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.

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.

Honour the fallen

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


ADF announces the death of PTE Nathanael Galagher

Private Nathanael Galagher

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Private Nathanael John Aubrey Galagher during operations in Afghanistan.

Private Galagher was serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan when he was tragically killed in a helicopter crash on 30 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Private Galagher is survived by his partner Jessie, parents Wayne and Sally and sister Elanor.

Twenty-three year old Private Galagher was born in Wee Waa, New South Wales in 1989. He joined the Army on 22 October 2007 and was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR). On completion of his Selection and Training Course and Reinforcement Cycle, Private Galagher was posted to the 2nd Commando Regiment in November 2011. Private Galagher was on his second tour to Afghanistan

Private Galagher always put in 110% in every thing he did. He had a ‘can-do’ attitude, always wanting to get the job done and taking everything in his stride. He was an enthusiastic, young soldier who was very well respected by his mates from the Regiment.

Private Galagher has been awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp ICAT, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Australian Defence Medal, the NATO non article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF and the Multiple Tour Indicator (2), the Infantry Combat Badge and the Returned from Active Service Badge.

During Private Galagher’s service in the Australian Army he deployed on the following Operations;

Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jul – Aug 2012,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Sep 2009 – Feb 2010.

ADF announces the death of LCPL Mervyn McDonald

Lance Corporal Mervyn McDonald

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Lance Corporal Mervyn John McDonald during operations in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal McDonald was serving with the Special Operations Task Group in Afghanistan when he was tragically killed in a helicopter crash on 30 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Lance Corporal McDonald is survived by his fiancée Rachael, his mother Myrna and stepfather Bernie, and brothers Percy, Roger and Gary.

Thirty-year old Lance Corporal McDonald was born in Carnarvon, Western Australia in 1982. He joined the Army on 31 May 1999 and was posted to the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1 RAR). On completion of his Selection and Training Course and Reinforcement Cycle, Lance Corporal McDonald was posted to the then 4th Battalion (Commando), The Royal Australian Regiment, now the 2nd Commando Regiment, in August 2008. Lance Corporal McDonald was on his sixth tour to Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal McDonald was quick witted and brought a positive energy to both his unit comrades and all those who served with him. A dedicated and enthusiastic professional soldier, he was always willing to come forward with ideas and solutions. He was a highly professional soldier, but his quiet nature and humility meant he always deflected credit back on to fellow members of his Company.

Lance Corporal McDonald has been awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp East Timor and ICAT, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Australian Service Medal with Clasp East Timor, Timor Leste and CT/SR, the Australian Defence Medal, the United Nations Mission in Support of East Timor Medal, the Timor Leste Solidarity Medal, the NATO non article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF and Multiple Tour Indicator (2), Commander 1st Division Commendation, Infantry Combat Badge and the Returned from Active Service Badge.

During Lance Corporal McDonald’s service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following Operations;

Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jul – Aug 2012,
Operation Norwich (Australia) Nov 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jul – Aug 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Apr – May 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Feb – Mar 2011,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Mar – Jun 2010,
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Mar – Jul 2009,
Operation Astute (Timor-Leste) Mar – Jun 2007,
Operation Astute (Timor-Leste) May – Sep 2006,
Operation Citadel (East Timor) May – Oct 2003,
Operation Tanager (East Timor) Oct 2000 – Apr 2001.

ADF announces the death of LCPL Stjepan ‘Rick’ Milosevic

Lance Corporal Stjepan 'Rick' Milosevic

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Lance Corporal Stjepan ‘Rick’ Milosevic on operations in Afghanistan on 29 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Lance Corporal Milosevic, known as Rick to his family and Milo to his comrades, deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment Task Group and was from the 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment, Queensland Mounted Infantry (2/14 LHR (QMI)) based in Brisbane, Queensland.

Lance Corporal Milosevic is survived by his wife and their two children.

Lance Corporal Milosevic was born in Penrith, New South Wales, in 1972. He enlisted in the Army in 2008. He was posted as a Cavalryman to the 2/14 LHR (QMI) in Brisbane in 2009 on completion of his basic training and initial employment training. His potential was quickly identified and he achieved outstanding course results in a short period of time; being promoted to Lance Corporal in 2011 and becoming a light armoured vehicle (ASLAV) crew commander. He was a highly-qualified soldier with a strong future.

Lance Corporal Milosevic was a much liked and respected member of the Regiment. His leadership and professional abilities stood out in the unit, on the rugby field and on operations. He was also a devoted family man. He will be sorely missed by his family and comrades.

Lance Corporal Milosevic has been awarded the following honours and awards:

• Australian Active Service Medal with Clasps IRAQ 2003 and ICAT
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal
• Iraq Campaign Medal
• Australian Defence Medal
• NATO Non Article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF
• Army Combat Badge
• Return from Active Service Badge

During Lance Corporal Milosevic’s service in the Australian Army, he deployed on the following operations:

Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan) June – August 2012
Operation KRUGER (Iraq) June – September 2010

ADF announces the death of PTE Robert Poate

Private Robert Poate

It is with deep regret the Australian Defence Force announces the death of Private Robert Hugh Frederick Poate on operations in Afghanistan on 29 August 2012 (local time Afghanistan).

Private Robert Poate was a member of the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment Task Group and was from the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6 RAR), based in Brisbane, Queensland.

Private Poate is survived by his parents Hugh and Janny, and his sister, Nicola.

Private Poate was born in Canberra, in 1988. He enlisted in the Army in 2009. On completion of his basic and initial employment training, he was posted as a rifleman to 6 RAR. Private Poate was a highly qualified soldier, having completed specialist training as a Protected Mobility Vehicle Driver in 2010 and Protected Mobility Vehicle Commander in 2011.

Private Poate was known for having outstanding leadership potential, which led to him completing a promotion course for Corporal in 2011. He will be fondly remembered by his ‘Brothers by Choice’ in 6 RAR as a larrikin and an incredibly professional soldier. Private Poate had a reputation for creating mischief without getting caught, and was proud of his family, his military service, his Canberran origins, and his red hair, which he vehemently defended as being ‘strawberry blonde’.

Private Poate has been awarded the following honours and awards:

• Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp ICAT
• Afghanistan Campaign Medal
• Australian Defence Medal
• NATO Non Article 5 Medal with Clasp ISAF
• Infantry Combat Badge

During Private Poate’s service in the Australian Army he deployed on the following operation:

Operation SLIPPER (Afghanistan) June – August 2012