It is with a heavy heart that I inform you of the death of
MICHAEL Rupert CARROLL DCM passed away on Saturday the 11th February following a heart attack. Mick served with 4 RAR in Malaysia/Borneo 65/67 & South Vietnam in 1968.
19 Apr '06
Gary John KENDRICK
Gary's daughter informed me that he remained in the Australian Army for the next 25 years retiring as a Major. Vanessa further stated that for all his years in the Army his most memorable time was when he was a member of 4RAR and often commented that to her during his life.
After Vietnam, Gary went on and joined the Medical Corps and was posted in Townsville.
I am not completely aware of Gary's Army history, however, I am able to state that Gary was a graduate of the OTU Scheyville. He was deployed to Vietnam I believe after a stint in Malaya to be Platoon Commander of 11 Platoon - Delta Coy 4RAR 1968 where he met his Platoon Sergeant-John Woodley.
It is my sad duty to inform you all - that this date being Tuesday/18th April 2006 a Miss Vanessa Kendrick, contacted to inform me that her father Gary John Kendrick passed away on Good Friday as a result of a heart attack.
4RAR Member - Vietnam 68-69.
VALE: 61809 Gary John KENDRICK.apologise for my lack of information, however, I am sure that there are many out there who served with Gary who will be able to fill in the gaps.
Gary's funeral has been set down for 1100Hrs/Saturday/22nd April 2006 at the Anglican Parish Church of All Saints, Cowper Street, AINSLIE. ACT.
For those of you who cannot make it to the funeral - but wish to forward cards and or flowers please address them to the Kendrick Family of 49 Morton Street, WEETANGERA. ACT. 2614.
I have left a message with Jim Underwood who resides in the ACT to contact me re attending Gary's Funeral Service so that he can provide a Eulogy of Gary's Service.
LEST WE FORGET
4RAR Assoc NSW.I
24 Apr '06
I had the privilege of attending Gary's funeral service on behalf of members of 11 Platoon, especially John Woodley who is currently recuperating from knee replacement surgery.
The funeral took place at All Saints Anglican Church, Ainslie ACT at 1130h Saturday 22 Ap '06.
There were several ex-members of the battalion in attendance, notably Rollo Brett 12 Platoon's first skipper, Phil Bunyan ex 12 Platoon Comd first tour and Bob Sayce ex trackers Pl Comd first tour, Ian zunt Morrison ex 12 Pl Malaya & Vietnam 1st tour..There were probably many more ex military among the mourners that I failed to recognise.
It was obvious from the large crowd of mourners in attendance that Gary had been a highly respected member of his community, very emotional but beautifully stated eulogies were delivered by his three children, Erick, Vanessa andAfter the funeral service at
Frank. Rollo Brett also spoke of Gary's Military career.All
was held a the Downer Community Centre but due to time A wake Park Crematorium where poppies were laid on Gary's casket, and the Last Post and Reveille were sounded. the the Norwood the cortege moved on to Saintsconstraints I was unable to attend.
On behalf of all members of the battalion especially those with whom Gary served I would extend to Gary's wife, his three children and all his family our sincere and heartfelt condolences......ed
LEST WE FORGET
It is with deep regret that I inform you of the death on Tuesday 25 April of our mate and 4RAR warrior, Dennis (Psycho) Hughes, B Company.
Pyscho was mainly a bandsman and stretcher bearer and served in Malaysia, Borneo and South Vietnam.
Psycho died peacefully in hospital from cancer of the liver.
He was attended by his wife Lorraine and members of his immediate family at the time of his death.
Kevin and Roz Lumsden have been beside Lorraine and Psycho continually for the past four weeks and have been a Godsend to the family.
Psycho's funeral notice will appear in the Brisbane Courier Mail on Thursday 27 April 2006 but it is expected that the funeral service will take place at the St Francis Xavier church in Ipswich at 11.00 am on Friday 28 April.
Members of the 4RAR Association are invited by the President and Lorraine to attend and it is requested that medals be worn.
Letters of condolence should be sent to:
Mrs Lorraine Hughes
4 Craies St
Bundamba Qld 4304
Rest in peace old mate, you will never be forgotten. May God bless you and place you in that special part of Heaven reserved for Australian warriors.
He joined 4RAR in 1964 when it was raised at Woodside, South Australia. Psycho was an original member of the unit and as such his name is written in gold in the battalion records.
Psycho, as we affectionately knew Dennis, is best known amongst the members of the the Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR) as a rifleman and as a bandsman. Psycho served in the battalion on Active Service in Malaysia, Borneo and South Vietnam.
Dennis always put his mates before himself.
THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT
17657 SERGEANT DENNIS RICHARD HUGHES colour that Psycho liked. His prowess on the athletics field brought him many gold medals especially when the battalion was posted to Malaysia and Psycho competed against the top military athletes of Australia, Scotland, Ireland, New Zealand, Nepal and Malaysia. He invariably brought home the gold, earning the respect of the battalion and added in no small way to its reputation as the best.
How did he get the name, Psycho? It was as a result of his running ability. Psycho would run anywhere and at any time. At a pre-embarkation party held for his mates at his father’s house in Ashgrove at some ungodly hour of the night, the challenge went out for a race from the house to the guard room at Enoggera and back. Psycho won!
Psycho was one of those soldiers whowas not afraid to have a go and one of his greatest personal traits was that he always did what was asked of him, regardless of whether he volunteered for the job or it was asked of him. When it was suggested that the battalion might become a parachute battalion, Psycho was one of the first to volunteer for parachute training.
He originally joined us as a rifleman but his musical abilities led him to be asked to join the battalion band as a drummer and bugler. Whilst in Malaysia some of the band formed their own private band which they named “Shades of Blue” and even produced a record with Malaysian Records.
Yes, the battalion band did look smart dressed in Regimental tunics as they led us on the parade ground but there is another side to members of Army bands; they were primarily employed as stretcher bearers. On operations within each company of approximately 130 men, a medical corps corporaltravelled with the company headquarters and each of the three platoons, some 33 men, had allocated to it a bandsman/stretcher bearer.
No, it wasn’t the task of the bandsman to blow the bugle or to beat the drum; his job was to render first aid to a wounded soldier and to get him back to company headquarters to be given more detailed treatment before he was evacuated to a hospital. When the patrol stopped for a meal or overnight it was the stretcher bearer or Doc as he was generally known, although Dennis was quite proudly always called Psycho, that did not immediately rest as most of the riflemen did. Doc would go from soldier to soldier administering treatment for twisted ankles, arms and legs punctured or torn by jungle vine thorns, coughs and blisters, rashes and fungal growths.
When a soldier was wounded on the battlefield it was understood that no one would stop the battle for him and that it would not be until the battle was won that he would receive treatment. However many a stretcher bearer risked his own life under fire to remove a wounded soldier from immediate danger to a place of safety and to tell the wounded, ” Don’t worry mate, you are OK now and I will be back to look after you.” The stretcher bearer would then dash forward to fight the battle, afterall he was a rifleman first.
To that wounded soldier lying alone, in pain and bleeding, the stretcher bearer appeared as an angel, even though covered in mud and camouflage cream, dressed in dirty, torn uniform and with a rifle in his hand. He knew that the stretcher bearer would come back and that he was not truly alone.
That was the life of Psycho and he did that in two wars, Borneo and South Vietnam.
Psycho was a warrior and a true hero and we, his mates in 4RAR will sadly miss him, but we know and understand that God has a special place in heaven for soldiers and that is where Psycho is now. The angel with a rifle in one hand, a medical pack in the other and a reassuring smile, has gone home.
3791575 Mervyn Francis Newell
Elaine Barrett from Launceston today informed us of the passing of Merv Newell. Merv served with 11 Platoon Delta Coy on the first tour. Merv had been seriously ill for quite some time, he passed away yesterday, 20 Apr '06.
He was a tall man with glasses who never stood out in a crowd, Merv was the quiet one who never spoke out loud.
He'd go about his business with very little fuss But man if you crossed him..."You'd be sure put on a bus".
From the bank he started working before heading off to war, though his eyesight was poorly he just couldn't believe what he saw. But he fought for our freedom and did his
country proud, spoke personally very little bout 'Nam, especially out loud.
Vietnam war was not a nice one and we'll keep that on a slate, but Merv was alucky bloke for he had many many mates.
I'd often talk to Merv and share a joke at night real late, when Merv would call from Vic just to talk to one ole mate.
Finally the day came when we all agreed to meet, and I'll never forget that bloke in Victoria at Flinders Street.
Nev shook hands with Merv and we laughed in a muddle, then he stood there smiling' as we were all so tightly cuddled.
From then the friendship bonded tighter and we were never ever alone, for Friday nights we waited for the GREAT WHITE HUNTER to phone.
He chased the Tassie Tiger when down the west coast I sent, young Karl and Merv to look after Nev, and they stayed there in a tent. Time ticked by and letters started mentioning someone Merv was yet to tame.
It wasn't Woodie or brother Kevin but a lass called Kath was the new name.
Finally young Mervyn Newell had another surprise in store, when he and Kath packed up their gear and landed on Tassie shores. Ringarooma was the spot and so with all the horses in tow, Merv proudly went 'bout this place and proudly he did show.
He showed us how to live life and fought Veterans Affairs quite a bit, then hopped in the silver rocky he loved and drove it like a fit. Quietly he noticed but chose carefully not to tell of how his health was fading, he REALLY wasn't very well.
Finally he'd slowed up and to hospital he had to land, but it was here that Merv chose to put a ring on his sweet Kathy's hand.
He admired the nurses and the staff of the Scottsdale hospital there, and I wish to thank them dearly for Merv's VERY special care.
While we all hold hands and with heavy hearts on this his farewell day, Merv touched our lives with love and kindness in so many different ways.
On Wednesday night I prayed so hard then to Merv I walked on in, but my mate was getting weary and the light was growing dim.
I rubbed his hair and as Kath held his hand we said '..You're not alone..", "Tis time dear Merv to go now as your Mum and Dad are waiting for you at home"
Today dear Merv we "Thank You" for your love, faith, spirit, memories and for being our special mate.
So journey on our precious friend.... We look forward to meeting again at the pearly gates.
Written with fondest love to Merv from Elaine Barrett for his final farewell.
24 April 2006. Legerwood Community Church.( Tas)
17871 CORPORAL MICHAEL JOHN HEFFERNAN
THE ROYAL AUSTRALIAN REGIMENT
If anyone was a mate it was Mick Heffernan.
Michael or, as we affectionately knew him, Mick, was a signaller in the Fourth Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR) and served with the Battalion in Australia and on active service in Malaysia, Borneo and South Vietnam.
He joined 4RAR on the twelfth of March 1964 just after the Battalion was raised in Woodside, SA. Mick was an original member of the Battalion and as such his name is written in gold in the Battalion records.
Mick was so attached to the Battalion that he allowed his sister Jenny to marry another member of the Battalion, Terry Ace.
Mick was also so attached to his fellow soldiers that as a married member of the Battalion and occupying married quarters in Malaysia, it was a very rare weekend when his house was not full of his single mates from his platoon. The single soldiers lived within the barracks and therefore, so far away from home, they did not have the blanket of a family to enjoy. Mick became that blanket and during that time they looked upon Mick as their adopted father.
To understand Mick and his life within 4RAR as a soldier is to understand his responsibilities in the job that he was asked to do. He was a radio operator within the Battalion’s Signals Platoon. Mick’s job was to travel with the headquarters of a company and pass messages from the company commander back to the battalion command post and vice versa. That sounds like a cushy job, but was it? As well as carrying a radio and spare batteries, he also carried a rifle and was expected to fight. He was expected to maintain communications with his headquarters regardless of weather, terrain, time of day or night and even in contact with the enemy. When his fellow soldiers in the field were resting, Mick would be busy encoding, decoding, sending and receiving messages, relying on his mates to cook his meal and to dig his fighting pit. The responsibility of accurate encoding and decoding might mean the difference between his unit receiving a requested resupply of 5,000 rounds of ammunition or the unwanted resupply of 5,000 tongue depressors. Faulty encoding might result, not in the accurate falling of our own artillery two thousandmetres away, but in the middle of his own troops.
We have all seen a radio operator carrying that much food, ammunition and radio equipment that his mates have had to help him to his feet. We have all seen a radio operator, so physically and mentally exhausted after an operation, that he has sat down and gone to sleep still with his radio strapped to his back.
How many of us owe our lives to the strength of character, the will and the determination of a radio operator who was prepared to give more than was humanly expected of him to give.
Mick was one of those radio operators and soldiers but he was more than that, he was gentleman.
When a 4RAR veteran could not attend the Welcome Home Parade his youngest daughter was given permission to march in his stead. Mick saw this lost young woman in the crowd looking for the 4RAR members and after she identified herself as a 4RAR child, it was Mick Heffernan who literally took her by the hand and asked her to march beside him. Thanks Mick.
Mick was a warrior and a true hero and we, his mates in 4RAR will sadly miss him, but we know and understand that God has a special place in heaven for soldiers and that is where Mick is now, probably asking God for a radio check to ensure that God has contact with the other angels. The warrior with a rifle in one hand and a radio handset in the other, has gone home.
From the President and members of the 4RAR Association, Qld
Note from Noel Fairley
Fri 4th was a long day, flew into Melb, Max picked us up then onto Curlewis Golf Club; 2 hr drive. Funeral started on time a crowd of 150 to 200 turned up.
Mick had planned every thing to the last detail. It was a moving experience what was said. Alan your speech was very well received. Mark your wreath was lovely.The whole service was lovely.
Les Finger, John Deighton & Ray O’Hara were there.
I put all of you in the book & your condolence’s to the family.
After the service Max took us to Dandenong RSL to see their memorial; very impressive, then back to the airport to come home. Plane was delayed 2 hrs got back to Bris 0115 hrs so it was a long day but glad I went.
The following was received from Gabrielle Pitcher (Mick's sister):
At the funeral, my son wrote and read the following poem. He spent 5 years with the French Foreign Legion and was a bombardier 5 years service in the ozy army reserve. If you think appropriate, you may post this on the site for mates of Mick to read.
An ode to my uncle.
Those who have seen war,
Will never stop seeing it.
So drape the drums in black,
And send a volley of three,
that echoes through eternity.
The whistle and thunder of the drop shorts are heard no more.
The barking lady of the night,
Fades with glowing final burst.
And no more enemies can be heard.
Time to scratch one last foxhole,
Time to rest a weary diggers soul.
So parade one last time,
With fallen comrades of old.
No rank or file, just an army of souls.
So charge your glass,
And raise your hand,
Be proud you knew this man.
Put down your shield and sword,
Lift your headdress,
And break your belt.
The only pain left here is,
in tears and memories felt.
by CPL Bradley Pitcher 2 R.E.P for
SIG M.J.Heffernan 4 R.A.R.
To The Men of 4 RAR
Memorial Service for Bruno Adamczyk
A Coy, 4 RAR & D Coy, 9 RAR
1100 hours, Wednesday 12 July, 2006.
Centennial Park, South Australia.
When Bruno was killed in action in Vietnam on the 12 of July, 1969, he left behind his very young wife, Cecilia. He also left behind his two young daughters, Jackie, who was 7 years old, and Michelle, who was about 2 years old. It is history now that the pressure of Bruno’s death on Cecilia was so great that she soon found herself in hospital and, subsequently, surrendered custody of the two girls to Bruno’s parents who then raised them.
A decision was taken at the time of Bruno’s funeral that the girls should not attend. Since that time Bruno’s parents have died and, despite many attempts, the girls have never been able to reunite with their Mother, Cecilia. The situation now is that the girls wish for the service that they never had. They would like to put some closure on the loss of their father.
Some of you met with Jackie at the 1997 reunion in Adelaide. Most, if not all, have never met Michelle.
Michelle is now a delightful young woman who is married and has 2 children of her own.
In August, 2005, the realization occurred to her that she knew nothing of her Dad and in turn knew nothing of a large part of her own life. Michelle’s son Dylan has had a recent brush with death due to liver disease. This prompted Michelle to do something positive in relation to her Dad that she might otherwise not have done. Michelle wants for her, her sister Jackie and their children, to enjoy the service for Bruno that they were never able to have. They need to put some closure on the loss of their Dad, they need to bury the past. They need their children to attend a service that says “ this service is for our Dad and your Grandfather “. The girls wish to say to their children, “yes your Grandad did exist and your Grandad is a part of the history of this nation”.
On behalf of Michelle and Jackie, I appeal to you, the members of 4 RAR on two fronts. Firstly, the girls are asking for copies of any photos that you may have of their Dad or any old slides that can be printed as photographs.
Secondly, we are asking that if there is any way by which you can make it to Adelaide for Bruno’s Memorial Service on the 12th of July, 2006, please, get here – come to Adelaide.
I can be contacted on;
Featherby41@optusnet.com.au or 08 8443 3434 or 0412 462 143
Please notify me if you can make it, but if you can’t, then send a message to me, for the girls, that can be read out on the day of Bruno’s service.
Would you please send me your contact details, particularly your Email address, for future correspondence re Bruno’s Memorial Service.
I look forward to your response.
I know all this is a big ask but, if ever you thought “heh - he was my mate” now is the time, and the opportunity, to demonstrate that. I only wish that you could be here with the girls to see first hand that they need this service, and they need your support. We all know that the Battalion is a very unique unit and we all know that it is your Battalion for life.
President 9 RAR Association, SA.
7 Tracey Avenue
Sth Aust, 5025.
Served 10 Platoon D COY 4 RARNZ Vietnam 21st MAY 1968 to 31st JULY 1968. Badly wounded by a claymore type mine during a contact while he was forward scout.
MAY HE REST IN PEACE.
UGO DE LONGIS
The Royal Australian Regiment/New Zealand (ANZAC)
14 August 1946 – 06 September 2006
5715239 Private Ugo De Longis was a National serviceman who went to war in 1968. He did not want to join the Army but was forcibly invited due to the National Service Act. When he did arrive he immediately volunteered for service in South Vietnam. Ugo became a warrior in the famous armed forces of Australia, respected since World War One by friend and foe alike; respected for their audacity, their sense of camaraderie, their sense of humour, and their courage under fire.
Ugo volunteered to go to war, not because of the overall aim of stopping the war in South Vietnam but because his mates went and he did not want to let them down. They had trained together and in Ugo’s eyes, it was only right that they should fight together. The Spirit of ANZAC was always paramount in Ugo’s mind and he went to war with D Company, Fourth Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR) in Vietnam as the forward scout of two section, 10 Platoon.
To understand Ugo as a soldier is to know the ways of a forward scout. A forward scout leads a section of ten men; in turn a platoon of 33 men; in turn a company of 120 men and often leads a battalion of 550 men. It is the loneliest and the most daunting job of any member of the Infantry. The scout is the only member of a unit who has no protection or covering fire in front of him or to the side. He is normally the one that the baddies shoot at first.
He has the task of attempting to remain on a compass bearing while selecting the route between navigation bounds, which at most times are between trees ten feet apart. He has the task of looking for sign of the enemy such as boot prints or scrapes against trees, of looking for and identifying deliberate signs left by the enemy to guide their own troops, of identifying likely ambush sites, of detecting signs of mines and booby traps, of attempting to smell the enemy by the aroma of cooked or raw rice and fish, of attempting to hear the enemy before being heard, of attempting to locate enemy latrines by the number of flies in the air, of locating enemy bunker systems often indicated by camouflaged tree stumps.
He has the task of attempting to keep alive those of his mates behind them, to get them from point A to point B, to sight the enemy first and to kill him; and all the while attempting to understand the sometimes-confusing silent signals sent up to him by the Section Commander. At the same time that he is doing this, an equally smart and just as professional forward scout on the other side is attempting to find him. It took an exceptional soldier to be a forward scout in Vietnam. Ugo was an exceptional soldier and an exceptional scout, one of the best to serve in Vietnam.
Ugo was a marvel as a forward scout, he had that inbuilt sense to determine when something was wrong and his section commander, travelling behind him, could easily read Ugo’s mind by the tautness of the neck muscles, the tilt of the head, or the slower motions of his movements that alerted the section commander long before Ugo would send back the field signal that something was wrong.
He had the uncanny ability to detect that things were not as they seemed by the smell in the air, by the disturbance of the undergrowth, or just plain premonition. In fact, after he was wounded in action and evacuated to hospital by helicopter, the section felt that their good luck charm had left and that they had better get their act together.
Ugo was a warrior of the Australian Army, the most respected army in the world; that, in turn, made Ugo a warrior respected by the rest of the world. He was mostly respected however by those who served with him, his commanders and his fellow warriors. This can be demonstrated by those amongst others, who have personally offered their condolences.
Major General Mike Keating AM,
Brigadier John Deighton AM, MC,
Brigadier David Thomson MC,
Brigadier Lee Greville DSO,
Major Ray Hannah,
Lieutenant Ross Sillar,
Warrant Officer Class One Tony Toghill MBE,
Warrant Officer Class One Bluey Gibson DCM,
Warrant Officer Class Two Ron Nettlefold,
Warrant Officer Class Two Alan Price,
Sergeant Mick Carroll DCM,
The members of 10 Platoon and D Company 4RAR/NZ (ANZAC),
Warrant Officer Class Two Bob Pearson, the President of the Fourth Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment Association, Queensland on behalf of all members of the association and,
All members of the now 4RAR (Commando), currently based in Sydney and serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor.
For his service to Australia Ugo was awarded the:
Australian Defence Medal
Anniversary of National Service Medal, 1951-1972
Vietnamese Campaign Medal,
Infantry Combat Badge, and
Returned From Active Service Badge.
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 with clasp Vietnam,
To have served in the Fourth Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment for us was a privilege; to have served with Ugo was an extraordinary privilege. We thank the family and friends of Ugo for that extraordinary privilege.
Ugo, in that special place in heaven reserved for warriors, please scout around and find a place for us, your fellow warriors and your mates. Goodbye mate, well done, and may God bless you and keep you until we meet again. Duty First.
18182 DIGBY JOHN HAMMOND
The Royal Australian Regiment
31 February 1946 - 08 October 2006
18182 Warrant Office Class Two Digby John Hammond was a soldier who went to war. He enlisted in the Australian Regular Army on 30 May 1963 and served for the next twenty six years.
Digby served his nation in two campaigns; Borneo and South Vietnam. Digby was a warrior in the famous armed forces of Australia, respected since World War One by friend and foe alike; respected for their audacity, their sense of camaraderie, their sense ofhumour and their courage under fire.
Digby was a professional soldier and as such, he and his fellow soldiers, his mates, served Australia. In Digby’s eyes, they had trained together and it was only right that they should fight together. The Spirit of ANZAC was always paramount in Digby’s mind.
Digby served Australia in West Malaysia and Borneo with D Company, the Fourth Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR). The Royal Australian Regiment is the Infantryregiment of the Australian Regular Army.
4RAR was originally raised in Woodside on the first of February 1964. Digby actually joined the battalion on the seventeenth of January 1964 and as an original member, his name is inscribed in gold in the Battalion’s roll book.
Digby was a marvel as a soldier, he had that inbuilt sense to determine when the tension was the greatest and it was he who broke the tension by cracking a joke or doing something quite out of the ordinary. His sense ofhumour almost fell foul of military discipline when on board the ship carrying the platoon to Borneo, several including Digby and his best mate Kevin Freer, decided to have a haircut. Not content with an ordinary haircut they had their heads shaved. This was a startling breach of Army protocol and long before it became fashionable.
Digby took part in clandestine operations against the Indonesians on patrols in Borneo which traveled up to eight kilometers into Indonesia hunting the Indonesian Army. These patrols were so secret that dog tags could not be worn nor could anything be taken which might identify them as Australians; so secret that artillery and helicopter support could not be used; so secret that all radio messages were sent by answering questions and acknowledging by presses of the radio handset. So secret in fact, that it took thirty years for their exploits to be made public.
To understand Digby as a soldier is to know the ways of a rifleman. A rifleman is part of thesix man assault group of a ten man section of which there are three to a platoon. His work is 90 percent boredom and 10 percent excitement. He carries a load of up to 50 lb and is expected to perform as a an Olympic athlete whilst looking for sign of the enemy, mines and snipers; protecting those in front, behind and alongside, passing messages by silent field signals, and when needed, to assault enemy positions with never a thought of not moving forward.
He has the task of looking for sign of the enemy such as boot prints or scrapes against trees, of looking for and identifying deliberate signs left by the enemy to guide their own troops, of identifying likely ambush sites, of detecting signs of mines and booby traps, of attempting to smell the enemy by the aroma of cooking food, of attempting to hear the enemy before being heard, of attempting to locate enemy latrines by the number of flies in the air, of locating enemy bunker systems often indicated by camouflaged tree stumps. He has the task of attempting to keep alive those of his mates behind them, in front of him and beside him; to sight the enemy first and to kill him; and all the while moving as silently as a ghost and passing silent field signals forward and back. At the same time that he is doing this, a smart and just as professional enemy soldier is doing the same thing against him. It took an exceptional soldier to be a rifleman in Borneo; operating in pure jungle and mountainous terrain, continually wet, continually fatigued and continually on the alert. Digby was an exceptional soldier.
The platoon commander at the time, Lieutenant Roger Wickham speaks of his platoon, his soldiers and of Digby:
”You might have never noticed it but I loved that platoon and as I told the Royal Marines when I was Ship's Adjutant of HMS Fearless and as I told the US Marines when I was with them in Da Nang (South Vietnam), I would have backed my platoon Eleven Platoon, against any other from any other Army in the entire world”.
Digby continued his operational service by serving with 2RAR in South Vietnam with 1RAR and later with 11 Training Group in Townsville.
Digby was a warrior of the Australian Army, the most respected army in the world; that in turn made Digby a warrior respected by the rest of the world. He was mostly respected however by those who served with him, his commanders and his fellow warriors. This can be demonstrated by those who have personally offered their condolences:
Brigadier David Thomson MC,
Brigadier John Deighton AM, MC,
The former RSM of the Army, Arthur Francis OAM,
Warrant Officer Class One Bluey Gibson DCM,
Warrant Officer Class One Darcy Tillbrook,
Warrant Officer Class Two Doug Burke,
Former members of D Company, Fourth Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, and
Warrant Officer Class Two Alan Price, the President of the Fourth Battalion the Royal Australian Regiment Association Queensland, on behalf of all members of the association and all officers and soldiers of the now 4RAR (Commando), currently based in Sydney and serving in Afghanistan, Iraq and East Timor.
For his service to Australia Digby was awarded the:
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-1975 with clasps Malaysia and Vietnam,
General Service Medal 1962 with clasp Borneo
Australian Service Medal 1945-1975 with clasp South East Asia
Defence Force Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal
Vietnamese Campaign Medal,
Pinjat Jasa - Malaysia
Infantry Combat Badge, and the
Returned From Active Service Badge.
To have served in the Fourth Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment for us was a privilege; to have served with Digby was an extraordinary privilege. We thank you for allowing us the extraordinary privilege of serving beside your partner and your father.
Digby, in that special place in heaven reserved for warriors, please find a harbour for us, your fellow warriors and your mates. Good-bye mate, well done and may God bless you and keep you until we meet again.
The warrior with a rifle in one hand and a mischievous smile on his face has gone home.
Thanks to Al Price for this eulogy
Info Received from Ross McGregor (Qld Sec)...thanks Ross
We have just been informed of the sudden death in South Australia of one of our SA Association members;
Pte Robert John Kennett
4RAR/NZ (ANZAC) 1970-71
Died 23 January 2007
No details to hand yet.
Carole "Cass" Holborow1950 -2007
"We shared many secrets, we shared
lots of good times, and we laughed
‘till we cried and we have lots of
Memories, I'm Glad you're my friend."
Brian Holborow 12 Pl D Coy 4RAR SVN 68/69
ROLL OF HONOUR
AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN, AND IN THE MORNING,
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
Once again we honour al those who have gone before us. In this brief moment of
our time may we consider the stress and strain these men must have passed through before laying down their crosses of life. Enable us, their friends to be worthy of the trust they have imparted unto us on their
passing; for theirs was anhonourable and noble life. May God grant unto their families His peace.
Bob Woods 27 June 2006
Mick Heffernan 27 July 2006
Rae Woodhouse (Wife of Colin ‘Woody’) 31 Jul 2006
James (Jock) Burgess 03 Aug 2006
Helen Morrison (Wife of Michael ’Midge’ 27 Aug 2006
Ugo De Longis 06 Sep 2006
Vic Byquar 10 Sep 2006
Darryl (Vic) Morrow 14 Sep 2006
Peter Rigby 22 Sep 2006
Digby Hammond 08 Oct 2006
George Petersen 15 Oct 2006
Carol Holborow (wife of Brian) 24 Feb 2007
We only hope that there are none recently which we should have reported We sincerelyapologise if we have been remiss.
To all that have passed in the service of 4RAR, 2/4RAR and 4RAR (Cdo) Well done, thou good and noble warriors, we will never forget!
LEST WE FORGET.
5713892 Mathews W.J. (Snowy)
From Vic Salis in Perth, Snowy Mathews died in WA on Friday 20th April '07, no details are available yet, but we will keep you posted as we receive them. Rest in Peace old mate.
Info received from Ross McGregor (Sec 4RAR Assoc Qld) in Brisbane....thanks Roscoe