VC Awardees Attend Funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

Awardees of the Victoria Cross including past member of the 31st Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment, Keith Payne VC  joined a contingent of the Australian Defence Forces together with the Prime Minister and selected members of the Australian community to attend the Funeral Service for our late Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey on Monday 19th September 2022.

Australia’s oldest living Victoria Cross recipient, Keith Payne VC

has been given the medical all clear to travel to London for the Queen’s funeral.

Keith (standing in front beside wheelchair) with other VC and GC winners

outside Union Jack Club London

Another photo of Keith Payne VC AM entering Westminster Abbey for

the Queen’s funeral with fellow Aussie VC Awardee Mark Donaldson to the front left.

Keith is being pushed by serving British VC Awardee Johnson Beharry.

Thanks to Pierre Seillier (Association Honorary Member)  for the photo.

The Bearer Party. The real heroes of the day with the most responsibility, given

THE hardest job of the day bearing Her Majesty’s coffin time and time again with

perfect precision and control. Respect to these guys. 

Part of our Australian Contingent alongside Scots and Canadian Contingents

Our ADF Contingent at the Funeral of Her Majesty.

Lt R A Lewis – Japanese Surrender at Kotawaringin – Borneo

The following copies of letters, orders, diary extracts relate to the the part played by Lt Richard Aubrey Lewis (B Coy 2/31st battalion) in the surrender of the Japanese forces in the Banjarmasin/Kotawaringin areas of Kalimantan, Borneo in September 1945.

Note: For ease of reading some of the documents and hand written script a high resolution screen may be necessary. Older computer monitors may present some difficulties. Modern mobile phones or tablets are likely to have greater definition than older computer monitors allowing easier reading of the documents herein.

They were gathered and collated by his son, 31st Battalion Association member Tim Lewis.

From the diary of NX177993 Lt Richard Aubrey Lewis Recollection No9 Dated 11th Dec 1945:

“On the 25th of September I left Bandjamasin to proceed to Kotawaringin to accept the surrender of the Jap garrison. It was an interesting trip Lieut C Allan Hard and Sub-Lieut Col Gillespie were the naval officers of HMAL 1359 which carried portion of my party. The remainder under Sgt Hewston, travelled on a Jap coastal steamer.”


Lt Lewis with Navy personnel on HMAML1359 moving to Kota Waringin to

accept the surrender of members of Japanese Forces 

Above and Below – Lt Lewis meeting with the Sultan at Pangkalan Bun

This is the main administration centre of the Kota Waringin Area

Chart of the Kalimantan Coastline East of Banjarmasin


Warning Order given to Lt RA Lewis and key personnel on the day prior (22 Sep 1945). The order was for the move to Kota Waringin on 23 Sep 1945 to bring back Japanese 156 Soldiers and 18 Civilians.

With him was a Pl of B Coy (4 NCO plus 32 OR)

2 RAP Orderlies

1 Int Sect

1 Cook

Lt Hard and crew of  HMAML Q1359

Tke Kotawaringin Region of Central Kalinantan, Borneo

Below is an extract from the War Diary covering the period between 23 Sep 45 to 28 Sep 45.

It covers the move to Kota Waringin for the purpose of accepting the surrender and

Transporting of Japanese forces for processing at Banjarmasin.  

The Kota Waringin area is approx 450km to the west of Banjarmasin. The journey took just over 24 hrs to complete

Because of Navigation concerns they spent the night of 24/25 anchored (with the HAPGOAN, the coastal vessel that was to transport the Japanese) at the mouth of the river before going upstream to Kumai on 25 Sep. At Kumai, the village headman reported that majority of the Japanese had been assembled 1km north of Kumai.


A number of Japanese Officars (4 Naval and 1 Army) presented themselves to Lt Lewis at the Kumai wharf. Lt IIzuka reported that 153 soldiers and 18 Civilians  were in their party north of Kumai, 9 of whom were hospital cases suffering from (2 x appendicitis, 6 Malaria and 1 a Violent Lunatic). Weapons were centralised and stored. The OC of their sub unit Sub-Lt Takare had previously committed Hari Kari. Lt Lewis was able to inspect and confirm these reported numbers.

All Japanese were moved to the wharf and placed under guard. Lt Iizuka was given a warning order that they were to be moved to BANJARMASIN on 26 Sep. An English speaking Chinese was interrogated. Report shown below.

Arrangements were made for meeting with the Sultan in PANGKALAN BUN.

Travelled to PANGKALAN BUN by car (approx 15KM via road) to Sultans palace.

Lt Lewis was received by the Sultan at a civic reception at his Palace. The civil administration was 

returned to the Sultan whose position had been eroded during the Japanese occupation.

The Sultan returned with Lt Lewis to Kumai to be briefed on the stores and supplies that were to be policed.

The Japanese and one of their local collaborators (Hadji Mochamad Kasim) were loaded on the vessels.

Both boats (the “HMAML Q 1359” and the coastal vessel “Hapgoan”) set sail for Banjarmasin on 26th Sep at1555hrs.

Arrival in Banjarmasin was two days later.

The above list is the weapons and equipment handed over by the Japanese. A number of rifles and LMGs most of which were dumpted at sea. The Dutch captured weapons were returned to the Dutch.

The Japanese swords were returned to the Bn store. 

Equipment included Diesel and Petrol engines, Generators for lighting and radio equipment, workshop equipment (lathe drills, saws, grinding wheel, etc) and 10 vehicles of various types.

Most of this equipment was left to be policed by the Sultan’s men.

This image was taken from either NAA or AWM footage.

This note is from Tim Lewis (the son of Lt RA Lewis)”I can only assume that my father accepted the garrison surrender from Captain Iizuka with WO Iwase by his side. ( These names appeared elsewhere in my father’s diaries)”.

These are some of the handwritten notes written during the conduct of the operations at Kota Waringin

Covering note to the CO 2/31 Battalion 28 Sep 1945

Below is a hand written description of the meeting between Lt Lewis and the Sultan

to discuss the restoration of the civil administration.

The Sultan expresses his concerns regarding his reduced status during the Japanese Occupation.

Lt Lewis held meetings with district headmen to re-establish the Sultan as the centre of Administration in the district

pending the arrival of the Dutch Administration. 

Document F is a Patrol Report

The patrol was to ascertain whether and large numbers of Japanese were in the area and to locate any Japanese weapons.

It was determined that no large numbers of Japanese were in the area and that all former store houses were

searched but no weapons were found. Weapons previously founded were handed to a patrol from C Coy.

Document C is an Interrogation Report

This report is from the interrogation of an English speaking Chinese concerning the man Hadji Mochamad Kalim who was brought back from Kumai to Banjarmasin on the Naval vessel. Kalim was named as a Japanese collaborator. He had lived in the Kumai area since 1936 There were two occasions where Kalim received a token punishment from the Japanese for trying to buy a radio and for fishing. The same offences perpetrated by others would result in much harsher punishment.

In 1942 There were 1000 British and Dutch troops in the area but these had subsequently been transferred to Banjarmasin. since then there were not many Japanese in the area until they built an airstrip 6 months before the end of the war. The factory and equipment at Kumai was used in the manufacture of swords and in support of the air strip operations.

Below is the report from the Chinese person in his own handwriting.