It has been a very
interesting period since our last newsletter.
Sales of our book have been good.
Many thanks to Larry and Colleen Czarnik for
their great efforts in getting the books out.
We have quite a number left. They would make
an ideal gift for birthdays and Christmas. We have given a good number away
to schools and libraries, but would like to see members nominate
institutions of their choice. Please notify Colleen
Box 108 Pennant Hills. 2120
The picnics in Lane Cove
National Park have been well attended – several new faces.
I was very saddened to hear of one of our
Presidents, Reg Piper passed away this month. With his and Frank Adams, our
numbers are reduced to 35
I attended a P.O.W, exhibition at Macquarie
University and had the pleasure of presenting our book to the deputy Vice
Chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Moore. Major Tom
Johnstone’s son, Ian presented a book to the New England University,
Armidale. Joan Okey, whose father Major Doug
Okey was a house master at Knox College, presented a book, together with
myself to Knox.
Social member Rod White who is Treasurer of the
state R.S.L. intends to review our book in “Reveille” and mention it in the
Hornsby R.S.L. newsletter “The
Hornsby R.S.L. have purchased 10 books.
John McGrory continues
to do a great job as Welfare Officer, keeping in touch with members.
Remember our picnic is still held at the western side of the Lane
Treasurer Diane Humphries has notified me that we have a
very healthy balance of
30436 Sgt Frank Adams
NX 40224 Pte Reg
Frank Adams was one of the last
three survivors in Inverell. He was a brave
soldier and was well respected by members of 2/18th
Reg Piper was President of the
Association for a number of years and one of the last members of the band He
was a tireless worker for Legacy as well as
the Association. A good soldier who will be sadly
2/18 Bn (A.I.F.) Assn.
`Welfare and Liason Report
Keeping well and getting closer to the century which happens on March 6th
2008., not that far away now. Amy has moved into a retirement unit at Weston
ACT. There you are Amy, we have given the whole thing
away. You will be happy among friends.
All the very best, my dear friend.
:-Keeping well except for skin cancer on her arm.
I think she is seeing her doctor on Thursday 2nd to have
something done about it. Her sister has problems and her husband is in
hospital with a broken foot. Makes things difficult for
Betty who tries to look after them.
“Ginty” & Eileen :-
Spoke to “Ginty’s” grandson, Stuart, who told me
that both “Ginty” and Eileen are in hospital. Eileen has pneumonia and is
recovering. “Ginty” has an infection in his leg and is also making a good
recovery, expects to be home by the weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are
with you both.
Spratt Doug &
Olga :- Keeping well, hope to be at the
picnic on Tuesday (Bank holiday, Monday) Keep at it,
we hope to see you both. Thanks to Cliff and Kath Olsen.
:- Up at
Airlie Beach with one of
his daughters. Enjoying the warm weather.
Will be back next weekend. Hope to catch up with
him then. He spent two weeks at
Airlie Beach, said the
weather was excellent, however they do need more
rain up there.
Connie :- Keeping
well, busy looking after grandchildren during school holidays-, it keeps her
young (also worn out ?!!) Might even get her daughter to
bring her to the picnic. Connie has been in touch with Nancy Stokes
who is now at home and keeping well. Sends her regards
Auld George &
playing golf and having fun. Have been in
Caught up with Nancy Stokes who is keeping well now.
Sends her regards to all.
:- Not as good as he would like to be in general. Has to see heart
specialist next week. Hope everything turns out
well Bobby. Take care old mate.
Pauline :- Keeping well and feeling the
cold very much, looking forward to spring and some warmth. Council has got
rid of most of the cafes etc.,has
nowhere to go now for some R & R. Still has ;problems
with arthritis etc. Keep smiling.
Helen. Has passed her 100th
birthday. Congratulations from all of us. She was very
the flowers we sent her.
Caroline & Ray :-
Both keeping well, working hard and enjoying life. Was kind enough to ask
after Clarice and sends her best wishes. Told her I had written to their
local chemist to thank him for his generosity. Stay well and keep smiling.
Bob :- Keeping
well, the big ulcer on his leg has healed up. Said he is feeling like a 2
year old, which is great .Keeping busy with RSL and other local activities.
He is a real community fellow, never idle. Good on you Bob.
:- Was able to contact Joan on Sunday evening, she is keeping well
physically, able to get about still and feels quite well overall. She is in
a nursing home where she is happy and the food is good.
Will keep in touch on Sundays.
:- Feeling a new woman, spent some time in Central Coast with
daughter, good to be home. Feeling well, able to get
about. Takes more precautions now. Keep
:- Keeping well & in good humour as usual.
Keeping himself busy helping other people. Keep up the good work Stanley.
Lea :- Has a touch
of the flu at present so not feeling too good, but is on the mend. Very
kindly still makes a great coleslaw for our
picnics. She looks in good shape and is positive about things.
:-Keeping well and very busy.
Was good to see her at the picnic on August 7th. She
always has her finger on the pulse. Does a great job
with the newsletter.
:- Keeping well, not keen on this extra cold
winter, praying for spring to arrive. Had her seventh great grandchild
arrive a couple of weeks ago. That makes 4 girls
and 3 boys. All of the family are keeping well, looking forward to spring.
:- Unable to contact during the day. Will try this
evening. Made contact Monday am. Great to speak
to her, family all keeping well. Attended a
service at Adamstown RSL on Sunday. Keeping in
touch through friends and RSL.
Merv & Heather :-
Keeping reasonable. Having a little trouble with
balance, will attend Mt Wilga Rehabilitation for
this. Heather had problem with one eye, has now had it treated,
hopefully on the mend .Merv has been in touch with Ian
Armidale with old photos etc. Well received .Merv
has had some dental trouble recently, now on the mend Heather is in good
health and keeps Merv on the hop. He likes to be kept busy and enjoys his
black beer even more.
Clarice (“Mac”) :-
Lots of problems with her legs, her right foot has “dropped”. Her left leg
and toes are very painful She has to put up with me looking
after her. Her fingers have little feeling has
to wear little cotton gloves all the time. Battling on.
Keeping well. Was kind enough to phone me to advise
of the passing of Frank Adams. Also sent a copy of the
funeral service. This lady is one good girl, so involved in community
:- Wishes to be remembered to all her friends.
Is keeping healthy. Had her 80th
birthday party last week, 60 guests had a great day.
Feeling the cold this winter but says it IS WINTER, and is able to keep
warm. Regards to all.
:- Keeping well, has felt the cold through winter
like everyone else.. More enjoying the warmer mornings.
Keep warding off the flu which is running rampant in Ballina.
Looking forward to the summer heat to enjoy further.
Keith & Heather
:- Keith says he is still able to do a bit in the
which helps him in the very cold winter. Looking
forward to spring and summer with sunny days and warm evenings.
Heather continues well, with great interest in her overseas daughters who
have been particularly clever over the years. Heaps of
Joe is in a nursing home and is not the best. He has reached the ripe old
age of 92.
Larry & Colleen :-
Both keeping very well and doing a splendid job keeping things running on
the rails with our Association., especially in relation to the reprint of
our History. Sales are going along reasonably. Thanks Larry and Colleen.
Nancy :- Nancy was
very kind, she phoned me back in the evening. She is keeping very well and
has relatives who live reasonably close who keep in touch with her. She
finds she has plenty to keep her busy which is great for her and keeps her
in touch with her community. Sends regards to all her friends.
Ted & Klara
:- Unable to raise Ted or
Klara. Will try again this evening. Ted
phoned back, both have been on the sick list with a bad dose of the
flu , starting to come good now that the good
weather is with us.
Eric :- Keeping
amazingly well. Not taking ANY medication, enjoying life in Cairns.
Information about the passing of Reg Piper last month gave him a big shock,
also Frank Adams passing. He is a big supporter of rum, not from Bundaberg
from the West Indies. It would be good to get with a few of our old mates,
have a session to sort out which is the better, West Indian Rum or Bundy.
That would be an interesting weekend, would it not ?
It was great to spend some time conversing old mate, keep well and keep
Connie :- It
was great to see Connie at our August picnic Her daughter was kind enough to
bring her and they both enjoyed their lunch, sausages and salad which our
chef does a great job with. Both look a million dollars and would compete
with many of the younger fillies one sees around and in the newspapers.
Keep it going girls, it does wonders for us old
George & Mary:-
Both keeping well although George was out walking in the fresh air & tried
to relieve his migraine attack .Hope it fixed it up old friend. They have
recently been blessed with another granddaughter, making two of them to
their son & daughter in law. Very happy. Attended
services for VP Day and one other not advertised in the newspapers,
therefore few attendees.. Sends best wishes to
Ford Bob & Pam
:- Pam has had a dose of the flu, hopes she is
coming good now. Bob has his ups and downs, but keeps positive about
everything. Says he is in quite good shape at present. Hang in there old
mate & make the best of everything. Your old mates send greetings and kind
Cottee Mac &
Linda :- Keeping very well except for
his legs. Is enjoying the very good weather these last
few weeks. Won’t be sorry to welcome spring.
Linda is keeping very well and looks after the garden and it is looking
good. Keep smiling old mate.
:- Keeping very well. Has had some good rain
recently. The last few weeks have been glorious weather, has not had to rug
up most of winter months. Has been reported to have low blood pressure, he
won’t believe it. Told him to watch out & keep a check on it.
Church of St Andrew Canberra
The foundation stone for
this church was laid in 1929 but due to the Great Depression promises of
financial support could not be honoured with the result that only half of
the church could be built and the Warriors’ Chapel could not be furnished.
The church was officially opened in 1934 by the Governor
General Sir Isaac Isaacs.
The Warriors’ Chapel was eventually furnished during
1948 and in 1948 the Service of Dedication sermon was preached by the
Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church, the Rt. Rev. J.R. Blanchard
.B. A. With the creation of the Uniting Church in 1977, the church of St
Andrew was the only Presbyterian Congregation in the ACT to remain in the
Presbyterian Church of Australia.
The outstanding feature of the church is the Warriors’
Chapel which occupies the northern transept of the Church and its principal
feature is the memorial window with the theme of victory through sacrifice.
The Communion Table in the Warriors’ Chapel is in
memory of Presbyterian Ministers who gave their lives in service of their
country. Two Communion Chalices are used alternately in Chapel services. The
silver chalice was used in France from April 1917 until January 1918 by
Chaplain Captain Percival Hope who was attached to the 20th
Infantry Battalion .A.I.F. He presented this chalice and a paten for use in
the chapel. The small brass chalice was used by Chaplain A. Rowan
MacNeil while a prisoner of war at Changi,
Singapore from1942 to 1945. Chaplain MacNeil
served on Gallipoli and in France with the 24th Infantry
Battalion, A.I.F. with the rank of Captain. He won his decorations in
France. He served as Chaplain with the 2/29th Infantry Battalion
A.I.F .in World War 2 and presented the chalice for use in the chapel.
Information copied from “Acts of Faith”, The Story of
the Church of St Andrew, Canberra by Barbara Peterson states that “ The
chalice’s story began when Rev A. Rowan MacNeil
was chaplain to the 2/29th Bn. In Malaya, before he was captured
by the Japanese. He had lost his communion vessels, but noticed some of his
fellow prisoners at Changi using an ashtray in the shape of a cup, that had
been made from the brass base of a skull. He persuaded the owners to part
with the cup, which he cleaned and polished before putting it to use as a
This information also came from footnotes from the above book as under
“Jennifer Cairns, Warrior’s Chalice finds a Warrior’s Home
“ reproduced in the NSW Presbyterian, September
10th 1947, from the Presbyterian Herald (the newspaper of the
Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
Can anyone help us by putting
names to the faces in the following
(Apologies for the poor quality of the reprint.)
date :- Front Row :_2nd from left:-..Phil Neilson
left :- David Wilson
left :- Major Tom Johnstone
Middle Row :6th
from left :- Laurie Smith
Please notify Wendy
Wilcocks, our archivist [use
Feedback] if you can help.-??
[Webmaster note of 26 Apr 2008: We have obtained a copy
of the photo separate from the article. The photo now appears as part
History - 1940s Battalion Photo.
However since the text of the newspaper article seeks the names and we have
provided same, we won't replicate the article. The article however WAS
from a newspaper article from Armidale
Express dated 6/8/07 entitled "Search for names of World War II servicemen".
The newspaper article references some names to faces that in fact have
changed from within that article and above. Our names listed in the
web site article are assumed to be correct since the source are some notes
of Joe Ferris apparently taken at the time of the photo.]
[Webmaster note: Article from
Prisoners Of War of the Japanese 1942-1945
"The Medical Orderlies of Songkurai No 2 Camp"
As told by Reg Jarman
inserted in printed copy, taken from web page
[Webmaster note: Copy of
letter of thanks for a copy of 2/18th book for The Armidale School, from
Grant Harris, Deputy Headmaster and Commanding Officer inserted in printed
copy. To be transcribed here in due course.]
A letter (dated June 25th 2007) from one
of our new members who now regularly attends the
picnics at Lane Cove:-
“Becoming involved, though in a small way with the 2/18th
“mob” has been very important to me, as it is one of the few ways I have of
learning more about my father, Jack McLennan who died while I was very young
.I knew he had served in the 2/18th and been a POW with “G” Force
at Osaka and then Akenobi Japan, but not much
Through the reunion lunch late last year and attending recent picnics in the
park, I have already made many new friends and learnt so much, particularly
of the comradeship which for so long bound the battalions.
members and their families together. A casual
comment to Joe Ferris, visiting from Dubbo with
his son Steve last Monday, prompted Joe to ask who my father was. “Oh, I
knew Jack McLennan!” he exclaimed. It must have been almost 65 years since
Joe and my father would have last seen each other, but suddenly we both had
a link neither of us would have expected earlier that day. I’m looking
forward to keeping in touch with Joe and coming to more picnics in the
future to continue getting to know a very remarkable group of people. Thanks
to everyone for making me and my wife Lesley feel
Stewart and Lesley MacLennan
warm welcome was also given to Wayne and Susan Moore who attended the July
Wayne has a collection of bugles and he had purchased a
bugle which was in a terrible condition. He has restored it to immaculate
condition and presented it to the Association at
the picnic, gratefully received by President Merv.
It is suggested to keep it in a safe and secure place in the chapel at St
This presentation immediately posed questions being asked re the
mystery of the bugle.
Our conscientious archivist, Wendy Willcocks,
came up with the following information, extracts from various newsletters,
reproduced on the following pages.
News from Lynette Silver, her update from Borneo.
“Following the May trek along the route of the death
march, I raised the possibility of having a sign erected on the hill where
Private Allan Quailey was murdered by the
Japanese on February 16th 1945., while on the first march. You
might recall that Allan (Sticky) was the mate of Richie
Murray and Keith Botterill. He was killed when
he lost the will to go on, after the starving POWs discovered the pork stew
they had cooked was inedible, owing to the inclusion of toxic melon. (His
story was told to me by Keith, leading ultimately to my being able to
identify his ‘unknown’ grave in
Labuan War Cemetery).
The owners of the land, Sabah Tea Plantation,
embraced the idea with enthusiasm, so much so that not only is the hill now
named after Quailey and TWO signs erected, but
there is a beautiful polished granite plaque on a great rugged boulder,
inscribed in gold, in his honour, and in honour of all those who passed that
way (Copy of photo follows)
A most moving ceremony was held on July 14th,
the day on which we reached Quailey’s
Hill with a trek party organised by Senator Anne
McEwan. The story was widely reported in
Borneo’s three leading newspapers, with front page
items and double page photo spread. For pictures see
(galleries/July 2007, pages 5 onwards) and
www.thamyaukong.com (Senator’s trek, press
The treks and Anzac Day tour mentioned in the
previous newsletter went off very well, apart from the fact that Neil tested
medical services by slipping on wet clay and smashing his wrist. He had two
operations in Sabah
and another in Sydney, but is now progressing well, despite the 11 screws
and plate ! And he wasn’t even
trekking ! Press coverage in Borneo was excellent
for the Anzac Day tour, the May treks and the trek in July. For the text
trek starting August 23rd, we have 16 members of the RAN (first
naval personnel to do trek), 5 Duke of Edinburgh candidates (first ever) and
9 civilians- 3 of them POW relatives (first rellies).
VISIT TO BARKER COLLEGE.
you may know ,the Cadet Corps at Barker College,
a private school in Hornsby, has been supporting two students on our
Scholarship Scheme. The School has donated a very large sum of money to the
Friendship Windows, in memory of three old boys who died in Borneo. Neil and
I had the pleasure of attending the Cadet Passing Out
Parade, reviewed by Barker old boy, Philip Ruddock, on the school oval
recently. It was a most impressive turnout, and at the gathering after the
parade we took the opportunity to present a copy of the 2/18th
Battalion’s unit history to the headmaster, Dr Rod
Kefford. As the 2/18th had old Barker boys among its
ranks, the book is a welcome addition to the school library. We are also
pleased to report that the Cadets have decided to increase the number of
Sandakan Scholarships they are supporting to
three, and a contingent from the school, including Dr
Kefford and the Cadet C.O., will be attending the Dedication of the
Friendship Windows next year.”
Merv Mullins “Birth
of a Battalion” (from Archivist Wendy Willcocks)
Mullins was one of the original members of the
2/18th Battalion’s A Company. He left Sydney aboard the Queen
Mary and trained with the Battalion in Malaya during 1941. He used to write
stories about the battalion’s experiences in Malaya, at least one of which
was published. Just before the “balloon went up” he was sent home because of
a medical condition.. Col Spence, who was
severely wounded in the battle on the Nithsdale Estate
near Mersing on the night of January
26/27, was shipped out of Singapore aboard a hospital trawler a day or two
before the surrender. The trawler stopped in Ceylon and Merv was there. Col
said the tears were running down Merv’s face as
he asked for what little news Col might have about the mates he had left
Back in Sydney, Merv Mullins began to put the story of the 2/18th
Bn together. It is the story of his and A Company’s experiences particularly
but also of the battalion as a whole. It includes newspaper articles and
extracts from “Men May Smoke”. After his departure from Malaya, most of his
information came from those sources. In between September 1980 and February
1983 he published the story in a serialised form in “The Field” which is the
journal of the Fairfield RSL. It is not indexed and it was never published
as a single book.
Alex Dandie who has
always looked after the records pf his own battalion, the 2/30th,
collected the parts and gave them to Mac Cottee. Mac cut and pasted the
self-made book. When I asked if we could borrow it to have a copy made for
the archives, Mac said he had given it to his son Angus but that he would
borrow it back. When I went to collect it, Angus had already copied it for
us. It is at present being bound, but, thanks to Alex
Dandie and Mac, Linda and Angus Cottee, we will soon have our own
copy of Merv Mullins’ book in the 2/18th Battalion Archives
[Webmaster note: Scanned copies of 2 photos, Mac & Linda Cottee and the
Quailey Memorial to be inserted here when available.]
[Webmaster note: Printed copy
contains two pages of information by Wendy Willcocks taken from the
Association archives extracted from Newsletters 18 (July 1953), 19 (March
1954), 22 (July 1954), 22 [Webmaster note: yes # appears
duplicated] (August 1955), 26 (August 1957), 27 (date not provided)
about the history of the abovementioned bugle and inserted as a separate
article - "Extracts
from early newsletters solve some of the mystery of the Bugle".]
The Request for Information Section.
McCorry doing research on his uncle
Patrick Harrington who was born
in Ireland in 1902 and
died in Australia in 1948. He served in the
2/18th during the war and was a POW.
Also trying to get information on
Jonathan Dixon, born in 1901 in Ireland, served in the 2/18th
but died while a POW
Archivist Wendy has again been very busy researching information for Jim and
forwarding it to him.
President Merv remembers Dixon as the greatest
Sgt.Major with the troops and he did a wonderful
job as a POW in Borneo.
Cpl Brad De Friskom,
currently on active service in Baghdad Iraq with the 2/14 light horse
regiment,( 4th generation of soldiers
and airmen). seeking information on his
grandfather Sgt Eric De
President Merv also remembers him. Wendy to research on
her return from Malaysia
David Boughton seeking
information on his uncle Dudley
captured in Malaya and interned No 1 camp, Adam Rd Singapore. Later
transferred to Japan and subsequently died in 1944. He has the Dudley Diary,
full of some wonderful poems written by Geo Harding,
Jonell, G Gaffney, Sid Sutton, G Allen, Ray Colenso,
Wendy into her research yet again and success ;
has contacted Stewart MacLennan who has had
contact with David and able to assist with information.
Brad Smith researching his grandfather
William (Bill) James Smith,
killed while a POW at Ranau in 1945
Wendy has been able to send some information on to Brad and has also
referred him to Lynette Silver and to various web sites with relevant
Pat Jones researching his uncle
Ronald Duncan Jones killed in
Wendy is also assisting with this research.
How fortunate we are to have such a knowledgeable
and conscientious archivist in our midst.
Anyone wanting information from the archives or
wishing to donate material relating to the 2/18th Bn.,
contact Wendy [via
September 3rd (Monday) Picnic at Lane Cove
October 1st (Monday) Picnic at Lane Cove- possibly at Haynes Flat,
check with Merv
note: This in fact is INCORRECT, since proposed date is Labour Day public
holiday, so picnic WILL be on October 2nd (TUESDAY!!!)]
Monday) Lane Cove picnic
(Monday) Christmas Picnic at Lane Cove.
Sunday November 11th Remembrance
Day ; laying of wreath at the Cenotaph.
Until next time
[Webmaster note: Printed copy
had 4 pages of
Time For Some
and transcriptions will be
inserted in due course.]