Funeral – Major General Neville Smethurst AO MBE

General Smethurst’s funeral will be held in Canberra at the RMC Chapel on Friday 19 July 2019. 

Please arrive by 1000 hrs for a 1030 start.  A wake will then be held at Duntroon House between 1200 to 1500 hours.  Dress at the family’s request is jacket or suit with medals. 

The Chief of Army LTGEN Rick Burr will be the official mourner, BRIG Paul O’Sullivan (Retd) will provide highlights on MAJGEN Smethurst’s military career, BRIG Chris Roberts (Retd) will provide Special Forces reflections and LTCOL Bruce Willis will represent SASR.   

Rest in Peace

RARA QLD – eNews 2/2019 April

RARA Queensland’s eNews replaces the previously printed Newsletter “The Spirit”. This is the second quarterly edition.

Enjoy the Read

Vale – Brave Warrior – Ron Perkins 3RAR, Korea, AATTV and Vietnam

It is easy to write of an old soldier such as Ron Perkins who demonstrated strong qualities of life including leadership and love of country. Ron left the army after a very distinguished career including operational service in both Korea and Vietnam.

Even in retirement, supported and encouraged by his ever wonderful and devoted wife, June, he was very much involved in pursuing the interests of fellow veterans. Always to the fore was welfare, promoting pride and camaraderie.  No easy task, given that the aging veterans were scattered over vast distances.

As a soldier of the Third Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment, his baptism of fire was in the early days of the Korean War. The many bloody encounters included the historic Battle of Kapyong where his battalion, despite incredible odds, defied the might of an advancing communist army. For this outstanding and seemingly impossible delaying action, the battalion was awarded the most prestigious United States Presidential Unit Citation.

Years later, he was among those few, selected for service in Vietnam with a recently formed unit, the Australian Army Training Team. (AATTV)  Given that this unit received many awards during operations, the term ‘Training’ became very much a misnomer. AATTV was awarded two foreign unit citations, thus Ron became one of a very few at that time to be wearing three foreign unit citations along with his impressive array of other military awards.

Join me as I picture him and his mates, mostly young, and perhaps distant from the front line, camped on reverse slopes, and around a small campfire. There would be laughing, joking and often singing of their favourite songs which included “The wild colonial boy” and another where in loud voice, they claimed they were all illegitimate and preferred vice and sin to fighting for their country. Such was their wry humour.

Then in the morning, these warriors from the land down under, went forward, exposed to winter’s freezing icy winds and snow or summers hot and relentless heat. Always they were heavily laden with weapons, equipment and a blackened tea billy used by the sub unit, dangling from someone’s haversack. Many of them were wearing American boots, combat smocks and balaclavas they had “borrowed” from their American allies. They tramped along unnamed narrow dirt roads toward the fog of war and the unknowns of their tomorrow; always with a sense of purpose and trust in each other as well as confidence in their leaders. Always evident from the commanding officer to the most junior soldier was the immense pride in their unit. They knew who they were and what they were about to do.  

Ron was part of all of this and clearly showed his love of country and a firm belief in our precious way of life.  His pride and affection for his old units never faltered throughout his life.  Years ago, I became aware that when the time came, he would want to bid farewell to each and all of his surviving old comrades on Planet Earth who would still be answering “Present” at roll call and thus this note. 

Have no doubt that he is now part of the growing ghost column which follows behind today’s youngsters who serve in the battalion, who march proudly with their unit’s Colours held high. As he passes the cheering crowds, the Spirit of one of Australia’s best, Ron Perkins, marching with old comrades one more, and will salute his beloved wife and family watching from afar.

Ron’s military history is recorded in this interview in 2003 

                   Vale Brave Warrior

Go seek glory with your deeds from a distant past 
Rest with old comrades at long, long last 
Feel the glowing, peaceful warmth of the campfire 
Singing, laughing and then restful sleep; gone forever any ire 
 

Those fields of war now washed clean of blood, sweat and tears
Yet still the faint cry ‘‘Duty First’’ can be heard each and every year While on Planet Earth, a new generation firmly holds the sacred flame
Brave deeds stitched on sacred cloth, proudly carried high, again and again  

George Mansford April 2019

Vale – Ron Perkins

3

Maurie Pears has advised that sadly Ron Perkins, our distinguished Korean War Veteran comrade and pioneer member of 3 RAR passed away after a long illness at 1900 last night 14th April 2019.

“I have conveyed our condolences to June through Ray Deed, who will notify us of funeral arrangements as soon as available.

He will be sadly missed by all who shared the pleasure of his company.

The members of the Korean War Association are devastated.

Ron was with us at the opening night at Beenleigh RSL and has been a constant attendance each year at Cascade since 2009.

Duty Done. “


Ron’s military history is recorded in this interview in 2003

Vale – Lt Col Barry Petersen

Dear All, 

This is to notify you that Army Regimental No. 13668, Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Barry Petersen MC MiD JP (aka Barry Petersen) passed away on February 28, 2019 at 8p.m.  after a nine-year battle with prostate which finally spread into his bones during September 2017.

He has requested a simple cremation service.   We will try to notify you when the Medical Faculty surrenders his remains, plus the date and venue of the cremation.

He requested that there be no religious service.

Kindest regards,

Ektanat Suwan

Managing Director

Lang Suan House Co Limited

Vale – Lt Col Ken Bladen AM

We have been advised that Ken beloved husband of Stephanie and loving father of Louise, Penny (dec) and Emma; father-in- law to John and Cameron, passed away peacefully at Hollywood Hospital 22nd February. “Duty First”. 

Ken was a graduate of the OCS class of June 1954 and served with 1 RAR and 2 RAR in Malaya 1961 – 1963 and 7 RAR in SVN from April to November 1967.

Ken Bladen (Left) – winner of the Queens/Kings Medal

Funeral details to be advised.

Currently, the Guest Book for Ken BLADEN is available for viewing, but not accepting entries until Tuesday, 26 February 2019.View

Rest in Peace

VALE – Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Clark

Our fellow Royal Australian Regiment warrior, Ivan Clark, OC 5 Platoon, B Company, 9 RAR and  Duntroon  class of 67, passed away on Monday 21st January 2019 after a long and brave battle with cancer.

The funeral is on Tuesday 29th January at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 50 Fairway Drive, Clear Island Waters, Gold Coast at 12:25 pm with the Wake afterwards at he Surfer’s Paradise Golf Club (opposite the Church) .

Ivan graduated from the Royal Military College (Class of 1967) into RA Inf and was posted to the newly raised 9th Battalion RAR for deployment to Vietnam, as 5 Platoon Commander B Company . In that role he was a successful, effective and inspirational leader. He resigned as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1986 to commence a management career.

During his military career Ivan served: in 9 RAR Vietnam (1968-69) as a Platoon commander and 8/9 RAR in Australia as a Company commander; was a JTC Battle Wing Training instructor; was Australia’s Exchange Instructor at the United States School of Infantry, Fort Benning, Georgia USA; attended the Australian Staff College at Queenscliff and was a staff officer on various Headquarters and the Australian Joint Warfare Establishment RAAF Williamtown.

Rest in Peace