End of the Boer War

On the 31st May 1902 – The Boer War ended between the Boers of South Africa and Great Britain with the Treaty of Vereeniging.

howseactionDuring the Second Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902, the Victoria Cross was awarded to Major General Sir Neville Reginald Howse VC, KCB, KCMG, the very first Australian to receive our highest award “For Valour”. At the time a Doctor and Captain in the Medical Corps, on the 24 July 1900 during the action at Vredefort he went out under a heavy cross fire and picked up a wounded man, and carried him to a place of shelter from the battlefield.

Also, as a consequence of the executions of Harry “Breaker” Morant and Peter Joseph Handcock, the Boer War was the last time that Australian Troops have been placed under the jurisdiction of another nations military justice system. In the First World War, 121 Australians were sentenced to death primarily for desertion, none were carried out with all being commuted to prison sentences and soldiers generally being paroled back to their units almost immediately. and,Breaker_Morant

Gandhi_Boer_WarMahamta Gandhi who was a lawyer working for Muslim Indian Traders in Natal at the time, formed a volunteer Ambulance Corps for the British Army. The British commander General Buller mentioned the Corp in despatches and Gandhi and 34 of his men were awarded the Queen’s South Africa campaign medal.

The peace settlement entailed the end of hostilities and the surrender of all Boer forces and their arms to the British, with the promise of eventual self-government to the Transvaal (South African Republic) and the Orange Free State as colonies of the British Empire. The Boer Republics agreed to come under the sovereignty of the British Crown and the British government agreed on various details including the following:Treaty of Vereeniging

All Boer fighters of both republics had to give themselves up
All combatants would be disarmed
Everyone had to swear allegiance to the Crown
No death penalties would be dealt out
A general amnesty would apply
The use of Dutch would be allowed in the schools and law courts.
To eventually give the Transvaal and the Orange Free State self-government (civil government was granted in 1906 and 1907, respectively).
To avoid discussing the native (Black) enfranchisement issue until self-government had been given.
To pay the Afrikaners £3,000,000 in reconstruction aid.
Property rights of Boers would be respected
No land taxes would be introduced
Registered private guns would be allowed

Subsequent to the British government giving the Boer colonies self-government, the Union of South Africa was created on 31 May 1910. The Union gained relative independence under the 1926 Imperial Conference and the 1931 Statute of Westminster. The country became a republic in 1961 therefore severing all connections with Great Britain. The country rejoined the Commonwealth in 1994.

Although the treaty is named after the town of Vereeniging in Transvaal, where the peace negotiations took place, the document was actually signed at Melrose House in Pretoria.

In her father’s footsteps – WWII Gunner Cynthia Cadd

This Saturday we reflect as a nation on the 100 years since Australian and New Zealand servicemen landed at Gallipoli during the First World War.

RSL Care is commemorating this significant milestone with celebrations honouring the contribution of Veterans who have served during all wars, conflicts, peacekeeping activities as well as current and past Reservists.

“We are honoured that so many Veterans choose to live in our RSL Care communities,” stated Acting RSL Care CEO Luke Greive.

Untitled“It is both humbling and inspiring to talk with these senior Australians as they share their reflections of their Service years, like Mrs Clifford who was a Gunner in World War II.”

Mrs Cynthia Clifford (nee Cadd), lives in RSL Care’s Fairview Community at Pinjarra Hills.

Cynthia’s father and four uncles all served in World War I, and following their legacy of service Cynthia joined the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) in October 1943 during World War II. Cynthia was in Western Australia at the time.  She spent four months at ‘Rookie School’ and then another six weeks training in Air Craft Identification and Predictor Operation for 3.7 Anti-Aircraft guns.

“I’ll never forget my first shoot; the four guns were fixed at once. I thought the noise was so horrific that I ran out of the predictor pit so fast heading up to the mess hut, but was brought back even faster to continue with my job,” Cynthia told us.

When the war in Germany was over, the gun sites were closed and Cynthia was sent to Melbourne aboard a troop train.  While in Melbourne at Camp Pell, Cynthia completed a clerical course and held many interesting jobs including assisting with processing prisoners of war.

Cynthia 2Cynthia eventually was posted back to Western Australian where she worked with the Army until September 1946, assisting with preparing Discharge Certificates for returned servicemen.  “It was great to reconnect with a lot of old mates I had not seen in years,” she said.

Even after her discharge from the AWAS, Cynthia continued to work as a civilian with the Army until moving to the eastern states with friends, travelling aboard on the ‘Duntroon’ which had been a hospital ship during the war.  “I had a wonderful time in the AWAS.”

RSL Care respects the contribution of all Australian ex-servicemen and women and most particularly wishes this week to remember – honour – celebrate the contribution of our Veteran residents and clients.

G for George – Australian’s most Famous Lancaster Bomber

G for George is one of Australia’s most famous Lancaster Bombers. Part of the squadron of 500 Lancaster’s that flew over Berlin and bombed it during WWII. The assault didn’t go so well between the horrible stormy weather and enemy fighter planes  (Messerschmitt’s being the most common) G for George was one of only two Lancaster bombers to return safely to allied airspace (the other being S for Sugar), and G for George came back with all of its crew members alive. Making a total of 89 bombing runs over its career G for George defiantly earned its wings and is probably Australia’s most well-known plane.

G for George

The Bomber was left to decay after its run during WWII and was forgotten at the Fairbairn Royal Australian Air Force base until 1954 upon which it was taken to the Australian war memorial and had been on display until 1999 where it went into restoration. The intent of the restoration was to keep it as authentic to its original form as possible. The Bomber is now fully restored and on display at the Australian war memorial for all to see.

A few people who were the crew of the plane consisted of Flying Officer Critchley: Pilot, Flying officer Samson: Wireless Operator, Flight Sergeant Armstrong: Navigator, Flight Sergeant Brown: Bomb Aimer, Shaw: Rear Gunner, G. Knott: Flight Engineer, and W.Starkey: Mid Upper Gunner. Though the crew may have rotated some members between runs.

Duty Done – BRIG Lou Brumfield

The late Brigadier Ivan `Lou’ Brumfield and wife Dulcie.

Today I pass on some very sad news … At approximately 3:00pm on Wednesday, 23rd of September, Brigadier Ivan (Lou) Brumfield CBE, DSO (Rtd) passed away peacefully. As Commanding Officer of the 1RAR Group in Vietnam 1965 he was highly respected as a leader of men in combat. That respect continued right up to now and will remain forever. Lou involved himself in the happening of the ‘old and bold’ and maintained a strong and genuine interest in the activities of the men of his 1RAR Group. With his death it brings about the end of an era, he will be greatly missed from within our ranks.

 

2507 Brigadier Ivan (Lou) Brumfield CBE, DSO (Rtd)

23rd Sept 1927 – 26th Sept 2013

May he rest in eternal peace.

Lest We Forget

 Farewell 'Lou' Brumfield

 

 

Poem

A Soldier

There is discipline in A Soldier
you can see it when he walks,
There is honor in A Soldier
you hear it when he talks.

WO1 Wally Thompson RSM-A

There is courage in A Soldier
you can see it in his eyes,
There is loyalty in A Soldier
that he will not compromise.

There is something in A Soldier
that makes him stand apart,
There is strength in A Soldier
that beats from his heart.

A Soldier

A Soldier isn’t a title any man
can be hired to do,
A Soldier is the soul of that man

buried deep inside of you.

A Soldier’s job isn’t finished after
an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week,
A Soldier is always A Soldier
even while he sleeps.

Sandy Pearson

Vale MAJ GEN Sandy Pearson’s funeral service

A Soldier serves his country first
and his life is left behind,
A Soldier has to sacrifice what
comes first in a civilian’s mind.

If you are civilian –
I am saying this to you…..
next time you see A Soldier
remember what they do.

Dedication of the Long Tan Cross

A Soldier is the reason our land
is ‘Home of the free’,
A Soldier is the one that is brave
protecting you and me.

If you are A Soldier –
I am saying this to you…..
Thank God for EVERY SOLDIER
Thank God for what YOU do!

“Lest We Forget”

The Royal Australian Regiment Salutes Corporal Daniel Keighran VC

When Governor-General Quentin Bryce awarded Corporal Daniel Keighran with the Victoria Cross he earned a unique distinction in the history of The Royal Australian Regiment, he became the RAR’s first soldier to be awarded our nations highest award while on active service with a Battalion of the Regiment.  Since the Second World War and the formation of the RAR, there have been four Imperial Victoria Cross and two Victoria Cross for Australia Recipients.  The four Imperial awards were all members of the AATTV serving in the Vietnam War, three of them; Kevin Wheatley, Keith Payne and Ray Simpson were all WO2’s who had previously served in Battalions of the Regiment while the fourth, MAJ Peter Badcoe was an artillery officer.  In Afghanistan, two Victoria Cross of Australia awards have been made to special forces members, Mark Donaldson and  Ben Roberts-Smith of SASR, again both former RAR members.

Today at the United Service Club in Brisbane, The Royal Australian Regiment Association (Queensland Branch) while celebrating the 64th birthday of the Regiment toasted the achievements of Corporal Daniel Keighran VC, the third recipient of the Victoria Cross for Australia.

The award was for service in circumstances of great peril at Derapet, Uruzgan Province in Afghanistan.  In August 2010, Corporal Keighran was involved in coordinated enemy attack from multiple firing points.  According to his official citation, he “with complete disregard for his own safety, broke cover on multiple occasions to draw intense and accurate enemy fire to identify enemy locations and direct return fire from Australian and Afghan fire support elements.”  The 29-year-old’s actions were instrumental in permitting the withdrawal of the combined Australian and Afghan patrol with no further casualties.

Speaking at the Investiture Ceremony at Government House in Canberra, CDF  General David Hurley said Corporal Keighran’s selfless actions were of the highest level of bravery.  “Corporal Keighran acted with exceptional clarity and composure that spread to those soldiers around him, giving them confidence to operate effectively in an extremely stressful and dangerous situation.”

Corporal Keighran himself said he was surprised and honoured to receive the award.  “This is a very unexpected and humbling experience and I don’t think it has really sunk in yet.  I am very proud of the boys from Delta Company, 6 RAR and how they performed that day. This award is as much for their efforts as it is for mine.  I would also like to acknowledge my family, friends and especially my wife Kathryn. They have been very supportive throughout my service and deployments and I would like to recognise and thank them.”

Corporal Keighran enlisted in the Australian Army in 2000, prior to Afghanistan, he had served in East Timor and Iraq, was promoted to Lance Corporal in 2005 whilst within Mortar Platoon Support Company, 6RAR and subsequently Corporal in 2009.

CPL Keighran was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions while serving with 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.

Test Firing Goryunov SG43 after Battle of Long Tan

Checking out a capture VC Machine gun – circa 1966.

 

2/7758 Warrant Officer 2 John William ‘Jack’ Kirby, Company Sergeant Major (CSM) D Company, 6th Battalion The Royal Australian Regiment (RAR) of Windsor, Brisbane, Qld, (left), and Major Harry Smith of Ashgrove, Brisbane, Qld, Officer Commanding D Company 6RAR, test firing the Goryunov SG43 7.62 x 54mmR Soviet made Chinese communist heavy machine gun captured at the battle of Long Tan.

Smith and Kirby distinguished themselves at the Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966. Smith was awarded the Military Cross (MC) and Kirby the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM). On 6 February 1967, whilst participating in Operation Tamborine, Kirby was fatally wounded by artillery fire from the 161st Battery, Royal New Zealand Artillery (RNZA), when 12 105mm rounds accidentally fell on and around the D Coy Headquarters. This friendly fire incident killed four Australians (including Kirby) and wounded 13 others.

Inside the UK Navy’s Supersub

Deadly Hunter Killer submarine is capable of hearing a ship leaving port in New York… while sat underwater in the English channel

One of the world’s most sophisticated and powerful nuclear submarines

  • Carries dozens of cruise missiles capable of hitting targets 1,200 miles away
  • Her sonar can detect vessels moving on the other side of the ocean
  • Powerful nuclear reactor allows her to cruise non-stop for 25 years
  • HMS Ambush is so hi-tech the giant submarine doesn’t even need a periscope

By SAM ADAMS

PUBLISHED: 08:59 GMT, 14 September 2012 | UPDATED: 12:59 GMT, 14 September 2012

She cost around £1billion to build, has sonar so sensitive it can hear other vessels 3,000 miles away and carries a giant payload of 38 deadly Tomahawk cruise missiles.

HMS Ambush, the Royal Navy’s newest nuclear attack submarine, is one of the most sophisticated and powerful vessels of her type ever built.

The giant Astute-class sub, which was launched today, is so hi-tech she doesn’t even need a periscope.

Scroll down to watch the submarine’s weapons being tested…

Awesome: HMS Ambush, which was built by BAE Systems, is believed to be the world's most powerful nuclear attack submarine. Her huge weapons payload includes super-accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and Spearfish torpedoes for fighting other vesselsAwesome: HMS Ambush, which was built by BAE Systems, is believed to be the world’s most powerful nuclear attack submarine. Her huge weapons payload includes super-accurate Tomahawk cruise missiles and Spearfish torpedoes for fighting other vessels
Success: The super hi-tech vessel has undergone rigorous testing ahead of today's launch. Despite her size the sub's 103 crew will be tightly packed, with some sleeping up to eight to a room in bunk bedsSuccess: The super hi-tech vessel has undergone rigorous testing ahead of today’s launch. Despite her size the sub’s 103 crew will be tightly packed, with some sleeping up to eight to a room in bunk beds

Enlarge Super sophisticated: A cross-section of the sub shows the complexity of her design and the need to fit as much technology in as possible 

Super sophisticated: A cross-section of the sub shows the complexity of her design and the need to fit as much technology in as possible

HMS Ambush graphic

Her crew instead using a digital camera system to see above the surface when she is submerged.

Built by BAE Systems, she has enough nuclear fuel to carry on cruising for up to 25 years non-stop – giving her huge tactical flexibility.

Her nuclear reactor is so powerful her range is only really limited by the need for maintenance and resupply.

 

 

Astute-class submarines are the largest, most advanced and most powerful in the history of the Navy, boasting world-class design, weaponry and versatility.

HMS Ambush can travel over 500 miles in a day, allowing them to be deployed anywhere in the world within two weeks.

The vessel is also one of the quietest sea-going vessels built, capable of sneaking along an enemy coastline to drop off special forces or tracking a boat for weeks.

Detailed: HMS Ambush was fitted out with her sophisticated technology at Devonshire dock hall in Barrow-in-Furness Cumbria. She contains some of the most hi-tech weapons and sonar systems ever created Detailed: HMS Ambush was fitted out with her sophisticated technology at Devonshire dock hall in Barrow-in-Furness Cumbria. She contains some of the most hi-tech weapons and sonar systems ever created
HMS Ambush: Her powerful nuclear reactor allows her to travel around the world without stopping. She can cruise for up to 500 miles in a dayHMS Ambush: Her powerful nuclear reactor allows her to travel around the world without stopping. She can cruise for up to 500 miles in a day

Foreign forces will find it almost impossible to sneak up undetected by her incredibly powerful sonar equipment that can hear halfway around the world.

Her Tomahawk missiles are capable of hitting targets up to 1,200 miles away – making her a vital weapon for Britain’s armed forces.

The sub’s commander Peter Green, 47, said the vessel’s capabilities are ‘unparalleled.’

 

‘This sub is a huge step forward in underwater operations,’ he told the Daily Mirror.

‘Her listening ability is quite awesome. She has a sonar system with the processing power of 2,000 laptop computers.

Inside: The weapons room of the £1billion sub. Many details of her weapons system remain top secretInside: The weapons room of the £1billion sub. Many details of her weapons system remain top secret

 

Feeding the crew: The submarine's kitchen will be staffed by five chefs providing food 24-hours a day for her officers and crewFeeding the crew: The submarine’s kitchen will be staffed by five chefs providing food 24-hours a day for her officers and crew
Technology: Leading engineering technician Andrew Gee tests out the sub's steering system in the control roomTechnology: Leading engineering technician Andrew Gee tests out the sub’s steering system in the control room

‘It is possible this class of submarine is the most advanced in the world.’

Another Astute Class sub is currently undergoing sea trials – and could be operational within a year.

Many details of HMS Ambush’s weapons systems cannot be revealed for security reasons.

Most of her 103-strong crew live in bunk-beds measuring two metres by one metre, with up to 18 submariners sharing one room.

After today’s launch HMS Ambush will begin sea trials before eventually beginning operations.

Temporary Lieutenant W T Dartnell VC, 3/9/1915

Today in Australian military history – 3/9/1915 – Temporary Lieutenant W T Dartnell, 25th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, originally from Melbourne, Victoria Cross action at Maktau, British East Africa. It was a posthumous award.

William Dartnell, born at Collingwood, Melbourne, was only 15 years old when he enlisted for service in South Africa with the Victorian Mounted Rifles in 1901. He returned to South Africa in 1913 and was working there when war was declared. Using the name Wilbur Taylor Dartnell, he joined the 25th Battalion, the Royal Fusiliers, as a temporary lieutenant, and in April 1915 sailed for service in British East Africa.

Dartnell’s Victoria Cross was awarded posthumously for his actions on 3 September 1915, near Maktau, East Africa. Wounded in the leg during an ambush, he insisted on being left behind to allow other wounded companions to be carried away. Though he was twice asked to leave, he refused and began firing at the Germans around him. When his body was found, seven enemy dead were lying nearby.

Dartnell was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously, he also received the Queen’s South Africa Medal and service medals for the First World War.

Honour the fallen

Commander Joint Task Force 633 visited the troops in Uruzgan following the deaths of five diggers…