It is with much sadness that I advise that our old mate Lofty Wendt is finally at rest after a long and gallant battle with cancer.  He had been looking forward to marching our Association on at the 50th Long Hai Day Commemorative Service in February this year.  We will certainly miss his towering presence.

16663 Kevin Stanley (Lofty) WENDT OAM,BEM. served 28 years in the Army in various units and ended his career in July 1990 as the WO1 RSM of the Army. He served in both Malaysia and Vietnam with 8RAR and was wounded on 10 July 1970 in Vietnam.


I will notify you of funeral details once received.

Funeral- WO2 Stephen Brinkworth

Funeral- WO2 Stephen Brinkworth

27 Jul 50 – 23 Jan 20
Stephen’s funeral will be at Holsworthy Chapel Holsworthy Barracks, NSW, 1100hrs Feb Sat 01 Feb 20
For anyone & everyone that wants to celebrate his life. He served 51 years and touched a lot of people

Disaster assistance for DVA clients – Bushfire crisis

The impact of the bushfires is being felt across the nation, including by members of the veteran and defence communities. Health and safety is the priority during this time, and we encourage you to listen to the experts on how to be prepared.

The ABC, as the national broadcaster, provides up-to-date information on all alerts and warnings.

Further information is also available on each of the state government websites.

Members of the veteran and defence communities can also access:

  • The Australian Government Disaster Recovery Payment – one-off financial assistance to eligible Australians adversely affected by the bushfires. For more information on eligibility, and how to claim, visit the Department of Human Services websiteor call 180 22 66.
  • Defence Service Homes Insurance – to lodge a claim or for assistance please contact 1300 552 662or visit the Defence Service Homes Insurance website.
  • Open Arms counselling support(24/7) – veterans and their families requiring emergency counselling support can call 1800 011 046.
  • Crisis payments – a one-off payment to financially assist eligible people following a range of defined circumstances. For information about the crisis payments and eligibility please read Factsheet IS121 – Crisis Payments
  • Other assistance – DVA’s Veterans’ Access Network (VAN) can be contacted on 1800 555 254to assist with a wide range of issues, including replacement of aids and appliances, ensuring availability of pharmaceuticals, and arranging transportation to medical appointments.
  • Veteran’s Home Care – assists you to continue living independently by providing a small amount of practical help including safety related home and garden maintenance that can help prevent health and safety hazards around the home. For program clients affected by the fires please contact your service providers or assessment agency.  For eligible, affected veterans that need new services or services in a new location contact a VHC Assessment Agency on 1300 550 450.

If any other services or support you receive from the Department are being impacted by the fires, or if you need extra support in requesting these services, you can call 1800 555 254 for assistance.



Please find below the proposed sequence of events for the Battalion’s 75th Birthday celebrations in October. The dedication of the Vietnam First Tour Memorial from Holsworthy to Townsville will take place. The East Timor 20th and Afghanistan 10th anniversary of there deployments will also be honoured.
There will also be an opportunity for sub-units and groups who wish to have mini-reunions

Proposed Outline of Events (TBC).

Wed 14 Oct 20
PM…Association welcome drinks at venue TBA

Thu 15 Oct 20
AM. The re-dedication of the first tour memorial. Following this, a memorial service for all other conflicts held on the Battalion Parade Ground centred on the existing memorial.
The Battalion will scope providing a guard for this and the first tour service, band, Chaplin, Colours and mascot.

PM Association function at venue TBA. This will be along the lines of the Somalia reunion conducted previously and will pay tribute to the First Tour of East Timor 20th anniversary and Afghanistan 10th anniversary

Fri 16 Oct 20
AM. Opening of the History Room at the 1RAR Museum.

AM/PM. Open Day, possibly followed by a BBQ.

  1. Opportunity to hold group functions.

Sat 17 Oct 20
AM Parade (combined with 2 and 3RAR TBC)
PM ..Offs and SNCO dinner. This is for current serving members only from 1,2 and 3 RAR, with a limited amount of VVIPs and VIP. It is not intended for veterans. Having said that, if 2 and 3RAR don’t attend some veterans may be able to attend.

  1. Opportunity to hold group functions or we take over a venue for combined informal drinks.

All times above TBC.

As more details become available they will be posted, this will allow you all time for planning your return to Townsville

NSW Regional Seniors Travel Card

The NSW Government wants to give you regional seniors travel card worth $250.

All you need to be is an aged pensioner holding:

  • A pensioner concession card
  • A DVA Gold card (as far as I can determine)
  • A Commonwealth Seniors Health Card holder

and live in NSW but not in Sydney, Newcastle, Wollongong and Blue Mountains Council areas.

You can apply from 29th January 2020 on line or from ServicesNSW.

See https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/regionalseniorstravel for details.

Also look at https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/cost-living for over 70 NSW Government rebates and savings that you may be missing out on.

Why Veterans Reunite

“I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite.  Not to tell stories or look at old pictures.  Not to laugh or weep.  Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted at their best; men who suffered and sacrificed together, who were stripped of their humanity.  I did not pick these men.  They were delivered by fate and the military. But I know them in a way I know no other men.

I have never given anyone such trust.  They were willing to guard something more precious than my life.  They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me.  It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another.  

As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day.  I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades…Such good men.”

By an unnamed Soldier


BIO – Brigadier John Essex-Clark

To complete your file on me: My regimental number was 311479,   I was a ‘311’ because I enlisted in the UK because I was attending the British Staff College at Camberley at the time. The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was dissolved I was a member of its army and could have been out of a job by the end of the year.  The Australian Army was looking for officers to complete the Pentropic organisation so the Australian DS at Camberley took me to Australia House in London where the Australian Army staff enlisted me at a lower rank while still serving in the Rhodesian Army. I came to Australia posted to 1RAR as 2IC of B Coy. From there you know my story, but the ‘311’ number didn’t mean that I was a Pom. My nickname in the Rhodesia was ‘Digger’ and I was commanding an independent rifle company of the RLI, as a major,  in the Congo before I went to Camberley, and I’d already been BM (S3) of Rhodesia’s IS Ops Bde before then.

In 1RAR I served under Sandy Pearson, Don Dunstan, Lou Brumfield, and Paddy Outridge, as Bn 2IC, before leaving to instruct at Canungra.

My jobs in 1RAR were 2IC then OC B Coy, then GSO2(ops) then OC support Coy and ‘Battle Major’ / Ops Offr/ S3 (US); then Bn 2IC when we got home from Vietnam.

I’m sorry to bore you with all this guff: but once you said that you had a file on our time with the RAR, I was hooked. I also commanded 9RAR from Sep 1971 to Dec 1973 when we were linked with 8RAR. Then went to DINF before commanding the Infantry Centre at Singleton: enough said!