Home' Army News : September 17th 2009 Contents OF SERVICE
HAVING a barmaid sign his enlistment appli-
cation because his mother refused to is how
one 17-year-old began a military career
spanning 21 years and three overseas tours.
Former Sgt John Anderson said his mother would
not sign his enlistment papers because she thought he
was too young to join the Army. "So I got a barmaid
to sign the papers instead."
John Anderson joined the AIF in July 1941 and
went on to serve with the RAA in New Guinea during
World War II before discharging as a lance sergeant
John joined the newly-formed ARA and later
served in Korea with 1 RAR in 1955-56.
He deployed to Malaya with 3 RAR in 1957. In
1959, with Lt David Rankine as team coach, John led
the 3RAR Owen gun shooting team to victory in the
17th Gurkha Division annual small-arms shoot. The
team's photo appeared on the sports page of Army's
first issue and later in Australasian Post magazine.
Lt Rankine, who featured in the same photo, went
on to win a Military Cross in Vietnam as a major with
He and John now live about 200km apart in south-
east Queensland and catch up on the odd occasion.
John discharged from the Army in 1962 and
worked as a Customs Officer in Sydney, before return-
ing to New Guinea, where he managed plantations for
Burns Philp. He now lives in retirement at Crows Nest
David Rankine is an avocado farmer at Mt
AYOUNG lieutenant who appeared in Army's
first edition after winning a Military Cross in
Malaya with 3RAR later had the unfortunate
job of visiting the paper to sack a staff member.
Lt-Col Claude Ducker was a reservist at Russell
Offices as the senior inspector of Army Establishments
after discharging from the regular Army.
He said it was daunting to go into Army units
and tell them they had to take so many people off the
"Vietnam finished the Army. It shrank from 44,000
to 32,000. In fact, in one of my jobs, I had to reduce
the establishment of Army," he said.
"It was a small team of six or seven. I was just told
to get rid of one and I had to go in there and recom-
mend which one."
Claude said he did not know his picture was in the
first edition of Army until informed 49 years later in
November 2008 by a reporter with the paper.
"I was quite unaware Army existed at that time," he
said. "I was at a posting at Jungle Warfare School in
Malaya in 1959 and they wouldn't have sent a copy of
the paper out there."
While many people only get one or two operation-
al postings to a battalion during their career, Claude
said he was lucky to get three.
He served in 3RAR as a platoon commander dur-
ing the Malayan Emergency, and as a company com-
mander and battalion second-in-command with 4RAR
in Borneo during the Confrontation.
LDIER who set himself a goal
ecoming an RSM when he
ed the Army in 1952, not only
at objective but continues to
WO1 Ray Evans of Scarbor-
nsland, was pictured in the first
his son, Malcolm, boarding
a plane for Malaya with 1RAR's advance
party in 1959.
Ray said he never saw the first Army
with his photo in it, but friends in Mackay
later sent him the photo, which had been
distributed to local newspapers.
"We received the Army newspapers
regularly in Malaya except when we were
attached to the Jungle Warfare School
with the British," he said. "I used to look
forward to receiving it and still read
it now when a member brings it in to
One of the highlights of his career was
serving in Vietnam with the AATTV and
being attached to a South Vietnamese bat-
talion in the demilitarised zone.
"It was as far north as you could go," he
said. "I met more generals there than you
could shake a stick at. They all wanted to
come up there to have their photos taken."
Ray retired from the Army in 1977
after postings as RSM 10RSAR, 6MD
and 9RQR. He was awarded an OAM on
Australia Day 2005 for service to the com-
munity of Redcliffe Peninsula, particularly
veterans and their families.
tured in the first edition of Army
ght to Malaya and into history
In black and white: Ray Evans
with his son.
Barmaid's best shot
In the firing line
Memories: John Anderson and his wife
Christene at their home in Queensland
(left). John is at far right in the picture
above from the first edition of the paper.
Photo by Tpr Michael Franchi
"Borneo was an interesting posting because the
rest of the world, particularly Australia, didn't know
we were doing cross-border ops," he said. "Of course
it all came out later."
Later, he served as a company commander in
South Vietnam with 5RAR.
Claude worked for the Commonwealth Public
Service from 1974 to 1991 and, since 1999, has
worked with the Department of Veterans' Affairs,
researching defence war records.
Hard task: Claude Ducker had to reduce the
number staff at Army.
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