escapes. One night a party of us went up a gully on outpost duty, and I had just spread my overcoat out and was lying down waiting for my turn to go on duty when an explosive bullet burst fifteen centimetres from my face and filled my eyes with dirt and a few splinters cut my lips. All the boys standing round who saw the flash said they expected to see half my head blown off. They could scarcely believe it when they found I was not hurt. Another time I was just boiling my dixie, when a shell burst just overhead, and before I had time to duck a piece of shrapnel hit my boot and knocked the heel off, but we are getting quite accustomed to all those little things now.

We pass the time away in the trenches playing cards and reading, but books are very scarce over here. Some places, where our trenches are only 15 to 20 metres apart, we get a lively time with bombs, and the Turks are very liberal with them at times, and they are expert rifle shots, too."

'The Sun' (Sydney), 17 November 1915. Ancient measures revised.

Arthur Sydney Bellenger was a drover from Bourke NSW. He was 23 when he enlisted in the AIF on 20 November 1914. A good horseman he was allocated as a trooper to the 1st Light Horse Regiment. Part of the 4th Reinforcement draft, he departed Sydney for Egypt on 17 March 1915. When they arrived, the Regiment had already left for Gallipoli. The reinforcements trained at Aerodrome Camp, Heliopolis. Drafts from Australia were received, inoculated, drilled and despatched to the peninsula when there was an opportunity. It was not until 14 July 1915 that the men of the 4th Reinforcements landed at Anzac, joining their comrades they were quickly deployed to Pope's Post at the head of Monash Gully.

Trooper Bellenger was with C squadron, he survived the carnage of 7 August that befell A and B squadrons. He wrote his letter in Rest Gully above the coast just north of Anzac Cove.

Arthur survived Gallipoli, leaving on the night of 19/20 November. Back in Egypt rumours abounded that the Light Horse would not be deployed to France. The prospect of serving as mobile troops in Siani/Palestine was as yet unrecognised. Facing the alternative of continuing as an infantryman, Trooper Bellenger along with a number of his comrades chose to transfer to the Artillery.

He served in France as a gunner in the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade. Again he survived. He returned to Australia 20 June 1919 and the life as a drover. He passed away on 23 January 1957. Cremated, his ashes are interred at Rookwood not far from Parramatta.

 Preparing for War 1939-1943 go to top of page

At 2115 on 3 September 1939, tune into any Australian radio station (TV was not around 'till 1956) and you would hear the Prime Minister, Robert Menzies make a speech, in essence:

"Fellow Australians, it is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that in consequence of ... by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war on her and as a result Australia is also at war."

Use the controls below to hear the full speech:

Why "as a result"? Well things were different then. By the "Statute of Westminster 1931" an act of the UK parliament had granted most of the trappings of independent sovereignty to the then British Empire's "Dominions". The Australian Parliament, however, had never adopted the Act. That meant that if the UK Government declared war, Australia was at war, Australian troops once they left our waters fell under UK command, and appointments of governors and governors general could be over-ruled by our imperial masters. That was to be all changed with Vice Regal assent to the "Statute of Westminster Adoption Act" on 9 October 1942.

In 1939, the Regiment was a mechanised machine-gun Regiment. The Regiment was placed on a war footing. 7 October 1939 found the Regiment in camp at Campbelltown showground. Each section had two 1.5 tonn trucks carrying a Vickers machine-gun, each with a crew of 3 and another 3 scouts, all but the gunner armed with Lee Enfield Mk III rifles. The gunner also carried a Smith and Wesson Revolver. There were 2 sections per troop. Headquarter Squadron was augmented by an intercommunication troop and an anti-aircraft troop with four Hotchkiss LMGs. The trucks were still hired by the Army from individual soldiers. In camp, soldiers were paid 4 pounds 16 shillings ($9.60*) per week for their 1.5 tonn truck or 2 pounds 8 shillings ($4.80*) for their car. This camp of four weeks was followed by another of 90 days, commencing 24 January 1940 at Wallgrove, adjacent the M4/M7 interchange. The camp administrative officer at Wallgrove was Major de Groot of ribbon cutting fame; the once fascist had metamorphosed into a patriot and had been promoted.

Mechanised Machine Gun Battalions were being formed in the newly raised Second Australian Imperial Force. Many good soldiers and senior commanders left to fill their ranks. Most Lancers were taken on strength of the 2/2 MG Bn AIF, and set-off to fight in Egypt and Libya.

1940 had seen two of the Regiment's COs, David Whitehead and Robert Hawke, leave to join the AIF. John Pye, who had commanded in the mid 1930s, now nearing retirement took command in an era of rapid change.

February 1941 saw the Regiment in camp initially at Narellan; the Regiment was now for the most part a full time unit. November 1941 saw the Regiment at Cowra with Army supplied Ford 1 tonn trucks. When Japan entered the war, many left to join the AIF; some went into captivity in Singapore with 8 Div. The ranks were filled by Universal Service Personel (conscripts). From then on, most members of the Regiment volunteered to join the AIF whilst remaining in the Regiment.

December saw the Regiment assembled at Rutherford and classified as a Motor Regiment ("The theory of Motor Regiment warfare is much akin to that of the Light Horse. Just drive up, dismount, fire a few shots, then drive out again. This sounded very easy," [Edwards]) and given the operational role of defending the beaches in NSW north of Newcastle.

"Colonel Pye frequently told us of our glorious heritage and of our honoured affiliation with the renowned King's Dragoon Guards. The CO's inspection of the lines was most impressive. That such a large body of dogs and men was required for such a simple job never ceased to cause us much perplexity." [EDWARDS]

At this point in order to build fitness, route marches were practiced in earnest, up to 100 km in a single exercise. The troops speculated this would steel them if there was a petrol shortage.

On 8 May 1942, the Regiment became an Army Tank Battalion to eventually be equipped with Matilda tanks. Officers and Senior NCOs were rotated through the AFV School at Puckapunyal to learn the new skills. The Regiment was issued with a light tank and bren-gun carriers to learn the new tactics.

The Regiment's older officers were by now replaced by young men mostly commissioned from the volunteer ranks. John Pye's health was suffering, he was replaced as CO by Robert Gordon.

The end of 1942 saw the Regiment with a full compliment of Matilda Tanks, training at Singleton. In February 1943 any of those who had not joined the AIF were transferred out; the Regiment was styled 1st Army Tank Battalion AIF (Royal New South Wales Lancers). In March the CO changed again, Derek Glasgow, an officer with tank combat experience in Egypt and Libya assumed command. Officer ranks were also augmented with men who had seen combat.

The Regiment was honed and ready. RHQ had 4 tanks, there were three sabre (or combat) squadrons, SHQ with 3 tanks and five troops each with 3 tanks. Two of the tanks in each troop had a two pounder (1 kg) gun, the third a 3 inch (76.2 mm) howitzer. Much tropical training took place around Southport QLD, as the Lancers anticipated combat deployment.

On 1 August 1943 the Regiment was augmented by the elements necessary to survive as a mechanised unit in a tropical environment against the fanatical Japanese enemy. On 8 August the first elements sailed out of Townsville headed for Milne Bay in New Guinea.

John Howells 2022
References: Regimental History and Philip Edwards' Story
Mr Menzies' 1939 Speech courtesy NFSA
*Direct conversion to Australian Decimal Currency as at 14 February 1966.

 When we had MRV Scorpions go to top of page

Some photos from the time when the Regiment was equipped with the M113 Scorpion MRV. The faces of Tony Beechey and Kevin Hobbs are readily recognisable by the editor.

It would be great if the Army could release an MRV to the Museum to lovingly restore and display in memory of those times.

 Departed Comrades go to top of page


Robert served in the Regiment in the 1960s reaching the rank of sergeant. He was also an active member and official of the RAACA club in Sydney in this time.

We lost contact when he moved overseas for work. He passed away on 19 July 2021 in Adelaide SA after long illness.

Bill Cross


Jo Lonergan was the wife of the late Tom Lonergan, who rose through the ranks of the Rgiment to be commissioned and lead a squadron. Jo was a highly skilled solicitor. She practised in Parramatta and acted for many members of 1/15. She was particularly helpful to Terry Boardman when as a Centurion crewman broke his arm and he needed advice on claiming compensation.

Terry Boardman


Barry William McCann passed away on the 30 August 2020 in Victoria.

Barry was a Lance Corporal in the Regiment in the 1980's.

James McCann (Barry's younger brother)


Lieutenant Colonel Geoff Moran ED Ret'd. Geoff served as A squadron commander in the early 1960s and was a stalwart supporter of the Association and Museum. His squadron were obsessed with SOPs all written by Major Moran. Seemed a nice enough bloke [PROSSER].

He was among a party of Association members who visited the Annual Camp in 1985, getting to ride in a swimming carrier during water training on Lake Liddell in the Hunter valley.

Graham Hodge, Bill Prosser, John Howells


Colonel Francis Adrian Roberts MG OAM Ret’d passed away on 29 December 2021 at Fred Ward Gardens, Curtin ACT. His funeral was held on 28 January 2022 at Holy Trinity Church, Curtin; he was buried at Woden Cemetery.

Adrian was most noted for his command of the APC Troop at the battle of Long Tan 18/19 August 1966. The story of the action is best told by himself. The video below was made of a lecture given by the then Lieutenant Colonel Roberts in the early 1980s. Sir William Slim had to write adventure stories to support his family whilst in the British Army in the 1930s, as a result "Defeat into Victory" his account of the Burma Campaign in WW2 is very readable. Adrian Roberts was a schoolteacher, he left us with one of the most instructional lectures on Armoured Personnel Carriers in combat in the 1960s; well worth watching and listening for just short of 1 hour.

Adrian Roberts was born at Midland Junction in Western Australia in early October 1939, the eldest child in a large family. When Adrian was young, his father was in Europe serving as an RAAF navigator and bomb aimer. He returned to his young son a 'total stranger' but over the years he had a strong influence on Adrian, instilling in him a strong ethos of service.

In 1959 Adrian joined the Citizen Military Forces, serving in the 10th Light Horse. At the same he was studying at Teachers' College. Although he had begun working as a teacher, and having recently married, in 1962 Adrian was selected to attend Officer Cadet School at Portsea and chose to devote himself to Army life. He later remembered his time at Portsea as both 'the hardest year of my life' and the 'happiest of my memories'.

As a Second Lieutenant, Adrian continued his training in the Armoured Corps. By the mid-1960s he and his wife, Gillian, had two children. In 1965 he was posted to the newly raised 1 APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) Squadron, beginning another period of intense training before being posted to Vietnam in April 1966.

Among historians of the Vietnam War, Adrian is perhaps best known for his courage and leadership during the Battle of Long Tan, for which he received a Mention in Dispatches, but his service during that conflict encompassed far more. He went on to finish his first tour with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment and in 1971 returned to Vietnam as a member of the highly respected and much decorated Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, serving with the 1 ARVN (Army of the Republic of Vietnam) Armoured Brigade in the northern part of South Vietnam before joining US Special Forces in training Cambodian troops.

Adrian returned to Australia, and Portsea in April 1972, this time to work as an instructor for 'three wonderful years'. He remained in the Army for the next sixteen years, serving on a range of postings, including stints at Staff College in England, a period in the Office of the Chief of General Staff and further time in the Armoured Corps. In 1980 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and two years later took command of the Army's Armoured Centre. By 1984 Adrian had been promoted again, to Colonel. He left the Army in 1988 to return to teaching, only to find the profession much changed from that which he had known in the early 1960s. Nevertheless he found that teaching gave him 'a real sense of achievement' and over the years he has taken great pleasure in meeting those who he taught in schools or in the Army and hearing of their achievements. That, he said, 'would be the most rewarding part of my working life, whether army or civilian.'

Thanks to Noel McLachlan RAAC Corporation for the advice, the AWM for the painting, video and story.

 Thank You go to top of page

Thank you all very much for your assistance in supporting the Museum and Association financially in the 2021/22 Financial Year. Our records (and they may not be perfect, human data entry has been involved) show the following supported by donation, the Association:

Paul Degiorgio, June Faunt*, Len Koles, Neil Mangels, Richard O'Dell, Norma Swadling.

And the following the Museum:

Tony Beechey, Peter Burness, Paul Degiorgio, Glen Eaves, June Faunt*, John Gooch, Ian Hawthorn, Wayne Higgins, Gordon Honeman, Len Koles, Aiden McIntosh, Neil Mangels, Keith Mountain, Craig Muller, Richard O'Dell, Brad Pearce, Norma Swadling, Vergola (NSW) Pty Ltd, Kel Warham, Raymond Williams, Albert Zehetner.

*Please note that June Faunt, now aged 93 gave her generous donations on behalf of her husband Roy who would have turned 100 on 6 August 2021. Roy was a proud member of George McLean's 2 Troop, A Squadron in WW2. You can read Roy's story HERE.

  HELP! go to top of page

Yes we really do need your financial assistance. No amount too large, no amount too small.

Donations to the Museum (the Museum is registered with the charity tick) and Association are possible securely using PayPal from your credit card (Visa, Mastercard, AMEX) or from your PayPal account:

Click Here to go to the donation page. Donations to the Museum are tax deductible.

Don't forget your memorabilia. The online shop now has a series of patches for sale depicting a wide range of A vehicles; we have secure payment facilities available using your credit card (now including AMEX)  or your PayPal account.  Click Here for the Museum Shop. Do note that if you visit the Museum you will find the goods cheaper (no delivery charges) and still able to be purchased using your credit etc card.

AND if you have been thinking about a Regimental History, there are only 5 of the 1885-1985 version left available for sale. So if you want one of these soon to be collector's items, you should act NOW.

We also need Museum volunteers. All that is required is an interest in the Regiment and its history, we find everyone has a skill to contribute. If you have any questions about our volunteer programme, simply call the editor, John Howells on 0405 482 814.

 RAACA NSW go to top of page

Membership of the RAACA NSW is free to all applicants over 75. The RAACA NSW newsletter complements Lancers' Despatch, providing news of events in the wider corps community. If you wish to join the RAACA and receive the newsletter, drop a line to the Association at Bld 41, Victoria Barracks (Sydney), Locked Bag 7005, Liverpool NSW 1871, or visit the website:

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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 ABN 50 361 228 724. All material is copyright. John Howells - Editor, New South Wales Lancers Memorial Museum Incorporated, Linden House, Lancer Barracks, 2 Smith Street, PARRAMATTA NSW, AUSTRALIA, (Postal Address: PO Box 7287, PENRITH SOUTH NSW 2750, AUSTRALIA) Click to contact  Tel: +61 (0)405 482 814.

Lancers' Despatched is published on the ancestral lands of the Dharug people whose stewardship for millennia is appreciated and acknowledged.

© 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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