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winter edition 2017

c a r i n g fo r t h e v e t e r a n co m m u n i t y

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance


president’s report Welcome to the 2017 winter edition of Reveille. Our ANZAC Day commemorative parade and services were the central feature of the autumn season. The 2017 services saw increasing crowds and have grown into one of the most significant on the Sunshine Coast. While catering to the needs of the increasing crowd size we remain focussed on the core values of ANZAC Day. I do want to take this opportunity to thank the dedicated team of more than 100 staff and volunteers from Maroochy RSL who freely gave their time on ANZAC Day so others could commemorate and join with family and friends to remember those who have served our country. Without these dedicated members of our team ANZAC Day wouldn’t be the success it continues to be.

Yandina to these brave men who 75 years ago bivouacked in the area before departing for involvement in the Kokoda campaign.

Mr Bill White one of our League members has recently returned from a dinner in New York to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea. As a young sailor on board HMAS Hobart, Bill was involved in one of the most significant WW2 naval engagements I do want to take this directly impacting Australia. opportunity to thank Through the effort of US and the dedicated team of Australian Naval forces in this more than 100 staff engagement, the Japanese and volunteers from plans for invasion of Australia both the sub branch were halted. We have taken the opportunity to feature an article and main venue who on Bill’s story, the battle of the freely gave their Coral Sea and of course the old time on the day so HMAS Hobart. that others could

commemorate and join with comrades to remember those who have served.

I pass on my best wishes to all of our members and hope to see you at Maroochy RSL. Michael Liddelow Maroochy RSL President

This edition of Reveille contains something for everyone, details on the new building works within RSL House in the membership report through to an article on the 2/14 Battalion and the rededication of the memorial at

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Contents President’s Report......................... 02 Membership......................................03 CEO’s Report................................... 04 PAWS Report................................... 06

membersHIP

ANZAC Day...................................... 09

Autumn was a busy time at RSL House with the completion of further upgrades.

The Bugle with History...................10

The Keith Payne VC room has been divided into a 50 seat conference area and new offices and meeting rooms. The new facilities will assist us to cater to the expanding pensions and welfare teams while modernising the facility. We have also taken the opportunity to update the air conditioning, lighting and audio visual facilities. One of the newly added features of RSL House is an eternal flame piece and we have covered a wall with a field of poppies with the Ode of Remembrance on it as a reminder of the sacrifices made for us. The team has confirmed two outings for the winter quarter with trips to Underwater World Sealife Aquarium in Mooloolaba in June and an outing to Fort Lytton in July. We also hope to confirm a naval vessel tour for August. If you would like to attend any of our outings please contact any of the team at RSL House. We look forward to welcoming you at RSL House. Ian Hicks Maroochy RSL League Administration Manager

The Origin of the Eternal Flame....11 Keeping the Peace.......................... 12 The Battle that Saved Australia..... 14 The Kokoda Wallaby....................... 16 They Who Listen Also Serve.......... 18 The Diary of Frank Favell...............20 Solemn Rifle..................................... 21 ESO Meeting Information ............ 22

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR EMAILING LIST If you wish to receive emails about current veteran related issues and League information, please email us at: rslhouse@maroochyrsl.com.au www.maroochyrsl.com.au

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ceo’s report Welcome to the winter edition of our Reveille magazine for 2017, we have had an extremely busy autumn and with RSL House renovations complete it is an exciting time. The RSL House team have been settling into their new office space, the new offices will mean more room for our advocacy and welfare team. The renovations have altered the configuration to the Keith Payne VC room as well and overall we have a much more functional use of the area.

A big thank you to the Maroochy RSL Board of Directors, RSL House, Maroochy RSL staff and all the volunteers who every year selflessly give their time to make ANZAC Day a special day of commemoration, none of it is possible without all of you.

We had a fantastic ATTENDANCE AT our 2017 ANZAC Day commemorations with the dawn and main services attracting

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea and of the six remaining veterans of the battle, one is Maroochy RSL member Arthur ‘Bill’ White. Bill was recently flown to the United States to attend a dinner to mark the occasion with dignitaries including Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The highlight of autumn very strong crowd was undoubtedly ANZAC numbers. Day commemorations at the Cotton Tree cenotaph. We Our dedicated team is had a fantastic attendance committed to the welfare at our 2017 ANZAC Day of all our current and excommemorations with the service personnel and their families and are dawn and main services attracting very strong here to assist you in any way that they can. If crowd numbers. We were honoured to have you think you may need assistance or know many of you join us for the Gunfire breakfast anyone who does please contact our team and Morning Tea and it was good to have the who are there to help. 86 Transport Platoon and the Australian Army (AARC) Men’s and Women’s rugby teams join We hope you enjoy the winter edition of us to commemorate ANZAC Day. Reveille magazine. Clare Paton Maroochy RSL CEO

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RSL House 106 Memorial Ave, Maroochydore Phone: 07 5443 1719 Fax: 07 5443 7551 email: rslhouse@maroochyrsl.com.au

Office Hours Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm

Museum Hours Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.00pm

LEAGUE MEMBER BRIEFINGS

Ex-Service Organisations These groups meet regularly at RSL House, please feel welcome to attend. For more information about upcoming meetings refer to page 22. Ex-Service Women’s Association - first Thursday of the month, 10.00am chat, 10.30am meeting Legacy Laurel Club - fourth Friday of the month at 9.00am National Servicemen’s Association second Tuesday of every odd month, 9.00am chat, 10.00am meeting

Third Monday of the month at 2.00pm

Naval Association - second Sunday of the month at 10.30am

Information for members, guests and bona fide visitors. Correct at time of printing.

TPI Association - third Wednesday of the month at 10.30am Australian War Widows (QLD) - fourth Monday of the month, 9.00am chat, 10.00am meeting Women’s Auxiliary - first Monday of the month, 9.30am chat, 10.00am meeting

Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor (preferably typed or printed and no longer than 200 words) should carry the sender’s full name, address and contact phone number, and will not necessarily express the opinion of the Editor or of this Sub Branch. The Editor reserves the right to edit or refuse to publish any submission. Email: rslhouse@maroochyrsl.com.au

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PENSIONS, ADVOCACY & WELFARE SECTION (PAWS) REPORT The Compensation Advocate Team is currently dealing with over 134 claims from 2016 and over 50 new claims from this year. The rate of new clients has slowed down somewhat from a Christmas holiday peak of one per day to approx two new clients per week. With ten volunteer Compensation Advocates (including two under training) now available the Compensation Advocate Team is well equipped to provide an improved level of service to the veteran community. Mondays and Wednesdays are the days when the majority of Advocates are available, but a full time presence for general advice and support is available across each day of the working week.

ANZAC DAY This year’s ANZAC Day commemorative services at Cotton Tree Park attracted strong crowd numbers. Working hard behind the scene to ensure that the day’s operation was a success, are many dedicated volunteers and staff, who gave their time with no expectation of reward. Thank you to all the sincere and dedicated people who assisted with ANZAC Day operations and the conducting of community RSL ANZAC Commemorative services in our local hospitals, schools and Residential Aged Care Facilities.

There has been no particular trends identified during the reporting period other than a regular flow of requests for nonliability health care generally for mental health issues. The Department of Veteran Affairs is fast tracking these requests with some being approved within the same day the claim is submitted. The Military Brotherhood Military Motorcycle Club (Cooloola Coast SubBranch) has established a close relationship with our Maroochy RSL Compensation Advocates Team as the Advocates of choice to assist its members with their Department of Veteran Affairs claims. Time has been scheduled each Wednesday afternoon for these members who travel down from Gympie.

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Thank You to all thE sincere and dedicated people who assisted with maroochy rsl’s ANZAC Day commemorations A Maroochydore Residential Aged Care Facility ANZAC Day service INFORMATION SESSION It has been our aim this year to provide health and wellbeing information sessions to our league members and their families. The Council of the Aging (COTA) presented an information session on ageing and wellness including getting the most out of support services. We will continue to offer a variety of free information sessions if interest and attendance continues, so please let the Welfare team know of any particular health and well-being topics that you would like to see offered throughout the year. LEAGUE MEMBER OUTING PROGRAM Our latest outing was Barefoot Bowls and dinner at Club Maroochy Bowls Club. New and experienced players enjoyed the friendly competition, with plenty of laughs and good

food. We would love you to come along to our next outing as it is a fun way to connect with other veterans in your community The June outing is at Underwater World Sea Life Aquarium in Mooloolaba on Tuesday 6 June. The price of $15 includes return transport, lunch, entry and show. Our July outing is to Fort Lytton in Brisbane on Thursday 13 July. $15 cost includes return transport, morning tea, entry and tour. We are still eagerly awaiting confirmation of the anticipated naval vessel tour in Brisbane. The expected date of the tour should be between 28-30 July. We will keep you updated at the League Briefing Bookings and enquiries for any of this year’s outings can be directed to RSL House on 5443 1719.

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VPCP (VETERAN PHONE CONTACT PROGRAM) League members will soon start receiving phone calls from Maroochy RSL as part of the Veteran Phone Contact Program. The calls are a way to connect with all our league members over the course of the year. We will contact you to: • Update your personal contact details • Enables you to speak with a welfare officer about services that are available to you and your family if needed (such as Compensation, Advocacy and Welfare Services, Military Museum) • Obtain feedback from members on our mail-outs (such as Reveille) We respect your choice if you do not want to receive a call, but we do encourage you to give your feedback when contacted so as we can continue to provide the best services to benefit our league members.

Snapshot of Welfare Activities and Stats for January -April 2017 Volunteers Hours: 617.75 hours Type

# Visits

# Seen

Nursing Home

43

506

Hospital

30

380

Home

15

10

Walk In’s (office)

6

6

Transport/Social

8

6

Poppy Services

6

N/A

The Welfare Team can be contacted at RSL House on 5443 1719. We welcome your feedback and need your suggestions as this is your League and your RSL.

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ANZAC Day TUESDAY 25 APRIL 2017

LEST WE FORGET

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The bugle with a hundred year history The Maroochy RSL Military Museum is home to countless fascinating military artefacts but Private Arthur Pride’s 100 year old bugle is certainly one of our favourites.

Found in an old scrapheap by a young boy near a deserted house in Cobar, New South Wales the bugle made its way into the hands of former Maroochy RSL member Doug Bellchambers some 50 years ago. Doug then a member of the Cobar Brass Band played it at local RSL services before bringing it with him when he moved to the Sunshine Coast 30 years ago. For more than 10 years he played it at local ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day services, as well as at funerals for RSL members before donating it to Maroochy RSL.

The inscriptions on the bugle show it was used in Tel-El Kebir, Zeitoun, Heliopolis, Aerodrome, Suez and Cairo. However, Pride’s service records indicate he didn’t mind a run in with authority. With charges for being AWOL, disobeying superior orders, accusations of stealing and another for escaping from escort while on route to camp Pride seemed to test the waters while serving. Eventually Pride faced a Field General Court Martial and was sentenced to seven years Penal Servitude in October 1918.

The copper and brass bugle is now kept on display in the Maroochy RSL Military Museum but its story began in the early days of World War I.

In August 1919 the sentence was reduced to two years which was then remitted from 6 October 1919, the date he embarked for Australia.

The bugle is believed to have belonged to Private Arthur Pride who served from 1915 to 1919.

Upon arriving back on home soil Pride again went AWOL in November and was subsequently discharged as a Disciplinary Case from the Army on 2 December 1919.

Pride boarded the HMAT Aeneas on 20 December 1919 with the 13th/1st Infantry Battalion for service.

Thank you Mr Bellchambers for allowing us to proudly display Private Arthur Pride’s bugle at the museum.

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The origin of the eternal flame “Strikingly typical of the ANZAC spirit and… while offering a tribute of thankfulness and pride, it should ever remain a beacon of light and inspiration to rising and future generations.” – a press clipping from 1930. A flame is widely accepted as a symbol of eternal life and an eternal flame at a war memorial symbolizes a nation’s perpetual gratitude towards and remembrance of those who fought or paid the ultimate price. Three stylised eternal flames have been installed in both the main venue and in RSL House as a part of our recent renovation program. Although it is uncertain whether the remembrance symbolism of the eternal flame has any classical ancestry it is possible it derived from the idea of a hearth flame for the city, such as the one tended by the vestal virgins in Rome or the altar flame of Delphi. Australia’s first eternal flame was lit in Brisbane on Armistice Day in 1930, it is a perpetual reminder of the service and sacrifice of more than 100,000 Australians who have given their lives in war. Lest we forget.

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Keeping the peace Australia has a proud history of active involvement in peacekeeping operations across the globe spanning nearly 70 years. Since 1948 there have been over 70 United Nations peacekeeping operations across the globe with Australia supporting many of these. In Indonesia in 1947, Australians were part of the very first group of United Nations military observers. The Australian Defence Force and Australian Federal Police have been involved in over a hundred operations, providing forces and leadership for peace observation and enforcement, weapons destruction, demining, training, and disaster relief all over the world. Since 1947 more than 30,000 Australians have served in over 50 multi-national peacekeeping operations including six that

were commanded by Australians. Peacekeepers were initially unarmed military observers, contributing to conflict resolution by observing the movements and dispositions of both sides ensuring that any violations were brought to the attention of the international community. In Indonesia, information from UN military observers ultimately helped the Indonesian republicans win their independence from the Dutch. Over time the nature of peacekeeping has evolved, requiring peacekeepers to manage more complex and multi-dimensional issues, such as those that emerged in the Middle East and Africa.

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Australian state and federal police forces have also had a long involvement in peacekeeping operations beginning in 1964 with the first deployment to Cyprus, a peacekeeping commitment that continues to the present day. Since the 1970s, Australia’s peacekeeping operations have increased in size and scope. In that decade, and again in the 1980s, RAAF helicopters operated in the Sinai, as Egypt and Israel ended three decades of hostilities. At the end of the 1970s, an Australian infantry force of 150 soldiers took part in a British Commonwealth operation as Zimbabwe won its independence. A decade later, an even larger contingent, composed largely of engineers, assisted a UN operation with a similar role in Namibia. With the end of the Cold War, the 1990s proved to be the busiest decade in the history of multinational peacekeeping. For the first time, RAN ships took part in a peacekeeping operation, enforcing UN-imposed sanctions against Iraq both before and after the Gulf War. This proud tradition continues today with Australians serving in peace and security operations in the Middle East, Cyprus and South Sudan. In the coming issues of Reveille we will continue to highlight the work Australians have done in peacekeeping operations throughout the world.

Since 1947 more than 30,000 Australians have served in over 50 multi-national peacekeeping operations including six that were commanded by Australians.

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It came to be known as the battle that saved Australia There are some battles so pivotal, so significant, so epic that they later seemed to have altered the course, the destination of the conflict in which they occur. – His Excellency Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retired). This year marks the 75th anniversary of one of the most crucial naval battles in World War II when Australian and United States forces resisted Japanese advances in the South Pacific. The Battle of the Coral Sea is remembered as the first naval battle fought entirely by carrier-borne aircraft with the opposing fleets eventually engaging in traditional surface to surface conflict. The Japanese were seeking to control the Coral Sea with an invasion of Port Moresby in south-east New Guinea, but their plans were intercepted by Allied forces.

Over the course of four days, more than 70 aircraft and ships were destroyed and the Japanese advance towards New Guinea was successfully halted. The battle was an important turning point in the war in the Pacific because, for the first time, the Allies had stopped the Japanese advance. On 4 May 2017, Australian and American survivors of the battle attended a memorial service and dinner on board a decommissioned US Naval aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, joined by Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and American President Donald Trump.

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The black-tie commemoration event, supported by former US ambassador and American Australian Association (AAA) President John Berry, was held on the hangar deck of the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum.

Howden was known for anticipating the movements of the Japanese and translating the radio message between pilots, thanks to spending some time abroad before the war.

Each of the veterans received a special commemorative jacket at the dinner.

The ship was the target of an attack by eight Japanese twin engine torpedo bombers and 19 heavy bombers on 7 May 1942.

Tables to the event sold for between $150,000 and $200,000 with the money raised being used to fund scholarships through the AAA. The six remaining Coral Sea veterans, four Australians and two Americans, had no idea of the gravity of the battle that they fought together in May 1942. Among the surviving veterans was 94 year old Maroochy RSL member Arthur ‘Bill’ White, who served on board the HMAS Hobart as a Radio Operator. Keen to join the military with an interest in Morse code, Bill enlisted in the Navy at the age of 17.

“In the end, I feel that the Japanese hands down won the battle but psychologically they lost, as they never attempted to come back into the Coral Sea,” Bill says.

The Allies, who had cracked the main Japanese codes, intercepted and deciphered Japanese radio messages. An American carrier force, supported by Australian cruisers and destroyers, was The battle was an waiting to meet them. important turning

point in the war in the Pacific because, for the first time, the Allies had stopped the Japanese advance.

After training at the Flinders Naval Depot, Bill left for service on the HMAS Hobart and was quickly acquainted with the stark reality of war. “The whole object of the Coral Sea battle was Port Moresby; the Japanese wanted it as a base to control. They also had a force ready to occupy Sumatra and Fiji,” Bill said. “We were under heavy attack almost every day.” Bill decoded and transmitted sensitive and top secret information throughout the battle in his role as a young telegraphist. HMAS Hobart was under the command of Captain Harry Howden and the crew had the upmost respect for the skilled seaman and navigator. Bill recalls how the captain transformed an impossible war situation into an inevitable victory.

On 7 May 1942, American aircraft sank the Japanese auxiliary carrier Shoho. The next day the Japanese located and attacked the American carrier USS Lexington, which caught fire and was scuttled later the same afternoon.

The American carrier USS Yorktown and the Japanese carrier Shokaku were also damaged on 8 May 1942, and later that day the Japanese withdrew. Both sides suffered heavy casualties in terms of men and equipment. In total 1622 men were killed, 161 aircraft destroyed and the US lost three ships and the Japanese five. The Royal Australian Navy’s overall contribution to the Battle of the Coral Sea may not have been as spectacular as that of the American carriers, but the work done by the coast watchers, intelligence staff, the cruisers and other support ships and personnel all contributed to the final result, not just at the Coral Sea but throughout the Pacific War.

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The Kokoda Wallaby The lives of many young Australians changed dramatically when war was declared, including one of the heroes of the Kokoda Campaign in World War II, Stan Bisset. Stan was selected to go to England with the Wallabies team in September 1939, but the team was forced to return home when World War II was declared the day after they arrived.

8,000 soldiers. The Australians had just 546 men of the 2/14th Battalion and the remnants of the 39th Battalion.

Once he returned to Australia Stan enlisted and joined the 2/14th Battalion where his older brother Hal, better known as Butch, was already serving.

By this stage the brothers had emerged as leaders and Butch was known as a charismatic larrikin. At Isurava, Butch’s 30 man platoon held the high ground and staved off more than 11 Japanese attacks of up to 100 troops at a time.

The brothers went with the Battalion to the Middle East and fought in Syria, but after Pearl Harbour was bombed they returned home to defend Australia against the Japanese.

The Australians suffered many casualties including Butch who was badly wounded when hit in the stomach by machinegun fire when he was distributing grenades.

The troops were sent up the Kokoda Track to relieve the 39th Battalion, who had been fighting for weeks and were holding out against the enemy at Isurava.

Stan didn’t learn about Butch’s wounds for several hours but when he did he went back up the track to find his brother.

Stan was an intelligence officer and Butch was a platoon commander. The weather and terrain along the track were testing and by the time they got to the dry lakes of Myola near the top of the range, they found none of the anticipated supplies had been dropped by the transport planes. Expecting about a month’s worth of rations and ammunition, the brigade commander, Brigadier Arnold Potts, sent an urgent message to Port Moresby for more supplies. The Battalion reached Isurava by 27 August and gradually started relieving the exhausted 39th Battalion’s troops. The next day the main battle with the Japanese started. The Japanese attacked in fierce human waves and the Australian troops were soon outnumbered. The Battalion was expecting to face around 1,500 Japanese but by the time they got to Isurava the enemy strength had grown to about

They laid Butch down about 15 metres off the side of the track and medical officer Don Duffy gave him some morphine whilst Stan stayed with him throughout the night. For six hours Stan sang to his brother, they talked about their mum and dad and their childhood memories.

Butch passed away at 4am.

Stan had a rich life after the war raising his children and in 1971 he moved to the Sunshine Coast with his wife Gloria. Stan was often contacted by people wishing to meet him and hear his story. Without fail, he gave his time and his support. In August 1998, during what Stan and his fellow Kokoda Diggers called ‘The Last Parade’, he undertook a pilgrimage to say a final farewell to the mates they left behind and to say his last goodbye to his brother. In 2000, Stan was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for his service to veterans, particularly through the 2/14th Battalion Association.

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 Stan Bisset at Gona  The Bisset boys

Stan passed away in 2010 at the age of 98 but will always be remembered for his courage, compassion, selflessness and loyalty. His spirit lives on through his wife Gloria, his children and grandchildren.

Lest we forget.

REMEMBERING BUTCH In 2005 Stan’s youngest son Jim and a number of family members made the journey to Kokoda to place a plaque in memory of his late uncle. It was an emotional trip and Jim said it was an incredible chance to learn more about Butch and his dad. “As we went on the track with the family we swapped stories along the way and then we finally got to the spot where Butch died… To go there with your sons who were the same age as those blokes who fought is very tough...” Jim said. Jim said the two brothers were natural leaders and each known for their distinct qualities. “The Bisset boys… dad had a sense of humour but was rigid and had goals that nobody could stop him from achieving,

“They both seemed to be loved by the troops.”

At the site where Butch was mortally wounded the family held a service at 4am on the 63rd year of his passing. The family placed a plaque at Cons Rock to remember the brothers and the price Butch paid

defending his country and his best mates. “That was the reality of war. Ultimately it wasn’t so much fighting for the King or the country, it was fighting for your best mate right next to you. That’s why they formed such strong bonds,” Jim said. Jim said the whole experience was incredible especially to be able to share it with his sons. “All the young boys took turns to carry the plaque, and that was really so special! It’s hard to keep the memories and the stories alive and that for me really brought it all home.” Unfortunately over the years the plaque had been vandalised and Maroochy RSL Vice President Len Thompson got in touch to let Jim know he was working with the villages to have the plaque reinstated. In exchange for looking after that section of the track the village requested a water supply. To raise money to pay for the water supply Len and the Kokoda Memorial Foundation have organised a replica 1939 Australian Wallabies jersey to be signed by all living Captains that will be auctioned later this year. The Bisset family are thankful for the effort Len has gone to for their family. “I admire Len and so many people like him who have such an enduring passion for what they do,” Jim said. The Kokoda Memorial Foundation replaced the family’s plaque in 2015 and plan to place another on the track once the water supply is completed.

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They who listen also serve Military Intelligence is often joked as being an oxymoron however knowing where the enemy is, their intentions and how many of them there are was crucial information for our soldiers.

This intelligence was gained through many avenues including listening to the communications between opposing commanders, field forces and support elements. During World War II it was primarily via Morse code and in the language of the enemy mainly German or Japanese. Japanese was an extremely difficult language with 60 characters in the Katakana alphabet, so two number letter combinations had to be used to represent some of the characters.

Frank 2017

The Japanese also used a number series to represent a particular word. The Australian Special Wireless Group (ASWG) was formed in May 1940 with an establishment of 1000 personnel to be trained on Signal Intelligence. By war’s end the ASWG had 4,300 personnel headquartered at Kalinga in Brisbane and deployed to remote locations in Australia, New Guinea and the Islands. Their task was to listen to Japanese signals, transcribe it to paper and send back to be deciphered, if possible, at Central Bureau located at 21 Henry Street in Brisbane and Betchley Park in England.

Frank 1943

Maroochy RSL member Frank Hazelman enlisted the day after his 19th birthday in January 1943. The previous year he had gained a Morse code certificate working in the Victorian Railways which was a protected industry so he lied about his employment to enlist. With Morse experience he selected Signals Corps and to his surprise was sent to Park Orchards to be trained in Katakana. Here he signed the O.S.A. (Official Secrets Act) and was told “You do not exist, you never have existed, you will forever remain unknown and unacknowledged, there will

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be no awards, no glory and there will be no medals in this unit.”

The secrecy lasted for 30 years.

Frank when asked by his kids after the war, “What did you do in the war Dad?” he replied “A signaler” and that was that. In January 1944 Frank shipped to Kalinga in Brisbane and commenced listening to Japanese Karna radio traffic four hours on four hours off for two days then a day off. The listeners had no idea how important or otherwise the message traffic they wrote down was and not until 1975 did some of the significance of their work become known. Section 51 in Darwin intercepted Japanese traffic which led to the tracking and shooting down of Admiral Yamamoto, the Japanese Commander of the attack on Pearl Harbour.

They arrived in Morotai just as the Japanese were surrendering. The Section took over some American quarters as they had packed up and left leaving food that the Australian soldiers had not seen in years, tined fruit, chocolates, sultanas. They now were employed listening to Russian diplomatic traffic. On the 28 December Frank shipped back to Australia on the Liberty Ship ‘Georgetown Victory’ and finally discharged in October 1946. In 2009 the British Government recognised the special work the Signal Intelligence Groups achieved for Allied Victory and issued a special Medallion and Scroll to all surviving members.

ASWG intercepts assisted with the success in the Battle of Midway and it is estimated their efforts shortened the Pacific War by six to ten months and surprisingly the European War by two years because the Japanese would often transmit their knowledge of German strategy. In mid 1944 Frank was flown to Port Moresby with wireless equipment for 55 Section then a month later to 53 Section at Finschafen in Northern New Guinea. To intercept Japanese traffic in the field and locate enemy positions ASWG personnel had to be in the close vicinity to the enemy. Like any soldier in the field Frank was subject to danger and in a Japanese bombing attack was nearly killed by a bomb fragment which whistled past his face. After six months in New Guinea, Frank returned to Australia and came down with Malaria whilst on leave. When he recovered, his Section was moved by boat to Morotai where the Australian invasion of Borneo was being controlled.

The Medal has around it’s circumference: GS & CS Betchlkey Park and its Outstations

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The diary of Frank Favell continues Sapper Favell approaches a month since troops first landed at Gallipoli.

On 22 May 1915, Frank wrote…

Was on commentator from 12-3am. Rained during morning causing a little inconvenience as ground is of clayish formation and everywhere it touches it sticks. Reported death of General Bridges from wounds. Great excitement on water this morning. Transports leave in a hurry and a good deal of naval activity, manoeuvres of battleships, cruisers, destroyers indicated the presence of what was thought to be a hostile submarine. Excitement dies down towards evening. Went and relieved Jimmy Don on A.R. and was on phone from 8-12pm. Things very quiet… The next few days see consistent fire and the sinking of the HMS Triumph. On May 23 1915 he wrote… One month this morning since we landed. Dug a home for myself in side of a hill. German aeroplane flew over our position and dropped a bomb in Second Battalion killing one man. Sniping is carried on in “Sniper Valley” very consistently. The black crosses were seen very distinctly from ground. On phone from 12-4pm. The next day was eerily quite while armistice was declared to bury the fallen. On phone from 4-8am. Armistice was declared today from 7.30am till 4.30pm (9 hours) to bury the dead. Seemed so unnatural to hear all quiet. Received 3 letters yesterday. Mails coming very regularly. Also 2 ‘suns’ and one ‘times’. Improved dug out while sun shone. Scattered showers otherwise muggy. Heavy naval fire heard in distance. We are

up against the “crack” invasion of the Turkish army. On May 25 the HMS Triumph was hit by the Turks a significant loss. HMS Triumph was torpedoed this morning at 12.35pm. She was seen by us to have a good deal of a list on immediate afterwards and in 12 minutes you could only see the red keel and at 1pm she disappeared under the water. This boat has played the very deuce with the enemy. Being a fairly old ship she was a serious loss to us. Periscope of submarine can be seen from 2nd Battalion close into the shore and moving north at about 2 miles (enemies). Things very quiet this morning only a few rounds of shrapnel being fired. Very little rifle fire. The Triumph fired a broadside as she was going down. Was on phone from 12-4pm. Nothing much doing down our part of the line. Occasional showers of rain which made ground very slippery down side of hill. Issue of tobacco and cigarettes today all the boys are beginning to feel a bite lively and although some large game is bagged there is plenty more. Our casualties are very light.

On May 26 things calm down…

On phone from 4-8am. Things are very quiet in firing line. Only usual sniping. Hardly any shrapnel today. 4th reinforcements are at A.R. at 7o’clock. Landed todays, came on Destroyers from Lemnos. Were in Egypt for about a week. Am on phone from 8-12pm. Our hydro-plane dropped a couple of bombs on enemy trenches about 7pm.

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The history of the Solemn Rifle A symbol of remembrance to the fallen and a poignant reminder of the cost of war. The Solemn Rifle or Battlefield Cross is used to mark the site where a soldier made the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield. The rifle’s bayonet is fixed into the ground and their helmet placed on top to indicate that here lies the remains of a fallen comrade. Often their dog tags are hung around the rifle to identify the soldier with their name never to be forgotten. The inverted rifle with bayonet signals a time for prayer, a break in the combat action to pay tribute to a fallen colleague. In some cases the combat boots, worn and dirty, representing the final march of the soldier’s last battle are placed adjacent to the upturned bayonet.

During World War II, as units rapidly advanced and time was not available for a proper burial, soldiers would often bury the bodies in shallow graves. Once again placing a rifle with bayonet fixed into the ground and a helmet on top to indicate that here lies the remains of a fallen comrade. While it is used less today as a means of identification, it still serves as a method of mourning among the living, as attending the funeral is not always possible for soldiers still in combat. Maroochy RSL will install a new Solemn Rifle display in the main venue with the former memorial to be refurbished and displayed in RSL House.

After a set period of time, the memorial is respectfully dismantled, with the components being returned to the unit. The origin of the battlefield cross is a little vague but appears to have originated from the American Civil War where until this time, fallen soldiers were buried where they lay often by opposing forces with crude markers being erected.

Reveille WINTER edition 2017 | 21


Returned & Service League of Australia (Queensland Branch) Maroochydore Sub Branch Incorporated RSL House 106 Memorial Ave, Maroochydore Phone: 07 5443 1719 Fax: 07 5443 7551 e-mail: rslhouse@maroochyrsl.com.au Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm Museum Hours Monday to Friday 9.00am - 4.00pm 2017 League Briefings 19 June 17 July 21 August

Naval Association of Australia

The Maroochy Waters Sub-Section meets at RSL House, Maroochydore on the second Sunday each month at 10.30am. 2017 Meetings 9 July Expressions of interest and all enquiries should be directed to the Secretary at PO Box 615, Maroochydore QLD 4558 Contact: 07 5443 1719

QLD TPI Association

(Sunshine Coast Branch)

The Australian Federation of Totally and Permanently Incapacitated Ex-Servicemen and Women (Queensland Branch) Inc. The above organisation is a member of the State and Federal Body operating on the Sunshine Coast and meets on the third Wednesday of each month at RSL House, Maroochydore at 10.30am. 2017 Meetings 21 June 19 July 16 August Please feel free to come along to the meetings, partners are most welcome. Contact: Helen Cook 0417 682 605

Legacy Laurel Club

Maroochydore

Meetings are held at RSL House, Maroochydore on the fourth Friday of each month at 9.00am. 2017 Meetings 23 June 28 July 25 August All eligible widows are most welcome. Sunshine Coast Legatees are always available to assist with any concerns members may have. Contact: Nita 07 5453 4329 or Barbara 07 5445 4768

22 | MAROOCHY RSL - caring for the veteran community


National Servicemen’s Association

Maroochydore

Meetings at RSL House on second Tuesday of every odd month at 10.00am (9.00am chat). 2017 Meetings 11 July Contact: Don Holt 07 5446 5953

Women’s Auxiliary

Maroochydore

Meetings are on the first Monday each month at 9.30am for a cuppa and chat, meeting starts at 10.00am. 2017 Meetings 5 June 3 July 7 August Contact: Andrena King 07 5496 9081

Ex-Service Women’s Association

Our meetings are happy ones and well attended. The ‘Healthy Away’ days, the social activity that takes place between meetings, also have a good turnout at Cotton Tree and continue to be an enjoyable outing for all. New members, from all Services are always welcome. Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month. 2017 Meetings No meeting in June 6 July 3 August Where: RSL House, Maroochydore is still the place to be for a cuppa and a chat at 10.00am with the meeting commencing at 10.30am. Cost: $5.00 per annum. We look forward to seeing all the older members and many new.

Australian War Widows Queensland We aim to protect the interests of all War Widows and offer a program of social activities to promote friendship. Meetings are on the fourth Monday of each month. Morning Tea from 9.00am, General Meeting 10.00am. Members are invited to meet afterwards at the Club for a bite to eat and chat. 2017 Meetings 26 June 24 July 28 August Contact: Shirley Murphy 07 5437 6560

Come and join us. Contact: Larraine 07 5448 6037

Reveille WINTER edition 2017 | 23


I AM A WAR DOG High on a hill overlooking the sea, stands a statue to honour and glorify me Me and my mates that have all gone before, to help and protect the men of the war I am a war dog, I receive no pay, with my keen, sharp senses, I show the way Many of us came from far and around, some from death row, some from the pound I am a member of the canine pack, trained for combat and life on the track I serve overseas in those far off lands, me and my master working hand in hand I lift my head and look across the land, beside my master, I await his command Together we watch and wait for the night if the enemy comes, we are ready to fight In the plantations of Nui Dat I do camp, the smell print of the VC, to track, as I tramp ‘Seek ‘em out boy!’ My master does call, through the vines of the jungle, together we crawl I remember the day we were trapped underground, With military wildfire exploding all around My master and I packin’ death through the fight, comforting each other till the guns went quiet

My masters tour of duty has came to an end, vietnam he will leave, I will lose a good friend No longer we will trudge through the jungles of war The canine, the digger, the memory will endure Now the years have passed and I patiently wait, for god to receive me through his celestial gate Where I’ll roam in comfort for evermore, he’ll keep me safe, from the ravages of war Lest we forget four legged diggers served too Author: Santina Lizzio

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