Anzac Day 2020

Dawn service at home was the most unusual feature of Anzac Day 2020. Like so many others, the old digger in the picture started the day listening to the service from Canberra courtesy of ABC radio whilst watching the dawn rising over Lake Magellan, Pelican Waters, Caloundra. A local bugler added some realism to the scene by playing the Last Post at 6am and later by playing Reveille at different points around the lakeside. Many of the local residents, like those in Cities and Towns all over Australia, gathered at the ends of their driveways to commemorate the dawn service.

Lest We Forget

 

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Tribute by the Coomera Anglican College

Members, Peter Grogan, our good mate from the 49th Bn Assoc., has passed this tribute on to us, as quite a few diggers of the 31st Bn,  41st Bn, & his 49th Bn, get mentioned. A moving tribute, produced by the Students of the Coomera Anglican College to pay homage to those Diggers from the Northern Gold Coast Area – KIA.  This was produced by the students as they were unable to attend their Normal Anzac Day Service this year.

Most of Our Members will Parade at 0600 Hrs tomorrow morning, in front of our Homes, or on our Balconies in high rise Units, dressed in Jackets, Ties, Berets & Medals, to observe the Silence & remember the fallen. Radio 4BC will be playing the Last Post at 0600 hrs so if you can have your Radio blaring, it will be almost real. –

Our Thoughts however will be. – LEST WE FORGET.

Click on the link below:

CommeraAnglicanCollege

CommeraAnglicanCollege

or

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3vul7dbhl0mdzir/ANZAC%20Day%202020%20final.mp4?dl=0

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Anzac Day Cancellation

The following message has been passed on by Association Brisbane Branch Secretary, Tony Wadeson:

Members Please find the attached Press Release re the cancellation of the Brisbane Anzac Day March. It is to be noted that this is the first time since its inception in 1916 that there will be NO ANZAC DAY MARCH IN BRISBANE.

Its not only the Older Diggers who would be at high risk – but the many thousands of spectators lining the streets, about 5 deep, would be unacceptable to Govt. authorities.

We may still hold our small service at the 2/31st Bn Memorial at Southbank if the 2/31st Bn descendants are still willing. We will keep you posted, on that one.

anzacNotice2020

Help from Cobbers School Fromelles, France

Pierre Seillier our Honorary Member from Fromelles, kindly sent a copy of the News item produced by Channel 7 European correspondent Sarah Greenhalgh. An edited version was shown on Australian TV on Saturday 22nd February 2020.

The news item tells the story of the help being offered by the children of the “Cobbers School”, Fromelles in Northern France after they had heard of the devastating fires in Australia and their effect on the wildlife. Pierre features in the Documentary.

Our thanks go to Pierre, who, by the way, instigated an appeal in Fromelles for Australian Bush Fire Victims. The Cobbers School was part of the this magnificent gesture by this small Town in France. The pupils of the school have each adopted a Grave of the fallen & their donations are being allocated to the areas of where some of these WW1 soldiers KIA at Fromelles in 1916. The battle of Fromelles was the first battle involving the AIF on the Western Front. Casualties in this battle were the highest (5513), experienced in a 24 Hour period in Australia’s history.

Each year on 19th July, the Anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles, Pierre represents the 31st Bn Association, wearing the 31st Battalion Association Beret. He lays a wreath on our behalf, at the Remembrance Ceremony held at Fromelles.

Pierre has produced thousands of tributes to Australian soldiers over the years. One of the many he has supplied for families of Australian soldiers is shown below. This one covers one of our own – Kev Thomas MM)

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Pierre and the People of Fromelles – France

The following message was passed on by the Secretary of the 31st Battalion Association Tony Wadeson:

Our Honorary Member resident in France, Pierre Seillier of Fromelles,  – A True Blue Aussie Mate, who, over many years, has helped out Thousands of Aussie Families with uncovering details of their loved ones, lost during WW1, –  Instigated an Appeal in Fromelles to help out their Aussie friends who have been effected by the recent Bush Fires around the country.

The Mayor, The Local “Cobbers School”, The Gymnastic Club, The March Club, The Remembrance -FWTN 14-18, & other local Associations, created events & made Donations towards the Bush Fire Appeal. The Local Cobbers School also sewed pouches for “Baby Joey’s”, & they wrote & drew messages of support to Aussie kids who lost their Schools to Bush Fires.

Remember Fromelles is a small Village in Northern France. However they have never forgotten how young Australian Diggers died in France over 100 years ago. In Pierre’s own words on his Face Book Notification:- Because I Love, – They Love Australia. 

This should appear in our local Newspapers throughout Australia to tell our communities about this small Village in France who have not forgotten Australia & are now contributing to help Aussies in their Hour of Need.

That’s True Blue Mateship, for you.   

Tony

Commemorative Church Service – Townsville

On 18th August 2019, The 31st Battalion, Kennedy Regiment, The Royal Queensland Regiment, held their Annual Church Service at St James Anglican Cathedral Townsville as detailed on the front page of the Church service program (See Below). The service was conducted by both the Bishop, The Right Reverend Dr Keith Joseph, Major RAAMC (Rtd) and the Dean Very Reverend Rod McDonald, both of whom were Army Chaplains .

This year the Service focused on the actions of the 31st/51st Battalion in WWII in the Battle of Porton Plantation on Bougainville, Papua NewGuinea. The Reflections Address was given by Major Kaho Lai OC Army School of Transport- Maritime Wing, Ross Island Townsville. Major Lai gave a brief account of his career and an overview of the WWII Porton Landing operation stressing the links between the 31st/51st Battalion AIF and Water Transport. The Maritime Squadron turned out in strength with around 30 Squadron members attending. A big thankyou to the squadron for its support. The CV for Major Lai is on the back page of the program (See Below).

During the Church Service the first reading was delivered by Mr Garry Edwards, President of the Mackay Branch of 42nd Battalion Association, the second reading was by Mr Felix Reitano, President of the Ingham Branch of 31st Battalion Association. The 31st/42nd Battalion pre-positioned their Colours in the Cathedral prior to the service and provided a cross for the laying of wreaths. The support of the Battalion was excellent, as usual, and the Association thanks the Battalion.

4 Brisbane Branch Members:- Ray Fogg, George Stanger,  Mick James, & Tony Wadeson, travelled up to Townsville to attend the Commemoration Church Service & the Reunion Lunch afterwards.

The Church Service was well attended with the CO – LTCOL Damien Green, – RSM  WO1 John Stafford & Exec. Officer Major Ian Reid, plus other members of 31/42RQR in attendance. A large number of soldiers from the Army School of Transport- Maritime Wing, including the RSM also attended the Service. Representatives from the various Branches of the 31st Bn Assoc. as well as, 42 Bn Assoc. Mackay & 51 Bn Assoc. – Tablelands, provided a good attendance.

After the Service all those present had the pleasure of mixing with over morning tea before heading off to the reunion lunch.

The Reunion lunch held after the Church Service was at the Townsville Yacht Club as the Townsville RSL Club is still recovering from the extensive damage caused by the flood early this year. Photo from the lunch shows the Association President, Col Greg Stokie (Retd) welcoming all with the 31st/42nd Battalion CO and his wife in front of the lectern and the Battalion 2IC and RSM to the right.

You can read more about the Battle of Porton Plantation & 31st/51st Bn here –

https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/awm-media/collection/RCDIG1026212/bundled/RCDIG1026212.pdf

 

 

 

Front page of Order of Service

Rear page of Order of Service containing CV of Major Kaho Lai

31st Battalion Colours

31st Battalion Association members L to R Felix Reitano (Ingham), Tony Wadeson (Brisbane), Merrick Lalor (Cairns), Mick James (Brisbane). Maj Merrick Lalor is the OC of the Kennedy Coy.

President of 31st Battalion Association Col Greg Stokie welcoming members and guests to the Reunion

Luncheon at the Townsville Yacht Club

 

CO 31st/42nd Battalion LtCol Damien Green at the Reunion Lunch

 

Members and Guests at the Reunion lunch at the Townsville Yacht Club

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Battle of Onverwacht Ceremony

On Thursday 7th February 2019 at 1000hrs The Boer War Association Queensland held a ceremony at the Sherwood RSL sub branch centre commemorating the Battle of Onverwacht. The guest speaker was Maj. General Professor
John Pearn AO RFD who called on the wreaths to laid by interested parties. A contingent of 7 members representing the 31st Infantry Battalion Association attended and laid a wreath.
After the ceremony morning tea served in the club rooms attended by our group plus the representatives of the African Military Veterans Organisation of Australia ( SAMVOA ). We then moved to the Services Club for lunch.
Members should be aware that a significant number of the members of the Kennedy Regiment volunteered to join the
Australian contingent bound for South Africa during the Boer War. The Regiment was subsequently awarded the Battle Honour “South Africa 1901 -1902” in recognition of this service.
The following photos were taken at the sub branch function
President of the SAMVOA Shaun Winson and 31st Battalion (Brisbane Branch) Secretary Tony Wadeson
At the Battle of Onverwacht Commemoration
Mike O’Connor SAMVOA with 31st Battalion Assn members George Stanger and Mick James
31st Battalion Association (Brisbane Branch) President Ray Fogg and Mike O’Connor SAMVOA

OBE Awards

At a small gathering of members of the Association in November 2018, two of our hard working members of the Brisbane Branch executive were presented with their OBE (Over Bloomin’ [Insert adjective of choice] Eighty) awards.

President Ray Fogg and Secretary Tony Wadeson were both recipients of this prestigious award. As a memento of the occasion both graciously accepted excellent caricatures portraying their activities over and above their commitments to the association. Our best wishes go to Ray and to Tony.

Presentation to Ray Fogg by George Stanger (also another Association OBE)

 

George making the presentation to Tony Wadeson which pays tribute to Tony’s involvement with Surf Lifesaving .