Remembrance Day – 2023 – Townsville

Remembrance Day in Townsville was a day of activity for Ian Reid who, prior to retirement a few years back, was an officer of 31/42RQR. He gives a brief report on his part in Remembrance Day 2023: “Had the honour of Piping for the Remembrance day service at Townsville City. Great day, with the RSM laying the wreath for the Battalion.
Ran into Maj (Retd) Merv Dicton and had a lovely chat and catch up.
Keep up the great work Minatours”
“Semper Paratus Defendere”
Ian Reid Piping for Remembrance Day
Wreaths at the Townsville Cenotaph for Remembrance Day 2023

Remembrance Day – 2023 – Charters Towers –

The Charters Towers Cenotaph was the venue for Remembrance Day Commemoration. Members of the Charters Towers Branch of the 31st Battalion Association including Norm Snell who paid his respects to his comrades. Norm will celebrate his 100th birthday on the 19th January.

Towers Branch Association Secretary Victor Nicol reports that the Commemoration Service was attended by approximately one hundred people and refreshments were available at the RSL afterwards.

Norm Snell Paying His Respects to Comrades at the Cenotaph

31st Battalion Association Members at the 2023 Commemoration


RSL Presentation to Ray “Dasher” Deed BEM

WO1 Ray “Dasher” Deed BEM was recently presented with the Quilt of Valour at his local RSL Sub Branch. Only a few weeks ago Ray was also presented with Life Membership of the 31st Battalion Association Association. The fleshed out story of Rays Army career including the citation for his BEM award was reported in the article on the presentation of the Association Life Membership. Search – Ray Deed – on this website.

Congratulations Ray, Well deserved awards.

WO1 Ray “Dasher” Deed (second from Left) in younger days with mates from AATTV

After having received the “Presidential Citation” for the Battle of Kapyong.

Search – Ray Deed – on this website for the full story

WO1 Francis Law DCM

The following information was provided by Peter Nelson who has done a wonderful job of putting together an alphabetical list of members of the 31st Battalion who served in World War 1. Below is an extract of the service record of Francis Law including the citation for the award of his Distinguished Conduct Medal – DCM. In the citation the name of the place for the action in which he was awarded the DCM is shown as Petillon. Today the action is referred to as the Battle of Fromelles.

RSM Francis Law DCM survived  WW1, living until 11th Jun 1944. He was subsequently buried in Lutwyche Cemetery Brisbane and  now, due to the efforts of the Remembrance Army,  has a memorial plaque in Lutwyche Cemetery. See the story of the Remembrance Army. Search the “Australian Remembrance Army – Projects” on this website.

Service Number 246
Rank Sgt/RSM
Born 1872, Wentworth, NSW
NOK Friend, Albert Wolfenden, Union Hotel, Barcaldine, Queensland
Father Henry Law
Mother Elizabeth Arabella Barnett
Enlistment 15th Jul 1915 Barcaldine, Queensland
Age 44
Status and Religion Single, C. of E.
Occupation Labourer
Notes A Coy, 31st Bn

Embarked at Melbourne, on HMAT A62 “WANDILLA”, 9 Nov 1915
Arrived at Suez, Egypt on 6 th Dec 1915

Admitted 14 th Fld Amb (influenza), at Ferry Post, on 26 th Apr 1916
Rejoined Bn from hospital, at Ferry Post on 5 th May 1916

Embarked at Alexandria, Egypt to join B.E.F. per HMAT ‘Hororata’ on 16 th Jun 1916
Disembarked at Marseilles, France on 23 rd Jun 1916

Awarded DCM for actions: – “At PETILLON on the 19 th /20 th July 1916, this NCO acted with great gallantry and
coolness under a withering hail of artillery on the right flank. He with about 10 men, attacked an enemy Machine
Gun’s position and put it out of action and captured it; one of the party carried it back to the main position. This
NCO afterwards got most of his little band back to the main position and held on all night.

Awarded Medal of St George 1 st Class for actions:- “At PETILLON on the 19 th /20 th July 1916, this NCO acted with great gallantry and coolness under a withering hail of artillery on the right flank. He with about 10 men, attacked an enemy Machine Gun’s position and put it out of action and captured it; one of the party carried it back to the main position. This NCO afterwards got most of his little band back to the main position and held on all night.”

To be RSM WO Class 1 (vice Brodie commissioned) on 20 th Aug 1916


(GSW face, fractured R ulna) (GSW = Gun Shot Wounds, fractured ulna = fractured forearm)to hospital on 25 th Oct 1916
Admitted 36 th CCS (GSW face) on 25 th Oct 1916
To Amb Train on 28 th Oct 1916
Admitted St John’s Ambulance, Etaples, on 28 th Oct 1916

Embarked per HS “Stad Antwerpen” from Calais, ex St John’s Ambulance to England on 25 th Nov 1916
Admitted King George Hospital, Stamford, on 25 th Nov 1916
Transferred to 2 nd Aux Hospital, Southall, from King George Hospital, on 22 nd Aug 1917

Discharged to furlough from 11 th Sep 1917 to 25 th Sep 1917 and to report to Depot, Weymouth on 25 th Sep 1917

Marched in to CD, Weymouth on 25 th Sep 1917
RTA per A35 “Berrima”, due compound fracture of R lower jaw for discharge on 31 st Oct 1917

Disembarked at Melbourne for overland journey to Brisbane

Discharged at Brisbane on 7 th Feb 1918

Died 11 th Jun 1944

Buried Lutwyche Cemetery, Brisbane

Plaque created by Association Honorary Member in France – Pierre Seillier

Metal Plaque installed at Lutwyche Cemetery Brisbane by the Australian Remembrance Army



Australian Remembrance Army – Projects

This year as we commemorate Remembrance Day we highlight the work of the Australian Remembrance Army.  Following the 107th Anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles Commemoration on 19th July 2023, the Official Party with relatives of those who fought in the Battle were invited to a light lunch at the Soldiers Hall. At the Lunch 31st Battalion Association’s Mick James made a special Presentation that tied in with the Battle of Fromelles Commemoration. Part of Mick’s presentation is recorded as follows:

“My name is Mick James and I’m on the 31st Battalion organizing Committee for this Battle of Fromelles Commemoration. I’d like to take a few moments to inform you of a similarity between this Commemoration and another occurrence in Brisbane.”

“Later today French time at Fromelles CWG Cemetery Pheasant Wood there will be another 7 graves that will now have named Headstones, bringing the total to 173 with named headstones. These men have lain in unmarked graves for at least 90 years.”

“Similarly in Brisbane and other Cemeteries throughout Australia, there are many WW1 Diggers who returned from the War and subsequently died and were buried in Military Sections of Cemeteries, almost all without a name plate on their grave. Such was the case in Lutwyche Cemetery in Brisbane until recently.”

“In 2019 the Australian Remembrance Army, led by Cate Walker & Katrina Trevethan applied for a Federal Govt Grant of $317,000, to research, produce & place metal Plaques on 709 graves of WW1 diggers who died in the 1940s,50s & 60s. The grant was approved and in April this year the 1st 247 name plaques were unveiled, including one for RSM Francis Law of 31st Bn. He is one of twenty 31st Battalion WW1 diggers who will have a named Plaque when the project is completed.”

“Francis Law was a Sgt during the Battle of Fromelles, where, for his gallant actions in enemy trenches he was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM), and shortly after was promoted RSM.” For further information on RSM Francis Law DCM see the article – WO1 Francis Law – on this website.

Cate and Katrina were called forward to receive the presentation.

“On behalf of the 31st Battalion Association, I would like to present this Tribute to RSM Francis Law DCM to each of you in appreciation of the great work you are doing.”

For Further information on the Remembrance Army’s Project see Archives – April 2023 – on this website (Unveilling of Plaques at Lutwyche Cemetery). 

Presentation of Plaques to Remembrance Army’s Cate Walker and Katrina Trevethan

by Mick James on the Anniversary of the Battle of Fromelles 2023.

The Plaque of WO1 Francis Law DCM presented to Remembrance Army Representitives

Cate Walker and Katrina Trevethan

(Plaque was Created by Association Honorary Member Pierre Seillier)