Mike Kelly – soldier extraordinaire…….not

Besides running this site I’m also Webmaster for my regimental site and this morning I had occasion to post a letter from Neil Weekes, AM, MC, to Dr. Mike Kelly,AM, ALP Mp for Eden Monaro. I have written on this turkey before and to get a feel for the man and what we ex-military think of him, and conversely, what he thinks of us, you should read both posts. He is on record as saying …..”my career in many war zones came at great threat to my life in countless situations…..I was forced to fight with my rifle in every way it is possible to use it, including butt stroke and bayonet….” Considering he was, in my memory, a military lawyer, I thought this a bit rich. The article quotes the Australian War Memorial, as stating the last bayonet charge by Australian forces was carried out in Vietnam by 5 Platoon 6RAR during Operation Bribie on February 17, 1967. According to Wikipaedia however, a later bayonet attack by Australians was conducted in May 1968 at the Battle of Coral when a then Lieutenant Neil Weekes ordered his men to fix bayonets.
Even with the artillery and mortars concentrating on close defensive fire tasks, the assault was largely held at the perimeter, although they did succeed in over-running part of 3 Platoon, A Company. Commanded by Lieutenant Neil Weekes, the platoon had been hit heavily by indirect fire during the initial bombardment and had suffered several casualties. Concentrating on the gap created in the Australian perimeter, the North Vietnamese then assaulted with the support of 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine-guns. Ordering his men to fix bayonets, Weekes successfully reorganised the defences however, and called in close mortar fire to stabilise the position, resulting in heavy casualties among the assaulting force. He was later awarded the Military Cross for his leadership.[78][80]
Link – look under Second attack on FSB Coral, 16 May 1968 Nice bit of symmetry there, don’t you think? One wonders if Kelly knows of Neil’s history and if he does, does he cringe when he thinks of what he himself has claimed to have done. I doubt it. In this article in the Townsville Bulletin he denies saying he was involved in a bayonet attack but “butt stroke and bayonet” clearly suggests to Infantrymen that he is claiming he was. Another article in the Canberra Times entitled “Somalia to Eden-Monaro: How Mike Kelly fought a murderous warlord all the way to a firing squad’ only refers to Kelly being involved in the legalities of having a warlord executed. The article is, however, short on details of “butt stroking and bayoneting” unless that’s how the warlord was disposed. Seems more like a puff piece by the Canberra Times aimed at getting Kelly elected. He claims to be one of us yet deserts us when we need him – typical ALP. Bastard!


  • Just read Kelly’s biography…..sounds like the closest he came to a butt was in the showers at OTS and the closest he came to a bayonet would have been acknowledging a passing parade. Unfortunately for our serving members this seems to be the way of the services these days…..working members overseen by those who have never been workers but on the face of their school report can claim affiliation.

  • All that is needed now is for two or more of Kelly’s fellow unit members to come forward and confirm or deny his claims. If we have a denial Kelly should be able to keep Thomson company.

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