Vietnam Veterans’ Bravery Recognised on Eve of 50th Anniversary – Coral-Balmoral Battle

It’s taken almost half a century but Australian forces who fought in one of the bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War are finally to be recognised for their bravery.

Soldiers who resisted attack at the Battle of Coral-Balmoral,  which claimed 26 Australian lives, learnt on Thursday they were to be honoured with a Unit Citation for Bravery. The recommendation comes ahead of the 50th anniversary of the battle on the weekend of May 12-13.

The Defence Honours and Awards Tribunal posted the decision on its website on Thursday morning, stating that members had arrived at the recommendations unanimously.

It said: ‘Throughout the submissions the theme of teamwork and collective gallantry is readily apparent and consistently referenced.

The message to the Tribunal from all of the veterans of the battles was that, regardless of corps and parent unit, they had fought as a coordinated group and that everybody who was there deserve recognition.’


Read the DHAAT Report and its five recommendations here

Read the Sydney Morning Herald’s article here

Exhibition – The Battle of Coral and Balmoral – 12 May – 6 June 1968

The Exhibition will be held at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum, Phillip Island Victoria from 5th May – 25 October 2018



DVA Minister – Kapyong Day Commemorates Landmark Battle of Korean War

KNOWN as Kapyong Day, today recognises the anniversary of a turning point in the Korean War when Australians helped prevent Communist forces from occupying the South Korean capital, Seoul, for the third time in less than a year.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said on this day 67 years ago near the ruined village of Kapyong, United Nations forces fought a successful defensive action that prevented a Chinese breakthrough on a crucial part of the front.

“Kapyong is among the most significant battles that Australian troops fought in Korea, as they conducted a difficult defence and carried out a series of fighting withdrawals while containing the Chinese advance towards Seoul.

“United Nations forces were confronted with a major Chinese offensive in late April 1951. The Chinese attacks through the Kapyong Valley on 23 April threatened to overwhelm the defences, in that area held by Commonwealth and United States forces including the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR).

“Fighting continued throughout the night and following day until the Australians were forced to withdraw to new positions in the rear, a difficult task for units still in contact with the enemy.  Having failed to break through the Commonwealth and United States line, the Chinese abandoned their attacks.”

As well as being remembered as a major victory for United Nations forces, the Battle of Kapyong was one of Australia’s most hard fought battles of the Korean War.

“The Battle of Kapyong was a close fought action in which 32 Australians were killed and 59 were wounded and three taken prisoner. For its part in the battle, 3RAR was awarded a United States Presidential Citation,” Mr Chester said.

“The service and sacrifice of Australians involved in the Korean War and the Battle of Kapyong must never be forgotten.

“We recognise and honour those who have defended our freedoms and values, and their memory will live on.”  

Veterans of the Korean War will be honoured at a national commemoration in Canberra on 27 July 2018 to mark the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. For more details visit

Video – Spirit of the Anzacs






Poem – Tic – Toc – Tic – Toc

ANZAC Day is reaching out and is a day when our nation stretches even taller.  Its main streets crowded with young and old mid a sea of waving flags. It is such a precious day which shouts to the world of our national unity and spirit. It is a time when we seek the past to reflect on who we were, are now and what we must strive to be. It is a stark reminder of those we honour who have defended a fortunate life now enjoyed by us. Our sacred duty, today, tomorrow and beyond is to keep it so. 

Today, we are living in what is rapidly becoming a fool’s paradise fertilised by political correctness and growing public apathy. Above all, with few exceptions are the inept politicians at all levels of governments who react far too readily to the demands of a noisy blustering minority within our society.

The consequence of our apathy is that our values of life are slowly but surely being eroded. Health, education and social disciplines are such examples, not forgetting our judicial system where the scales of justice have been tampered with to favour the guilty at the expense of the victims.

There are many contradictions in this frantic Space Age.

Our Politicians talk of unity yet all we hear is “Them and Us”

Once upon a time there was a beating of chests to claim one people, one flag, one nation and yet now we are running out of flagpoles for at least three flags which are to be seen in most government infrastructure. Is that national unity?

In parliament, so much squabbling and chest beating spent on trivia issues as opposed to unified efforts to pursue national matters, desperately in need of urgent repair

Once, free speech was a sacred right and yet now you cannot say what you want to say, without fear of being mocked, accused of racism or even worse.

We cannot sustain our chosen way of life unless we’re prepared to respect and protect it. You know it; I know it; the soldiers marching know it and those men and women from all those past generations who created and defended our nation with their own sweat, blood and tears  would have known it.





It’s time to roll up the sleeves and tell our elected political leaders to remove the blinkers and ear muffs. It’s time to tell all of them that enough is enough and take us forward, not as diverse groups but as one with a positive sense of purpose. The first step is for them to shove that political correctness where the sun never shines.   

George Mansford  April 2018


If you listen carefully as precious time ticks by

You will hear the spirits of our fallen in high pitched cry

Wailing with echoes bouncing to and fro of “Why, oh, why?”

As on wet park benches and gloomy dark streets; the homeless sleep

Gold coins for foreign aid are sent while our poor have none to keep 

Such irony that our past gave all to defend our nation with might  

Yet today, apathy abounds as values are slowly stolen without fight 

Sneaking closer are two legged jackals to steal, tear and bite

Read with awe of Kokoda where outnumbered youth stood fast

Sick, starved, wet and weary; defended our way of life to the last

Hear ghostly groans of despair as they study our space- age forts 

Carjacks, home invasion, terrorists, deadly ice and political rorts

No longer walking the streets at night unless with whistle and mace

In homes, security cameras, alarms and locks are always in place

Forget free speech; “the thought police” tell us what we can say 

Behind smoke screens, chameleons brainwash our young, day by day

Today, recreational drugs and joy riding in stolen cars are part of life

Fearing to be mocked if what you say is distorted as racist strife

The meek knock and wait; for others, red carpet and open door

How can you pay with empty wallets when tax men demand more?

In this maddening, changing place, just remember who’s in charge

Stricken circus clowns tumbling with visions from shimmering mirage

That noise you hear isn’t a Jumbo Jet or Tsunami in full roar

Its bitterness and anger of common folk, growing more and more

Past generations’ sacrifices were for a way of life to follow

Today, many a Judas takes pieces of silver to betray our tomorrow

Blood, sweat and tears is the call and no more national debts to seed

We must unite; regather past dreams and elect True Blues’ to lead

Only then, will we find happiness and pride, not despair and sorrow

Meanwhile, if you listen carefully as precious time ticks by

You will hear spirits of our fallen once more in high pitched cry

Wailing echoes still bouncing to and fro of “Why, oh, why?”

George Mansford ©March 2018

Kilcoy Race Club Diggers Race Day Saturday 21st April 2018

This is a great social event that is highly recommended. Bring your friends and family and make it a Picnic Day

Poem – Regimental Square ANZAC Day, 2017

I thought “I’ll march this Anzac Day,”

To Sydney thus I’ll make my way.

But then, to set my medals straight,

I pause a moment at my gate

To ponder ‘neath the starry sky

On where I’m going to and why.

To there, the Square on George Street.

The place where all we blokes do meet.

To greet once more to have a say,

Gathered there on Anzac Day,

To think for moments in that Square

About the men no longer there.



No longer there but always there

These ghostly memories on the Square.

Their presence felt as we give thanks,

Shuffling, murmuring in their ranks,

And as the bugle calls last post

We proudly stiffen with that host.

Standing tall with all those men

Who link our presence now with then;

Their bayonets, bullets, marching feet

Providing terms on which we meet:

Our bridge, our nexus, common ground

For sharing with them that sweet sound

Which gently fades away.

Suicide Memorial Day Friday 23rd June – Fremantle

The 12.30pm  Service this Friday at St John’s Anglican Church Fremantle 


All are welcome to attend to pray and reflect upon the tragedy of suicide in our Defence and Veteran community.
Our nations Senators are currently inquiring into these wholly preventable deaths. Their recommendations and the measures government chooses to adopt  will have far reaching influence in not just reducing the high prevalence of suicide in the Defence and Veteran communities but also the tragic suicides  
in our remote Aboriginal communities, our Country towns and throughout our nation. 


St John’s 26 Adelaide St, Fremantle



Please wear a colour that reflects life.




Thank you to Fr. Ronald Attley of the Anglican Parish Fremantle

Frank O’Neill, Disabled Veteran, Perth