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TPR David Pearce
0412 214 809
Army September 3, 2009
By WO2 Graham McBean
IT WAS a special occasion
for 20 soldiers and officers as
6RAR commemorated the 43rd
anniversary of the Battle of Long
Tan on August 18.
As the battalion marked Australia's
most famous battle of the Vietnam
War, 20 members of D Coy, 6RAR,
returned to the Long Tan battlefield.
It was a solemn moment for
the soldiers who attended the 40th
anniversary marking the raising of
the Long Tan Cross.
OC D Coy Maj Garrath Williams
said it was an experience he would
"Clearly, the highlight of the
tour was attending the ceremony in
the rubber plantations of Long Tan
on the afternoon of the 18th," Maj
"All who attended were
deeply moved by simply being there
at such a time."
Maj Williams proposed the idea
to CO 6RAR in January this year
as an opportunity for his soldiers
to look back at their heritage while
preparing for future deployments.
"I think it is important for young
guys to understand the relevance of
the battle to Delta Company and to
6RAR," Maj Williams said.
"We have also used the tour as a
way for the company to prepare for
their own operations and to speak to
Cpl Phil Brown said a first-
hand appreciation of the battlefield
"opened his eyes" to what D Coy
"There was very little cover and
it was open as hell," he said.
"But they stood by their mates and
didn't give an inch on open ground.
"If anyone has been on a range, you
is incredible what they did."
Pte Andrew Melrose gained
automatic attendance as D Coy's
2009 Champion Soldier and said
visiting Long Tan and Nui Dat gave
him an appreciation for the battle and
also how service in the Vietnam era
contrasted with the modern Army.
"Just to see how it was compared
to now days and to see the conditions
back then and what they went
through was a highlight."
Significant fundraising was
conducted to subsidise the tour, with
the remaining costs made up by
It is hoped that similar D Coy
representation will be present
annually at the Long Tan Cross.
Battle continues to
By Maj Kate Ames
IT WAS all in the family when a dawn
service was held to commemorate the
Battle of Long Tan in East Timor.
Vietnam veteran John Gosling
accompanied his son Maj Dan Gosling
and a small group of Timor-Leste
Battle Group 6 (TLBG 6) members as
they climbed Mt Matabean, one of East
Timor's highest peaks for the service.
Maj Gosling is serving in Dili as the
liaison officer between the battle group
and the East Timor defence force (known
as F-FDTL), and his father John has been
visiting East Timor to open a school in his
role as president of a local charity called
Life, Love and Health.
The group of climbers included a
section of soldiers from the F-FDTL and
fellow Vietnam veteran Ken Higgins.
Mr Gosling and Mr Higgins served
in Vietnam in 1969 as infantry scouts
with 12 Platoon, which, coincidentally,
was commanded by the father of another
serving officer with the battle group, Capt
"Capt Hodda and I work together now
in an Anzac battalion and our fathers
were in the same company within an
Anzac battalion during Vietnam," Maj
"It was a great day. At the dawn
service, we watched the sun rise and knew
we were facing Australia."
TLBG 6 CO Lt-Col Dave Smith later
paid tribute to the legacy and knowledge
Solemn time for 6RAR
Memorable experience: Members of D Coy, 6RAR, pause at the Long Tan Cross.
Family affair at
top of East Timor
that Vietnam veterans offered serving
members of the ADF at a formal service
at Camp Phoenix attended by the
"It is an honour to be able to host you
here today," he said.
Services were held around Australia on
August 18 to mark the 43rd anniversary
of the Battle of Long Tan.
High ground: Members of TLBG 6,
along with Vietnam veteran Ken
Higgins, walk up Mt Matabean to
remember the Battle of Long Tan.
Photo by LAC Christopher Dickson
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