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
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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

Remembrance Day Centenary

Members of the unit were involved in various commemorations to mark the Centenary of Remembrance Day. One of those was held in the Masonic Temple in Townsville. The ceremony included the piping in of the coffin of the unknown soldier which was then placed on its bier for the duration of the service. The guard or Sentinel was provided by members of 2RAR.

A number of official guests attended the service including the mayor of Townsville, the Superintendent of Police and the CO of 2RAR.

The 2IC/XO of the unit Maj Ian Reid is the sitting Master of the St Andrew of Townsville Lodge UGLQ

Further details and pictures of the service are included in the link below.

 

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Townsville masonic community 2018 Centenary of Armistice Day Remembrance Service. Official guests and community members were welcomed by the Skirl of the pipes provided by the RSL Memorial Pipes and Drums Townsville. Piper James Sager. The lodge commemorative service led by MAJ Ian Reid, XO 31/42 RQR, sitting master, St Andrew of Townsville UGLQ.

 

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The coffin bearing the unknown soldier being piped in to the lodge and placed on its bier. Pall Bearers ranged from an Entered Apprentice Freemason (WO2 Jason Ballard) through to a district Grand Lodge Officer. No one knew the name of the soldier, the battalion they belonged to nor how they died.

 

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The guard or Sentinel was provided by 2RAR who added a fine air of distinction to the ceremony.

 

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Official guests and community members attending the commemorative service including the mayor for the city of Townsville, Councillor Jenny Hill. Regional Superintendent of Police Kev Gutteridge and CO 2RAR, LTCOL Douglas Pashley.

 

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Kevin Gunthorpe and MAJ Joel Coleman provided a lecture on the history of Remembrance Day. During the service, a bugler from 1RAR played the Last Post and Reveille or Rouse which added a sombre tone to the ceremony.

 

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At the conclusion of the Remembrance Day lectures there was a presentation made on PTE Baxter, a Townsville soldier from the 42nd Battalion who did not return home. 31st and 42nd Battalions were acknowledged as one of the last remaining Australian Army units currently serving continuously from the Boer War through WW1 to the present day. At the conclusion of the ceremony the coffin of the unknown soldier was piped out and all guests attended a festive board and light supper in the south of the lodge.

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