Association News and items of interest
Statue tribute for the first man out at Gallipoli Beach landing Controversy resolved.
Article in the Brisbane Times Sat Mar 7, 2014...
..which states, in part,...
And now, before next year's centenary, the controversy looks to have been resolved following the news that an application for a grant is about to be made for a life-size bronze statue of Duncan Chapman, from Maryborough in Queensland. The statue will sit on a plinth that states that Chapman, of the Ninth (Queensland) Battalion, was the first man ashore, Fairfax Media has been told.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/statue-tribute-for-first-man-out-at-gallipoli-beach-landing-controversy-resolved-20140228-33rgp.html#ixzz2uejXNy36I've only reproduced the link here due to copyright restrictions.
The Stratford / Chapman discussion continues while we have some evidence that first ashore might have been Jim Bostock - link...
...but I suspect that the story will go on.
Association Annual General Meeting Monday 3 March 2014
Our Annual General Meeting [AGM] will be held on Monday 3 March 2014 at 1730 hrs in the Board Room at the Kedron Wavell Services Club.
This meeting is for the purpose of receiving annual reports and Electing Office Bearers for 2014.
The AGM will be followed immediately by a General Meeting. Items for the Agenda for that General Meeting may now be sent to the Secretary by email to
You are invited to join us for a light meal after the meeting.
British plan ANZAC whitewash
A PC push by British politicians is threatening to downplay the role of Aussie diggers in WW1 in favour of developing nations.
The ANZAC whitewash comes despite the 62,000 Australians who died in the Great War fighting for the British Empire and another 156,000 wounded, with no 100-year anniversary events planned by Britain recognising the sacrifice.
News Corp Australia has learned in a blatant politicising of the anniversary, Whitehall officials in London have been briefed to push the efforts by the so-called "New Commonwealth" nations in a bid to win political and economic favour in multicultural Britain.
The move comes amid a heated social and political row in Britain over immigration numbers with the issue likely to determine the outcome of federal elections in Britain next year.
British government sources have confirmed internal briefings on WWI commemorations have not mentioned Australia or New Zealand once, instead staff from departments and cabinet offices have been briefed to concentrate on other British Empire contributions by soldiers from countries such as Nigeria and other dominions in West Africa, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The "new Commonwealth" is a British term to describe predominantly non-white and developing decolonised countries and is often used in debates on immigration.
The desire to push the war efforts by soldiers from these countries is now being seen as more fruitful to promote "community cohesion" and link younger generations of ethnic Britons today to the war fought by their forefathers. It's also seen as high-level support for old colonies like India which is experiencing a booming economy.
"It's basically to remind Britons the First World War wasn't just soldiers from here fighting in France and Belgium but involved people from Lagos, Kingston and the Punjab," a government insider said.
"There has been no mention of old Commonwealth Allies like Australia or New Zealand but more interest in celebrating the role from New Commonwealth countries. I think it's fair to say Commonwealth ties are being frayed a little on this one." The British Department For Culture, Media and Sport, tasked with WWI anniversary events, confirmed there were no plans to have any specific events recognising Australia's contribution to the British Empire's cause.
"I don't think there is anything specific at this stage for individual countries," a spokeswoman said. "It is obviously a four-year program so there may well be specific things as we go along but nothing specific at this stage."
British author and commentator Murray Rowlands said it was a disgrace Australian and New Zealanders were being ignored. "There is nothing in (British Prime Minister) David Cameron's program of commemoration that mentions these countries," he said.
"The British pretty much lost the war in July 1918, they were in retreat and it wasthe Australians and New Zealanders who got put into the gap ... they were the ones that held up the Germans in places like Hamel (Somme, northern France), with the Americans too but basically the well-trained Australians, pretty battle hardened by then, who stopped the Germans. If they had got to Amiens the game would have been gone because that was where the British communication system were. That needs recognition." Australia's Department of Veterans Affairs and the Australian High Commission in London are planning a series of Australian-specific events in the UK this year and next year, the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli.
25/49 RQR new Greenbank facilities
Governor of Queensland Penelope Wensley formally opened new facilities for the 25th/49th Battalion, The Royal Queensland Regiment (25/49RQR) at Greenbank in Brisbane’s south today.
One of Queensland’s oldest Army Reserve units, 25/49RQR will move from Enoggera to the new facilities, which include a new battalion headquarters at Greenbank Training Area.
The new facilities also include buildings to house a rifle company and a number of combat support and combat service support elements, as well as a new range control headquarters, a 320-person training camp and a Safe Driver Training Area.
Commanding Officer 25/49RQR Lieutenant Colonel Allan Rathjen said the opening ceremony marked an important day for the unit and Army Reserve.
“This is a brand new facility that represents a major investment in the Army Reserve in south-east Queensland,” Lieutenant Colonel Rathjen said.
“It allows for significant planned growth, and provides a great opportunity for expanding Army and Defence capability in the southern Brisbane area, including capacity for an additional rifle company that will be recruited from the local area.”
Lieutenant Colonel Rathjen said the Greenbank base gave the battalion convenient access to training facilities and ranges for the 130 soldiers who will parade regularly.
“The new facility increases the efficiency of our use of resources, as it significantly reduces travel time, and will have a positive impact on training outcomes for us over coming years.”
Nearly 500 soldiers serve with 25/49RQR, with major elements located in Brisbane, Southport, Ipswich, Gatton, Toowoomba and Caboolture.
The linked battalion maintains the history, traditions, associations, affiliations, battle honours and Colours of both the 25th and the 49th Battalions. A distinguishing characteristic of 25/49RQR is that it holds more battle honours than any other currently active unit in the Australian Army. These include Gallipoli, Somme, France and Flanders, Villers Bretonneux, Kokoda Trail, Milne Bay, Buna-Gona and Sanananda Road.
[source: Contact Magazine and spotted by Brad Shillig ]
11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month
IN FLANDERS FIELDS
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
between the crosses,
row on row that mark our place;
and in the sky the larks,
still bravely singing,
fly scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago we lived,
felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
And now we lie in Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe;
To you from failing hands we throw the torch;
Be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep,
Though poppies grow in Flanders fields.
Monday 5 Aug 2013
Here is a link to a transcript of an interview with Frank McCosker done by the Australian War Memorial in 2003 - well spotted by Brad Shillig.
The link is to an external site at the AWM.
Pte John Leak VC
Friday 2 August 2013
The following was posted to the Oxley Library Blog post today [2 Aug 2013]. It brings up some interesting thoughts about Pte Leak's background. It is presented here as an item of interest without comment. The full post can be seen by clicking on the John Leak VC link in the menu bar on the right. A link to the original is below.
Guest bloggers: Ron Siebenhausen and Tom McVeigh
Private John Leak was Queensland’s first Victoria Cross winner in 1916. Despite the amount recorded about his pre-war background in newspapers, books and on the Internet, it is inconsistent and without proof.
John Leak (2053) won the VC for extraordinary courage at Pozieres France 23 July 1916. This is not in question. The National Archives of Australia has digitised his records, showing he enlisted on 28 January 1915 in Rockhampton, Queensland. Documents relating to his war records and marriage to Beatrice May Chapman may be viewed at their site.
Soldiers in Skin
Friday 5 June 2013
A large number of people gathered at the old Victoria Barracks Officers Mess for the launch of Michael Bond's book Soldiers in Skin. Michael launched the book with a lengthy, and humerous, dissertation of its creation and scope. A number of the soldiers mentioned in the book were also present.
In 2012 Michael Bond was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross for his command of the battalion.
Tales include the morale raising magic of a fictitious hat; trekking over 100 kilometres with 40 Indigenous teenagers; a stolen soldier; and the serious business of the Queensland floods in 2011 from Gympie to Grantham.
The book is available for $20 from the Museum at Enoggera and shortly from our new WebShop.