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Secretary’s Report 2005

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Secretary’s Report 2005

The Sentry’s Log

Home Grown Terrorist?

Frank Hands (8) recalls teaching Gunner George Young how to swim at the jetty located at the Swan River in the West in 1942. George weighed 17 stone and was not confident. With a rope around his waist he was persuaded to jump into the water. During the ensuing panic, George lost his dentures. Mick Falcke dived in and located them.

Frank and his mate Bertie were in Canberra recently, re-visiting the Australian War Memorial. Around lunchtime, alarm bells and sirens sounded. Security guards blocked all exits because of a bomb scare. Bertie looked for his camera and recalled that he had left it with his papers in a parcel near the bomber “G for George”. It turned out that this package had caused the bomb scare! Next morning, they faced up for re-entry to the Museum. “Oh, not you back again'” was the welcome! Oh well, it was good to keep the security people alert.

Incidentally, Frank travelled to London late last year with his son Stephen and his family. They were well looked after by their Car Club friends, Brian Moore and his family, who got them out with the Vintage Sports Car Club and Veteran Car Club enthusiasts. Highlights of their journey were visits to the Kensington Science and York Railway Museums and the beautiful City of Cambridge.

Congratulations to Phil and Shirley
Phil and Shirley Hurst celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on 26 June 2004. Phil was still in uniform for their wedding. Phil served in 217 Infantry Battalion in Libya, Greece and Crete. He was wounded in the shoulder in Crete. After crossing the island, he was evacuated by the Navy. After recovering from the wound and infections, he joined our Regiment to be with his brother Stan Hurst.

Phil left the Army in August 1945. The newly-weds conducted a grocery business in Yarragon, managed a motel in Traralgon, and then lived in Sydney for 12 years. They now live in Mount Waverley. They have two daughters and three grandchildren. Both have been involved with community organizations in many capacities.

A Citizen of the World
Mrs. Jeane Manning, widow of Geoff Manning (7) died on 7th August 2004. (Geoff was killed on Crete on 20th May 1941. Jeane was a talented artist. After WWII, she resided mainly in Majorca, Spain, for about 29 years. In 1989, Jeane returned to live in Australia, at Castlemaine.

Not having children of her own, she had taken the opportunity to travel a great deal and was regarded by her friends as a citizen of the world.

Saida George
Ray Everly (9) sent the photo (below) of himself (centre) and Jack le Marshall (right) with bags of oranges at Khassa, Palestine – they were checking on Saida George, seated on his ass. The gentleman’s “credentials” were in fact unrepeatable in this respectable journal, having been provided by some other digger, to the unflattering effect that he was “a rogue of the first order and was not to be trusted in any circumstances!”

Jack was transferred to 7 Battery and unfortunately was killed in Crete. Ray, now 83, thinks he is the last surviving D.R. from 9 Battery H.Q. Ray’s only son passed away some years ago at the age of 10. His wife died in 2003. However, he is blessed with 3 daughters, 12 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. One of his grandsons is in the Army Reserve.

Duntroon to Townsville
Lieutenant James Hepworth, grandson of our Honorary Treasurer John Hepworth, graduated at Duntroon in June 2003. At the time of writing he is in signals at Townsville. On last Anzac Day, James, accompanied by his cousins Lisa and Robin, and his aunt Anne, marched with us. Being in uniform and one of the few who could keep in step, James improved the look of our contingent!

John Hepworth’s son, Douglas, father of James, recently suffered in a very bad car accident in Perth. His condition has improved after a long convalescence.

On Target
We receive requests from member’s descendants for the Regiment’s history “On Target”, but we have no further copies. If you have a copy, which is no longer required, perhaps you could get it to our Secretary. If you happen to be a ‘loner’ now with no family wanting your copy, don’t let it be thrown out when you fall off the twig. The Association will recycle it for you.

From The Secretary’s Desk
Once again I have had a fair bit of correspondence from members and relatives of members and so I will try to pass on some of the ‘happenings’.

Kevin Grey, secretary of the 2/3 Composite Regt based in Sydney, has found another 9th Bty member. Albert Bains is the name. Welcome Albert, you will now get our “Take Post ” each year.

From W.A. Reg Dickson (7) has sent me the new address of Cliff Ross (8). Thanks Reg, he has been on the missing list for a year or two. I have received a great letter from Stan Walker (9) Stan was one of those “bloody kids”, [his expression], who joined the unit on its return to Aussie from the Middle East. Stan had spoken to Bob McAndrew (9) on the phone some time before writing.

Elizabeth Egan, daughter of Roy Richards (7) has been in touch seeking particulars of her Dad’s service. Glen Harry (8) was Elizabeth’s mothers’ brother. John Harrison (l) writes that heart attacks and diabetes have slowed him down a lot. I hope that you are feeling better by now John.

Terry Gleeson (Sigs) was a Detective Sergeant and writes that he met Peter MacGeorge during that time. Peter was a crime reporter for the Sydney newspapers.

It’s a small world isn’t it! Bob Robson (9) marched in the Sydney Anzac Day March – he reports the banner was carried by Cliff Cullen (9) and a son of Bede McDougal (Sigs).

Phil Bishop (8) and his wife Nancy featured in the Colac Herald when they visited Apollo Bay to relive their honeymoon there in 1942. Phil recounted in that article that the Herald and Weekly Times gave them four cans of petrol for the car and that was as far as they could get, and return home.

Daphne Block wrote to tell me of the death of her husband Arthur Block (9) Arthur had been a very busy man, building hundreds of houses and commercial buildings, also building three boats. He also wrote his memoirs of his army life. Thanks Daphne, I hope that you are getting along OK.

Robert Harrison son of Frank Harrison (9) sent a copy of his eulogy given at the funeral of his dad. Frank had grown up on a farm in Leongatha and after his Army service continued farming in the area. Frank was obviously a very remarkable man.

I had a nice chat with Graeme, the son of Raleigh Hawkins (7) advising me of the death of Eric Allpress (7).

Alf Sutherland answered a request by Enid Hayes of WA in last years “Take Post “, for information about the Miller brothers (8). Alf had grown up with the Miller family and enlisted with three of the brothers. He was pleased to be able to communicate with Enid.

Frank Wallis (Sigs) has taken me to task for writing last year, that he lived at Tathra in NSW – just to set the record straight it is Glen Forrest W.A. I was a little bit out – only about 3000 km, just a good route march Frank! Joyce Ritchie, daughter of John Hipworth (RHQ) reported that Hippy’s grandson, having won a scholarship to the Military Academy in Canberra and now a Commissioned Officer in the Army was sent to Rwanda then had 12 months in Israel and Lebanon on border patrol. He is now at Rockhampton. Army life must be in the genes Joyce!

Roy McLaren (7) now 85, appreciates “Take Post” and wrote of his times on the Heraklion Aerodrome and the recognition he received by being presented with a Greek Honorable Service Medal. Well done Roy, just “keep on keeping on”.

Rex Emmett (7) sends his best wishes to all and hopes that he will get to a reunion. He only needs to get someone to conduct the service in Ouyen. It sounds as though you are doing a great job in that district Rex.

John Ballantine (9) must be a “devil for punishment”, he writes that in 1947 he joined the CMF and served as a Captain until 1964.

I received a nice letter from Jean Bell, widow of R.J. Bell (RHQ). Last Christmas Jean had a bad fall causing a broken leg and other injuries. I do hope that all is well now Jean. [Put more water with it next time!]

Once again a very nice letter from Bob Phillips (8) of Noosa. Bob’s letter was about mateship, and how Bob related to the mateship of our Army mates, which has extended throughout the last 6 decades. I enjoyed it greatly, thanks Bob.

Dan Hawkes (9) wrote wondering how many were transferred to other Units. I don’t have accurate figures Dan, but some 50 went to the 2/4th Lt AA in Palestine before we returned to Aussie. Another 50 or so went to the 116th Lt AA in WA. Probably about the same number went to the 109th Lt AA and I know a number went to 235 Heavy AA battery. So we did lose quite a few.

Eric Maxwell son of the late Vern Maxwell (8) and a great supporter of the Association has sent me a poem. No Eric, I cannot find any details of the source, or name of the author. Thank you for your interest and support.

Bob Westcott (9), Arthur Spiller (RHQ), David Carty (9) and Keith Fryer (8) and many others have sent greetings to their mates including the few I mention here.

I will close off now and hope that I have a better year than the last couple of months so that I can sit at this computer and rattle a few more keys for a year or two more.

With best wishes to you all.

John Campbell (8)