Funeral Notice – Brigadier Jeffrey James (Jim) Shelton DSO MC Retd 29 June 1926 – 13 May 2018

Passed away peacefully.
Much loved husband of Lyn (dec) and Caroline.
Treasured father of Wendy.

Profound thanks to those who cared for him

A funeral service will be held at the ANZAC Memorial Chapel of St. Paul, RMC Duntroon, Robert Campbell Road, Campbell ACT, on Monday 4 June 2018, commencing at 11:30 am.
A private cremation will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Legacy please.

Grantley Perry & Sons Funeral Directors
(02) 62414101
Published in The Canberra Times on May 19, 2018

Vale Brigadier Jeffrey James “JJ” Shelton DSO MC – 29 June 1926–13 May 2018

James Shelton was born in Melbourne on the 29th of June 1926. He attended Scotch College in Melbourne, and then Bendigo High School, before going on to study engineering at Melbourne University.

Shelton entered Duntroon as a cadet in February 1944. After graduating in December 1946, he was sent to Japan to serve with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan joining the 66th Battalion. He returned to Australia two years later, having been promoted to acting captain.

He next served as adjutant to a Citizens’ Military Force battalion in Adelaide, which is where he heard about the start of the Korean War.

Shelton was sent to the reinforcement holding unit in Japan in 1951 and joined the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) as a reinforcement officer after the battle of Kapyong.

He commanded A Company during the battle of Maryang San, for which he was awarded a Military Cross for his personal bravery and leadership.

After returning to Australia in 1952, Shelton was sent to England for a two year posting with the British Army. Here he attended numerous infantry courses and was attached to a British Battalion based at Luneberg in Germany, as part of the British Army of the Rhine.

On his return to Australia, Shelton served at the School of Infantry at Singleton before being posted as adjutant to Duntroon, where he was reunited with his friend and former commanding officer, Colonel (later General Sir) Frank Hassett.

Two years later, Shelton was posted to the Defence Force Staff College at Quetta in India. It was a posting he thoroughly enjoyed.

His next posting was to Army Headquarters in Melbourne. During this posting Army HQ transitioned to Canberra. Shelton returned to 3RAR as a company commander, before being promoted to lieutenant colonel.

Another two year posting to England followed, this time as an exchange instructor at the British Army Staff College, then located at Camberley. During this period Shelton met luminaries such as Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

On his return to Australia at the start of 1967, Shelton was posted as commanding officer of 3RAR, then based at Woodside, South Australia. He was delighted to command the battalion with which he had already seen so much service and felt it to be the pinnacle of his service career. 3RAR deployed to Vietnam at the end of the year, and was soon on operations in Phuoc Tuy Province.

Shelton and his men took part in numerous operations in Vietnam, most notably the battles of Coral and Balmoral in May of 1968, in which the battalion experienced the most sustained combat experienced by Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War. Shelton was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership during the long month of near-constant fighting.

After returning to Australia, Shelton returned to Army HQ and was promoted to colonel. After further postings to Citizen Military Forces, regular army units, and headquarters, he was promoted to brigadier. In 1972 he was given command of the 3rd Task Force (as it was then known) in Townsville. In 1974 Shelton returned to Army Headquarters in Canberra and took up several more staff appointments.

Following his retirement from the army in 1980, he was made honorary colonel of the Australian Army Band Corps, a position he held for 14 years. Shelton also completed a degree in history and geography at the Australian National University, Canberra.

Sunday 13 May 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the first battle of Coral. While watching the ceremony from his hospital bed, Jim Shelton, who had been unwell for some time, closed his eyes and passed away peacefully. He was 92 years old.

Shelton will be remembered by those who knew him and those who served with him as a true gentleman and a soldier’s soldier. Vale Brigadier Jim Shelton.

Vale – Brigadier J J Shelton, DSO, MC (Retd)

An RAR tribal elder has completed his duty.

I regret to inform you that BRIG Jim Shelton died this afternoon [Sunday 13 May 2018] in the NATCAP Private hospital, shortly after the conclusion of the Commemorative Service for the Battles of Coral and Balmoral.

BRIG Shelton was CO 3 RAR for these battles. He watched the live streaming of the parade and service in the hospital, and soon after quietly passed away.

Funeral and other details later.
His duty done.

John Robbins
RAR Association (ACT Branch)
P: (02) 62901948
M: 0414 483 729
E: [email protected]


Major Ivan Bernard BATES RAAC (Ret’d) a comrade warrior to  Australia and supporter of the Royal Australian Regiment died peacefully on Bribie Island on Friday 15/12/17, aged 87 years.

He was commissioned into the Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC) serving in both Regimental and non-regimental postings throughout his 33 years career. He was 2IC of the 1st Armoured Regiment in Puckapunyal and a very proud member of his military family.

Ivan saw active service both during the Malayan Emergency on secondment to a British Army Cavalry unit based in Ipoh from 1957 to 1958 (which supported 2 RAR’s operations), and later in Vietnam in 1971 with HQ 1ATF.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral on Friday 22nd December at the Little Flower Church, 41st Avenue, Bribie Island at 1 pm and/or his Graveside Service at Pinnaroo Cemetery, 294 Graham Road, Bridgeman Downs Brisbane at 3 pm.

Military persons are requested to wear their medals and for Armoured Corps members their black berets.

Condolences may be sent to the Bates Family: his wife Esme and children Melita, Paul, Michael and Helen, at 16 Pelican Street, Bellara, Queensland 4507.

Rest in Peace Noble Warrior






Vale – PARSONS, Marcus Charles

PARSONS, Marcus Charles Late of Pullenvale. Passed away peacefully on 09.08.2017. Aged 63 Years Beloved Husband of Debbie. Much loved Father of Five.

Relatives and Friends are respectfully invited to attend a Celebration of  his Life, to be held in the Chapel of Centenary Memorial  Gardens, Corner Wacol Station and Wolston Roads, Sumner, on Tuesday, 15.08.2017, at 3 p. m.

He graduated from the Royal Military College Duntroon in 1974 and served as a platoon commander in 1 RAR Townsville  1975-1976

Rest in Peace Marcus your Duty has been Done


Vale – Alan ‘Curly’ Kirwan

It is with great sadness I advise of the passing of Alan “Curly” Kirwan  this morning Monday 10th July at his home in Esperance Western Australia after a short battle with cancer.

Alan served 24 years in the Army from 1958 to 1982. 1 RAR (Malaya 1960), Airborne platoon (Williamstown 1963), SASR (3Sqn SVN 1966), AATTV (SVN 1971), 8/9RAR (Enoggera 1976), his final posting was Land Warfare Centre Canungra ( SI Admin Wing 1980).

Funeral details will be advised.

Rest in peace noble warrior your duty has been done

Homeward Bound – by George Mansford

                         For our mates

I saw the shooting star burning so bright

Falling, falling, fading and soon from sight

So distant and yet so near

In its wake, a soldier’s journey so very clear

Duty, sharing, caring, courage and sometimes fear

No longer a mortal in life’s short race

A contented spirit bound for home somewhere in distant space

This fiery trail I saw tonight marks a warrior’s farewell

Leaving behind another legacy of proud deeds to tell

George Mansford©April 2012

Vale – Mervyn “Dutchy” Holland – Service Details

Dutchy’s  eldest son Michael has provided the following information:

“There will not be a funeral service as requested by Dutchy.

They are going to hold an informal gathering at the Blackbutt RSL commencing at 11-00 hrs on Mon. At 12-00 hrs they will pause to remember the Great Warrior at the same time he will be cremated in Toowoomba. Be prepared to spin a few Yarns about the Rascal.

Anyone who would like to contact Michael can do so on his mobile 0413845255 or  email [email protected]

Please pass this information out to everyone & give the family comfort.

In respect to Dutchy we will lower the Australian ensign to half mast at the RAR National Memorial Walk at noon

RIP noble warrior

Vale – Mervyn “Dutchy” Holland

Safe Journey, Cobber

In his early days of soldiering, Dutchy was on many occasions a Regimental Sergeant Major’s nightmare. However by the time he finally grounded arms he was the RSM’s right hand man and highly regarded by all ranks.

He was a soldier of many years’ experience in both peace and war and always on hand to guide young reinforcements.

In my view, our mate personified the typical digger which generations of media have tried to capture but very few have mastered. Dutchy was the typical Aussie soldier who clearly demonstrated such characteristics and qualities  they sought to portray.

He was never reluctant to question authority when rules or procedures seemed unfair. Yet he was often first to lead and set the example in dire circumstances. A soldier with quick wit, he always created humour when there was a need to break the tension, be it caused by exhaustion, fear or so many other demanding challenges which  faced him and his companions.

Our beloved Dutchy would never admit it but above all was his love of country and mateship which he had clearly demonstrated, time and time again throughout his soldiering years.

It was a great honour to have served alongside him in the ranks as a digger.

Sadly he has now been posted and soon will join that familiar military column wherever it may be, for ever and ever

Safe journey, Cobber

George Mansford

                        Carriage of Rum

There are so many faces of war which sadden all

Yet at times are the humorous tales which become soldiers’ lore 

Such as liberating from the Company Q store, a cask of rum

There were officers’ terrible rages and threats of what would be done

A prime suspect was our mate, Dutchy, who was always in strife

He denied it all on a stack of bibles protesting “Not on your life”

Soon after he went leave Penang Island to visit family

Suffice to say his bag was checked and no cask of rum to see 

The order went out, soon or late he will remove the cork

Trail him, watch and make sure he’s caught

No matter where he goes, sooner or later from the cask he will drink  

So the MPs followed, waiting and waiting to prove the final link

They noted that Dutchy was a devoted father and never late 

Pushing a pram and cooing his baby on visits to homes of mates 

To be sure, he wasn’t too steady on his feet when homeward bound

Finally with regret they reported there was no evidence to be found

Thus in true military style, the cask of rum was written off as lost

Suspicion remained but no evidence and more pursuit at what cost?

In time the incident was forgotten and the troops came home 

Many took discharge and never more to roam

Wiley as ever, Dutchy soldiered on in wars here and there  

The years went by and at reunions the truth finally did dare 

The rum had been in the pram swaddled in baby clothes and lace

Pushed along past the *MPs to be drunk with mates at a secure place 

George Mansford © June 2017

* MPs –Military Police


Vale – Monsignor Eugene Harley

Rest in Peace: 240213 Lieutenant Colonel The Reverend Monsignor Eugene Joseph Harley OAM Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department.

Sad news of the passing of Monsignor Eugene Harley who died peacefully in bed on ANZAC Day.
His funeral will take place at 11.00 am on Friday 5 May 2017 in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 23 Cardinal Street, Mosman NSW 2088. The Church Telephone Number is 02 8969 3200.
Eugene was Parish Priest of this Church for 18 Years. The current Parish Priest Father Phillip Linder and Eugene’s nephew Dennis were with Eugene when he died in hospital at 7.00 pm and how appropriately on ANZAC Day.

Principal Chaplain (Catholic) Eugene Joseph Harley (Rtd) served as Chaplain Class 4 and Chaplain Class 3 Royal Australian Army Chaplains Department, Malaysia 1961 (2 RAR), Borneo 1965 (3 RAR) and South Vietnam 1967.

He served 27 years in the Australian Defence Force, including 7 years with 2 RAR. He served in Malaya, Borneo, and Vietnam. In the latter period of his service he was appointed Principal Catholic Chaplain of the Army.

Eugene has been involved with the 2 RAR Association since its early days and “has always been considered to be our Padre.”

At the 2014 AGM a Motion to Appoint Monsignor Eugene Joseph Harley as 2RAR Association Padre was passed.

He was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the Australia Day 2015 Honours List for his services to the Catholic Church and the Mosman NSW community.

In 2015 he was presented the 2 RAR Association Silver Soldier Award in recognition of his dedication and sustained contribution to 2 RAR and the Association over a period of five decades.

There is no doubt that Fr Eugene has enriched the lives of countless individuals and families who would all be proud to call Fr Eugene a friend.

Homeward Bound

I saw the shooting star burning so bright

Falling, falling, fading and soon from sight

So distant and yet so near

In its wake, a soldier’s journey so very clear

Duty, sharing, caring, courage and sometimes fear

No longer a mortal in life’s short race

A contented spirit bound for home somewhere in distant space

This fiery trail I saw tonight marks a warrior’s farewell

Leaving behind another legacy of proud deeds to tell

A poem by George Mansford


Obituary – Brigadier Neil Harvey Weekes AM MC

Written by Ross Eastgate.

NEIL Weekes was never known to walk away from a fight, whether on Vietnam’s battlefields or battling bureaucracies over veterans’ benefits.

He lost the toughest battle of his life in Brisbane on Monday when an aggressive brain tumour claimed one of Australia’s toughest soldiers of the contemporary era at the age of 71.

Neil Harvey Weekes (pictured) was born in Mackay on September 21, 1945. He was educated in Sarina and at St Brendan’s College in Yeppoon before entering Teachers Training College at Kelvin Grove in Brisbane.
He was called up for national service on February 1, 1967.
At Kapooka he was selected for officer training and after graduating from the Officer Training Unit Scheyville on July 7, he was posted to 3 Platoon, A Company, 1 RAR.
He deployed to Vietnam with the battalion in March 1968, leading his platoon in the Battle of Coral on May 15-16, with his gallantry recognised by the awarding of the Military Cross.
He returned to Australia to be discharged at the end of his national service in December 1968 but was soon back in the army and 1RAR, serving with the battalion in Singapore and Malaysia during 1969-1971.
He also served in Papua New Guinea with 2 RPIR at Wewak, and attended the Malaysian Armed Forces Staff College at Kuala Lumpur.
He was a consummate infantryman, leader and instructor, holding many demanding staff, regimental and training postings, including at the Royal Military College, Duntroon.
From July 1985 to December 1987 he commanded NORFORCE, a regional surveillance unit with subunits based throughout the Northern Territory and the Kimberley area of Western Australia. He was appointed a member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his leadership.
He returned to Townsville in December 1990 on promotion to colonel to command the district support unit, beginning 22 years in the city.
He retired from the regular Army in 1993 after 26 years service, but would remain in the Army Reserve for a further five years, being promoted to brigadier and commanding 11 Brigade, Ares at Jezzine Barracks.
His civil employment was with James Cook University, where he was executive officer to the Vice-Chancellor until he retired in October 2003.
Retirement for Brigadier Weekes was relative as he was Townsville patron to the Vietnam Veterans Association, National Servicemen’s Association and the RSL.
As chair of the North Australian Military Heritage Association, he was instrumental in Jezzine Barracks being handed over to the Townsville community.
He was Townsville convener of the Order of Australia Association and an inaugural member of Ministerial Advisory Council on Ex-Service Matters.
For many years he was the radio voice of Townsville’s Anzac Day march.
In recent years the passionate fisherman had lived on Bribie Island.
Brigadier Weekes is survived by his wife Jo, children Marie, Mark and John and six grandchildren.
Read Ross Eastgate’s article here