Category Archives: Defence

Loose cannon Lambie

lambieJackie Lambie is attacking the Army for it’s alleged dealings with an SASR Trooper Evan Donaldson and gives General Morrison AOTY a serve and a warning.

“I’m coning after you”, she says.  By now you would be aware that I’m not a fan of Morrison but he is at least educated and intelligent.  Lambie is neither and if she’s backing a case then there is a fair chance she has not done her homework and is simply doing it to attack the Army.

She takes up the case of Trooper Donaldson

After becoming the victim of brutal sexual and other assaults, Evan was seriously injured during a secret training exercise run by the Defence Intelligence Organisation inside Australian territory, involving techniques outlawed under the international convention governing the use of torture.

During the resistance to interrogation exercise, Evan was bashed, bound, bagged, blindfolded, stripped naked, placed in stress positions, deprived of sleep and food for 96 hours and during that time he was sexually assaulted and left bleeding—and we will not go into where

Bashed, bound, bagged, blindfolded, stripped naked, placed in stress positions, deprived of sleep and food for 96 hours. Yep. Code of Conduct course…standard treatment.

In 1968 I was at posted to the Intelligence Centre when it was located at Woodside, SA and acted as staff on what were then called Code of Conduct courses.  NCOs and Officers were given a taste of what Communists would do if they captured them.  Students were bashed, bound, bagged, blindfolded, stripped naked, placed in stress positions, deprived of sleep and food (in my experience they were fed bead and water) for 96 hours (once again, in my experience 72 hours)

Tough, but we were at war and war is tough.  There was no sexual assault and I wonder exactly what Evan experienced that would have him claim assault.  If you strip a man naked and put him in a 4 foot cubed cell (can’t lie down…can’t stand up)with rough gravel on the floor and regularly throw cold water over him (in winter, in Woodside) then in today’s society I guess that would be sexual assault.  It wasn’t then and isn’t now but people’s perceptions do change.

If, on the other hand, he was actually sexually assaulted then people do need to be brought to trial.

My point here is that Lambie is a loose cannon with some military experience.  Diggers are going to her with complaints because they know, being a loose cannon, she will fight for them without to much legal thought and absolutely no consideration of unintended circumstances.

A bit of background on Jacqui Lambie 

She is a senator, a Palmer puppet, mother of two illegitimate children, on a disability pension for ten years, a drug and alcohol abuser, has an abusive father who assaulted a policeman, has a son who has been up before the same magistrate a dozen times (brags his mum), suffered depression.

Lambie  achieved the rank of corporal while in the army but was charged and reduced in rank after assaulting a fellow soldier.

During a field exercise July 1997 she suffered injuries that resulted in severe  back pain. One day away  from   her first operational deployment to  East Timor, in trying on a flak jacket  it was found that she couldn’t bear the weight of the jacket: goodbye East Timor: hello discharge on medical grounds, and claim  for a military disability allowance. The Department of Veterans Affairs deemed she was a malinger – and despite engaging a private observer  to record her performing various household duties (without her being aware?)  they eventually had to accept  her claim.

Bogan tough, not necessarily a bad thing but she definitely has an anti military sense about her and this would make her believe anything negative about the system.

I’m still thinking Loose Cannon, but let’s see how it pans out.

 

More on Morrison, AOTY

Remember the Jedi Council?

‘Friendly fire’: When soldiers survive war, but are massacred on the battleground of Army politics. An article by Robert Ovadia.

It begins;

“Hi Rob, bad news from my front again as I’m back in hospital.”

It was the beginning of a text message I’d received the night before.

‘Hospital’ is where this man had been a number of times since 2013, with mental health issues. This time, though, it’s a ‘hospital hospital’.

“Cut through my wrist but I’m still here,” it continues.

“I’m currently listening to a guy who thinks he is God. All good.”

The ‘PTSD wing’ of a military hospital is a colourful place.

He is a former high-ranking officer in the Australian Army.

Former army chief, Morrison, made a name for himself surfing a tidal wave of support for a brutally eloquent speech castigating men in the army who demean women.

“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept,” he famously scowled through words written for him by someone else.

It made him famous. He became an enigma, the enfant terrible of the Australian Defence Force. He spoke at a United Nations conference alongside Angelina Jolie. He became a champion of feminism, the darling of those who swooned at the narrative of the feminist general and now he is our Australian of the Year. Some republicans even suggest he would make an ideal president of Australia, one day.

Not a good recommendation for a man who is supposed to be leading an Army.

Brave military men left to fight in the dark. An article by Miranda Devind

ON the night of Australia Day, last Tuesday, a former lieutenant colonel we will call “Ken” sat in front of his TV and watched in despair as his old Chief of Army, David Morrison, was awarded the honour of Australian of the Year.

Ken drank too much that night and then he tried to kill himself. It was his second suicide attempt since Morrison stripped him of his command, destroyed his career, and publicly shamed him by incorrectly identifying him as a member of the so-called Jedi Council “sex ring”.

Loyalty is supposed to be a two-way street.

And then this appears in today’s The Australian

Former army chief David Mor­­rison is charging up to $15,000 for speaking engagements as Australian of the Year, up to three times more than his predecessor Rosie Batty asked for each appearance.

I’m actually offended by the fact that he is receiving vast sums of money simply because he made a speech denigrating the Army.

Time to go General.

I note in the pic above he is wearing a Stop Violence Against Women ribbon award.  I see your white ribbon general and raise you an Infantry Combat Badge. The ribbon is not a military award and should not be worn on Uniform.  The Generals in the Army I served in mostly had Active service medals and Bravery awards as would be expected of men charged with leading fighting soldiers.

This man sports a white ribbon.

I don’t think I’d fit in today’s military.

UPDATE:  Michael Smith notes the absence of an ICB as well

PS – Morrison calls himself a Veteran.   He joined the Army in 1979 and was commissioned into the RA Inf.   He must have worked very hard to avoid exposure to the ICB over those 36 years.   ICB, no, white ribbon apparently makes up for it.

 

Sgt Troy Simmonds on Afghanistan

Troy Simmonds joined the Australian Army in 1991 and completed one tour of Somalia, three tours of East Timor, two tours of Iraq and six tours of Afghanistan.

Watch the video and give silent thanks that men like him are watching over us. It’s 30 minutes so if your busy now set time aside to watch later. The video is an AWM production and gives brief mention of Donaldson’s VC.

Enjoy.

Australia Day

I could’ve picked the AOTY by just selecting the last person I would choose for the honour. Well, it used to be an honour and I used to think they were far better men or women than, me but over the last three years at least, it is not the case.

Three years ago we had an Aboriginal whose claim to fame were as follows;

He could play football,
He publicaly ridiculed a teenage girl accusing her of racism, and
He  found it hard to say “I am proud to be Australian” after seeing Pilger’s ‘Utopia’ 

Not proud to be an Australian…John Pilger…Utopia

We then had a woman, a long term victim of domestic violence, who left her young son in the care of the main perpetrator of this violence, whereupon he beat the kid to death with a cricket bat!

My role model would’ve kept the kid away from the bastard, not hand him over for slaughter.

Now today we have a retired General who’s only claim to fame is a speech he gave accusing the military of misogyny telling them if they didn’t like women in the the ADF they should get out. This seemed to be based on the fact that some male soldiers were hitting on some female soldiers. Some cases were criminal or offensive but the rate of such offenses in the military was much less than the civilian rate and anyway, if soldiers commit offences then charge them and if warranted discharge them. You don’t start with the premise that problems are rife when they clearly aren’t. The speech was written by an Army officer who was a man but now claims to be a woman.
FFS

The General says his main points over the tenure of his honour will be domestic violence, diversity, the gender pay gap and the republican movement.

I would like to think the AOTY award would recognize people who had excelled in their field  thus representing what’s best about Australia, not some doom and gloom activist whose whole outlook is concentrating on the minuscule number of hormone driven offences, slaughtered babies or teenage football fans.

Those indigenous of the perpetually offended type call it Invasion Day.  Some fool even had a pic of himself with a banner accusing Cook of invading in 1788, some years after Cook’s death.  Phillips, who was actually the guy who came in 1788 was very fair to the indigenous, tried to help where he could and showed restraint when attacked, but apparently the great unwashed occupying Facebook and Twitter don’t even know of Phillip.  The indigenous have done well from us whities but there are plenty of fools who would wish we had never came; what with our medicine, transport, alcohol, decent and plentiful food, roads, railways, sit down money and money for grants the whole thing makes me think of the Monty Python Sketch on What did the Romans ever do for us?

The Left attack any sign of patriotism.  Flags are a no no as is lamb (currently cooking in my BBQ) and we all  should bow to the God of Multiculturalism.  Most who have come from overseas have fitted in well but the later Muslim wave is a worry.  They will always put religion before nation and seem to go out of the way not to fit in.

Open borders would leave us in a fools paradise and if we’re not careful we well may experience the associated problems in Europe where member nations are asking Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel “What have you done?”

Reminds me of Rudyard Kippling and his poem on the problem;

This was my father’s belief
And this is also mine:
Let the corn be all one sheaf–
And the grapes be all one vine,
Ere our children’s teeth are set on edge
By bitter bread and wine.

Makes me think.

But no too much as I have to get the lamb roast just right for tonight’s dinner.  I’m using the BBQ for the first time and all seems well.  Apple pie and custard (my Mum’s recipe) will follow.

I’ll be thinking of what makes Australia great and that’s  a whole lot more than what might be wrong with this great nation.

Have a good day and ignore the whingers.

UPDATE:

Quadrant has more on Morrison’s appointment.

What we don’t hear often are the voices saying that Morrison demoralised the army with his “feminisation” of the service, which scandalously included taxpayer-funded sex-change operations. Or that his concerns about gender-bashing came very late in his career. The enthusiasm for his YouTube clip effectively snuffed out any analysis of the Morrison style: the fierce, almost jihadist fanaticism in his eyes, the tightened facial muscles, what might be taken by some to be a self-righteous vindictiveness lurking in his delivery.

Those who puzzled as to why the Chief of Army needed to deal so publicly with an internal disciplinary matter involving spotty cadets and a hidden video camera might just have glimpsed the unleashing of a political ambition fettered for four decades by military discipline.

And Miranda Devine has a go.

While Australian soldiers were dying in Afghanistan, Morrison was talking about social ­engineering concerns such as gender equity. Fourteen soldiers died between July 2011 and July 2014 in that dangerous and confusing war, when Morrison was chief of Army.

But instead of the leadership that ​soldiers at the frontline may have ​craved, they got flowery speeches decrying masculinity and patriarchy to mark International Women’s Day at the United Nations.

 

Sack Her

MonaShindy

Captain Mona Shindy

When I was serving under the colours if you so much as hinted at a political opinion then the chances are you would be asked to resign your commission.  Professional ADF Officers are required to be apolitical.

Or at least they were .

Not any more it seems, particularly if you are a Muslim.  Captain Mona Shindy (pictured) is the Chief of Navy’s strategic adviser on Islamic affairs.

Strategic adviser on Islamic affairs!  What the hell does that mean?

In a Defence situation Strategy is the art of planning and directing overall military operations and movements in a war or battle but apparently not only has the requirement to be apolitical changed but so has the definition of strategy.

So, is Captain Shindy’s role to advise the Chief of Navy on how to strategically defeat the Islamic Terrorists?

No! It would appear her role is to attack any Australian politician who says anything negative about Islam.  As senior Muslim in the Navy Captain Shindy has been operating  a Twitter account.

From The Australian;

A navy Twitter account has been shut down after its most senior Muslim officer retweeted a counter-terrorism expert mocking Tony Abbott following the Liberal Party leadership coup and backed the Grand Mufti’s ­response to the Paris terrorist ­attacks.

Two reasons to ask her to resign her commission right there in that one sentence.  Publicly Mocking a politician and siding with the enemy.

On November 18, five days after the Paris attacks, Captain Shindy used the @navyislamic account to declare Dr Abu Mohamed was a “righteous & courageous man who categorically denounces” Islamic State and terrorism, tweeting the hashtag #IStandWithTheMufti.

Take her uniform off her and let her #StandwiththeMufti who thinks causative factors such as foreign policy, the media and lack of opportunity were fuelling Islamic extremism.

That is, the West are to blame.

The Chief of Navy and the Minister for Defence need to be questioned by the Media as to how this situation has been allowed to continue.  However, that’s not going to happen anytime soon as the Media most probably think it’s a good thing.  As the ADF continues to march towards political correctness as dictated by the Left they are losing their emphasis on defending the realm.

Sack her!

Bernard Gaynor has a lot more about Captain Shindy but Defence reckons she’s a winner.

PC Rampant in RAN

mulsimcaptain

Captain Mona Shindy addresses the inaugural Iftar Dinner at the Australian War Memorial. And yes, she is wearing the uniform of the Royal Australian Navy

What is going on in the Navy?  Recently Captain Shindy was announced as Telstra’s Business Woman of the Year.

The last time I looked the RAN wasn’t in business.  It has no business plan and is not required to turn a profit so why as one of their officers been awarded this honour.

I think the answer lies partly in her uniform – note the Hijab.  On this evidence it would appear the RAN has changed the dress regulations to accommodate one particular religion – Islam.

Ah well, I thought, maybe there is a groundswell of Muslims signing up and whereas, in my experience, regulations have never been change for just one religion. maybe numbers are changing this old rule  .

But no, I can’t find any evidence that this is the case.  In fact it appears that most Muslims interested in the military have already signed up to fight against us in the Middle East.

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Barrett recently fasted in solidarity with RAN Muslims and at a dinner at the Australian War Memorial said;

“Muslim-Australians and the knowledge and the values they bring to the workforce are a key and essential component of a successful Team Navy.”

Wow, just Wow.

I get the feeling that the Vice Admiral wouldn’t be saying that at a dinner held at the War Memorial for say, Catholics and or Protestants.  In fact I doubt there ever would be a dinner celebrating main stream religions.

We are, after all, a secular society.

Dinner at the  AWM.  Hmm.  The memorial was designed to commemorate the sacrifice of Australians who have served their country.  It was never thought of as a temple to political correctness.

Bernard Gaynor goes into more detail than I do and like me yearns for a day when the military defended the country without politically correct language.

During my time I served under more simple rules.

The role of the infantry is to seek out and close with the enemy, to kill or capture him, to seize and hold ground, to repel attack, by day or night, regardless of season, weather or terrain.

There were no riders  that mentioned ” in a gender equal manner” or ” in between praying to Allah five times a day” or “dressed modestly with Hijab if applicable”

Poor show Admiral.

Veteran’s matters

Busy days.  Last week at Coolangatta I commemorated the loss of my mates in South Vietnam with members of the platoon. As Recce Platoon, 7RAR we spent a year conducting long range patrols  and took a lot of casualties from mines and AK 47s. We get together every year on the anniversary of one our mate’s death in action and remember them all.  We are together for a week and it is great to recharge the batteries.

It reminds me that friendship’s formed in battle and the losses we suffered are forever.

A weekend with grandkids and back to work at a three day seminar with the Royal Australian Regiment Association where we try and do better at looking after our less fortunate veteran mates.

Senator Michael Ronaldson, Minister of Veteran’s Affairs, shared his thoughts under Chatham House rules and he was followed by Craig Orme from DVA.

I was impressed with both of them.  With their compassion, professionalism and determination to improve the lot of veterans. They handled the crusty old soldier audience with aplomb considering there were star ranks abound (not me, of course – I only made Major)

From commemorating my mates death in action to attending a seminar aimed at helping those of us who survived, is taxing but ultimately motivational as you spend days concentrating on the less fortunate and realize there are agencies who are lining up to help and that any personal problems you think you might have,  pale into insignificance compared with others.

Of course, after all day conferencing, the time comes to relax and this week gave me cause to remember that some of these older warriors have a tremendous ability to consume beer and red wine as we literally discuss the history of the Regiment from Morotai (where the Regiment was formed in 1948) through to Iraq.

The unofficial history, that is. The history that never gets written down.

We military have Chatham House rules as well.

Heady days – now back to work.

 

Secret missions

At the height of the Vietnam War, John Ali was in a team of truck drivers recruited on the orders of the then army minister Malcolm Fraser for a secret mission delivering military supplies deep into Cambodia where US and Australian forces were officially not supposed to be.

Hmm

Greens senator Penny Wright told parliament last night that Mr Ali’s treatment by successive governments was shameful. He suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and lives with the debilitating effects of his experiences in Vietnam and Cambodia, Senator Wright said. “He jumps at the sound of thunder and takes about 20 tablets a day.”

Greens senator Penny Wright. Hmmm.

I wonder why Malcolm Fraser didn’t use the thousands of soldiers already in country and subject to military law. And don’t think because we weren’t supposed to be in Cambodia that we weren’t.

It’s one thing to convince a Greens Senator of outlandish claims. Let’s face it,  they believe that the Earth is doomed unless we spend hundreds of billions of dollars and otherwise ruin the economy by locking coal in the ground, but it’s another matter entirely to  convince the DVA and us skeptical old soldiers.

If he wasn’t in the military then any compensation is a matter for other government bodies, not the DVA.  He could try talking to Malcolm Fraser to confirm the story.  Oh hang on, he’s dead.

I’m surprised his problems only came to light after Malcolm was interred.

Really surprised.

Bye, bye Gen Morrison

Outgoing army chief David Morrison says the focus on the white, Anglo-Saxon males of the Anzac legend has made it more difficult to recruit a diverse defence force.

Lieutenant General Morrison said that the “iconic narrative” of the Anzac story did not reflect the reality of modern Australia, nor the needs of a modern defence force.

“Some of the stories we tell ourselves about Anzac — overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon — if those stories are given an undue emphasis then how do you attract in today’s ranks, men and women who aren’t male, who aren’t Anglo-Saxon, who aren’t rough-hewn country lads who never salute ­officers, particularly the Poms, and who fight best with a hangover?”

Maybe I’m being over sensitive here but I never fought with a hangover and always saluted officers where applicable. I think that’s a put down on today’s diggers

The ANZACS were overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male and overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon and no amount of politically correct thinking or pushing gender equality and people of non-English speaking backgrounds is going to change that.

I might add that today’s diggers are also overwhelmingly white, overwhelmingly male and overwhelmingly Anglo-Saxon. The other people in our society overwhelmingly do not volunteer for military service. They are more into Friday’s mosque rantings and place religion above all else, particularly service to their new nation.

They are yet to assimilate into our society and considering too many of them support the Islamic sub-humans in the Middle East slaughtering Christians and Moslems or anyone that stands in their way, then I’m not sure when, if ever, they will consider themselves Australian and look at service as part of their civil responsibility.

From my perspective, I’m glad to see you go General Morrison.

UPDATE: An article by Ross Eastgate here

ANZAC Day 2015

I gave this address at the National Memorial Walk in Enoggera Barracks at the Dawn Service. It was 5 years ago (how time flies) but is as relevant now as it was then. It is particularly relevant for Queenslanders as the 9th Bn AIF, a Qld Bn, were first ashore at Gallipoli

Good Morning – we are gathered here today to commemorate those who have gone before us – those who have paid the supreme sacrifice in service to Australia. As a nation we have been gathering on this morning for a very long time – in fact for the past 87 years as we remember the men of Gallipoli and events that happened ninety five years ago. We also commemorate events subsequent to Gallipoli and are reminded that in many places across the world, Afghanistan included, we have troops in danger.

Where and when did the custom of Dawn Service begin?

Reverend White was serving as one of the padres of the earliest ANZAC’s to leave Australia with the First AIF in November 1914. The convoy was assembled in the Princess Royal Harbour and King George Sound at Albany WA, my homeport. Before embarkation, at four in the morning, he conducted a service for all the men of the battalion. When White returned to Australia in 1919, he was appointed relieving Rector of the St John’s Church in Albany.

It was a strange coincidence that the starting point of the AIF convoys should now become his parish.

No doubt it must have been the memory of his first Dawn Service those many years earlier and his experiences overseas, combined with the awesome cost of lives and injuries, which inspired him to honour permanently the valiant men (both living and the dead) who had joined the fight for the allied cause. “Albany”, he is later quoted to have said, “was the last sight of land these ANZAC troops saw when leaving Australian shores and some of them never returned. We should hold a service (here) at the first light of dawn each ANZAC Day to commemorate them.”

Thus on ANZAC Day 1923, 87 years ago this morning, he came to hold the first Commemorative Dawn Service.

As the sun was rising, a man in a small dinghy cast a wreath into King George Sound while White, with a band of about 20 men gathered around him on the summit of nearby Mount Clarence, silently watched the wreath floating out to sea. He then quietly recited the words:

“As the sun rises and goeth down, we will remember them”.

All present were deeply moved and news of the Ceremony soon spread throughout the country; and the various Returned Service Communities Australia wide emulated the Ceremony.

Almost paradoxically, in a cemetery outside the town of Herbert Queensland one grave stands out by its simplicity. It is covered by protective white- washed concrete slab with a plain cement cross at its top end. No epitaph recalls even the name of the deceased. The Inscription on the cross is a mere two words – “A Priest”

It is the last resting place of Reverend White.

In that original convoy were local Queensland boys from the 9th Battalion, 1st AIF. Their good name, Battle Honours and subsequent deeds are held in trust today by the 9th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment. It is fitting that we in Queensland place due importance on our local lads for not only are they among us in spirit and with their descendants but they were the very first ANZACs ashore at Gallipoli on that terrible morning ninety five years ago.

If the 9th Battalion was first ashore as a unit then we may well ask who amongst the 9th battalion boys was first ashore

We can never know for certain. C. E. W. Bean, official historian, concluded it was probably a Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Duncan Chapman, 9th Battalion.

The Queenslander wrote home:

‘I happened to be in the first boat that reached the shore, and, being in the bow at the time, I was the first man to get ashore.’

One of his men later confirmed this. Chapman was killed at Pozieres, France on 6 August 1916.

Bean, Chapman and the guy in the boat have been generally accepted as correct and 33 years ago today, as a young subaltern, I stood at the bar of 9th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment, and heard it from the horse’s mouth . I spoke to two other men who were in Chapman’s boat and they backed the claim. Jim Bostock and Bill Clever were both in their mid to late seventies and were discussing who among them was the first ashore after Chapman .

These two old soldiers, both taller than me, one with a DCM, and one, a Pl Sergeant to Chapman, drank schooners with rum chasers . Discretion became the better part of valour and I declined the rum and undertook not to mention Vietnam…..not ever…..at least not while I was in their company. How could I – I was literally standing between two pages of sacred military history – I could only be a listener, a bystander.

Neither was I as tough as some of the younger ANZACs

Pte Gray came to the Regimental Doctor saying that he had received a wound at the Landing and, though he had been to hospital, it was again giving a little trouble. He had endeavoured to “carry on,” but had at last been forced to see if the doctor could advise a little treatment.

The medical officer found that he had had a compound fracture of the arm, two bullets through his thigh, another through diaphragm, liver and side; and that there were adhesions to the liver and pleura. He was returned at once to Australia, where he was eventually discharged from hospital and, re-enlisting, returned to the front in the artillery.

In today’s climate there are many historians who with the ink fresh on their BA (Whatever) degree, rested from years at school and in an air conditioned office write of the Myth of Gallipoli. They write of the folly of the landing, the abilities of the British Commanders and the fact that we were fighting for another power and not our own sovereignty.

And they totally miss the point. It is not always about winning; It is not always about the commanders; but it is always about the men..their courage…their mate ship…their lives……their sacrifice.

If we follow our Queenslanders; on this morning 95 years ago 1,100 1st/9th soldiers landed at Gallipoli. In that famous first boat, along with LT Duncan Chapman was the CO Col Lee, Major Robertson, Major Salisbury, Captain Ryder, The Regimental Medical Officer Dr Butler , the aforementioned Jim Bostock and Bill Clever and others whose names history has misplaced.

The doctor was Kilcoy born and Ipswich grammar educated and he had lost some of his stretcher bearers in the deadly fire of the first couple of minutes and in Clarrie Wrenches book “Campaigning with the fighting Ninth” it is said that this fact made the doctor very angry.

So angry that he yelled “Come on men we must take that gun” and started climbing the cliff with his revolver in hand. Soldiers followed, the gun was spiked…….the Turks bayoneted.

This is the RMO we are talking about. The doctors assault force dashed from the disabled gun to the next trench, the line growing stronger as the troops caught up with the rampaging medico.

“On and on we went up the cliff to the summit where we had to pause “for sheer want of breath”

Looking below we saw the British ships shelling the Turkish positions, while the Turks replied by shrapnel over the landing place. Boat after boat was smashed under our eyes and the occupants mangled or drowned

The sight maddened us; “on Queenslanders” came the cry and with bayonets fixed we rushed for the Turkish position. Then we saw the enemy coming up in force. Taking advantage of every bit of cover available, we emptied our magazines into them again and again. The Turks fell like leaves but still more come. Men dropped and our numbers began to weaken.

Where are the others? Have we come too far? were questions in the minds of all

I don’t know about you but if that had been my first 30 minutes at war my reply to the first question would have been a resounding YES

After these first heady hours Dr Butler dusted off his Hypocratical oath and over the next five days treated or interred 515 Queenslanders.

In the lottery of life and death that was Gallipoli this figure was second only to the 7th for casualties at Gallipoli.

Not surprisingly the good doctor was awarded the DSO and a couple of MIDs

The 1st/9th went on to earn the following battle honours that generally read like the chapter headings of the official military history of the Australian Army in WW1

Landing at Anzac,
Anzac,
Defence of Anzac,
Suvla,
Sari Bair,
Gallipoli 1915,
Egypt 1915-16,
Somme 1916-18,
Pozieres,
Bullecourt,
Ypres 1917,
Menin Road,
Broodeseinde,
Polygon Wood,
Poelcappelle,
Passchendaele,
Lys,
Hazebrouck,
Amiens,
Albert 1918,
Hindenburg Line,
Epehy,
France and Flanders 1916-18

I have stood in the mess at Kelvin Grove and talked with the original Anzacs as they looked at the colours and described how they were won……..how their small contribution mattered……..how their mates are still there.

It will stay with me forever!

Over all, had our erudite scholar penning books on the myths of the 1st AIF followed the Queenslanders at Gallipoli and then on to the Western Front he may have had occasion to pause at the gravesides of 1,022 of their soldiers. They also suffered 2,093 wounded and 329 gassed leaving them with a terrible total of 3.453 battle casualties!

One battalion…….Some myth

To place these figures in perspective; this one battalion, the 9th Battalion, the 1st AIF, our local Queenslanders, suffered twice the number killed and almost the same number wounded as the entire ADF involvement in South Vietnam

That’s no myth

Today we will hear the traditional Ode from Laurence Binyon’s poem” To the Fallen” more than once, but a piece of verse that stuck in my mind over the years of remembering and commemorating was this verse by A.E.Houseman

Here dead lie we because we did not choose
To live and shame the land from which we sprung.
Life, to be sure, is nothing much to lose;
But young men think it is,
……………………………..and we were young.

Lest we forget

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