Anzac Day – Brisbane – 2024

Anzac Day for members of the 31bn association in Brisbane started with the Dawn Service at “Dasher” Deed’s place followed by the 2/31st Bn commemoration service at the Cenotaph at SouthBank. Our Secretary Tony Wadeson represented the Association there before taking the Banner to the main march through the City. Some of the pictures of the SouthBank Service and Main March below.

Preparing for the SouthBank Service

Student Playing the Last Post and Reveille on the Trombone

Welcoming and Service at SouthBank

Association Members Participating in the Main March Through Brisbane

Dawn Service 2024 – At Dasher’s

Please find the attached Photo taken Yesterday at Ray Dasher Deeds own Dawn Service at his Residence. There were over 60 in attendance.

Dasher turned 97 Years yesterday on Anzac Day. Ray turned 24Y, at the ending of the Battle of Kapyong in Korea, & reckons he’s still awaiting an apology from China for stuffing up his 24th birthday.
With Dasher in this Photo are 2 of his Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) Mates, – Miles Farmer, & our own Member Warren Gunder, who served with the 31st Bn in the late 50’s & early 60’s before transferring to the Regular Army & the AATTV & then to one of the Regular Battalions after the Vietnam War. Warren was our Vice President for many years on establishment of the 31st Bn Assoc. Brisbane Branch in 2000. 
Happy 97 Dasher.
Regards to all Tony
Brisbane March – 2024
Carrying Banners of the 31st Bn Association, 2/31st Bn and 31/51 Bn

Birthday Wishes to Ray “Dasher” Deed BEM

Memberl 21 is Our oldest Member – Korean War (“Battle of Kapyong”) and Australian Army Training Team Vietnam, (AATTV) Veteran –

Ray “Dasher” Deed, – turns 97 Years old this ANZAC Day – 25th April. I’ve attached 2 Photos of RAY (One of them with Doug Angus RIP) at the age of 90Y. Photos were taken at ALSTONVILLE in 2017, when a few of us went down to attend the Commemoration Service of the Death of Paddy Bugden VC – 100 years previously in 1917. The Third photo is of a younger Dasher Deed taken in Vietnam (2nd on Left) where these five ex 3RAR “Battle of Kapyong” Veterans, had just received their “Second” US PRESIDENTIAL Unit Citation Award (AATTV). Ray hasn’t been very well of late, but he told me yesterday he is definitely going to make it until after ANZAC DAY.

Ray will be holding his own Dawn Service at his residence again this year. There will be Tents erected in his Front yard, in case it rains. There will be about 60 people attending & he has a Guest Speaker from the RSL arranged. I will be attending, representing 31st Bn Assoc. – unfortunately President Ray Fogg is not well enough to attend this year.
Dasher spent some years as a Regular Army WO2 Cadre attached to 31st Bn in the late 1950’s & was WO1 – RSM of 51 Bn prior to Joining the AATTV in Vietnam.

Above is a new Tribute to Ray “Dasher” Deed, produced by our French “Life Member Pierre Seillier OAM”. I will have this printed & framed & present it to Dasher on Anzac Day – his 97th Birthday. I forgot to mention in my previous email That on retirement Dasher was immediately contacted by Brisbane GPS College, – Church of England Grammar School, – referred to as “CHURCHIE” to join their staff as The Discipline Master? (or a term Similar) he remained there for 15 years. He redeveloped the School Army Cadet Corps, had them doing drills, no one thought possible & as well as the Royal Military College Duntroon Cadets, . On retirement the College used to arrange to have him back at the College for their Anzac Day Ceremony each year, prior to the Brisbane Parade.

Our thanks to Pierre who produced this Tribute immediately after receiving my email below & emailed it back to me within a couple of hours. Pierre is a legend.
Regards Tony


Battalion Recruiting Effort

Great to see a report on the 31/42 Battalion Facebook page outlining a coordinated recruiting effort across the various depots over the past couple of months.

Go Minotaur’s! —

Townsville, Mackay, Rockhampton & Gladstone members were supported by Defence Force Recruiting to conduct four consecutive ‘Night in the Army Reserves’ at the relevant depot locations over the month of March and April.
Approx 40 potential candidates attended the presentations across the depot locations where Soldiers and NCO’s from the unit spoke about their experiences. The presentations were followed by a display across several stands including:
· Weapons (EF88, SL40, F89, Tripod Mounted MAG58 and 84mm)
· Living in the Field (Hootchie Setup, Sleeping Setup, and Ration Board)
· Equipment (Body Armour, Helmet, and Field Pack)
Available unit members participated in supporting this event including 31/42 RQR, 11ER, QUR & 11CSSB.
Concurrently over this period 25 members from these units, in conjunction with the 11th BDE Future Workforce Cell & Defence Force Recruiting attended the Unit Recruiting Liaison Officer training with WO2 Peter Johnson, in these various locations.
The nights were a huge success and this is a strong start for Recruiting, for the unit in 2024. Well done all involved

Pictures below were taken during the recent campaign:

Vale – Wally Thomasson

Members, I refer you to the undermentioned Notice from Victor Nicol Charters Towers- re the Passing of Stalwart Member Wally Thomasson Friday evening 24rd Feb.
Vic subsequently informed us of the funeral arrangements for Wally:

The funeral for our past member Wally Thomasson will be held on Friday 1st March 2024 at 10.00 am at the Church of Christ, 25 Anne Street, Charters Towers, followed by internment at the Charters Towers cemetery.

Could you please advise your members.

A sad loss, R I P Wally. Regards,

Vic Nicol

The only information I have at this time is taken from his statement of service.

Walter James Thomasson, service no. 1701805,

National Service, 05 January 1952 to 11 April 1952.

Citizen Military Forces 12 April 1952 to 04 January 1957.

Rank Private.

I have been told he was in the Assault Pioneer Platoon, Support Coy.

RIP -Wally

Re-opening of the Battle of Fromelles Museum – France

Word has reached us that the Museum of the Battle of Fromelles has been recognised as the 86th

Museum of France. Congratulations to our friends at the Museum, on their recognition as a Museum

of France. The work that the staff undertake is an ongoing tribute to those who fell at Fromelles in July 1916.

Reopening of the Museum of the Battle of Fromelles:

Museum curators are delighted to announce that the museum will re-open on Monday 4th March 2024.
The annual closure was to allow for important work to upgrade the museum’s entire ventilation system after meticulous storage and protection of everything that could be protected.

It was also an opportunity to carry out the annual dusting of the permanent exhibition to take care of the items in our collection and check their conservation status.

We also had maintenance  on the exhibition alarm system as well as brand new audio visual equipment for staging of presentations. The Museum is currently being cleaned to be ready to welcome visitors back from next Monday, March 4.

Find all the news and our upcoming events for the reopening of the museum on our social networks as well as on the “Agenda” page of the museum website.

Recognition of the Battle of Fromelles Museum as the 86th Museum of France

Refurbishment Operations

A glimpse of Trench Warfare

Delicate Preservation Work

New Comd 11 Brigade – Brig Richard Pearce

The following report on the appointment of the new Comd 11 Bde written by Capt Cath Batch appeared in the Australian Government Defence website ( …11 Brigade held a ceremony on December 8 2023 to mark the official handover of command from the outgoing Brigade Commander, Brigadier Mark Armstrong, to Brigadier Richard Peace.

Military personnel, family and guests, including Commander 2nd (Australian) Division, Major General David Thomae, and past brigade commanders, attended the ceremony.

Outgoing Brigade Commander Brigadier Mark Armstrong presents

incoming Brigade Commander Brigadier Richard Peace with an 11th Brigade patch.

Outgoing Brigade Commander Brigadier Mark Armstrong salutes Commander

2nd (Australian) Division Major General Thomae, while incoming

Brigade Commander Brigadier Richard Peace looks on, at the

11th Brigade change of command ceremony.

Photos: Lance Corporal Tom Scott

Hearty Congratulations To Centenarian Member Norm Snell

The Secretary of the Charters Towers Branch of the  31st Inf. Bn. Assoc., Vic Nichol, had previously extended an invitation to all of our members to celebrate the Hundredth Birthday of fellow member Norm Snell (19th Jan 2024). The celebration was in the form of a Tree Planting Ceremony at the Walking Track area at the bottom of Charters Towers Hill in association with the Charters Towers Regional Council and the RSL Charters Towers Sub Branch. The ceremony to be followed by a cake and refreshments at the RSL.

Vic has sent us a brief description of the day and included the pictures below:

Re Norm's centenary, The Charters Towers Council organised a Tree Planting
Ceremony with a plaque. and a Guard of  Honour was provided by 10FSB 
The reception at the RSL was attended by approx. 75 people including
representatives from the 31st Assoc., State and District RSL. And the Cake
was provided by the Local council. 
Norm received congratulatory telegrams and well wishes from the King and Queen,
the Governor General, the Prime minister and Government Representatives. 
The 31st Bn Assoc. and the RSL presented Norm with Birthday Certificates. 
The event was well done and was most enjoyable.
The following email was sent by Association Brisbane Branch Secretary Tony Wadeson:
Attention to all our old Charters Towers Members, – NORM SNELL’S 100th Birthday Invitation. Please refer to the attached Invitation.  
The Brisbane Branch wishes Norm a very Happy Birthday in celebrating his 100th Year. 
Regards Tony


Norm with honour Guard at the Tree Planting

Norm With Honour Guard

Norm with Honour Guard

Norm’s Message from King Charles and Queen Camilla

Norm’s 100th Birthday Cake

Norm with Certificates of Congratulations, Family and Friends

31/42RQR Support for the Unveilling of Statue of Army Nursing Sister

Members of 31/42RQR travelled to Blackall to provide support for a Ceremony honouring a WW1 member of the Army Nursing Service. Once just a name on the Blackall State School honour roll in Queensland, Sister Greta Towner (1891-1961), who served as an Army nurse from 1915 in World War 1, has had her likeness rendered in a statue that will honour her service for the next generation and highlight the importance of women serving our nation.
Sister Towner is described in a newspaper clipping as an Anzac nurse from a “distinguished family of soldiers with her own honourable record”.

The bronze statue honouring her service was unveiled in Blackall’s Memorial Park on November 10 and has been placed next to one of her older brother, Major Edgar Towner (1890-1972), who was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross.

President of RSL Blackall sub-branch Terri-Ann Eden-Jones said Sister Towner served in immensely difficult conditions during World War 1 on the Greek island of Lemnos, near Gallipoli, aboard hospital ships, and in France.
“It will be a fitting tribute to Greta and it will be the first time brother and sister war heroes will be honoured together,” Ms Eden-Jones said.

“The project promotes the service of women, especially in the military, and the service of Sister Greta Towner.”
Sister Towner’s story was researched by a Blackall teacher, students and the local historical society, and Ms Eden-Jones said the RSL Blackall sub-branch embraced the project when approached by the teacher.
The sub-branch secured a grant from the Queensland Gambling Benefit Fund to support the commissioning of the sculpture.

Commanding Officer 31st/42nd Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Cameron McKay said a lot had changed since Sister Towner served her country.

“In today’s Australian Defence Force, women work in more than 200 roles and receive the same training, salaries and opportunities as men, but, until the Second World War, were restricted to the Australian Army Nursing Service,” he said. “In the modern era, women have continued to forge outstanding Army careers and we hope this memorial will inspire the next generation.”

Below are pictures taken at the ceremony by  Maj Edward Dahlheimer

Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young AC PSM,

Governor of Queensland. At the Unveilling Ceremony

31/42RQR on Guard Duty at the Unveilling Ceremony

Daniel Mulhall A Nursing Officer representing the

Royal Australian Army Nursing Corps

Local Community Members in Attendance at Blackall’s Memorial Park

Catafalque Party with the Governor

Catafalque Party with Unveiled Statue of Sister Greta Towner

Rifle Party Firing the Salute



LTCOL Frederick William Toll DSO and Bar

The following is a contribution located by Association member Mick James – “I don’t think I have posted this before. It is a report on the Battle of Fromelles (referred to as Fleurbaix which was the village on the Allied side.)
It was a letter to the Editor of the Brisbane Courier in 1919 by LtCol Fred Toll DSO &Bar. His initial DSO was awarded for his actions in this Battle. The reference to ”remembering Gallipoli” is remembering his only son who was KIA at Galipoli.”

Thanks to our Honorary Member in France Pierre Seillier for

His great Tribute to Fred & his son Vivian.

Brisbane Courier Fri 18 July 1919
Sir,- The 19th July is the anniversary of the era which marks one of the greatest tragedies of the past war affecting the Australian Army. Little has been given through the medium of the Press of the first battle in France in which Australian soldiers were engaged. I feel it is my duty, as the late commander of a battalion that was engaged and sorely depleted in this awful struggle, to write a brief account in memory of my comrades who died on that fateful day.
With the splendid traditions of Gallipoli to follow, do you wonder that every man of the newly-formed Fifth Division vied with each other in his training and preparation for big things. For six hard months on the desert sands of Egypt they toiled and trained, and studied the problems of the future. This six months of close association had another effect, and that was to effect a comradeship between all ranks, which created that feeling of confidence and loyalty necessary for the future success of great doings.
To this stage I can assure you the battalions of the Fifth Division, had attained, especially may I speak of the Eighth Brigade, comprising the 29th, 30th 31st and 32nd Battalions. To the 31st and 32nd Battalions was allotted the task of the assault on the enemies’ stronghold on the fateful day of July 19 1916, at Fleurbaix. The history of this terrible period may never be complete, but the memory of our beloved comrades who gave their lives and the presence of those who were maimed by that engagement should be as sacred to us as the memory of our own dead.
You who may read these cold lines will never realise what those men went though without the slightest thought of self. A great forlorn hope, in agony of despair in many cases, after being battered about all day, for the enemy had gained information about the intended attack, and tried to demoralise our men with intense artillery fire. During the whole of the day (July 19) our men had to stand through a veritable hell. It would be cruel to attempt to describe the horror of that day, for the feelings of those who mourn this day their beloved, I would refrain from details. Before the attack was launched (zero hour being at 6.00 pm) more than half the attacking battalions were casualties. From this shambles, at the given signal, the remaining heroes followed their officers who were left to them, over the now blasted and torn breastworks, only to meet a withering fire from the enemies guns and bombs, but this had no effect on those determined men. On and across the awful “No Man’s Land”, and into the enemies’ breastworks, with bayonet and bomb they destroyed those who resisted. Can you wonder that one saw red at such a time? Lucky are you who have been spared such sights, for strong men went mad, others wept at the sights.
The records of splendid deeds of this battle will compare with any of the history of the war. The writer was spared to come out of this alive, and to see many another battlefield, and many brave deeds, but nothing surpasses those that took place at Fleurbaix on July 19 and 20 1916. In penning these lines to the memory of my comrades who fell at Fleurbaix, it is with the hope that those who mourn for them might feel a little consolation in that, though the bells of peace and joy ring out, and merriment abound, there are still those who will remember their splendid comrades who made the world-famed reputation of the Australian Army what it is today. It is to those heroes, the cream of Australian manhood, who laid down their lives in the first great battles, that we owe our great traditions and examples.
So it appears to one who has reason to remember Gallipoli, that this time of rejoicing should be tempered with a little regard and thought for those whose hearts are sad. In conclusion, it may enlighten your readers to know the special reason of the attack at Fleurbaix on July 19, 1916, was to draw off the overwhelming reserves of the enemy, who at this time threatened to smash our lines in the southern area, in which some of our own countrymen were fighting for dear life, that the Fifth Division was thrown into the vortex, with the result that it stopped the enemy’s attacks, drew off his reserves, and caused considerable loss to his forces. With this knowledge in front of us at the beginning, also that little or no support would be available, and a very limited amount of reserve ammunition for our guns, can you appreciate why I place on record the Battle of Fleurbaix as being the finest exhibition of bravery of Australian troops in France or Belgium. All honour to our splendid dead. I salute your memory, my comrades. I am, sir, &c,
Late Commander 31st Battalion A.I.F.