31/42 RQR Regimental Dinner – Mackay – 10th December 2022

Saturday night (10th Dec 2022) was an excellent occasion with the 31st/42nd Battalion The Royal Queensland Regiment, Regimental Dinner.

Association Member Mick James describes the evening:

It was attended by approx. 150 members of the Battalion, members of both Battalion Associations and invited Guests. The Mayor of Mackay Regional Council, Mr Greg Williamson & Mrs Annette Williamson headed the Guest list, with Guest Speaker Brig (Retd) Steve Graw & Mrs Dale Graw, Commander 11 Brigade, Brig Mark Armstrong and his RSM, WO1 Andrew Crook, and Mr Keith Payne VC AM. I had the honour of hosting Keith at the Dinner including picking him up from his home in Mackay and returning him there afterwards (with a driver). Keith also had a good friend with him, Darren Stendt who has 30 years service in the Army including 15 years in 1 Commando Coy.


After some excellent fellowship, we sat down to a 3 course delicious meal (after Grace) with good red and white wines accompanying it. Then the port was passed around and various toasts were made- The King, The Australian Army, & The Battalion, all to suitable music accompaniment with the latter Toast made by LtCol Cameron McKay, the incoming CO of 31st/42nd Battalion.

Brig (Retd) Steve Graw then spoke on the subject of Moral Courage. It was a most instructive speech and attempts are being made to publish it. However the night was far from over with the RSM WO1 Dave Harding calling a number of Promotions, Awards and Farewells.

The Farewells included the CO, Lt Col David Gandy, Kennedy Company OC Maj Barbara Keller, The Adjutant, Capt Nick Crosbie, Training WO Paul Lergessner (Retd), 2IC Cap Coy, Capt Stephen Wooler.  One of the notable promotion was Capt Misty Evans, who received her 3rd pips from the CO and her husband (see photo below).


An excellent night and Keith Payne enjoyed himself immensely. The Battalion members, Assoc members and guests enjoyed his presence, with many speaking to him and a number having their photo taken with him. When I introduced Keith to the assembled group prior to the Dinner, I also made 2 presentations to him. The first was a Tribute of his service in various Units and his Medal Awards & Honors done by our French friend and honorary 31st Bn Assn Member, Pierre Seillier. Pierre is also a friend of .Keith’s. The Tribute shows Keith’s 1st and last Units, 31st Bn . in top left corner and 42nd Bn in the top right corner. The 2nd presentation is an enlarged photo from 1951 showing 31st Bn troops training at Sellheim Army Camp (located outside Charters Towers). A number of men are named, including Pte Keith Payne (3rd from left) and Pte Kev Fraser (who became CO of 31st Bn in the mid 1970s). Keith was very pleased with both and his son, Colin was amazed at the 1951 photo when he saw it on Keith’s return home.


A very enjoyable night and thanks go to the Bn XO, Maj Mark Smith for organising and hosting it as Dining President.

The following is the address by Guest Speaker for the evening Brigadier (Rtd) Steven Graw RFD:

Mr Greg Williamson – Mayor of the Mackay Regional Council, Mrs Annette Williamson, Mr Keith Payne VC, Brigadier Mark Armstrong, Lt Col David Gandy, other distinguished guests, members of the Battalion, ladies and gentlemen.

The topic on which I have been asked to speak to-night is Moral Courage.

At its most basic, moral courage is not just knowing what is right, or doing what is right, or acting ethically or justly – it is being willing to stand up and confront the things that we know are wrong. It is not remaining silent or indifferent when something needs to be called out and corrected.

As members of the defence force we are sworn to protect Australia, its people and its way of life. That takes physical courage. But we also have a duty to defend its soul – and that takes moral courage – a calculated willingness to step up and be counted, even if it involves some personal cost or personal risk – to our relationships, reputation or physical or financial well-being.

The hardest things you will ever have to do in life will be those when you have to face the disapproval, and even the censure, of others – even those you considered your friends – for doing it.

Moral courage is acting resolutely on your convictions and ethical beliefs. That is what towering figures like Ghandi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King did – despite the consequences.

Ukraine’s Volodimir Zelenskyy displays both physical and moral courage. When the Russians invaded and the Americans offered to extract him how did he reply? ‘I need ammunition, not a ride’. He got his ammunition.

Contrast that to the response of the then President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, as the Taliban entered Kabul. Having said on multiple occasions that he would ‘fight to the death’, when the Taliban closed in it was reported that he loaded up a chopper with his family and as many bags of US banknotes as he could (something he subsequently denied) and fled to the UAE. His excuse, that he did it to save Kabul from destruction was a blatant cop-out. There was no courage there – physical or moral.

Whistle-blowers in public and private enterprises who act to counter corrupt or unethical behaviour also display moral courage. Those who see bad behavior in their workplaces or communities have a choice. They can do something about it – or they can take the easy option and do nothing. Rocking the boat when it needs to be rocked takes moral courage.

Moral courage means adhering to your values – like honesty, respect, responsibility and fairness – even when that is uncomfortable.

It is not a group activity – if you wait for the consensus and follow the pack that is not moral courage. That is being ‘part of the herd’ – it’s bovine and it’s easy.

Unfortunately, true moral courage is sadly lacking in our society.

Our national politicians, in the main, do not have it. They prefer, instead, to do what is popular or ‘politically expedient’ rather than doing what is ‘right’. They even boast about it. Many of you may remember the title of Graeme Richardson’s autobiography – ‘Whatever it Takes’.

Promises, even firm undertakings, rarely have any binding effect, either ethically or morally. You may remember John Howard’s fatuous attempt to distinguish between what he called ‘core and non-core’ promises’ – a sort of ‘get-out of jail free’ card allowing him to ignore promises he did not want to keep.

Julia Gillard famously promised before the 2010 Federal election that ‘there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead’ – but then caved in to political expediency to introduce one under a deal she made to remain in government. That went well. It did her little good in the long run. It made her intensely unpopular, and resulted in her being ousted in an internal party coup to reinstate her predecessor, Kevin Rudd, as Prime Minister in an attempt to limit the fallout from the 2014 election. Who knows what the result may have been if she had had the moral courage to stick with her promise and refuse the Green’s demands for a carbon tax.

The media is arguably no better. Once it was there to ‘keep the bastards honest’, to be a watchdog holding government and other powerful institutions accountable. It did that by reporting honestly, fairly and impartially – and by sticking to the facts.

No longer. Sensationalist headlines and reports grab attention and that drives advertising revenue – apparently the major concern of even mainstream commercial media – not just what we used to refer to as the ‘gutter press’.

Worse though are those who abuse their positions of trust to drive their own, often ‘woke’, agendas.

Even our national broadcaster, the ABC, has been caught out, having to pay out huge amounts of public money to settle defamation and other similar disputes – simply because it did not have the moral courage to enforce its own editorial standards or, worse, to require its journalists to adhere to them and to ‘fess up’ and apologise when they are caught out.

And that brings me to the second aspect of moral courage.

Moral courage is not just standing up for what it right – it is also accepting responsibility, and acknowledging when you are wrong.

I will give you just one example.

Many of you will know, or at least have heard of Brigadier ‘Warry George’ Mansford – a larger than life figure who was responsible for re-raising 11 Brigade in 1987.

Warry George’ joined the Army on his 17th birthday, fought through Korea and Malaya took a ‘knife and fork’ commission in 1964 and then fought in Vietnam. He was subsequently responsible for setting up the Battle School at Tully and also set up the Young Officer Courses (now the ROBC) for newly commissioned officers to learn their specific to corps skills.

You will no doubt all remember that, as junior soldiers, we all had drummed into us that when doing TEWTs the DS will try to talk you off your plan. We also had it impressed on us never to let them do it – because that meant that you weren’t committed to it in the first place.

And so it was for a newly commissioned 2LT from one of the then ARES Commando Companies doing his Young Officer course with George.

The story is that, tasked with coming up with a plan to site an ambush near a known enemy position, he sited it just forward of the enemy wire – on the basis that he would achieve surprise because no-one would expect it there.

George listened patiently and, when the 2LT had finished presenting, said ‘It won’t work son’. Applying the accepted wisdom among students, the young officer argued that it was a terrific plan and would most certainly work. George put up with this for a while until, finally, he stood up, grasped his own shirt by its epaulets and said, ‘See this son. Three wars, no holes, It won’t f…en work’.

That was perhaps a very good example of an occasion where the young officer should have had the moral courage (and the good sense) to admit that maybe he was wrong.

I would l like to finish up with one final comment. A former Chief of Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison and I were CO’s and, then, Brigade Commanders in Townsville at around the same time. We did not meet often and it is probably fair to say that I did not always agree with him on everything he said. However, I cannot quibble with the comment for which he is perhaps most famous The standard you walk past is the standard you accept’.

As soldiers we have a duty – to ourselves, to the Army and to Australia – to have the moral courage not to walk past something we know to be wrong. We need to keep, foremost and always in our minds, that: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’ Moral courage, ladies and gentlemen, is not ‘doing nothing’.

Thank you.

 

 

The Presentation by the 31st Battalion Association to Keith Payne VC, AM

Newspaper Clipping from 1951 Showing Pte Keith Payne (Third from Left) and

Pte Kev Fraser (later to become CO of 31RQR in 1976)

Presentation being made to Keith Payne VC AM by 31st Battalion Association’s Mick James

At the start of the Regimental Dining Night

Keith Showing the Presentation

Newly Promoted LT Misty Evans Receiving her Captains Pips from

The CO LtCol David Gandy and her Husband 

Comd 11 Bde Brigadier Armstrong making presentation to outgoing CO LTCOL David Gandy

Meeting the Incoming CO of the Battalion LtCol Cam McKay was

Association Website Editor Maj (Rtd) Martin O’Sullivan

CO Presenting Outgoing Adjt Capt Nick Crosbie with a Unit Plaque for a job well done

Presentation to Maj Barbara Keller with Thanks for a job well done in Kennedy Company

The Dining Night – Mackay – Mister Vice (Lt Mark Hazlett) studying the Menu

It was good to see Keith relaxed recounting a story or two and

enjoying the night

Many people had the chance to speak to and be photographed with our guest of Honour

Former Members of the Battalion (now Rtd), (L to R) Paul Ellems, Martin O’Sullivan,

Mark Allen, Chris Cummings, Steve Graw, (Guest Speaker) and Alan Bruce.

Chris and Steve were previously CO’s of the Battalion and Steve  was previously Comd 11Bde.

Missing from the Group was Mick James who was Hosting our Guest of Honour Keith Payne VC, AM

Our Piper signalling the start of the Dining Night

31/42RQR Regimental Dinner – Mackay

The 31st Battalion Association has received a copy of an Administrative Instruction from the CO of The 31st/42nd Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment, LtCol David Gandy, advising details of the Regimental Dining Night to be held at Mackay show Grounds on evening of 10th Dec 2022

Members of the Battalion together with members of Battalion associations and selected guests have been invited.

The dinner will also provide the opportunity for interaction with senior Officers whilst at the same time provide for the Battalion, as a collective, to farewell members leaving the Unit in 2022/2023.

Association members have already been received prior notice of the Regimental Dinner and of the revised cost of Tickets to the function. Attendees should by now have individually received details of relevant timings, locations, etc contained in the Administrative Instruction. Indications are that it will be a well organized and memorable evening.

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Remembrance Day -2022

Yet another outstanding level of support to the NQ & Central QLD community by the men and women of the 31st/42nd Battalion along with strong cameos by 35 ENGR SQN in commemorating the 104th anniversary of Remembrance Day.


The Bn provided Catafalque parties at Gladstone, Gracemere and Rockhampton whilst others members provided key note addresses alongside regional mayors, laid a wreath, supported schools or attended ceremonies in Cairns, Townsville and Mackay.


Great to see the Battalion life member and previous XO – MAJ Ian Reid playing the pipes in front of a large gathering at Townsville.


Well done to all who supported the community in remembering when the guns finally ceased to end the war of all wars 104 years ago.


Lest we forget !

 

Catafalque Parties

Battalion Life Member and previous XO Maj Retd Ian Reid 

Awards to Members of 31st/42nd Bn The Royal Queensland Regiment

Well done to CAPT Nick Crosbie who received COMD 11 BDE Bronze Commendation from BRIG Mark Armstrong for his outstanding performance as ADJT 31/42 RQR during his tenure at the Battalion.

In addition to receiving his commendation, Nick along with the RSM WO1 Dave Harding and the OPSO MAJ Jeff Martin received their OSM at the 11 BDE Dinner for their efforts on Operation Resolute earlier in the year.
Outstanding effort by these solid operators and great night for the Battalion.

Capt Nick Crosbie receiving Comd 11 Bde Bronze Commendation

from 11 Bde Comd Brig Mark Armstrong

RSM WO1 Dave Harding Receiving OSM from Brig Mark Armstrong

Awardees of the OSM with Bn CO (L to R) RSM WO1 Dave Harding,

OPSO Maj Jeff Martin, Capt Nick Crosbie, with CO LtCol David Gandy

31st/42nd Bn – Start of the Training Year

Training got off to a flying start for Battalion Headquarters  members of 31st/42nd Battalion.  Pictures below show

BHQ kicking off the week with Beep test and functional circuit under the watchful eye of the new RSM. Honorable mention to PTE Ellis Williams, WO2 Jayse Bird and SGT Phil Manning.

Kennedy Company – Final Training Exercise for the 2021

The Kennedy Coy engaged in adventure training, White Water rafting down the Tully River last Saturday (20th Nov 2021). Afterward we met up at Balgal Beach (50 klms nth of Tville)  for the Regt Dinner . It was superbly catered by local Lions Club at the Community Hall. They also provided bacon & eggs for brekky on Sunday morning.
The Battalion Facebook correspondent reports:
Kennedy Company has wrapped up the training weekends for the year in style!!
With the significant help and vision of the XO, MAJ Mark Smith, Kennedy Company converged on the Tully River, white water rafting all Saturday morning. With soldiers tipping overboard at every rapid and every calm pond, it was hard to distinguish falling from jumping overboard. Full marks go to the CSM for out doing all others and needing to be rescued.
Following lunch by the river and a pit stop at Jungle Training Wing, we were back on the move south to Balgal Beach. Not to be outdone by the rapids and the Team of Raging Thunder, XO and his incredible team including sister company members from Cap Coy, 11 CSSB and the community from the Balgal Beach community centre and Lions Club, treated the Company and distinguished guests to an incredible dining in night! The food was spectacular and we were so privileged to have visitors from 31st Bn Association who travelled from far and wide to join us.
Some of the Adventure Training Pictures:

31st/42nd Battalion – Kennedy Company Dinner – Townsville

31st/42nd Battalion The Royal Queensland Regiment

 On Saturday night 20th November 2021 the Kennedy Company of the 31st/42nd Battalion,  held a
 Regimental Dinner at Balgal Beach, some 50 klms north of Townsville. 
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They invited members of the 31st Battalion Association from each of the branches, including 7
members from Brisbane. 
Members of the Brisbane Branch also gave a short talk on the Bllly Sing memorial that we
arranged in 2015 with a C'wealth Grant of $50,000 and with assistance of Kedron Wavell RSL, 
Chermside Historical Assoc, Chinese Assoc of Qld & Marchant Ward Councillor, Fiona Hammond.  
We also gave a handout on Billy's life and service, (see below). On Sunday some of the Brisbane 
members visited the Museum at Kissing Point 10 years on from from when the plinth was laid on the
125th Anniversary of the birth of the Battalion.


Unit Colours

Regimental Dinner –

Brisbane Branch Members behind the Plinth dedicated on 125th Anniversary of the Foundation of the Kennedy -Regiment in 2011 –

Members also visited the Museum. It was good to see the Cornet from the original 31st Battalion

donated by A J Cotton of Grandchester before the Battalion left Brisbane for Melbourne & then

to Egypt. Located,repaired & donated to the Battalion Assoc by Peter Nelson at the 125th

Anniversary Dinner in 2011 after being played at Fromelles for the burials in 2010.

The Brief on Billy Sing DCM MID Croix de Guerre-

– 31st Bn AIF – No 355 Trooper/Private W. E. (Billy) Sing DCM, MID, Croix de Guerre

The Gallipoli Sniper

Originally 5thLight Horse Regiment – Gallipoli – Transferred to 31st Bn – Western Front

Full Story Below:

 

 Billy Sing Memorial DCM Croix de Guerre Lutwyche Cemetery Brisbane Qld

EARLY YEARS William Edward “Billy SING” was born in Clermont Q’ld on 2nd March 1886. His father, John SING Drover, was born in Shanghai China. His mother Mary Ann (formally “Pugh”) aged 30y, was born in Kingsford Staffordshire, England. Billy had an elder sister, “Mary Ann Elizabeth”, who was born in 1863 just 2 months before Billy’s parents were married. She died in childbirth in 1915. Billy also had a younger sister Beatrice SING born 1893. Beatrice later married a local Stockman, George Smith in 1917 & went onto have 4 Sons. – Billy’s Mother, Mary Ann, was well educated & a trained Nurse. She ensured her children learned their lessons. The District Inspector of Schools, reported to Brisbane:- “The Children of Mrs. Sing a Chinaman’s wife, invariably win school prizes for academic proficiency.” The Inspector also stated: “The Sing children are bright, intelligent & well behaved, & thoroughly deserving of the honours achieved.” Despite their good conduct, racism against the Sing family in Clermont was rife. – Billy left school around 1898 taking on many jobs in his early years on local Stations, droving both cattle & sheep & other odd jobs. He killed game for food from an early age with a .22 Rifle. He later joined the Clermont Rifle Club to improve his shooting. In 1910 he moved to Proserpine & played cricket for the district, & won prizes for shooting at the Proserpine Rifle Club. – The WAR 1914 – 1918

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Billy joined up in October 1914 as a “Horse Driver” aged 28 years & his mother as NOK.
This would have been difficult for Billy, being, “of part Chinese descent”, as he did not fit
the criteria to be acceptable into the AIF. It was said that Billy actually was examined by
the Doctor in Proserpine, who he would have known through Cricket, who passed him
medically fit (Racial grounds included). However he immediately rode to Bowen to enlist
as he was not known there to be of Chinese heritage. Billy made his way to Brisbane where
he joined the 5th Light Horse Regiment. They arrived in Egypt on 1st Feb 1915. After further
training was sent to Gallipoli as reinforcements in May 1915. Billy was known to be a crack
shot & was given the freedom to concentrate as a Sniper. Billy soon became notorious at
Gallipoli, and was feted by the Generals Bridges & Birdwood. When he was officially
credited 201 kills, General Birdwood, awarded him a DCM. It should be noted that Billy’s
OC, Major Stephen Midgley, said it was really over 300 kills. However It was General Sir
Ian Hamilton who first recognised Billy by Mentioning him in Despatches. This was awarded
 just prior to being awarded the DCM.
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Billy was evacuated wounded from Gallipoli in November 1915 and after recuperation in Egypt, posted
to the 31st Inf. Bn in Egypt in June 1916. But again due to illness, did not sail with them to France. He
was extremely lucky, as he missed their first major Battle/Slaughter at Fromelles, where the 31st Bn
suffered 572 casualties in less than 24 hours. Billy later sailed for England in August, where he spent
a further three months in a training Battalion. He sailed for France in late December, joining up with the
31st Bn at Dernancourt near Albert. He started up to the front line in Jan 1917 in the Delville Wood area.
He was wounded again in March, between Albert & Bapaume and shipped to Hospital in England.
Billy rejoined the 31st Bn in September 1917, just in time for 3rd Battle of Ypres at Polygon Wood in
which the 31st Bn took a major role. It was at Polygon Wood that COL Fred Toll, CO of 31st Bn
recommended Billy for an MM on 2nd Oct 1917.(this didn’t eventuate) It was also at Polygon Wood
that Billy Sing was on a receiving end of a gas shell which provided him with a cough for the rest of his
life. Billy was again Mentioned in Despatches by 1 Anzac Corp. Commander General Birdwood. 
After being in and out of hospital on several occasions, he again returned to the Front with the 31st Bn
at Messines in mid Feb. 1918, where he was wounded for the third time. Whilst in Belgium Billy was
awarded the Belgian “Croix de Guerre” for conspicuous bravery leading an Anti Sniping Party, during
the Battle of Polygon Wood.
-
Billy Sing, a WW1 hero, died alone, & forgotten, on 19th May 1943, in a small Boarding house at 304
Montague Rd, South Brisbane. He had less than Five Shillings (50 cents) in cash & an old Miners Hut
worth $20 to his name. He was buried in a unmarked grave in the Military section at Lutwyche Cemetery.
Billy Sing, Australia’s greatest Sniper, lay forgotten in this unmarked grave, in a corner of Lutwyche
Cemetery for 51 years until 1994, when four people, organised a Bronze Plaque, to mark his final
resting place. Without one of them, the late “Alby Smith,” Billy Sing, might well have been completely
forgotten by Australia.
-
On the eve of Anzac Day 1993 an Article appeared in the Brisbane Courier Mail, written by Brian Tate,
an amateur Historian and part time journalist from Ballina. For several years Brian had been
corresponding with Alby Smith, an Arms expert, who had been collecting data on Billy Sing for 35 years.
Alby Smith worked as a Senior Technical Officer with 4 Armaments Engineering Unit in Melbourne. He
had developed a new Sniper rifle for the Army & unsuccessfully proposed it to be called the “Billy Sing”
Rifle.
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A month after Brian Tate’s article appeared in the Courier Mail, Don Cameron, a long serving Federal
member of Parliament, anonymously donated a Bronze Plaque, which was erected on the side of a
Carpet Warehouse, at 304 Montague Rd South Brisbane, where Billy Sing had died. Shortly after Don
Cameron & Alby Smith, travelled to Clermont, where they met Billy Sing’s – Great Nephew, - Don Smith.
Together they organised Funds to be raised for a memorial to be erected in Clermont. A few months later
Don Cameron, Don Smith, Alby Smith & Brian Tate each contributed towards a fund to have a Bronze
Plaque placed on Billy’s Grave.
-
Although Billy Sing made his name as the famous, “Gallipoli Sniper” whilst serving with the 5th Light
Horse Regiment in Gallipoli, he actually served most of his WW1 service with the 31st Battalion AIF
on the Western Front. Billy Sing’s Medals are on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
-
On the 19th May 2012 members of the 31st Bn Assoc. Together with members of, - The Chinese
 Australian Historical Assoc., - Kedron Wavell Sub Branch RSL, - Chermside & District Historical Society,
& Councillor Fiona King held a Memorial Service at Billy Sing’s Grave Site at Lutwyche Cemetery.
Don Cameron & Brian Tate, were both present. Guest Speaker was Major General Darryl Low Choy.
(Past Digger of 51 Bn Innisfail) Over sixty people were in attendance.
-
A year later, Ex Senator Bill O’Chee arranged for a submission for a Grant of $50,000 from the
Federal Governments Centenary of WW1, - Fund, which was subsequently approved. Ray Fogg,
President of the 31st Bn Assoc. (Brisbane Branch), led a Committee, to organise, design, &
construction of a fitting Memorial. Ray worked almost full time for months on the project. All credit
is due to his contribution. On the 19th May 2015 a magnificent Monument was dedicated near Billy
Sing’s grave at a Parade of past members of the 31st Bn, - a Guard of 2/14th QMI - Historical Troop,
- members from the Chinese Australian Historical Assoc. Including interstate members, - Kedron
Wavell RSL Sub Branch Members, - Chermside & District Historical Society - and a large gathering
of VIP’s, - special guests, politicians, and the general public. Don Cameron & Billy Sing’s Great 
Nephew Don Smith from Clermont were present.
-
A fitting closure to a WW1 hero, who has been recognised as Australia’s greatest Sniper, a man who
defied racial prejudice to serve his Country, and would have lain forgotten, had it not been for:-
Don Cameron, Alby Smith, Brian Tate, & great Nephew, Don Smith. And of course later by members
of Billy’s old Unit, – The 31st Battalion, - Bill O’Chee, & the Chinese Aust. Historical Assoc, - Kedron
Wavell RSL Sub Branch, - Chermside & District Historical Society, & Brisbane City Councillor, Fiona King.
-
Tony Wadeson (Secretary 31st Bn Assoc. Brisbane) - 
Info:- Book “Gallipoli Sniper” by John Hamilton

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Our Member Doug Hastie passed through Clermont on his way back to Brisbane from the
Regimental dinnerand stopped to take several pictures of the memorial to Billy Sing in the
local park:
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Billy Sing DCM Croix de Guerre (Belgium) Memorial in Clermont Qld
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Memorial at Clermont Qld
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Memorial Clermont Qld
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Memorial Clermont Qld
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Memorial Park Clermont Qld
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Message Re Afghanistan – CO 31st/42nd Battalion Royal Queensland Regiment

To the men and women of the Battalion,

No doubt our leadership will post something soon regarding the situation in Afghanistan, however in readiness for that message I would like to offer the following:

Whilst we are all shocked at the speed in which the ANA and the Afghan government capitulated as evidenced in the Taliban taking Kabul, we must not be down-heartened or entertain any thought that we have been defeated and that the sacrifice made by our mates was for nothing. We all went into that conflict under the hope that our efforts were in the best interest of the Afghani people. We all hoped that we would be creating a strong democratic government that would represent the best interests of the collective ethnic communities within Afghanistan that was supported by a strong and corrupt free ANP and ANA. We did it to stop the horrific acts of ethnic cleansing as well as provide opportunities to all Afghani people regardless of their gender. We did it to disrupt Islamic terrorism freedom of manoeuvre. We did it out of hope, and whilst we were there, I personally saw that ‘we were making a difference’. We also did it to demonstrate what the Australian people stand for… and that’s worth fighting for.

It was not for nothing!

Team – lets get around and support each other.

The thoughts of the RSM and I are with you all.

LTCOL Dave Gandy | Commanding Officer | 31st/42nd Royal Queensland Regiment

Semper Paratus Defendere / Cede Nulius

Kennedy Regiment Commemorative Service – Townsville – 2021

The Annual Commemorative service of The 31st Battalion and The 42nd Battalion 
The Royal Queensland Regiment was held on the 26th July 2021. 
The Church Service was conducted in St James Cathedral in Townsville. Adedication ceremony 
was held at the grave site of William Edward McIlwaine and his wife Alice at the Townsville Cemetery. 
Edward McIlwaine was a soldier of WW1 and a well remembered North Queensland Identity.
The colours of both the 31st Battalion and the 42nd Battalion were in the  Cathedral for the Service.

 

Current Serving Members of 31st/42nd Battalion were well Represented
-


Association Members from Ingham were strongly represented at the Service 
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Brigadier Bruce Scott at Dedication Service at Townsville Cemetery 

 
The above photo shows (left to Right) The pastor Dr Kenneth Lay, Mr Lux Foot
( Decendent of Alice McIlwaine), Brigadier Bruce Scott, and Mr Eric Christie (NQ Rifle Assn)



Bugler is Kevin Blackford formally one of our soldiers in C Coy 31 RQR Ingham

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Grave site of Alice and Willian "Edward" McIlwaine

Plaque on Grave of Alice and Edward McIlwaine










Farewell Message – LtCol Damien Green

The following message of farewell was received from CO 31/42RQR LtCol Damien Green prior to moving on to his new posting. Many of us have had the pleasure of meeting Damien during his tenure as CO of the Battalion. Membersof the Associaion have been particularly grateful for Damien’s efforts to keep we old diggers across the activities of the Battalion via the “31st/42nd Battalion Newsletter”. Over to LtCol Green:

 

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

I hope this email finds you well and not too impacted by COVID and/or the High Risk Weather Season.

 

The purpose of this email is to pass on my thanks to everyone for your support to the 31st/42nd Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment during my tenure in command of the Battalion. We very much appreciate the time you have given to us when we have visited or participated in events throughout Central and North Queensland. Without the support of the community, the Army Reserve ceases to function as it should and I am pleased to say we have been well supported.

 

I will be handing over command of the Battalion to Lieutenant Colonel Dave Gandy as of 18 Jan 2020 when I depart on posting to the Combat Training Centre in Townsville. I have had a great time meeting all of you and I know Dave is very keen to get around and introduce himself to all of you during his tenure as Commanding Officer. I am extremely proud of the support 31/42 RQR has provided to the community and state over the last two years which has included deployments on OP TOWNSVILLE FLOOD ASSIST, OP BUSHFIRE ASSIST, OP COVID-19 ASSIST and now the Emergency Support Force for Central and North Queensland. We certainly hope that the requirement to deploy on domestic operations reduce and we can all start enjoying a relatively normal life free of pandemics and weather events.

 

The Battalion is very keen to visit the communities in our area of operations to raise awareness of the unit that is North and Central Queensland’s own and provide people an opportunity to join our ranks. Many of you already know of the qualities an Army Reserve soldier or officer brings to your community and workforce, so we are keen to ensure people know about the opportunities available in or around Gladstone, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns. We believe the more involvement we have with the community, the better our chances are of growing our numbers to ensure the Army Reserve remains a viable part of defence capability and a positive contributor to our region.

 

To keep you informed of what we have been up to in the last part of the year I have attached a copy of our newsletter for 2020 for your reading pleasure. Thank you once again for your support.

 

Finally, I would like to wish you all the best for 2021 and I look forward to seeing you at some stage in the future.

 

Best wishes,

 

Damien

 

Damien Green 
Lieutenant Colonel Commanding Officer 31/42 RQR