Page 1






Remembrance APRIL 2018 VOLUME 8 ISSN 1838-9945

NO 1

Service and Sacrifice Welcome to the April 2018 edition of Remembrance. ON THE COVER Uniform of Kelli Mitchener 2008 Kelli served as an intensive care nurse for the Royal Australia Air Force in Tarin Kowt. Her uniform is on display in the For Humanity exhibition.





Remembrance is published by Indigo Arch Publishing Pty Ltd ABN 89 774 502 968 on behalf of The Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne Publisher David Fallick Shrine Editor Jean McAuslan Art Director and Production Manager Robert Kirk Printer Hornet Press Friends of the Shrine enquiries: Friends of the Shrine, GPO Box 1603, Melbourne Victoria 3001 For more information email or call 03 9661 8100

INDIGO ARCH Publishing Pty Ltd

Indigo Arch Publishing Pty Ltd Unit 7/1949 Malvern Road Malvern East, VIC 3145 Telephone: 03 9885 4935 Facsimile: 03 9885 6369 © 2018 Indigo Arch Publishing Pty Ltd and The Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne About Remembrance The opinions expressed in Remembrance are those of individual authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne or Indigo Arch Publishing. Articles are supplied by the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, specially commissioned writers and contributors. It is not the intention of the publisher to sensationalise human tragedy that is the result of war, nor to promote militaristic or chauvinistic sentiment, but to offer truthful, readable and entertaining stories that reflect the Australian experience of war. © All material appearing in Remembrance is copyright. Reproduction in whole or part, whether stored in an electronic retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, must be approved by the publisher. Every effort has been made to determine and contact holders of copyright for materials used in Remembrance . The Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne welcomes advice concerning any omission.

I am delighted to advise that for the third successive year the Shrine of Remembrance has engaged over one-million Victorians, Australians and international visitors in the commemorative experiences and stories of our past. It was also gratifying to have the Shrine’s significance recognised through its addition to the National Heritage listing in the Melbourne Domain Parklands and Memorial Precinct announced at the Shrine by the Honourable Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for Environment and Energy, on 11 February 2018. In this the fourth and final year of the Centenary of Anzac, the Shrine’s public learning and exhibition activities have turned to bring focus to the activities of Australian service men and women in post-1945 conflicts and peacekeeping roles. Significant in this area is the redevelopment of the Recent Conflicts gallery, officially opened on 23 February by Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC the Administrator of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia. The refreshed exhibition space now features first-hand accounts of the experience of Victorians since the events of 11 September 2001 with a particular focus on conflict zones in Iraq and Afghanistan. Supporting this opening, three veterans spoke of their personal experiences both during deployment and in their transitions to civilian life. The key takeaway from the speakers is that, while many carry physical and emotional scars as a direct result of their experiences, they are not broken and remain fully capable and active members of our community.

Autumn of course marks a number of major milestones in our ceremonial programme and preparations are well in hand to welcome an expected 7,000 Victorian students on Legacy Students Day, 20 April, and a further 50,000 Victorians on Anzac Day. We encourage all Victorians and Australians to visit the Shrine on this solemn occasion to commemorate the most significant day in our nation’s commemorative calendar. On 31 May it will also be our privilege to host the Victorian State Aboriginal Remembrance Service at the Eternal Flame. This day allows us all to reflect on the service and sacrifice of indigenous peoples of Australia and the Torres Strait Islands. Timely therefore to note that the Shrine’s touring exhibition Indigenous Australians at War concludes its seven-year tour of Victoria and Australia on Thursday Island, in far North Queensland. The exhibition dates coincide with the 75th anniversary of the formation of the Torres Strait Light Infantry Battalion, raised and largely comprised of Torres Strait Islanders. A full programme of special exhibitions and supporting public programs is planned for the second half of the year and will be featured in our What’s On brochure available in July. With the increasing popularity of these programs, I encourage you to book early to avoid disappointment. I thank you for your ongoing support for Victoria’s national war memorial and look forward to welcoming you to your Shrine in the coming months. Yours in Remembrance,

Dean M Lee Chief Executive Officer

Key Partners

april 2018 Remembrance






ON THE BLEEDING EDGE From the Korean War (1950–53) to the war in Afghanistan (2001–), Australians have served their country and humanity as medical professionals in the armed forces. by Dr Ian Jackson



Three medical perspectiveS


Personal reflections on service in Vietnam, Rwanda and Indonesia.

The immense German onslaught in March 1918 caused Britain’s gravest crisis of the war.

by Helen Taplin, Wing Commander Alexandra E Douglas MG and Group Captain Annette Holian

by Dr Ross McMullin

IN THIS ISSUE 22 Shrine activities for families by Laura Carroll



28 BOOK REVIEW One Woman’s War and Peace: A nurse’s journey in the Royal Australian Air Force by Neil Sharkey 30 From the collection Unexplained photographs. by Jenna Blyth


FACES OF WAR: ART AND ILLUSTRATION John Vickery’s journey from Bunyip to the front lines of the Pacific theatre was anything but straightforward. This article examines Vickery’s multiple contributions to the Allied war effort as a war artist. by Toby Miller


APRIL 2018 Remembrance

REGULARS 5 What’s on at the Shrine 27 RSL directory 28 FROM THE SHRINE SHOP

WHAT’S ON AT THE SHRINE Talks and Events

Join us for our next series of talks and special events. Our public programs are presented by a wide range of notable academics, authors, historians and performers on a range of topics relating to conflict, social and cultural aspects of Australian military history. Bookings are essential and incur a $5 fee (free for Friends of the Shrine). Book online, in the Shrine shop or by calling 03 9661 8100.




Tuesday 1 May 6pm Panel discussion

Tuesday 15 May 11am Dr Ian Jackson

Tuesday 29 May Midday Wing Commander Alex Douglas

Presented in collaboration with Linden New Art, this will be a unique conversation between artists Matthew Sleeth, Wendy Sharpe and Tanja Johnston as they discuss the intersection of art and war. Hear what it is like to confront the political and cultural realities we don’t see in the media.

What does it mean to preserve life when those around you are taking it? Victorian service men and women since 1945 have helped the sick and wounded in war and peacekeeping across the world, sometimes in dire conditions and desperate circumstances. Join the curator on a tour of this exhibition and discover how treatments and technologies have changed but the need for courage and compassion has not.

Wing Commander Alex Douglas, the only Australian woman to be awarded a Medal for Gallantry, will reflect on the key issues underpinning effective medical treatment on the front line. Alex’s three decade career as a medical officer has spanned the army, air force, Africa and Asia on active service.




Thursday 10 May Midday Jim Eames

Wednesday 23 May 6pm Adam Wakeling

Tuesday 21 August Midday Neil Sharkey

Between 1942 and 1943, Qantas lost eight aircraft during its involvement in Australia’s war against Japan. Over 60 passengers and crew were killed. Jim Eames recounts the remarkable story of Qantas and its crew in the face of the Japanese advance. Flying unarmed planes through war zones and at times under enemy fire, the airline supplied the front lines, evacuated the wounded and undertook surprising escapes.

There were fifty miles to victory and defeat, fifty miles to collapse and renewal, and fifty miles to a new place for Australia among the nations of the world. They were among the most significant fifty miles in our history. Join Adam Wakeling as he explores the final battles for the Australian troops in the First World War and their significance.

Join Shrine Curator Neil Sharkey as he explores the stories of Australians who gave aid to the various Resistance organisations in Axis occupied Europe and those Australians who owed their freedom and their lives to these groups. Hear how the stories and themes from different resistance movements have been brought together to create the exhibition’s overarching narrative and the difficulties inherent in explaining such a complex and diverse topic.

APRIL 2018 Remembrance



From the Korean War (1950–53) to the war in Afghanistan (2001–), Australians have served their country and humanity as medical professionals in the armed forces. Technologies have changed and survival rates increased. What remains constant is the compassion and dedication of these men and women. by Dr Ian Jackson


n 1953, Captain Dita McCarthy, an Australian Army nurse, was posted to the British Commonwealth hospital near Seoul. The hospital, not far from the Korean War front line, received a constant stream of wounded soldiers. Many arrived on stretchers tied onto the back of Jeeps, having endured a long ride on Korea’s primitive and congested roads. A few were able to be evacuated by helicopter. The helicopters available did not have room in the cabin for a stretcher so patients were placed in pods slung beneath the aircraft. Medical attention during the flight was impossible. The hospital, a former school, had primitive working and living conditions. There was no running water, and, at first, no heating. The electrical generator rarely worked and the nurses’ night rounds were carried out with a hurricane lamp—a scene reminiscent of Florence Nightingale in the Crimean War. There was no ability to sterilise medical instruments and no equipment for general anaesthesia. McCarthy recalled: We all wanted to do more for ‘our boys’ but were restricted by a lack of facilities or resources. As the war progressed… the wounded were becoming younger and younger.

To make matters worse, the nurses, the first women to arrive in what had been an all-male hospital, encountered prejudice and chauvinism from some of their male colleagues. It took some heated confrontations before the women gradually became accepted as part of the team. The doctors and nurses in Seoul did what they could with the equipment available. For any major surgery, patients had to be sent to the British Commonwealth hospital at Kure in Japan—a long flight in a Dakota aircraft. 6

APRIL 2018 Remembrance

On 2 September 2008, the Australians in Afghanistan suffered their largest number of casualties in a single day. Nine Australians were wounded at the battle of Ana Kalay, when an SAS patrol came under sustained enemy attack. As soldiers were given immediate first aid, requests for medical evacuation were made. These came through to the Role 2a medical facility at Tarin Kowt, the main Australian base in Afghanistan, an austere but well equipped facility. The Commanding Officer immediately activated the Mass Casualty Plan and called all available personnel to duty.

Evacuation c 27 February 1951 photographer Phillip Hobson Stretcher bearers of 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, evacuate a wounded soldier. Australian War Memorial (HOBJ2082)

The wounded soldiers arrived in Black Hawk helicopters dedicated to medical evacuation. As they arrived, then Wing Commander Annette Holian, as Clinical Director, performed triage. She assessed the condition of every soldier as he came in, marking their medical priority in marker pen on their forehead. The decisions were agonising and the

ON THE BLEEDING EDGE responsibility placed on her shoulders was huge, but the triage system was well rehearsed and worked quickly and efficiently. Soldiers requiring surgery were moved to the two operating theatres and again assessed for priority. The intensive care unit, where nurse Kelli Mitchener worked, received patients as they came out of surgery. The medical team worked through the night. One patient was airlifted to Kandahar, where a higher level of care was available. His wounds were life threatening, but he and all the Australians survived—as did their much-loved Explosive Detection Dog Sarbi who turned up again 18 months after going missing during the gunfight. A few days later, the patients who needed further treatment were airlifted out of Afghanistan, to the Middle East and then, in the RAAF’s first medical use of its new C-17 Globemaster aircraft, back to Australia. They were able to receive constant care from Wing Commander David Scott, one of the doctors who had treated them at Tarin Kowt, who had administered sophisticated pain relief for the flight home. The medical care provided by Australians in Afghanistan was worlds apart from that in the Korean War. Wounded personnel were evacuated much faster. The average time taken to get a severely wounded patient to hospital fell from five hours in the Korean War (itself an improvement on ten hours in the Second World War) to just one hour in recent conflicts. The facilities that exist are better equipped and better organised. The wounded can be back in Australia for specialist care within days, not weeks. Survival rates have increased

accordingly and there are many men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan who are alive today who would have died as a result of their wounds in previous conflicts. Many features of the way medical care is organised have changed as well. In the 1950s, it would have been unthinkable for a woman to serve as a doctor in a combat zone, or for a man to be a nurse. Today 40 percent of the ADF’s nurses are male. Women serve in all medical roles including the most senior ADF medical officer,

On the veranda at Vung Tau November 1968 An Australian Army nurse and her patient. Australian War Memorial (EKN/68/0122/VN)

Commander Joint Health Air Vice-Marshal Tracy Smart AM. Many of those who serve on deployments are reservists. Group Captain Holian is an RAAF reservist who works as an orthopaedic and trauma surgeon in civilian hospitals in Melbourne and Darwin when she is not on deployment with the RAAF to conflict zones and humanitarian disaster relief operations. There is a constant interplay between civilian and military medicine. Wars have always stimulated medical research giving a renewed urgency to finding new treatments and techniques. In the First World War new surgical techniques and antiseptics were introduced; the Second World War saw the introduction of antibiotics and progress against malaria. And in recent years, the proportion of plasma given in blood transfusions to trauma patients has increased: a direct result of the experience of doctors in the war in Afghanistan, who found significant improvements in outcomes for patients who were given more plasma. The changes in medical care for Australians in war and peacekeeping are the result of a long evolutionary process. The Korean War introduced On the way home 17 September 2008 An Australian soldier, attended by Wing Commander David Scott is evacuated using a C-17 Globemaster aircraft. Department of Defence APRIL 2018 Remembrance



advances such as the first limited use of helicopters for evacuation. During the Malayan Emergency (1948–60), Australian doctors developed an understanding of jungle warfare. During the Vietnam War (1962–75), helicopters came into their own as the main method of medical evacuation. Because evacuation was faster, men were surviving with injuries that would previously have killed them before they reached hospital. This required development of better systems of triage and trauma care. The clear advantages of these new systems in turn influenced civilian medicine, leading to the establishment of emergency medicine as a specialism in its own right in the United States and in Australia. New drugs and technologies have played their part in the improvement of medical outcomes. For example, the new antimalarial drugs that were first tried in Vietnam. So too have improvements in the way care is organised and in a more rigorous approach to evaluating treatments. A particular focus of recent efforts to improve military medical care has been in mental health treatment. During the Korean War and Vietnam War, mental health problems were often seen as short-term issues caused by ‘combat fatigue’ or poor morale. Treatment was focused on returning men to their units as quickly as possible. Pressure for change first came outside the military from veterans of the Vietnam War. In the decades after the war, some veterans experienced serious long term 8

APRIL 2018 Remembrance

mental health problems as a result of their service. The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia pushed for an independent government funded counselling service. The Vietnam Veterans Counselling Service (VVCS, now the Veterans’ and Veterans’ Families Counselling Service) started operations in 1982. Initially focused on the needs of Vietnam veterans, its role has expanded to cover veterans of all conflicts and peacekeeping and their family members. Within the Australian Defence Force, mental health screening is now given to all personnel returning from operations and help is available to those who need it. But there is still stigma attached to mental illness and many who would benefit from treatment do not seek it, for fear that being labelled with a mental health condition will limit or even end their career. What has not changed in the years since 1945 are the personal qualities needed by those who work to heal the wounded and the sick. Consider Captain Carol Vaughan-Evans, an Australian Army doctor who was sent to the Kibeho refugee camp in Rwanda in 1995. As her team arrived at the camp, hostile forces of the Rwandan People’s Army (RPA) were attempting to intimidate its inhabitants into leaving. At the same time, members of the opposing interahamwe militia, themselves complicit in the previous genocide, sought to intimidate them to stay, attacking camp members with machetes. Captain Vaughan-Evans and her team treated the wounded. Over the next few days the situation

Into the pod 17 May 1953 photographer Max Luff The Korean War saw the first widespread use of helicopters for evacuating the wounded. Australian War Memorial (157595)

deteriorated. On 22 April 1995, the RPA started firing into a crowd of refugees. Some 4,000 were killed. The Australians, outnumbered and forbidden by their rules of engagement from intervening, were powerless to stop the massacre and could only treat the wounded and count the dead. Despite the danger of gunfire, the medical team kept working. At one point the RPA commander told Vaughan-Evans to leave the wounded patients, because the RPA were going to go in to ‘finish the rest off.’ She refused, showing great courage in returning to collect more wounded patients. For her actions she was awarded the Medal for Gallantry. Captain Vaughan-Evans that day demonstrated the values that Australian doctors, nurses and other medical professionals have shown in service in war and peacekeeping since 1945: professionalism, born of long training; dedication, to keep going when the task seems unending; compassion, in the face of almost unimaginable suffering and trauma; and above all, humanity.

Author: Dr Ian Jackson is Assistant Curator at the Shrine of Remembrance. Ian led the development of the Post ’45 section of the Galleries and recently curated the redevelopment of the Recent Conflicts gallery and the special exhibition For Humanity: Medicine in war and peacekeeping since 1945.

Three medical perspectiveS

AN UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCE Nursing and making artificial limbs in Vietnam. by Helen Taplin

for base rockers. Once we procured the necessary supplies, Charles was ready to start this project.


uring the conflicts and hostilities in Vietnam (1962–75), the Australian Government sent civilian surgical and medical teams into South Vietnam to care for the South Vietnamese people and the large refugee population from North Vietnam. Not only were they required to care for civilians, but also members of South Vietnamese local forces, wounded Viet Cong and North Vietnamese personnel who were brought to Bien Hoa Province Hospital by the Australian, American or South Vietnamese military. There were an estimated 500 amputees in the Bien Hoa prisoner of war (POW) camp. The Red Cross had no funds available for artificial limbs for POW amputees. Our new orthopaedic surgeon, Dr Charles Shearer, stepped in for humanitarian reasons and started our artificial limbs project. Charles: what an incredibly empathetic, fun-loving, genuine character he was. Not only was he a barrel of laughs, he had the ability to put pen to paper and describe any situation. More importantly, he was a brilliant Orthopaedic Surgeon and part of our team. He couldn’t cope with being still, or sitting around without purpose. At the end of the day he would often say ‘Helen, what can we do?’

The POW Camp Military staff, and several of the prisoners were eager to assist in making the spare parts needed. They cut the rubber for straps, heated metal over coals to enable it to bend and carved the rocker foot from the wood. This was the start of the Artificial Limb Project for Bien Hoa’s POWs. Charles mastered his skills by moulding, bending and adjusting these very basic limbs—the alternative prosthesis. I was the lackey: ‘soak the bamboo, hold this, get this, get that, cut this and try that,’ I was told. Helen Taplin with two of her young patients outside the hospital

Bien Hoa Hospital’s Chief Nurse, Mr Ba, and I were invited to visit Bien Hoa’s POW camp to meet with the South Vietnamese Commandant and his American counterpart. I happened to ask Charles to come with us for security, and to drive. (I couldn’t see myself visiting on the back of Mr. Ba’s Honda motorbike!) In general conversation they mentioned there were many men in the Camp who were lower leg amputees. One day over a coffee Charles asked if I would help him with a bit of a challenge he had been thinking about. I wondered what was coming. He stated: Why shouldn’t these men have some assistance? They were the enemy, I know, but surely someone should help them!

As Charles tried the artificial limb on the amputee’s stump, the recipient was so excited he could hardly wait until it was strapped on to take his first step. And they did, off they would go, smiling and laughing. There was no physio to get the wasted muscles working around the stump area—just sheer grit and determination. Like a miracle, they had two legs again! We were at the POW Camp one evening working on the limb project when the sirens started screaming. This piercing noise shattered the twilight. It was not a curfew time. We could have been in all sorts of trouble. The hairs on the back of the neck stood up but we were assured we would be quite safe. Next thing, across the field behind the barbed wire fence of the prison was a young man,

Charles’ plan was devised. My job was to help but mainly do a bit of scrounging as a ‘gopher,’ and I was getting quite good at that!

Dr Charles Shearer fits a prisoner with a new artificial leg 10

APRIL 2018 Remembrance

Some of the things he needed were: old tyre tubes to make straps, Plaster of Paris for stump attachment, scrap metal and bolts for attachments and bamboo and pieces of wood to carve

Prisoners of war at work making the artificial limbs

Three medical perspectiveS A ward at Bien Hoa hospital Patients’ families lived in the wards to help feed and care for them. A motorbike has been brought into the ward for safe keeping.

It was hot, it was different, it was dirty, it was horrifying and it was exhausting, but also very humbling and so happy at times. I was very lucky to have been given this opportunity to work with such devoted and caring people, both Australian and Vietnamese and journey through this incredible experience. All images courtesy of Helen Taplin

presumably a member of the Viet Cong, fleeing for his life to escape. Then, ‘rat-a-tat’ and that was the end. Silence. We were quickly escorted by the Armed Military Police, guns in readiness, back to the safety of our house. We lived with such a false sense of security: never thought anything would happen to us. I watched the protest marches prior to going to Vietnam. I had no idea

about war and what I was going in to. I would read and hear about moratorium protests in Melbourne whilst we were in Bien Hoa. I wondered if this opposition was to the Vietnam War, to our soldiers who were fighting or mourning the loss—of whom? Why did I go to South Vietnam? What did I expect to find? I think it was the challenge, to see for myself, and with the hope I could help in some small way.

Operating theatre at Bien Hoa 1969

Author: Helen Taplin (née Perrin) served as a nurse with a civilian surgical team in Bien Hoa, South Vietnam, in 1969–70. While there she became involved in a project to help prisoners of war make artificial limbs.

april 2018 Remembrance


Three medical perspectiveS

YOU CAN LEAN ON ME An insight into medical service in the military. by Wing Commander Alexandra E Douglas MG


held your hand and touched your face. I listened to you, your fears, your happiness, your fond memories. I’ve even shared your tears. I’ve given you some small emotional respite in a frightening time.

When I was a child in Rhodesia, terrorists surrounded us. We were trapped—captive to bullets and mortars. I had been millimetres away from death. It was in that moment of rescue—when soldiers in Land Rovers raced in—that my world exploded. I was only 10 but I had escaped with my life because others were prepared to sacrifice theirs. From that time I knew that I would be a military doctor. I had to look after these brave men and women, to bring relief to those that needed it. I could never have imagined the journey, the impact upon my life and others… My parents moved from South Africa to Australia when I was 15. A chance recruitment drive saw me sign up for Military Service at the same time that I studied medicine. I have been honoured to work as both a Commissioned Officer and medical specialist for close to 30 years. During times of relative peace I work in a public hospital. When needed by the Australian Defence Force (ADF), I work in a variety of capacities that deal with medical trauma and rescue.

an understatement. I wanted to do a great job and to help. At the time of leaving Australia I could not begin to understand the enormity of what lay ahead. The Australian forces had had very little exposure to overseas missions. Our last major encounter was Vietnam. I had just finished my medical degree and had been in the forces for only three years.

In 1995 at the age of 27, in the then gleaming role of a Captain in the Army, I was assigned my first overseas mission. To say that I was anxious and excited was

Going to Rwanda was like coming home. I grew up in Africa. The sights and sounds that surrounded me were comforting and familiar. My childhood

Trooper Jon Church treats a wounded refugee at Kibeho refugee camp April 1995 photographer George Gittoes Australian War Memorial (P04111.016)

had prepared me for the cacophony. I excitedly went about my duties daily, enthused to provide aid where I could. On 22 April 1995, I was providing medical aid at an Independent Displaced Persons (IDP) camp at Kibeho. I had been assigned to set up the aid camp. The conditions and oppression were appalling. The energies in the air could only be described as ominous. Tensions had been mounting for days. All of a sudden the refugees started to run. With that, the government forces unleashed such violence and horror that thousands were left dead, dying or maimed by means that were deplorable and inhumane. We were in the middle of it all. With my small team of medics and infantry as protection we worked tirelessly. It was this day as the killing broke out that I committed my team and myself to a lifetime of change. I could not have asked for more from such a selfless group of men. We were surrounded by horrors that speak of Two Australian soldiers treating a wounded Rwandan at the Kibeho refugee camp April 1995 photographer George Gittoes Australian War Memorial (P04111.017)


APRIL 2018 Remembrance

Three medical perspectiveS Four Australian soldiers carry a wounded woman on a stretcher April 1995 photographer George Gittoes Australian War Memorial (P04111.026)

forehead of the dying letting them know that there is nothing else to be done and that they can pass in peace. I know from my experiences and those of my colleagues that the most peaceful and the most successful outcomes come from connecting with patients on a human level.

depravity, hate and greed. With very few supplies and no military or medical support, my soldiers and I worked tirelessly to determine to whom we could make a difference. I know these conditions changed all of us. The years that followed would tell how much. My heart and my soul have broken many times over in the passing years for these brave men who worked alongside me. We made a difference to many, but it seemed not enough. Often we would come across people to whom we had given aid, mercilessly murdered, lying discarded on the sides of the road or in the fields. The one glimmer of hope amongst the thousands of dead, injured and affected refugees was smuggling a little child out. It was that one small act that bound us together in a positive light. Personally, I spent years thinking I was never enough to the thousands of victims. So how has medicine progressed in the military? Many things have changed. The political world in which we live has now known much involvement in aid and, more recently, terrorism. We have been involved in long campaigns, not in jungles like Vietnam. Instead we have worked in snow, in deserts, on islands and in cities. Each environment requires a specific medical force. We no longer work in the adverse conditions portrayed in MASH. Our facilities and access to worldwide first class clinicians for our soldiers is an incredible advance. To work in a multinational force brings with it the opportunity to exchange clinical expertise. We work in a global organisation committed to providing the best outcomes for our men and women and animals who serve.

I have personally worked with setting up our own Australian aircraft, which work as transport hospitals. No longer does it take weeks for a patient to return home. We can swoop in and pick up our most affected soldiers from military installations throughout most campaign areas.

I held your hand, I touched your face. I listened to you, your fears, your happiness, your fond memories. I even shared your tears. You can rest safely in my care whilst you are here. I will celebrate quietly in my heart your victories as you recover or I will grieve silently as you pass. Regardless—I will be with you and you have touched my soul.

Medical practice is bound to change. This is how we progress. The one thing that I know for sure is that it is not about the medical advances—but how we apply them to people. Every advance gives more hope and that is a given. Often what is left out of the conversation is the dignity and respect with which we treat people. To me, the key to recovery is in the humanity of the treatment. As health care professionals we are all well qualified and well-practiced in our trade. The difference that can be given to someone with life changing injuries or who facing death, through the simple act of being present, is priceless. Our patients are not just numbers or conditions, nor are they just comradesin-arms or adversaries. They are humans and members of a family—all with backgrounds and pressures you can’t begin to know. I have watched my colleagues sit for hours with patients in their time of need. I have witnessed nurses care for the bodies of our dead men and women and know that even in death the families can know that they are not alone, that they are given every dignity possible. I have talked quietly with unconscious patients, willing them to hold on until their loved ones can be with them. I have sat and patted the hands or

Lance Corporal Jenkins treats a refugee woman’s head wound May 1995 photographer Justin White Australian War Memorial (P02211.020)

Author: With almost 30 years of Military and Medical experience, Alexandra Douglas (née Carol Vaughan-Evans) is Australia’s only female to be awarded the Medal for Gallantry. She has gone on to become a specialist in Intensive Care and Anaesthesia. april 2018 Remembrance


Three medical perspectiveS

REMEMBERING THE NINE The story of the Sea King helicopter (Shark 02) crash. by Group Captain Annette Holian


n the afternoon of 28 March 2005, an earthquake of magnitude 8.7 struck Indonesia, precipitating an Australian military humanitarian response. HMAS Kanimbla, which had been offshore near Banda Aceh for over two months following the Boxing Day tsunami was turned back to Indonesia to provide support. A new team of medical staff were needed to man the Primary Casualty Reception Facility (PCRF). As a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) reservist and having served as a civilian in Banda Aceh only three month prior, within hours of a call to serve, I was packed and heading for the airport. I met up with colleagues well-known to me. A tall man with RAAF insignia on his camouflage uniform stood out among the many Navy personnel at the departure gate in Sydney. He was an RAAF medic. I noted with a smile that we were greatly outnumbered by Navy and we needed to look out for each other. Later that morning, with all our kit and relief supplies loaded, we flew north to Brisbane to collect the Army medical personnel who formed most of the medical contingent. On the morning of Friday 1 April 2005, a Sea King helicopter flew us onto the ship. A warm welcome immediately made me feel valued. As we sailed south towards Nias, the surgical team spent time preparing to receive casualties. The following day one of the Sea Kings, Shark 02, moved primary health care teams and interpreters ashore. At the clinics, people with injuries that were amenable to surgery were ferried back to the ship. Medical teams came into action at multiple stations. The patients were Nias streets


APRIL 2018 Remembrance

triaged, and the theatre teams started their work. Late afternoon, a runner came into the ward area to announce that they were immediately bringing in the remaining patients. A helicopter had gone down, our helicopter, and two injured Australian Defence Force (ADF) members were being brought back. Two Australians were on stretchers in the resuscitation bays. One was a navy medic, injured, but not critical and I moved to the next table. This man was speaking, but in pain and hard to hear through his oxygen mask. It was my RAAF medic colleague. The one I had told that we should watch out for each other. I laid my hand on his shoulder and assured him I would look after him as promised. He visibly relaxed and a chill went down my spine. I was responsible for this man. He was putting his life in my hands. This man, an Australian, in a uniform, in my service. He was family, injured in a remote place and we had limited capacity to meet his potential needs.

An injured medic is carried by his team to a US helicopter for onward movement 6 April 2005 photographer Able Seaman Photographer Bradley Darvill Commonwealth of Australia

It slowly became clear that no others had returned. My anaesthetist spoke to me about a shore party for the next day. It would be comprised of senior sailors, medical members and representatives of each of the services of those we had lost. RAAF had lost three and I was the senior officer of the only two remaining. I volunteered to be in the shore party. I felt prepared. I was familiar with the emotional detachment required for dealing with surgery, trauma, burns and death. However, experience warned me that despite my acceptance of the duty, I would find this emotionally challenging. In the past a friend had advised me to

Three medical perspectiveS En-route to the crash site 3 April 2005 Bridges and roads on Nias no longer aligned post-earthquake.

Their respect and thanks went a long way to help me survive that event with my sense of self intact.

wear red underwear on days when I knew I’d need some extra strength. I had donned this under my Navy overalls along with a pink fluffy lanyard—a gift from family to remind me of a better place, a normal joyful world.

We sat quietly, tears running down our cheeks. Ours were brave tears, tears we had earned. I passed on my tip about wearing red underwear when expecting a bad day. He gave a snort of laughter through his tears and returned to task.

The crash scene was sobering. Shark 02 had been reduced to ash and twisted burned metal in the middle of a sports oval. Remaining dispassionate was a great challenge. Only seven of our colleagues were apparent. Somewhere in the tangled mess could be two more. We worked slowly and afforded our friends every dignity as we went. One by one we moved our friends from the crash scene and prepared them for home. All nine were found. There were no unexpected survivors.

Back at the wharf, the rigid-hulled inflatable boat came alongside as another quake hit. The wharf trembled, and sections fell away behind us. It was every man or woman for themselves as we leapt down into the safety of the boat. As we started to motor away from the island, I looked back past the white ensign fluttering from the stern, back towards the sun setting behind the green hills of Nias. Words from the Ode came to mind:

The last one to be lifted clear was a giant of a man. I had no doubt as to his identity. I’d taught him on a trauma course. He’d rowed the Atlantic. A man who loved life. I spoke to him and told him he was going home. Back to family. Back to loved ones. They would grieve his passing, but the world was a better place for his contribution and we would continue to be better people through knowing him.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them I would certainly never forget the sacrifice these men and women had made. They were compassionate medical staff and willing aircrew, on a mission to help local nationals devastated by a natural disaster.

Duty done, I sat next to a colleague on a park bench and cried. We’d just completed an extraordinary day of huge emotional challenge in blistering heat.

We stayed on and continued our relief work. Men quietly noted as I passed them in corridors: ‘You were in the shore party, weren’t you Ma’am? Thank you.’

I flew out at the end of the tour to an unexpectedly emotional reunion with my family. I couldn’t help but reflect on the fact that my lost colleagues would have left their families as I had left mine, with fond farewells and an expectation of a safe return. Returning to work, I was shocked by colleagues’ lack of insight or empathy. The question ‘Did you have a good time?’ was often repeated. I had no answer. When a senior military surgeon asked me the same question, I realised no-one would ever understand apart from those that were there. There are aspects of that day that I will never be able to share. The emotion and sensory inputs of touch, smell and vision formed strong memories. I now fully comprehend why veterans must gather together after such shared events. They do not need to speak of what happened, but each one knows that they are among those who witnessed the same events. It wasn’t a dream, but a reality, and it happened with these men and women. In sharing these stories of service, others can remember those who gave their lives in service to Australia, on a fine day coming into a clear landing zone in Indonesia to provide urgently needed medical care: Squadron Leader Paul McCarthy Flight Lieutenant Lynne Rowbottom Sergeant Wendy Jones Lieutenant Matthew Davey Lieutenant Jonathan King Lieutenant Paul Kimlin Lieutenant Matt Goodall Petty Officer Steven Slattery Leading Seaman Scott Bennet Australian military personnel examine the wreckage of Shark 02 3 April 2005 photographer Crack Palinggi Reuters

Author: Gp Capt Annette Holian is an Orthopaedic and Trauma surgeon and a Governor of the Shrine of Remembrance. Her current RAAF appointment is the Clinical Director of Surgery and Perioperative Services, RAAF. She joined RAAF in 2000 and has served in East Timor 2000 and 2001, the Solomon Islands 2003, Indonesia 2004, 2005, 2006 and in Afghanistan 2008, 2010 and 2012. She has been a long term member of the RACS Trauma committee, Chair of the Military Section since 2014 and was elected to the RACS Council in 2016 where she now holds the External Affairs portfolio. april 2018 Remembrance


TRANSFORMATION AT VILLERS-BRETONNEUX The immense German onslaught in March 1918 caused Britain’s gravest crisis of the war. The Australians, rushed to the rescue, were influencing the destiny of the world more than in any other year. The culmination of their contribution in the climax of the conflict was the stunning counter-attack at Villers-Bretonneux. by Dr Ross McMullin


ustralian commemoration of the First World War has prioritised Gallipoli over the Western Front for more than a century. The centenary of the Gallipoli landing attracted substantial media attention, whereas the centenary of the Bullecourt battles passed virtually without comment. However, the Western Front was far more important to Australia than Gallipoli. The appalling casualty toll was much greater, and the Australian soldiers’ accomplishments were much more significant. This was most evident in 1918, when Australians influenced the destiny of the world more than in any other year since European settlement. The massive German onslaught launched on 21 March 1918 drove the British back 40 miles (over 60 kilometres). This was Britain’s gravest crisis of the conflict; there was widespread concern that the war might be lost. Australian formations were rushed to the rescue, and played a crucial role in this climax of the war. With the Germans threatening the city of Amiens and its railway network, and the sense of crisis still acute, the British 4th Army commander, General Rawlinson, decided that the British 8th Division (under Major-General W C G Heneker) would be responsible for safeguarding Villers-Bretonneux, a tactically vital town 10 miles east of Amiens. In reserve nearby was the Australian 15th Brigade led by General H E Pompey Elliott. Unimpressed by the 8th Division’s faulty dispositions, Elliott urged his immediate superior, Major-General J J T Hobbs, to query these arrangements with the British. Hobbs did so, but was told that Lieutenant-General R H K Butler, the corps commander between Generals Rawlinson and Heneker, approved of the 8th Division’s positions. 16

APRIL 2018 Remembrance

Elliott was appalled. Such unwise dispositions, he declared, ‘forbade us to hope that any intelligent military action could reasonably be expected from any of them from the corps commander down.’ He recommended that his brigade should be authorised to rectify the situation, but Hobbs replied that ‘it was impossible that we should move into the 3rd Corps area to do their job for them.’ Elliott predicted what would happen. He became convinced that the Germans

Pompey Elliott Australian War Memorial (H15596)

would attack Villers-Bretonneux; when they did, the British would be unable to hold it; his nearby brigade would then be called on to recapture it; and his cherished envelopment manoeuvre would do the trick. All four predictions proved correct. Early on 24 April 1918 the Germans began bombarding Villers-Bretonneux. Elliott informed his battalion commanders

TRANSFORMATION AT VILLERS-BRETONNEUX that the expected German attack was probably under way, and dispatched liaison officers to neighbouring brigades. He issued a stream of counter-attack orders, directing his battalions to advance in different directions before meeting up east of the town in an envelopment manoeuvre. These orders were provisional—it was not certain that the Germans were attacking and had driven the British out. But Elliott had no doubt that a counter-attack would be necessary, and it soon became clear that he was right. Informative messages from the liaison officers he had stationed confirmed that the Germans had taken control of the town and were advancing beyond it. Elliott urged Hobbs to authorise the counter-attack he had provisionally put in motion and his men were all set to launch. Hobbs was not opposed, but insisted that Elliott could only operate outside his area if the British requested this. No such request materialised. A protracted delay ensued. Hobbs offered assistance, but was repeatedly rebuffed by Heneker, who maintained that his division would deal with the situation. However, there was no sign that the British were capable of an

effective counter-attack. Meanwhile the Germans were no doubt consolidating in and around Villers-Bretonneux, making the task of dislodging them increasingly difficult. This was immensely frustrating for Elliott, who felt that ‘it was sticking out as plain as a pikestaff that we should have to counter attack sooner or later.’ Hobbs agreed. Nevertheless the status quo dragged on for hour after hour. The Germans had control of the town and were strengthening their positions. Heneker and his division were unable to remove them, yet kept obstinately rejecting Australian offers of assistance. The loss of Villers-Bretonneux, the recognised key to Amiens, had caused consternation all the way up the military hierarchy. Even Generalissimo Foch, who was in charge of the combined French and British forces, told Rawlinson bluntly that its immediate recapture was an urgent priority. Rawlinson had already responded to the emergency by directing the Australian 13th Brigade, then in reserve eight miles from VillersBretonneux, to march there immediately. Escalating pressure from higher headquarters cascaded down on Heneker. In the end he phoned his superior, General

Butler, with a confession: ‘Impossible to arrange counter-attack as we don’t know where we are and where enemy is.’ Heneker had wasted precious hours in arriving at that despondent conclusion, and was even contemplating a withdrawal of his headquarters. With this admission, though, it was now clear that the necessary counter-attack would be carried out by the Australians. A plan gradually emerged after discussions and deliberations involving Butler, Hobbs, Elliott, Heneker, various staff officers, and the commander of the 13th Brigade, General Thomas Glasgow. Elliott’s 15th Brigade would advance around the north of Villers-Bretonneux, while the newly arrived 13th Brigade would carry out an equivalent advance south of the town. These two pincers would join up east of Villers-Bretonneux, with the Germans caught inside trapped and vanquished. This was essentially the envelopment manoeuvre that Elliott had been vigorously advocating and itching to launch since before dawn. It was certainly audacious. Two independent spearheads would be launched into German-held territory in the dark, with meagre artillery assistance and instructions to join up

april 2018 Remembrance


TRANSFORMATION AT VILLERS-BRETONNEUX with each other. Elliott’s 15th Brigade would be undertaking a complicated manoeuvre involving three changes of direction, while Glasgow’s 13th Brigade was unfamiliar with the ground and had marched a long way to get there. Both brigades had a difficult start. Glasgow’s men found their progress severely hampered by enemy machineguns in the trees on their left. The 13th Brigade’s leaders had been informed that this wooded area had been cleared that afternoon by Heneker’s division, but this assurance soon proved incorrect as casualties accumulated. The impediment threatened to stop the brigade’s advance altogether on the left, until a 51st Battalion detachment went directly into the trees to deal with the machinegunners (its leader, Lieutenant Cliff Sadlier, was awarded the Victoria Cross). Elliott’s brigade was delayed because a company proceeding to its start point was warned to detour in order to avoid a gassed area, and lost direction. After waiting in vain for this company to turn up, the brigade was reorganised and set off almost two hours late. They hurried forward to make up for lost time, silent and resolute, taut with anticipation, excitement and dread—who would be the unlucky ones this time? Many were aware that it was past midnight, so it was now the third anniversary of the original Anzac Day, and they had an opportunity to commemorate it with a special exploit. They pressed on up the slope to their first objective, where there was a brief pause while the leaders checked positioning and direction. Scouts, pushed out in front as a protective screen, detected enemy soldiers ahead. This discovery prompted some repositioning by Elliott’s men. This movement was evidently detected. German flares went up, and an enemy machine-gun began firing. In response, Captain Eric Young of the 59th Battalion gave the order to charge. All the pent-up nervous energy accumulated during

this long, suspense-filled day was unleashed, and Elliott’s men charged with an uninhibited, terrifying yell. The Germans responded with a desperate hail of machine-gun and rifle fire, but the raw spontaneous roar in the dark alarmed them and their shooting was generally inaccurate. Many of them were caught by surprise and overwhelmed, as Elliott’s men penetrated deep into enemy-held territory. Casualties in the 13th Brigade were significantly higher than in Elliott’s brigade, as Glasgow’s men encountered various obstacles on their way forward—more machine-gun posts, barbed wire and other strongpoints. The survivors persevered and some almost reached their final objective, but the leaders decided that the most prudent course of action was to fall back and consolidate a position south of the centre of Villers-Bretonneux. So the two pincers did not quite manage to connect during the night, but by dawn it was clear that each formation had done enough to ensure the overall success of the daring counter-attack. Numerous headquarters had been following events tensely. As the news spread, conspicuous anxiety dissolved into rapturous relief. Not only did

Welcome back to the Somme 1918 artist Will Dyson French civilians’ delight at the arrival of AIF formations in the climax of the war. Australian War Memorial (ART02252.003)

the result confound the widespread pessimism about the perilous operation. The broader consequences were also significant. With supplementary operations ensuring the newly won positions were securely connected, Villers-Bretonneux was never threatened again. The perturbing enemy thrust towards Amiens was stymied for good. Praise for the Australian brigades was glowing. Generalissimo Foch raved about their ‘altogether astonishing valiance.’ According to General Monash (who was uninvolved himself), ‘this counter-attack, at night, without artillery support, is the finest thing yet done in the war, by Australians or any other troops.’ The celebrated transformation at Villers-Bretonneux was the culmination of the Australians’ admirable contribution in the climax of the war. Commemorating what happened at Gallipoli in 1915 is understandable, but remembering what happened at the Western Front in 1918 is fundamental. Impressive haul 4 May 1918 Camon, France Enemy mortars captured by Pompey Elliott’s 15th Brigade at Villers-Bretonneux. Australian War Memorial (E04817)

Author: Dr Ross McMullin’s new book is Pompey Elliott at War: In His Own Words. His previous book Farewell, Dear People: Biographies of Australia’s Lost Generation was awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Australian History and the National Cultural Award. His 2002 biography Pompey Elliott won awards for biography and literature. Another biography, Will Dyson: Australia’s Radical Genius, was commended by the judges of the National Biography Award. 18

APRIL 2018 Remembrance


John Vickery’s journey from Bunyip to the front lines of the Pacific theatre was anything but straightforward. This article examines Vickery’s multiple contributions to the Allied war effort as a war artist and commercial illustrator based in New York City during the Second World War. by Toby Miller


ohn Vickery left Australia in the mid-1930s unaware that the dim prospect of a war in Europe would alter the course of his life and career. Like many young artists, he went in search of opportunity and adventure. By 1937, he settled in England where he and his wife found a welcoming circle of artistic acquaintances and, in the wake of the Great Depression, promising signs of a steady flow of commercial illustration work. The looming war, however, disrupted the Vickerys’ plans to settle permanently and they decided to return to Australia.The journey home was via the United States (US) where Vickery had been offered some contract work illustrating magazine advertisements. He quickly became a sought-after illustrator managing assignments for a number of Madison Avenue advertising agencies. The Vickerys’ plan to return to Australia was put on hold indefinitely. As the war effort spread to the US, Vickery’s talents were put to use producing posters and advertisements designed to mobilise the civilian population. Posters advertising the sale of war bonds, recruitment ads for ‘citizen soldier’ organisations and billboards encouraging a productive workplace soon became part of his stock-in-trade alongside the more conventional ads for automobiles, travel and other modern conveniences. While important, Vickery viewed much of this work to be a waste of his talents. He tried to enlist, without success, and was keen to find his place in the war effort through other means. The opportunity came in 1943 when Vickery was invited by the army to participate

John Vickery on Biak Island 1945 Estate of John Vickery

in a sketching program at Walter Reed General Hospital. The program, which harked back to sideshow entertainment from the Vaudeville era, was the idea of a young New York artist, Henrietta Bruce Sharon. Sharon approached the Army and Navy with a proposal to sketch patients in military hospitals. The patients could then keep the drawings or send them home.

The benefits of the program for patient wellbeing were immediately apparent. The process of being sketched provided stricken soldiers with welcome distraction, conversation and entertainment. Each visit by a sketch artist resulted in a general improvement in patient mood. The program quickly expanded to cover all military hospitals in America. In 1944, april 2018 Remembrance


FACES OF WAR While her husband toured the hospital circuit, Claire Vickery donated her time and efforts to the Allied war effort as secretary of the Anzac and Southern Cross clubs of New York. These associations aimed to provide Allied soldiers from Australia and New Zealand with accommodation and entertainment during their stop-overs. The club’s motto was: We do the impossible right away. The miraculous takes a little longer. News reports from the time estimated that Claire provided assistance to over a thousand Allied servicemen passing through New York. She received The King’s Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom and a personal letter of gratitude from Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley. Never one to forget his Australian roots, in 1941 Vickery designed an Anzac themed Christmas card which was sold to raise funds for the ANZAC War Relief Fund in New York. On his return to the US, Vickery took on a post-war role as Chairman of ‘group counselling’ for The Society Of Illustrators Veterans’ Program. The initiative assisted returned soldiers with finding work in the field of commercial art and illustration and was described as ‘a much more practical expression than parades and torn-up telephone directories.’ The art jobs for veterans programs provided professional guidance and assistance

it was incorporated into the overseas hospital circuit of the United Services Organisation (USO) camp show entertainment tour. Vickery was the first artist selected for an overseas posting having already sketched hundreds of wounded soldiers across the US. Vickery arrived in the South West Pacific theatre in October 1944. He was given the honorary rank of Captain in case of capture and spent the next eight months with the US Army touring Field Hospitals, Evacuation Hospitals and Battalion Aid Stations in New Guinea, the Netherlands East Indies and the Phillipines. Vickery produced over 650 portraits of soldiers suffering physical and mental injury. For these soldiers, unable to attend the larger USO performances, the time spent being sketched was the only entertainment on offer. The USO provided instructions outlining how artists should interact with patients. One instruction read: 20

APRIL 2018 Remembrance

Corporal Bryant Allen, US Army, Netherlands East Indies 1944 Estate of John Vickery

Do not mention anything about their wounds, sickness or condition, nor notice that they have lost a limb. Talk to them as you would to a friend or healthy stranger. If they mention their sickness, listen attentively, and gradually try and get into another subject. At the conclusion of each session the finished sketch was given to the sitter and a photostat of the sketch was sent to the patient’s nominated recipient. At a press conference in 1945, Vickery noted that the chief concern of all the soldiers he met was to look as normal as possible so as not to worry their families. For this reason, face wounds were ommitted, GI haircuts touched up, beards and ‘fantastic’ moustaches removed. Vickery first attended to the soldiers most critically wounded. In some cases, his sketches would be the last image families would see of their loved one.

God help me if this is a dud!: His life is in your hands 1942 John Vickery Northwestern University Library

FACES OF WAR in the preparation and presentation of a job winning portfolio, intensive refresher courses, access to continuing undergraduate study and group counselling with a panel of practicing commercial artists alongside an Art Director from an advertising agency. Monthly group counselling panels attracted on average of 75 veterans per session. One such veteran, Sam Savitt, had served with the US Army Corps of Engineers on the Ledo-Burma Road project. Savitt attended painting classes with Vickery and Vickery arranged for Savitt to rent a studio on the floor below his own in Lexington Avenue. With Vickery’s assistance, Savitt went on to have a successful career as the artist behind The Lone Ranger and Trigger comics. Savitt’s gratitude was so great he named his daughter Darah Vickery. It was an unusual honour for a war artist, but strangely fitting for someone who used his skills as an artist and illustrator to provide comfort and assistance to soldiers rather than merely documenting their trials. Photostat copies of soldier portraits 1944 Estate of John Vickery

Author: Toby Miller is Exhibitions and Collections Research Officer at the Shrine of Remembrance.

Legacy is keeping the promise to care for the families of Australian veterans who have given their lives or health. The delivery of Legacy benefits and services is carried out by committed volunteer members called Legatees. The Legacy Club of Melbourne is always looking for new Legatees who have the time and enthusiasm to care for the families left in need of vital support. If you want to learn more about how you can help, please contact or Tel (03) 8626 0500.

HELP US KEEP THE PROMISE april 2018 Remembrance


Shrine activities for families

Introducing new self-guided activities for families with young children visiting the Shrine. by Laura Carroll


he Shrine now offers two kinds of self-guided resources for families with primary school-aged children. These are explorer kits and activity cards; visitors are enjoying using them to discover and learn about the Shrine together. Kits and cards are free of charge and available any time. Explorer kits are borrowed for the duration of the family’s visit. The Shrine explorer kit provides tools which children who haven’t yet learned to read are using to connect in their own ways with the place and its stories. Simply by carrying the kit around and deciding how to use its equipment, little kids feel that they too are ‘in charge’ of the family’s expedition around the Shrine. A child-sized webbing satchel 22

APRIL 2018 Remembrance

contains a picture book about either wartime or commemoration, a compass, a magnifying glass, a notepad and pencil and many other objects. Children can use the toy periscope to peer into the mysterious shadows of the Galleries, see a multiplied and refracted Eternal Flame through the kaleidoscope prism, make the animal puppet ‘talk’ to the many service animals commemorated in the monument and grounds, or sit in a quiet corner and sketch their own designs for medals and unit insignia. Shrine activity cards were developed with reading-aged children and their families in mind. Each card comprises a map marked with four locations, plus pictures and questions from each of the four places. Kids and adults use the

map to find their way to each of the four locations, and when they get there, they share ideas together about the questions. Parents and grandparents are enjoying this experience just as much as the children. What could be sealed inside the mysterious box in the Crypt? How might the Gallipoli landing boat have been brought inside the building? Information and more discussion prompts are found on the backs of the cards. These kits and cards offer a fresh new way of experiencing the Shrine, but of course the Shrine has always been a place which families have visited together, as is evident from this 1955 snapshot of a recently arrived migrant family exploring the city that has just become their new home. The Baldassi

Shrine activities for families The Baldassi family 1955 Recently arrived in Melbourne after migrating from Italy. Co.As.It – Italian Historical Society

in this age group. We hope you will enjoy using the explorer kits and activity cards with the children whom you know and love, to share and pass on your appreciation of the Shrine to future generations. The Shrine’s new self-guided resources explorer kits and activity cards are for families with primary school-aged children. These resources are an all year round complement to the Shrine’s regular school holiday family programming. Kits, which are borrowed for the duration of the family’s visit, and collectible activity cards are available at the Visitor Centre any time the Shrine is open and are free. The resources were created with the support of the Victorian Government. family belonged to a generation which brought universal first-hand experience of wartime to community remembrance and commemorations. For today’s visitors, these resources are supporting parents and grandparents to teach kids about the Shrine’s purpose and meaning.

The design of the resources is consistent with early childhood research indicating that children learn best from the adults to whom they are closest. They were also shaped by the practical knowledge of Shrine education staff, many of whom are parents of children

Author: Laura Carroll is an Education and Training Officer at the Shrine of Remembrance, an Honorary Research Fellow in the College of Arts, Social Sciences and Commerce at La Trobe University, and the mother of Lenny (age six).

april 2018 Remembrance



Narrowing the gap between the frontline and home. From the Editor Jean McAuslan


he newly upgraded Recent Conflicts gallery at the Shrine offers a human view of Australia’s modern military engagements and the costs of these wars. Input from Victoria’s recent veterans and currently serving members of the Australian Defence Force has resulted in the inclusion of deeply personal stories of service and sacrifice. The mundanities of modern warfare, the acts of courage, the after effects of injuries, and the anguish felt by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder sufferers and the families of those who have served are brought into focus. Veterans observe the role the Shrine can play in narrowing the gap between service people on the frontline and those at home. Most Australians do not experience danger on the frontline or risk their lives in service; most have


APRIL 2018 Remembrance

Guest speakers at the launch of the Recent Conflicts gallery redevelopment 23 February 2018 Left to right: Sergeant David Robertson MG, Group Captain Annette Holian, Ben Roberts-Smith VC MG and Corporal Chris May

RECENT CONFLICTS GALLERY no idea of what this can mean, unlike communities who suffered in global conflicts. Around 50 percent of the Shrine’s one-million visitors annually are Victorians, from all walks of life and cultural backgrounds. The gallery offers the opportunity to become informed about our engagement in wars; the costs to those who serve, and the costs to the community of insufficient care or recognition for those who have served. Potentially an informed and aware community can make better choices in future at a personal, family and civic level, in the full knowledge of the sacrifices made in war by individuals, their families and the community. All stakeholders have the capacity to influence policies that address veterans’ concerns. If engaged with contemporary issues of war and peace and veterans, and those currently serving, the Shrine can contribute to an informed and healthy society. This project has allowed the Shrine to open a conversation with recent veterans, within which they feel safe to articulate their experiences. This offers a sense of validation of their service, as their stories are shared with a wide Recent Conflicts gallery 2018 photographer Vlad Bunyevich

audience. The benefits are mutual; veterans can more readily process their experiences, which can aid the transition to civilian life, and the Shrine has access to artefacts and memorabilia with which to tell their stories. The Shrine is already experiencing an increased volume of donation offers of personal material. Developing ongoing relationships with recent veterans and their families enables the Shrine to explore a variety of means to honour their service. An array of new programs are now in development and will bring their stories to light. Three Iraq and Afghanistan veterans shared their personal experiences with the audience attending the gallery launch in February, including serving members, veterans, their families, members of the public and Government representatives. Feedback from the audience was that they had seldom heard such honest and emotional recounting of veterans’ experience and that the gallery was a fitting tribute to modern service. I felt a deep sense of privilege today attending the launch of the redeveloped gallery. The guest speakers were incredible in sharing their experiences on the front line,

what it meant to them, and how it has impacted their current lives. Raw truth and emotion. Today has given me a different and renewed perspective of our Defence Force personnel. Thank you CB 23 February 2018 Despite the gritty nature of some of the new material, the inclusion of a major art work depicting Sarbi, the Afghanistan Explosive Device Detector dog, allows accessibility across all age groups. For students, the gallery aligns strongly with the Civics and Citizenship element of the Victorian schools’ curriculum, and it also has resonance with the VCE Global Politics curriculum, encouraging students to specifically visit this space. For all visitors to the Shrine, this gallery provides a very real window into the experiences of current service men and women, providing invaluable insights into what it is really like to serve in Australia’s twenty-first century wars. The Shrine gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Victorian Government, a private donor and the Victorian community for the redevelopment of the Recent Conflicts gallery.

april 2018 Remembrance



The Shrine touring exhibition Australia Will Be There includes a digital interactive connecting stories of Victorian service men and women and those who served on the homefront with the locality in which they are remembered. Visitors to the exhibition are encouraged to share their family story by visiting the website or emailing

Mary Clementina de Garis Dr Mary de Garis, refused enlistment by the Australian Army Medical Corps, volunteered her services with the Scottish Women’s Hospital for Foreign Service. She was posted to the ‘American Unit’ attached to the Serbian Army at Ostrovo, Macedonia in a hospital run entirely by women. Despite appalling conditions—freezing winters, and summers rife with dysentery and malaria—and limited supplies, the hospital conducted major surgical procedures from amputations and compound fractures to bullet and bomb wounds. Australian author Miles Franklin, who worked with Mary, wrote of a bombing raid that commenced during an operation:

Dr Mary Clementina de Garis c 1904 photographer unknown John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland (167474)

The men assistants promptly disappeared to their funk holes, but Doctor continued her operation, occasionally remarking very politely to the Sister who stayed with her, that she was sorry, she supposed Sister would like to have a look at what was going on outside, but the patient had to be attended to or he would bleed to death.

Age 33 Occupation Medical Practitioner, Surgeon Rank Chief Medical Officer and Officer Commanding Awards Serbian, Order of St Sava, III Class Unit Scottish Women’s Hospital

Donald Dunbar Coutts


Diary 1-2 September 1918

APRIL 2018 Remembrance

Name Mary Clementina de Garis

Outcome Returned to Australia 1919

We were kept going continuously all night. About 10.30pm two men were brought in, and I had to amputate one man’s arm at the shoulder, and the other man’s leg through the right thigh—I had to use a razor for this. I put his other leg in a splint, as it was badly wounded, and nearly severed at the knee joint… one shell came through the entrance to our tunnel, and burst inside, wounding Syd Oke who was standing beside me… the place was filled with phosphorus fumes and smoke… we were afraid the whole place would fall in on us… During the night the Hun gassed us… We had to wear our masks nearly all night.


Other location Mildura Melbourne

After the war, Mary moved to Geelong and became the city’s first female medical practitioner and a leading authority on antenatal health.

Dr Donald Coutts’ diary, kept throughout his war service, offers an insight into the terrible conditions experienced by troops and medical personnel.

Dr Donald Dunbar Coutts 1916–18 Australian War Memorial


Coutts expressed surprise on being awarded the Distinguished Service Order. He had worked unrelieved for 55 hours, many of them in a gas mask, under continuous shelling.

Other location Boort Williamstown Name Donald Dunbar Coutts Age 26 Occupation Medical Practitioner Rank Major Awards Distinguished Service Order, Mentioned in Despatches Date enlisted 18 November 1916 Unit 6th Australian Field Ambulance, 24th Battalion Outcome Returned to Australia 1920

contact:: Kay JulieFreeth Whitehead ops mgr contact w : ee:: dining : Tuesday-Sunday, lunch and w:: w dinner dining:: Bistro Lunchopen Tue-Fri & Dinner Tue-Sat dining 7 days functions : Weddings, parties, anything, functions : Bingofree Tues night & Fri morn parking : Ample parking functions for up to 200 people entertainment : Live music every & functions : Conference rooms up Fri to 70

manager: :Reception Greg Betros contact e : ee:: w : w:: w dining : Red Poppy Bistro open seven dining:: Lunch 7 Daysand lunch & dinner dining dinner 7 days days functions : Tues Salsa – Sun Rock & Roll bar : Bistro, sports bar other : TAB and Sportsbar facilities entertainment : Live musicfamily Sat nights, other : Kids’ playground, friendly;

president : Robert Cross e : e : other : General meeting 1st w : w : meeting eachopen month, 1.30pm, dining : Bistro 7 days dining : Tues–Sun, no lunch Sat ample free parking parking : Ample free parking functions : Room available functions : Conference rooms up to 70 entertainment : Morning Melodies – entertainment : Saturday nights ew: dining : Tuesday-Sunday, lunch and w : dinner: Lunch and dinner 7 days dining functions : Weddings, bar : Bistro, sports barparties, anything, functions forplayground, up to 200 people other : Kids’ family friendly;

Your guide guide across to Your RSL clubs Victoria guideacross to RSL clubs across Victoria to RSLVictoria clubs across Victoria RSL clubs atoYour


Sat nights : entertainment

Saturday nights

Altona Ararat RSL RSL Bentleigh RSL Caulfield RSL Glenroy RSL Dandenong RSL 31 Sargood Street, 74-76 High Street Altona 3018 4540 St Centre GeorgesRoad Road 186 Glenroy Road 44-50 Clow Street

Ararat 3377 tel : 03 9398 2817 Bentleigh 3204 Elsternwick 3185 Glenroy: 3046 Dandenong 3175 manager David Hanson tel: 03 9557 5352 2794 4547 tel: 03 9528 3600 tel 03 9792 9306 1535 9777 etel : :: 03 general : Maria Whitford contact : manager Reception president : Bob Larkin JohnBetros Fergie w : manager : :Greg epresident e : dining : 7Tuesday-Sunday, lunch and ew Days a Week excluding Monday w : w:: dinner w Nights dining : Lunch Red Poppy Bistro open and dinner 7 daysseven dining : Open lunch and dinner dining:: 7Bistro 7lunch days &lunch & dinner functions :Days Weddings, parties, anything, dining days bar : Bistro, sports bar dinner parking : At rear of club functions : Tues Allupoccasions, up to 130 functions to 200–people functions ::for Salsa Sun Rock & Roll other TAB Sportsbar facilities other :: Kids’ playground, family friendly; functions 2and function rooms entertainment Everymusic month entertainment ::: Live Sat nights, Other: facilities newlyTAB refurbished entertainment At weekends other :Fri Kids’ indoor playground Bingo nights

Altona RSL Ararat RSL Blackburn RSL Bendigo RSL Blackburn RSL Cranbourne RSL Greensborough RSL Darebin RSL 31 Sargood Street 74-76 High Street 273-75 Diggers Way Road Havilah

1475 South Gippsland Highway 111 Main Street 402 Bell Street Altona 3018 Ararat 3377 Blackburn 3130 Bendigo 3550 Cranbourne 3977 Greensborough 3088 Preston 30722794 tel 035352 9398 2817 tel tel 03 9878 5821 tel:::03 5442 2950 tel: 03 5996 2769 tel : 03 9435 1884 manager : David Hanson tel : 03 9484 4353 general manager : Maria honorary secretary : BarryWhitford Kilmartin contact : Kay Freeth contact : Julie Whitehead ops mgr : Bill Telfer eesecretary Robert Cross eepresident :e ew w other : General meeting 1st w w : w : dining Tuesday-Sunday, lunchseven and w : dining ::Red Poppy open Monday each month, 1pm. dining Bistro openBistro 7 days dining : Lunch Tue-Fri & Dinner Tue-Sat dining:: Tues–Sun, Lunch & free dinner 7 days dinner dining no lunch Sat days parking : Ample parking Non Trading Club functions : Bingo Tues night & Fri morn functions Room available Weddings, parties, anything, functions available other : TAB:: Room and Sportsbar facilities functions Conference rooms up to 70 entertainment : Live music every Fri & parking : 100 spaces functions for up to 170 people entertainment Melodies entertainment Saturday nights – Sat nights :: Morning other : Greensborough 3rd Fri, C&W – 3rd SunValley everyviews Month

East Malvern RSL Caulfield RSL Caulfield RSLRSL RSL RSL Cranbourne Dandenong Dandenong CranbourneCranbourne RSL Sub-Branch Inc Darebin RSL East Malvern Epping RSL Glenroy RSL Leongatha RSL Phillip Island RSL Greensborough RSL Hampton RSL Dandenong RSL RSL 444-50 St Cranbourne Georges Road 41475 St Georges Road 1475 South Gippsland Stanley Goose Drive Highway South Gippsland Highway Clow Street

402 Harvest Bell 44-50 Street 195 HomeClow Road St 186 Glenroy Road 1475 Sth Gippsland Hwy Cnr Main Smith St3185 & Michael Place 225-243 Thompson 111 Street 25 Holyrood Street Elsternwick 3185 Elsternwick Cranbourne 3977 East Malvern 3145 Ave Cranbourne 3977 Dandenong 3175 Dandenong 3175 Cranbourne 3977 Preston 3072 Epping 3076 Glenroy 3046 Leongatha 3953 Cowes 3922 Greensborough 3088 Hampton 3188 Phone: 5996 2769 tel:::03 9528 3600 tel 9528 tel 5996 tel 03 9571 2058 tel: :03 03Phone: 59963600 27699792 1535 03 97922769 1535 9484 4353 tel: 03 9408 1566 tel: 03 9306 9777 tel:: 03 03 9435 5662 2747 / 03 5662 2012 tel:: 03 03:9598 5952 1004 tel 1884 tel 0460 president : Bob Larkin president : Bob Larkin contact Julie Whitehead ops mgr secretary Terry Panton contact : Julie Whitehead ops mgr manager : Greg Betros We have it all – Enjoy a delicious meal at either club president : Robert Cross operations manager : Narelle Hart president : John Fergie : Ricky McNaughton : Greg Mead : Bill Telfer : Carole Gilchrist Jay Cooper epresident esecretary esupervisor We give reciprocal right’s to other RSL members witheecontact member prices on ourormeals & drinks e : egreat ricky.mcnaughton@leongatha-rsl. ew ew w w w Weekly Senior Meal Deals available w : w : w:: w : w dining Open dinner dining ::Open and dinner dining ::::Lunch Tue-Fri Dinner Tue-Sat dining Bistro, 9572 1618 dining Lunchlunch Tue-Fri &Friday Dinner Tue-Sat– Sunday 7 Dayslunch lunch && dinner –7 Saturday Entertainment Tues–Sun, no Sat dining : Bistro lunch & lunch dinner days dining Bistro 7bookings daysand lunch & dinner diningDine ::Lunch 7Atdays dining Lunch and dinner 7 days dining : & dinner 7 days dining Thurs, Fri, Sun parking : :At rear of club parking rear of club functions Tues night Fri morn functions :::Bingo Beautiful setting functions : Bingo Tues night & Fri morn functions Tues Salsa –Show Sun Rock & Roll & Dance the night away to Top Bands & Duo’s no:: Wed, cover! Except on functions : Room available entertainment : Morning Melodies first functions All occasions, up&nights to 130 entertainment Members’ nights all occasions functions available parking Ample parking functions : Terrace 2For function rooms functions :: 2Room function rooms entertainment :::Live music every Fri & entertainment Check the website Sunday enjoyFri light on :the entertainment Live music every entertainment Live music Sat nights, entertainment :: Morning Melodies – & entertainment entertainment : Every month Wed of every month other : Fri Members’ lounge and Thursday & Friday, functions parking :C&W 100 spaces functions :nights Room available freebar, entertainment : Attimes weekends entertainment :of weekends Sat nights Why notevery join usMonth for Bingo! phone us for session Sat nights Bingo 3rd Fri, –At3rd Sun other : Loads free parking other : Kids’ indoor playground kids’ play area: Saturday night other : Greensborough Valley views entertainment

newly refurbished

3rd Fri, C&W – 3rd Sun every Month

Caroline Springs RSL Ararat RSL Bendigo RSL Bentleigh RSL East Malvern RSL Dandenong RSL Hampton RSL East Malvern RSL 74-76 High Street 73-75 Havilah Road 540 Centre Road Sub Branch Stanley Goose Drive 44-50 Clow Street

Bentleigh Caulfield RSLRSL Blackburn Caulfield RSL Darebin RSL Kyneton RSL 540 Centre Road 4 St Georges Georges Road, Road Elsternwick 3185

Cranbourne RSLRSL Dandenong RSL Darebin RSL Kyneton RSL Greensborough Red Cliffs/Irymple Kyneton RSL 1475 South Gippsland Highway 44-50 Clow Street 402 Bell Street

Dandenong RSL RSL Darebin RSL EastRSL Malvern Epping Hampton RSL Reservoir RSL 44-50 Clow Street 402 Street 195Bell Harvest Home Road

402 Bell Street Bentleigh 3204 Elsternwick 3185 TEL: 03 9528 3600 Preston 3072 PRESIDENT: Colin Bradley tel : 03 9557 4547 tel : 03 9528 3600 tel: 03 9484 4353 E: contact : Reception president : Robert Bob Larkin president : Cross eW: : ee:: Lunch and Dinner 7 Days per week wDINING: w Entertainment: Home of the Flying Saucer dining and dinner 7 days dining:::Lunch Open lunch and dinner dining Tues–Sun, no lunch Sat Club bar : Bistro, sports bar parking : At rear of club functions : Room available FUNCTIONS: Afunction ll occasions other : Kids’ family friendly; functions : 2playground, rooms entertainment : Morning Day Club: Tuesdays fromMelodies 10:30 – newly entertainment 3rd Fri,refurbished C&W –: At 3rdweekends Sun every Month

25 Holyrood Street Ararat 3377 Bendigo 3550 Bentleigh 3204 East 3145 Dandenong 3175 T: (03)Malvern 9307 8072 Hampton 3188 : 03 5352 2794 tel 03 5442 2950 9557 4547 E: 9571 1535 2058 tel: 03 9792 03::9598 0460 general : Maria Whitford contact Kay Freeth contact W: secretary :Reception Terry Panton manager :manager Greg Betros : Carole Gilchrist or Jay Cooper econtact eFunctions: :e The Club Caroline Springs, w w1312 Western Highway, Caroline Springs w : w : dining Red Poppy Bistro open seven dining ::Bistro open 7Neighbourhood days Offices: Taylors Hilldinner House Lunch and 7 days Bistro, bookings 9572 1618 dining : 7 Days lunch & dinner dining ::Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sun 121 Calder Park Drive, Taylors Hill days parking Ample free parking bar : Bistro, sports bar Beautiful functions : Tues Salsasetting – Sun Rock & Roll parking :M parking Hours: :Ample onday, Wednesday and other : TAB and Sportsbar facilities functions Conference rooms up to 70 Kids’ playground, family friendly; Check the website entertainment : Live music Sat nights, Thursday 10:00 to 3:00 functions : Room available free entertainment : Saturday nights newly Fri refurbished Bingo nights entertainment : Saturday night 37-39 Mollison 111 Main StreetStreet Jamieson Ave Cranbourne 3977 Dandenong 3175 Preston 3072 Kyneton 3444 Greensborough 3088 Red03 Cliffs 3469 tel::03 5996 2769 tel 9792 1535 9484 4353 5422 1884 6735 tel: 03 9435 tel: 03 :5024 1499 contact Whitehead manager Greg Betros president :Bill Robert Cross ops mgr manager : :Julie Belinda Pywell secretary Telfer : Lorraine Roberts eecontact :e ww w : w : dining : Lunch &dinner dining Days lunch Lunch && Dinner 7 daysTue-Sat a week dining:: 7Open 7Lunch Days a dinner week &Tue-Fri 7Dinner days military museum : Tues Open hours: Fridays functions Bingo & Fri functions ::Tues Salsa –night Sun Rock &morn Roll Room available Function room available functions : Room available 9am–noon, first Sunday thenights, month entertainment Live music every Fri & entertainment :::Live music Sat Live every Saturday entertainment Last Sat ofof month parking : 100 spaces 10am-4pm. Admission $2, children Sat nights night, Morning Melodies Friday Bingo nights other :Fri Members’ nightsevery Greensborough Valley3rd views

25 Holyrood Street Dandenong 3175 Preston 3072 Epping 3076 Hampton 3188 tel : 03 9792 1535 tel : 03 9484 tel: 03 9598 94084353 1566 tel 0460 manager : Greg Betros president Robert Cross operations manager : Narelle Hart General Manager: Narelle Hart contact : Carole Gilchrist or Jay Cooper eeE: :e e : ww : w: w dining 7Bistro DaysThurs, lunch dinner dining noFri, dining:::Tues–Sun, lunch &&lunch dinner 7 days dining Wed, SunSat functions Tues Salsa – Sun Rock & Roll functions ::Room available entertainment : Morning Melodies first parking : Ample parking entertainment Live music Sat nights, entertainment ::month Morning Melodies – Wed of every functions : Room available free Bingo nights 3rd Fri,:Fri C&W –:ofSaturday 3rd every other Loads freeSun parking entertainment night Month

Your guide to RSL clubs across Victoria

Epping RSL Glenroy RSL Hampton RSLRSL Lakes Entrance RSL Rye RSL Phillip Island 195 186Harvest GlenroyHome Road Road

25 Holyrood Street 221 Esplanade 5-11 Nelson Street Ave 225-243 Thompson Epping 3076 Glenroy 3046 Hampton 3188 3909 Lakes Entrance Rye 3941 Cowes 3922 tel : 03 9408 1566 tel: 03 9598 9306 1555 9777 0460 tel: 03 5155 tel:: 03 03 5952 5985 2595 tel 1004 operations : Narelle HartCooper president : manager John Fergie Carole Gilchrist or Jay Keith Joyce contact : Reception : Norm Uniacke Greg Mead epresident :e esecretary ew w w : w:: w dining ::Bistro lunch dinner 7dinner days dining BistroThurs, 7 days&Fri, lunch &Sun Wed, Sun dining : Australian/Chinese Sat,menu dining:: Lunch Lunch &Morning dinner 7 7days dining and dinner entertainment first functions : All:for occasions, updays to 130 Ample parking parking : OSP cars & Melodies buses parking : Ample functions :: Rooms For occasions Wed of every month entertainment Every monthfree available functions Room available entertainment ::all Every Friday night functions : Room available other Members’ lounge and bar, other ::::Loads of: Saturday free parking other Kids’ indoor playground entertainment night other Accommodation entertainment kids’ play area: Thurs, Fri, Sat

across Victoria


Bingo refurbished Fri nights newly

Lakes Entrance Leongatha RSL RSL Red Cliffs/Irymple Rosebud Williamstown Swan HillRSL RSLRSL Sunshine RSL 221 Cnr Esplanade Smith St & Michael Place

JamiesonEastbourne Ave 113-125 Road 128Dickson Ferguson Street 99 Street Lakes Entrance 3909 138 Curlewis Street, Leongatha 3953 Red Cliffs 3469 Rosebud 3939 Williamstown 3016 Sunshine 3020 Swan 3585 tel 5155 1555 tel: :03 03Hill 5662 2747 / 03 5662 2012 5024 1499 tel: 03 5986 1066 tel:: 03 03 9397 7642McNaughton TEL: 03:9311 5032 2359 tel 6372 contact Reception supervisor : Ricky contact : Lorraine Roberts operations manager : Belinda Pywell :: Mark Mitchell Barry Townley president David Twidle ePRESIDENT: : emanager ricky.mcnaughton@leongatha-rsl. e : e : E: e : w : W: w:: w dining :::Australian/Chinese menu dining 7museum daysopen military : Open hours: Fridays dining Bistro 6 days (not Sat), DINING:  TOSP hreefor Bistro dining:: :Wednesday-Sunday Lunch and dinner 7nights days dining parking cars & buses entertainment :Arms Members’ first Sunday of the month 79am–noon, nightsopen for Lunch & Dinner entertainment : Every Saturday night entertainment Friday and Saturday entertainment ::: Every Friday night Thursday & Friday, functions 10am-4pm. Admission $2,till children entertainment Family night Saturdays, OPEN:  Bingo 7 :days from late functions Caters for10am 120 people nights, Friday 7pm other : Accommodation free. Closed holidays. soloist Wed night, monthly free shows other TABclub &public Keno available other:: Day Kids eat free, clownThursdays on Wed nights 10.30am

Rosebud Rye RSL RSL

Kyneton RSL Epping RSL Glenroy RSL Greensborough Altona RSL Kyneton RSL RSL Leongatha RSL 37-39 Mollison Street Sunshine RSL Red Cliffs/Irymple 195 Harvest Home Road 186 Road 111 Glenroy Main Street Kyneton 3444

31 Sargood Cnr Smith StStreet & Michael Place 99 Dickson Street Jamieson Ave Epping 3076 Glenroy 3046 Greensborough 3088 Altona 3018 tel : 03 5422 6735 Leongatha 3953 Sunshine 3020 Red Cliffs 3469 tel : 03 9408 1566 tel : 03 9306 9777 manager : Belinda Pywell 9435 2747 1884 tel: 03 5662 9398 2817 tel / 03 5662 2012 tel : 03 03 5024 9311 6372 : 1499 operations manager : Narelle Hart president : John Fergie etel : secretary : Bill Telfer manager : David Hanson supervisorManager: : Ricky McNaughton Assistant Ricky McNaughton : David Twidle contact : Lorraine Roberts epresident ew ee: ricky.mcnaughton@leongatha-rsl. e : ew w dining : 7 Days a week w:: w dining :Bistro Bistro & dinner 7 days dining : 7lunch lunch & dinner functions : Function room available Lunch &days dinner 7 lunch days dining Tuesday-Sunday, and dining : 7 days dining : Wednesday-Sunday military museum : Open entertainment Morning Melodies functions ::All occasions, up to Fridays 130first entertainment :: Last Sathours: of month functions Room available dinner entertainment Members’ nights entertainment :Every Friday andofSaturday 9am–noon, first Sunday theanything, month Wed of month entertainment :spaces month other : Members’ nights parking :every 100 functions :&Weddings, parties, Thursday Friday, functions nights, Bingo Friday 7pm 10am-4pm. Admission $2, children other Loads of free parking other ::Kids’ Greensborough Valley views functions forindoor up to playground 170 people otherClosed : Day club 10.30am Thursdays free. public holidays.

Reservoir RSL Lakes Entrance RSL Leongatha RSL Phillip Island RSL Caulfield RSL Reservoir RSL Rye RSL 251 Spring Street Wodonga RSL Bentleigh RSL Upwey/Belgrave RSL 221 Esplanade Cnr Smith St & Michael 225-243 Thompson AvePlace Reservoir 3073

4 St Georges Road tel : 03 9469 Street 2759 5-11 Nelson 29Mast Reid Street Centre Road 1540 Gully Road Lakes Entrance 3909 Leongatha 3953 Cowes 3922 Elsternwick 3185 manager : Sandi Richards Rye 3941 Wodonga 3960 Bentleigh 3204 Upwey 3158 tel : 03 5155 1555 tel : 03 5662 e : 59522747 1004/ 03 5662 2012 9528 3600 tel: 03 5985 2595 tel : 03 02 9754 2023 9557 4547 tel 3665 contact :6024 supervisor Ricky McNaughton w : president Greg Mead president :::Norm Bob Larkin secretary :Reception Uniacke : Gary Mansfield contact : Reception president Dave Eaton & Sun, dinner esecretary edining ::ricky.mcnaughton@leongatha-rsl. : Lunch Wed-Fri e : ew Wed-Sat w : w:: w dining dining ::7Australian/Chinese dayslunch entertainment :&and Live Fri 7&dinner Sat nights & Lunch dinner 7 menu days Open and dining : Lunch dinner days dining Friday nights Lunch and dinner 7nights days dining :: Seven days for &lunch & Dinner parking : OSP buses entertainment :for Members’ Sun afternoon, Morning melodies functions : For all occasions At rear ofcars club parking : Ample parking : Free parking bar : Bistro, sports barFriday functions :& 150and cocktail entertainment :seated, Every night Thursday functions other : Members’ lounge bar, functions : 80 2Friday, function rooms Room available functions :area On request other :play Kids’ playground, family friendly; military museum : Open Thurs Accommodation kids’ At weekends entertainment : Thurs, Fri, Sat& Sun entertainment : Yes newly refurbished 10.30am–2pm, free admission

Rosebud Rye RSL RSL Sunshine RSL

free. Closed public holidays.

Glenroy RSL Greensborough RSL Hampton RSL Reservoir RSL Ararat RSL Phillip Island RSL Upwey/Belgrave Reservoir RSLRSL 186 Glenroy Road 111 Main Street 25 Holyrood Street

Greensborough Hampton RSL Kyneton RSLRSL Lakes Entrance Rye RSL Red Cliffs/Irymple Advertise here 111 Main Street 25 Holyrood Street 221 Esplanade

74-76 High 251 Spring Street Reservoir 3073 225-243 Thompson Ave 1 Mast Gully Road Glenroy 3046 Greensborough 3088 Hampton 3188 Ararat 3377 Cowes 3922 tel : 03 9469 2759 Upwey 3158 tel::03 039435 9777 tel 9598 0460 manager :9306 Sandi1884 Richards 5352 2794 tel : 03 5952 1004 tel : 03 :9754 3665 president : John Fergie secretary : Bill Telfer contact Carole Gilchrist or Jay Cooper e : general manager : Maria Whitford president : Greg Mead : Dave Eaton epresident ew e : : Lunch Wed-Frid & Sun w wdining w : Dinner w : dining Bistro days lunch dinner dining :::Wed-Sat Lunch &7and dinner 7 Sun days Wed,Poppy Thurs, Fri, Red Bistro open seven dining Lunch dinner 7& days entertainment music every & dining : Wed-Sun Dinner, Sun lunch functions All: Live occasions, up toFrid 130 functions available parking daysnight: &:Ample functions ::Room For allparking occasions Sat Sun afternoon. Morning functions : 80 seated, 150 cocktail entertainment : Every month parking : 100 spaces functions free TAB and facilities Melodies lastRoom WedSportsbar ofavailable each month. other : Members’ lounge and bar, military museum : Open Thurs & Sun other :Greensborough Kids’ indoor playground other :for Valley entertainment : Saturday nightviews Cater all function requirements.

Jamieson Ave Street 5-11 Nelson Greensborough Hampton 3188 Lakes Entrance 3909 Red Cliffs 3469 3088 RYE 3941 tel : 03 9435 1884 tel : 03 9598 tel: 03 5155 1555 TEL: 035024 59850460 2595 tel 1499 secretary :Reception BillRay Telfer contact Gilchrist or Jay Cooper contact:::Carole Secretary: Young contact Lorraine Roberts eE: ee: w wW: w dining Lunch &&:dinner 7Sun dining ::Wed, Thurs, Fri, hours: dining menu Dining:  Lmuseum unch Dinner 7 days days militaryAustralian/Chinese Open Fridays functions :Ample Room available parking parking Parking: parking: :Ample OSP for cars & buses 9am–noon, first Sunday of the month parking : 100 spaces functions : Room available free Functions: Room available entertainment : Every Friday night 10am-4pm. Admission $2, children other : Greensborough Valley entertainment : Saturday night Entertainment: Thurs, Fri, Satviews otherClosed Accommodation free. public holidays.

kids’ play area 10.30am–2pm, free admission

Leongatha RSL Phillip Island RSL Red Cliffs/Irymple Cranbourne RSL Sunshine RSL Woodend RSL Sub-Branch Blackburn RSL Advertise here Cnr Smith St & Michael Place 225-243 Thompson Ave Jamieson Ave

Phillip Island RSL Red Cliffs/Irymple Reservoir RSLRSL Rosebud RSL Dandenong RSL Upwey/Belgrave

Advertise here

Thompson Jamieson AveStreet 113-125 Eastbourne Road 44-50 1225-243 Mast Clow Gully Road Ave Cowes 3922 Red Cliffs 3469 Rosebud 3939 Dandenong 3175 Upwey 3158 tel 035024 5952 1004 tel tel:::03 59861499 1066 9792 1535 tel 03 9754 3665 Have your RSL club president : Greg Mead contact : Lorraine Roberts operations manager : Belinda Pywell manager ::Greg president DaveBetros Eaton included call e : ww w:Indigo w Arch Publishing dining Lunch and dinner 7 (not days military museum : Open hours: Fridays dining:: Wed-Sun 6&days Sat), 7Bistro Daysopen lunch dinner dining Dinner, Sun lunch (03) 9885 4935 functions : For all occasions 9am–noon, first Sunday of the month 7 nights :: 80 functions Tues Salsa –150 Sun Rock & Roll functions seated, cocktail other : Members’ lounge bar, 10am-4pm. Admission $2,and children entertainment Family night Saturdays, or email entertainment : Live music Sat nights, military museum : Open Thurs & Sun

1475 South Street Gippsland Highway 99 Dickson 32 Street, Leongatha 3953 Cowes 3922 RedAnslow Cliffs 3469 Cranbourne 3977 Woodend 3442 Sunshine 3020 tel : 03 5662 2747 TEL: 03 5427 3122/ 03 5662 2012 tel: 03 5952 50241004 1499 5996 2769 tel: 03 9311 6372 supervisor : Ricky McNaughton president : Greg Mead contact : Lorraine Roberts CONTACT: President Barry contact : Julie Whitehead opsMeldrum mgr president : David Twidle ricky.mcnaughton@leongatha-rsl. eVICE President: Reg Till e : w E: dining 7Lunch daysand dining :::Lunch dinner 7 daysFridays military museum : Open Tue-Fri &hours: Dinner Tue-Sat dining Wednesday-Sunday W: entertainment :allFriday Members’ functions ::For occasions 9am–noon, first Sunday ofnights the month functions Bingo Tues night & Fri morn entertainment : and Saturday PARKING: Adequate Thursday & Friday, functions other : Members’ lounge and bar, 10am-4pm. Admission $2, children entertainment : Live music every Fri & nights, Bingo Friday 7pm FUNCTIONS: Hall available for hire kids’ play free.nights public holidays. Sat other :Closed Dayarea club 10.30am Thursdays

kids’ play area free. Closed public holidays. soloist Wed night, monthly free shows Bingo Fri nights 10.30am–2pm, free admission

Rye RSL RSL Sunshine Upwey/Belgrave RSL

Sunshine RSL Upwey/Belgrave RSL Advertise here Wangaratta RSL Greensborough RSL Woodend RSL Sub-Branch

Epping Glenroy RSL Upwey/Belgrave RSL AMEWoodend here Wangaratta RSL Williamstown RSL Wodonga RSL RSL RECTORY, CONTACT CANDICE ONAdvertise (03)RSL 9860 4500 Dandenong RSL Darebin RSL East Malvern Wodonga RSL RSL Sub-Branch


113-125 Eastbourne Nelson Street 15-11 Mast Gully Road Road 76A Reid Street 44-50 Clow Street 29 Reid Street Rosebud 3939 Rye 3941 Upwey 31583677 Wangaratta Dandenong 3175 Wodonga 3960 tel 1066 tel: :03 035986 5985 2595 9754 3665 tel: 03 5721 2501 03 6024 9792 1535 tel : 02 2023 operations manager :Fearn Belinda Pywell secretary : Norm Uniacke Dave Eaton president : Norman manager :: Greg Gary Betros Mansfield esecretary e: e : ew: w w : w : dining ::Bistro 6 days (notlunch Sat), dining Lunch & dinner 7(6pm-8pm) days Wed-Sun Dinner, Sun dining : 7 days open (noon-2pm) 7: Ample Daysnights lunch & dinner : Friday 7dining nights parking seated, 150Call cocktail functions: 80 Room available. for details functions : Tues Salsa – SunSaturdays, Rock & Roll parking : museum Free entertainment :parking Family night functions Room available military : Open Thurs & Sun on other : Members’ Draws and raffles entertainment :request Live music functions : On soloist Wed night, monthly freenights, shows entertainment Thurs, Fri, Sat 10.30am–2pm, free admission Fridays. Buffet every Tuesday Bingo Fri nights entertainment : Yes

113-125 Eastbourne Road 5-11 Nelson 99 Dickson Street 195 Harvest Home 128 Ferguson StreetRoad 402 Bell3076 Street 32 Anslow Street Rosebud 3939 Rye 3941 Sunshine 3020 Epping Williamstown 3016 Preston 3072 Woodend 3442 tel::03 03 9397 5986 1066 tel 2595 9311 6372 tel: 035985 9408 1566 7642 9484 4353 tel : 03 5427 3122 operations manager :: Belinda Pywell secretary : Norm Uniacke president : David Twidle operations manager Narelle Hart manager : Mark Mitchell president : Robert president : RegCross Till evice e : w w w : dining Bistro 6&days Sat), dining ::Lunch &open dinner 7 days Wednesday-Sunday Bistro lunch dinner 7 days dining : Lunch and dinner 7 (not days Tues–Sun, lunch Sat offirst dining : :Dinners 1stno & Saturday 3rd Friday 7entertainment nights parking Ample: Morning Friday and Saturday Melodies entertainment : Every nighteach functions Room available month entertainment :Friday Family night Saturdays, functions ::: Room available nights, Wed of Bingo every month functions Caters for 7pm 120 people entertainment : Thurs, Morning – parking : Adequate soloist Wed night, monthly shows entertainment :of Fri,Melodies Sat other : Loads Day club 10.30am Thursdays free parking other : Kids eat free, clown onfree Wed nights 3rd Fri, C&W 3rd Sun every Month functions : Hall– available for hire

5-11 Nelson Street 99 Dickson Street 1 Mast Gully Road 186 Glenroy Road 29 Reid Street Rye 3941 Sunshine 3020 Upwey 3158 Glenroy 3046 Wodonga 3960 tel::03 03 5985 2595 tel 97546372 3665 tel: 02 039311 9306 9777 6024 2023 2/11/11 secretary Norm Uniacke president Twidle president:::David DaveMansfield Eaton president John Fergie secretary : Gary e : : ww dining::Wednesday-Sunday Lunch & days dinner 7 Sun days dining Wed-Sun Dinner, lunch Bistro 7nights lunch & dinner dining : Friday parking Ample entertainment Friday and Saturday functions :: 80 seated, 150up cocktail functions All:parking occasions, to 130 parking :: Free functions Room nights, Bingo Friday 7pm military museum : available Open Thurs & Sun entertainment :request Every month functions :: On entertainment Thurs, Fri,Thursdays Sat other ::Day 10.30am 10.30am–2pm, freeplayground admission other Kids’club indoor entertainment :: Yes

3:03 PM

99 Dickson Street 132 Mast Gully Road 76A Reid Street 111 Main Anslow Street Sunshine 3020 Upwey 3158 Wangaratta 3677 Greensborough Woodend 3442 3088 tel 03 9311 6372 tel tel:::03 57213665 2501 tel 039754 9435 1884 5427 3122 president David Twidle president :::Dave Eaton president Norman Fearn secretary Bill vice president : Telfer Reg Till e : ww w dining Wednesday-Sunday dining Dinner, lunch dining:::Wed-Sun 7 days (noon-2pm) (6pm-8pm) Lunch &1st dinner 7Sun days dining Dinners & 3rd Friday of each entertainment : Friday and Saturday functions seated, 150 cocktail functions: :80 Room available. Call for details functions Room available month nights, Friday 7pm military museum : Open Thurs Sun on other : Members’ Draws and &raffles 100 spaces parking :Bingo Adequate other :: Day clubavailable 10.30am Thursdays 10.30am–2pm, free admission Fridays. Buffet every Tuesday other Greensborough Valley views functions : Hall for hire

TO BE LISTED IN THIS DIRECT Wangaratta RSL Williamstown RSL Wodonga RSL Wangaratta RSL Williamstown RSL RSL Woodend RSL Sub-Branch Williamstown Wodonga RSL Woodend RSL Sub-Branch TO BE LISTED INRSL THIS DIRECTORY, CONTACT CANDICE AMEWodonga ON (03) 9860 4500 Lakes Entrance Leongatha Phillip Island RSL Woodend RSL Sub-Branch AMEGreensborough ON (03) 9860 4500 RSL Hampton RSL RSL KynetonRSL RSL

76A Reid Street 128Anslow Ferguson Street 32 Street 111 Main Street Wangaratta 3677 Williamstown 3016 Woodend 3442 Greensborough 3088 tel tel:::03 035721 93972501 7642 Shrine1111-026-029-Freame.indd 28 tel 03 5427 3122 tel : 03 9435 1884 president Norman Fearn manager : Mark Mitchell vice president: Reg Till : Bill Telfer esecretary : ee:: ew: w w : w : dining :::7Dinners days (noon-2pm) dining Lunch and 7 daysof each dining 1stdinner & 3rd(6pm-8pm) Friday dining : Lunch & dinner 7 days functions : Room available. Call fornight details s entertainment : Every Saturday month functions : Room available other : Members’ raffles on functions CatersDraws for 120and people parking : Adequate parking :Buffet 100eat spaces Fridays. Tuesday other : Kids free, clown Wed nights functions : Hall every available foronhire other : Greensborough Valley views

76A ReidStreet Street 128 Ferguson Street 29 Reid 221 Esplanade 25 Holyrood Street Wangaratta 3677 Williamstown 3016 Wodonga 3960 Lakes Entrance 3909 Hampton 3188 tel::03 03 5721 2501 tel 029397 60247642 2023 tel: 03 5155 1555 tel : 03 9598 0460 president Norman Fearn 2/11/11 3:03 PM manager : Mark Mitchell secretary : Gary Mansfield contact : Reception contact : Carole Gilchrist or Jay Cooper e : w w : w : dining : 7Australian/Chinese days and (noon-2pm) dining dinner (6pm-8pm) 7 days Friday nights dining::Lunch menu dining : Wed, Thurs, Fri, functions : Room available. Call night for details entertainment :for Every Saturday parking Free parking parking :: OSP cars & Sun buses parking : Ample parking other : Members’ Draws and raffles on functions ::Caters for 120 people functions On :request entertainment Every Friday night functions : Room available free Fridays. Buffet every Tuesday other ::Kids eat:free, clown on Wed nights entertainment Yes other Accommodation entertainment : Saturday night

128 Ferguson 29 Street 32Reid Anslow Street Cnr Smith St &Street Michael Place Williamstown 3016 Wodonga 3960 Woodend 3442 Leongatha 3953 tel::02 03 9397 7642 tel 54272023 3122 / 03 5662 2012 tel: 036024 5662 2747 manager Mark Mitchell secretary : Gary Mansfield vice president : Reg Till supervisor : Ricky McNaughton ricky.mcnaughton@leongatha-rsl. ww dining::Friday Lunch and days of each dining Dinners 1stdinner & 3rd 7Friday dining : 7 daysnights entertainment :: Every Saturday parking month : Free parking entertainment Members’ nightsnight functions :&On Caters forfunctions 120 people functions request parking : :Adequate Thursday Friday, other : Kids eat free, clownforonhire Wed nights entertainment : Yes functions : Hall available

29 Reid Street 32 Anslow Street Ave 225-243 Thompson Wodonga 3960 Woodend 3442 Cowes 3922 Shrine1111-026-029-Freame.indd 282/11/11 3:03 PM tel::03 02 6024 2023 tel tel: 035427 59523122 1004 secretary :: Gary Mansfield vice president : Reg Till president Greg Mead : ww : w : dining::Dinners Friday nights dining 1st dinner & 3rd Friday dining : Lunch and 7 daysof each parking : Free parking month functions : For all occasions functions : On request parking Adequate other : :Members’ lounge and bar, entertainment Yes functions for hire kids’ play: Hall area: available


Phillip Island RSL

Red Cliffs/Irymple 113-125 Eastbourne Road

Reservoir RSL

5-11 Nelson Street

99 Dickson Street


FROM THE SHRINE SHOP The Shrine of Remembrance shop offers a diverse range of books, DVDs, Centenary of Anzac merchandise, collectible items and souvenirs. All proceeds fund the development and delivery of education programs which honour the service and sacrifice of Australian Defence Force personnel, past and present. For your convenience, as well as visiting us in the Shrine Visitor Centre, you can also make online purchases from home at or by phone 03 9611 8119. We post worldwide.

BOOK REVIEW by Neil Sharkey

One Woman’s War and Peace: A nurse’s journey in the Royal Australian Air Force Wing Commander Sharon Bown (Ret’d) Exisle Publishing, 2016 $29.99


haron Cooper an idealistic 23-year-old theatre nurse, left her comfortable life in Tasmania to join the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1999. Her aim was to provide humanitarian aid to the world. By the close of her 16-year military career, Nursing Officer Cooper (the future Wing Commander Sharon Bown), had been deployed to East Timor, Bali and Afghanistan, operated within and led Australian Defence Force (ADF) surgical teams, had served as Aide de Camp to the Minister for Defence and fulfilled a host of other nursing and administrative roles. Bown’s autobiography, One Woman’s War and Peace, recounts the accomplishments and challenges encountered by an exceptional servicewoman. Bown entered the RAAF just as the ADF was undertaking the spate of peacekeeping and military operations that marked the turn of the new millennium. She recalls ‘…some Nursing Officers around the country cursing me as a ‘baby’, in the service only since ‘breakfast time’, but already setting out on an adventure they would die for.’ On 2 June 2004, during her second tour of East Timor, Bown’s adventure very nearly occasioned her own death when the helicopter in which she was travelling came down in the jungle 81 kilometres south of Dili. The immediate fallout of the helicopter crash was a broken spine, a shattered jaw, chemical burns, a five-month stint in a back-brace and the trauma of being told she would never work as a nurse again. Bown’s determination ensured


APRIL 2018 Remembrance

she did return to duty but only after an agonising period of rehabilitation. Ongoing nervedamage and PostTraumatic Stress Disorder are the price she continues to pay. Bown is an engaging story-teller and relates these life-changing episodes, with the clear, rational prose befitting her clinical and military background with a directness and honesty that will surely engage. Bown’s professional achievements are many and her narrative instructive on what can be accomplished with grit and talent. Bown’s navigation of workplace politics, including barbs from colleagues and erstwhile friends—‘it’s amazing what a helicopter crash will do for your career’—are, likewise, edifying. It is, however, her constant collisions with mortality, her own and others, and the effects that arise from that that prove the most absorbing aspect of her story. In one terrible year, 2005, the author contends with the loss her mother to breast cancer, the death of nine ADF colleagues in the Nias Sea King helicopter crash, and the October 2005 Bali bombings. In the coming May her police officer father is shot in a murder attempt. All this before she manages an operating theatre in a war-zone. Bown’s resilience in the face of ever-mounting anguish is as inspiring as it is astonishing. Readers will certainly ask how the ADF can better manage the

emotional well-being of its personnel— acknowledging personal as well as service related traumas. In telling her story Sharon Bown advocates for others who have suffered similar hardship but lack her eloquence. One Woman’s War and Peace is as compelling a read as it is a remarkable story. It is sure to provide hope for anyone who has suffered trauma, mental or physical, it will certainly offer valuable insight for those who have not.

Book reviewer: Neil Sharkey has been a Curator at the Shrine of Remembrance for over ten years. He curated the Shrine’s Second World War gallery and has developed dozens of special exhibitions including Nerves and Steel: The RAN in the Pacific 1941–45 and The Light Horse: Australians in the Middle East 1916–18.


The Battle Within

Christina Twomey Newsouth Publishing, 2018 $39.99 During the Second World War, over 22,000 Australian soldiers were held as prisoners of war (POWs). Some 8,000 died in captivity. For those who were freed and returned home to Australia, their battle was far from over. In this landmark book, Christina Twomey explores the battles that these returned soldiers faced. On a personal front, rehabilitating mentally and physically, and returning to Australian life. On a national front, challenging the established official policies and attitudes towards them. Twomey also explores how many of the POWs supported the forging of strong connections with the Asia-Pacific region and encouraged reconciliation with Japan.

Stretcher-Bearers: Saving Australians from Gallipoli to Kokoda Mark Johnston Cambridge University Press, 2015 $59.99

Respected military historian Mark Johnston, puts forth an absorbing account of the service and experiences of Australian stretcher-bearers. Covering both the First and Second World Wars, Johnston presents new perspectives on the tales of legendary Australian characters, such as Simpson and his Donkey, and explores some lesser known stories. Johnston draws on both the experiences of the stretcher-bearers as well as the soldiers they saved to deepen our understanding of their critical role and the challenges they faced.

Operation Green Heart

Anne Kerr and Dr Katelyn Kerr Australian Academic Press, 2014 $19.99 Written by an early childhood teacher and a clinical psychologist, Operation Green Heart uses the language of colour to explain emotions to children, particularly emotions surrounding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Told from the point of view of a young child, Max, this book shows his family’s journey in learning how to explain their feelings to each other and how to express the love they feel. An excellent resource to help military families deal with feelings that may have arisen as a result of service.

AANS Statuette Naked Army $219.99

The collectable Naked Army range features striking cold cast bronze figurines, portraying Australian soldiers from the First World War through to modern conflicts. This figurine pays tribute to nurses of the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS) during the First World War. Wearing the distinctive AANS uniform, she exhibits attention to detail in craftsmanship and historical accuracy. Each figurine measures 12 inches and is finished by hand. Limited edition, individually numbered.

The Light Horse Postcard Set RSL Centenary Haversack

$39.99 Created with the Returned Services League (RSL) to commemorate the centenary of the First World War and the establishment of the RSL, this sturdy and practical bag replicates the canvas haversack carried by Australian soldiers during the First World War. The bag features an adjustable strap, external buckles and an internal pocket to keep small items secure. Comes with a detachable RSL Centenary keyring.


A special collection of postcards commemorating the centenary of the Battle of Beersheba. Featuring six exquisite cards that are a selection of paintings and photos from the Shrine’s exhibition: The Light Horse: Australians in the Middle East 1916-1918. Each of these beautiful images capture the essence of the legendary Australian light horsemen. This box set makes for a perfect memento or gift for someone special to mark this commemorative event. april 2018 Remembrance


From the collection Unexplained photos tell a personal story of an historic event. by Jenna Blyth

Eric and Doreen on their wedding day 18 March 1944 Shrine Collection


oreen (née Gannon) and her husband Eric [De La] Fontaine were avid letter writers and met serving at Sydney’s newly commissioned HMAS Penguin (II) Naval Base in 1942. Eric had served three years with the Victorian Scottish Regiment, before enlisting in the Royal Australian Navy Reserves, aged 22. Doreen was independent, aged 25 and a Writer in the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS). Her plan was to travel to South Africa, where her grandfather had served during the Boer War (1899–1902). Those plans changed when she met Eric who had ‘a way’ about him and shared her love of novels. Their first date was to see the cinematic version of the novel The Moon and Sixpence. While courting, Eric and Doreen, chaperoned by Doreen’s younger sister, toured Sydney enthusiastically taking in the sites; both had a love of adventure. Engaged in October 1943, they were married on 18 March 1944 in Sydney. Eric presented his bride with a corsage of deep red roses, her favourite colour, whilst lamenting that the creases in his Navy uniform were not even. Within months Eric was posted to heavy cruiser HMAS Australia (II). Leaving Sydney he took passage through naval bases HMAS Moreton, Brisbane, and HMAS Ladava, Milne Bay, on the


APRIL 2018 Remembrance

south-eastern tip of Papua. From there he sailed on corvette HMAS Broome reaching Australia on 14 June 1944 at Seeadler Harbour, Manus Island. Eric was soon involved with bombardments at Noemfoor Island, Yakamal, Morotai and Cape Gila. Australia, along with other Australian ships, was attached to the United States Seventh Fleet during the Battle for Leyte Gulf in what was to be Eric’s first naval battle. Preparatory actions commenced on 20 October 1944. The following morning, during the dawn stand-to, a low flying Japanese aircraft under heavy fire passed up the port side of Australia and crashed into the foremast at 6.05am. There was a large explosion followed by an intense fire with burning fuel spraying the ship and men, including Eric, who received burns. That night his shipmate, Bill Harris, went to visit and found him cheerful, despite his bandaged hands. Knowing that Eric wrote often to his new wife, Bill offered to write a letter for him. Eric replied not to worry, as he would be ‘OK’ soon. The young men talked and Eric shared a photo of Doreen. Eric passed away that night. He was buried at sea off the island of Palau in the Philippines, just a short seven months after marrying his Navy

Selection of unidentified images posted to Doreen from Eric June-October 1944 Shrine Collection

sweetheart, now a widow. During his brief service with Australia Eric sent Doreen nine photographs accompanied by a note, destroyed a long time ago, that said ‘I will tell you what they mean when I come home.’ Eric was one of 29 men aboard Australia who were killed or died of wounds, with a further 64 injured, in what is considered by many to be the first kamikaze attack on an Allied ship. Doreen went on to marry a widower with two sons and had a child of her own—daughter Patricia. In a gesture of remembrance Bill made contact with Doreen on 25 April 1989, 45 years after Eric’s death, and the two formed a close and enduring friendship. Among other items donated to the Shrine collection by Patricia, were Eric and Doreen’s wedding portrait and the nine unidentified photos Eric posted to his wife. This generous donation allows us to look at the personal impact of this historic naval event through the experiences of two young Australian service personnel.

Author: Jenna Blyth is Collections Manager at the Shrine of Remembrance, and former Assistant Curator. Jenna has over 14 years’ experience in sharing stories and caring for cultural materials at museums and galleries.

Remembrance April 2018  

For Humanity—Amidst the chaos and destruction of war and natural disasters, Australian medical professionals work selflessly to preserve lif...

Remembrance April 2018  

For Humanity—Amidst the chaos and destruction of war and natural disasters, Australian medical professionals work selflessly to preserve lif...