Saturday, December 3, 2022



Broodseinde Ridge: Warwick O’Neill

The previous Battles of Menin Road and Polygon Wood had involved troops from 1st Anzac Corps. Those troops were still in place and because of the comparatively light casualties suffered they were good to go again at Broodseinde Ridge. The big excitement of this battle was the fact that 2nd Anzac Corps was going to be joining in as well ... This was going to be the first time where an Anzac Corps would have another Anzac Corps going into the fight alongside them.

Weipa base preparing to play key role in exercise

A bare base sitting on the outskirts of Weipa will come to life next year as Australian and American troops descend on the Cape as part of a major training exercise. RAAF Base Scherger will be a central location for Talisman Sabre, a biennial exercise that brings the Australian and United States armed forces together, along with other allied nations.

Army reservist recognises supportive employer

Fltlt Nick O’Connor. Employers throughout Australia who went above and beyond to support their Army reservist employees were officially recognised as part of the state-based Employer Support Awards ... For Barkly-based physical education teacher Sergeant Pam Dillon, consecutive civilian employers have paved the way for her distinguished military career.

Vietnam Vet’s Day, 18 August 2022

Nowadays, as a Vietnam Vet, I have come to notice that more people are acknowledging us for what we did as Australian soldiers representing our country ... Coming up is Vietnam Vets Day 2022 and even if your local RSL is not being involved, you can always contribute to this special day by saying g’day to a Vet. You know you know one, don’t do?

Census shines light on South Australian veterans

New data collected in the 2021 Census has revealed South Australia’s veteran population is more than double the figure previously on record ... This is the first time a comprehensive snapshot of the current and former serving population in South Australia has been developed, following the addition of a targeted question about military service history in the 2021 Census ... Approximately one-quarter of the former serving community is in regional South Australia, mainly in the South-East of the state encompassing the Limestone Coast, Fleurieu Peninsula, Kangaroo Island and the Murray and Mallee regions.

Memorial to honour Empire Training Scheme officially opened

The official opening of the Empire Air Training Scheme Memorial at Wagga's RAAF Base took place at Wagga last week, conjuring up many memories for towns like Narrandera which were part of this scheme. Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack helped to officially open the memorial project.

HMAS Stalwart III to open to Geraldton community

Members of the public will have an opportunity to look inside the Royal Australian Navy’s newest ship HMAS Stalwart III when it arrives in Geraldton later this month. It is the first time the ship will visit its Ceremonial Homeport and a number of free events are happening over the weekend to celebrate including a Public Personal Training Session, Freedom of Entry March and Ship Open Day.

ADF vehicles give SES boost

Three state of the art High Clearance Vehicles are now in permanent operation for the NSW State Emergency Service (SES), expanding flood rescue capability by helping volunteers get to hard to reach places. The vehicles, known as Unimogs, have been handed over to the SES by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) after being used on deployment in military operations.

RAAF 37 Squadron visit

The 37 Squadron group visited the Island on Tuesday 10th May. The visit marks the 80th anniversary of the first medivac by the RAAF in May, 1942. It will also serve as a training exercise for 37 squadron to maintain currency for crews supporting Lord Howe Island in case of emergencies.

The Wilmansrust Affair: Warwick O’Neill

Warwick O'Neill. During World War 1, military court proceedings against Australian troops were kept out of British hands. Only Australian officers could court martial Australian soldiers, much to the disgust of senior British soldiers, particularly Old Douggie Haig. It’s widely believed that the reason behind this was the trial and execution by an English Court Martial of Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant and Peter Hancock. And while this may be at least partially correct, there was another scandal in 1901 involving British military justice against Australian troops. It was known as the Wilmansrust Affair ...

ADF troops and the flood emergency

Brigadier Robert Lording, Commander of ‘ADF Operation Flood Assist 22’ for the NSW Northern Rivers Region said the first request for assistance came from the NSW State Emergency Services. “By Saturday February 26, the SES were aware there was going to be a flood emergency develop and they were quickly onto it, requesting ADF assistance to doorknock residents and provide other logistical aid”, said the Brigadier.

ATTENTION: Message the army for help

One thousand army personnel are based in Casino helping with the flood recovery ... This group isn’t only for Casino, residents in surrounding areas can put in a request for assistance ... The army have been in Woodburn and Coraki and helped out at the Rappville Pub.

Virtual reality dive experience marks 80 years since sinking of Japanese submarine I-124

The wreck of a Japanese submarine destroyed during a dramatic battle with a Royal Australian Navy corvette 80 years ago today, can now be explored through a virtual reality dive into deep sea.

The nurses – Part 2

Warwick O'Neill. In 1939, it was on again. The Australian Army Nursing Service was placed on an active footing. As their predecessors had done in 1914, volunteers flocked to the AANS to go abroad in support of the Second AIF. This time around though, the nurses would be operating in a much more dynamic environment. Rather than spending their war in fixed hospitals, behind front lines which barely moved, the Second AIF nurses would be subjected to the Blitz, emergency evacuations, they would become prisoners of war and would need to cope with conditions ranging from freezing desert nights to humid tropical jungles. 

The nurses – Part 1

Warwick O'Neill. In England a young lady by the name of Florence Nightingale read of the conditions and wanted to do something about it. As a high-bred lady of Victorian England, society’s expectations of her was to marry well, breed well, and produce many little upper-class mud-magnets for her husband. Fortunately for the world at large she said, in what I assume was a well-educated and well-enunciated voice “Bugger that. You can shove your Victorian standards up your Kyber. I’m off to the Crimea.” Or words to that effect.

The Headstone Project delivers recognition for WWI veterans

South Australian based group ‘The Headstone Project’ recently dedicated the graves of 18 veterans of WWI who lay in the Port Pirie cemetery in unmarked graves with a dedication ceremony held on 20 November 2021.

Major win for manufacturing delivers Geelong jobs

Victorian Minister for Industry Support and Recovery, Martin Pakula congratulated Hanwha Defense Australia on its successful bid to deliver the Commonwealth’s LAND 8116 program in Victoria, strengthening the state’s defence capabilities and creating 300 highly skilled local jobs in design, engineering and manufacturing.

$1 billion defence contract, sovereign defence manufacturing facility in Geelong announced

The Morrison Government has announced a $1 billion defence contract for new Self-Propelled Howitzers for the Australian Army has been awarded to Hanwha Defense Australia. The contract signing was witnessed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison and President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea. Based in Greater Geelong, the contract will procure Self-Propelled Howitzers and Armoured Ammunition Resupply Vehicles, under the LAND 8116 Phase 1 project.

Lieutenant a role model for his Cape community

Lieutenant Sebastian Jingle has become the first known Indigenous Australian from the western Cape to commission as an officer in the Australian Army Reserve. The proud Traditional Owner from the Yupangathi and Teppethiggi lands graduated in November through the Army Part-Time Officer Commissioning Program.

Avoca War Memorial has new lease on life

Avoca’s iconic War Memorial will be celebrated this week, following months of restoration work ... Built in 1921, the Avoca War Memorial was constructed by the local community to remember those who fought in the First World War. The memorial was later rededicated in 1988 to also commemorate soldiers who served in the Second World War.

The Australian Souvenir King of World War I

Warwick O'Neill. There are very few upsides to war. But one very faint silver lining is that most wars tend to throw up personalities of the type you just don’t see in peace time. People who, for that short period, capture the imaginations of their countrymen for whatever reason ... people such as the notorious Australian Souvenir King of World War I, John ‘Barney’ Hines.

The Cowra Breakout

Warwick O'Neill. A quick question for you, Dear Readers. Apart from the bombing of Darwin and Northern Australia, and the torpedo attack in Sydney Harbour, on what other occasion did Japanese and Australian troops clash on the mainland? ... But why did up to 900 prisoners charge the barbed wire and bullets? Where did they think they were going to run to? And who were the Australians who suddenly found themselves staring down hundreds of charging Japanese?

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