Home' Army News : October 15th 2009 Contents 50 YEARS O
2 -- ARMY NEWSPAPER, OCTOBER 15, 2009
ARMY, The Soldiers' Newspaper. That's
how the masthead reads and it was the
message that founding editor Maj Hal
Richardson forcefully hammered home
to all staff members.
I had the privilege of serving under Hal when I
first joined the newspaper staff as a corporal report-
er in 1974.
He was fearless in demanding the right of edito-
rial prerogative and, in my opinion, the paper was a
far more credible publication because of his attitude.
He actually tendered his resignation on one occa-
sion when some "higher power" wanted an article
published that he felt was politically motivated and
Fortunately he was persuaded to withdraw, but it
was great to work for a boss with that much passion
and belief in his publication.
He was a great teacher to us fledgling reporters
and lessons learned stayed for life.
We would check and cross check our facts and
then, if time permitted, read the article to the subject
for factual confirmation. That was it; the story then
went to print.
Misspelling a person's name was an unforgivable
sin and incurred the Wrath of Hal. If you did make
that mistake you only ever did so once.
The aim of the paper, he always emphasised, is
to inform and entertain the soldier.
"I want quotes from the digger, not his CO, and
if a photograph has to show the back of a head it
had better be the general's or the minister's -- I want
to see the digger's face."
If my recollections and reflections of Army seem
to focus around Hal Richardson it's because he was
In those early years it was a modest non-colour
12 pager, occasionally pushing upwards to 16 or
even 20 pages.
The 1970s was a decade defined by the wit
War, the wrath of Cyclone Tracy which devast
Australia's shores with the
More recruiting in the UK
THE scheme for enlisting ex-British Army soldiers in the UK for
service in the Australian Regular Army is to be expanded. The
expansion is planned to meet the Army's increased demand for
tradesmen and experienced WOs and NCOs.
MORE than 2000 people packed Sydney's Garden Island
dockyard to farewell 7RAR on its departure for South Vietnam.
About 500 of 7RAR's total strength of 800 marched aboard,
accompanied by cheers from the crowd and the music of the
Eastern Command Band. This is 7RAR's second tour of duty in
SVN; the battalion first served there from April 1967 to April
THE Queen pinned the Victoria Cross on to WO2 Keith Payne's
uniform on Her Majesty's Yacht Britannia in Brisbane. WO2
Payne became the 96th Australian to win the VC. According to
reports, the Queen asked him how he felt. When he told her
he'd rather be in Vietnam at that time, she laughed.
MORE than 6000 spectators witnessed the ceremony when
Queen Elizabeth II presented the new Queen's and Regimental
Colours to RMC Duntroon last week. The Colours were conse-
crated before they were presented. The parade drill and turn-
out were in the highest tradition of the college.
For sea, jungle-new gear
A new tropical combat dress will be put on general issue to
our soldiers in South Vietnam. It consists of a coat shirt and
long trousers designed to give infantrymen added coolness,
more comfort, protection against insects and thorns, and ready
access to essential items without hampering combat efficiency.
New colours for old
1 BN, The Pacific Islands Regt, received its Queen's Colour at a
special parade at Taurama Barracks in Port Moresby earlier this
month from Chief of General Staff Sir Thomas Daly. The regi-
ment first received its Colours in July, 1956.
PRIME Minister Mr McMahon said in a statement on South
Vietnam in the House of Representatives last week: "I
announce tonight that the combat role, which Australia took
up over six years ago in Vietnam, is soon to be completed.
In 1965 when Australia first sent troops to that country, the
continued survival of the republic was in dire straights. The
aggression by North Vietnam has been slowed and its plans
for over-running the south frustrated."
AUSTRALIAN dads serving in the three services in South
Vietnam have received their last remembrance gift of ciga-
rettes, cigars and tobacco from the NSW Father's Day Council.
It is anticipated that next Father's Day the dads will be home
with their wives and families. The gift comprised 400,000
cigarettes, 270lbs of tobacco and 2000 cigars, valued at nearly
Soldiers mourn fallen comrades
IN SINGAPORE, after two tours in the war zone of South
Vietnam, 6RAR soldiers paid homage on the fifth anniversary
of Long Tan Day. The ceremony was marked by a unique bat-
talion parade on the spacious barracks' square of colonial
Selarang Garrison -- the unit's new home. The newly arrived
6RAR has replaced 1RAR in Singapore.
City was theirs
SERVICEMEN returning from South Vietnam recently marched
into a tumult of welcome in Sydney. Packed streets applauded
while paper drifted in confetti of welcome. More than 1200
men of the three services, including 500 troops in jungle
greens, who had just arrived from Vung Tau aboard HMAS
Sydney, took part in the march. Among the spectators were
service chiefs and wounded soldiers of 4RAR. Among the
wounded, Pte Gary Olde, a national serviceman, was flown
in from convalescence leave." I just wanted to see the blokes
again. It was worth the trip," he said.
THE newest Australian Army combat unit to join the tri-nation
ANZUK Force in Singapore will share the honour of firing the
world's first "integrated" 21-gun Royal Salute. Gunners of
106 Fd Bty, RAA, will combine with the 1st Light Bty, RA, to
fire a welcome for the Queen as she arrives in the Royal Yacht
Britannia for a one-day visit to ANZUK installations on March 5.
Don t let that sweet gaze fool you
THE Army's most unlikely policeman is five feet tall, weighs
107lb, sports collar length hair and seldom wears a uniform. It
is one MP that any soldier would be happy to keep company
-- 25-year-old Sgt Diana Busch is attractive, petite and single.
Sgt Busch is a Women's Royal Australian Army Corps soldier
serving in Singapore with the tri-nation ANZUK Provost Unit.
WRAAC sergeant awarded
SGT Irene Stacker has good reason to be proud of the small
crimson and grey ribbon on her chest. Sgt Stacker, BEM, has
been the youngest and the first married WRAAC soldier to be
decorated and the only WRAAC mentioned in the Honours List.
Her decoration was awarded in recognition of her work during
the accelerated discharge of 3500 national servicemen after
the reduction of the NS scheme.
History flutters over Saigon
THE Australian flag was lowered for the last time outside Free
World Headquarters in Saigon, marking the end of Australia's
military commitment to Vietnam after 10 years and five
months. The last Army units -- the Australian Army Training
Team and the Australian Army Assistance Group -- were home
Honour for team
THE South Vietnamese Government has awarded Australia's
most highly decorated unit -- the Australian Army Training
Team -- its second highest unit citation. The award is the
Gallantry Cross with Palm, which ranks next to the South
Vietnamese Presidential Unit Citation.
Trapped a grand
CAPT Gary Swan, Directorate of EME, has earned a reward
for foiling a bank robbery at the St Kilda branch of the State
Savings Bank. A man brandishing a .22 rifle entered the bank
yelling "this is a hold-up". "I had just put $70 on the counter
to open a cheque account," Capt Swan told Army. Capt Swan
said the bandit then reached for money which the teller was
throwing on the counter. "As he reached forward he trans-
ferred his grip on the rifle and I jumped him," he added.
How they snapped to it
THE order was barked, "Atten...shun!" Like a good soldier,
Cpl Bernie Dubbels, Central Army Records Office, snapped
to attention. He also snapped his right leg. It happened on a
parade at Broadmeadows. "It was a special parade and I think
I was trying a bit harder," he told Army. "It must have been
the angle at which my foot hit the ground."
They are first to combine
THE black and scarlet flags of 2RAR and 4RAR disappeared,
and then flew again as one over Lavarack Barracks, Townsville
last month. Simultaneously, the familiar black and scarlet
lanyards of the two battalions were fused as the two units
combined to become 2/4RAR. It is the first linking of Australian
infantry battalions and a milestone for the RAR.
Sounds too easy, but
typed on a manual typew
nal and two carbon copie
All copies were then
and date, the story word
sub-editor. The sub-edito
each page with the type
the story was to be run.
Photographs were c
ruler, pencil and a "whe
size of the original to be p
The combined fruits
couriered (usually seve
printer in Sydney.
There pages were set
time compositor Georg
Career: Pat Green w
sergeant reporter, lieut
Pat Green reports on his years u
Links Archive October 1st 2009 October 29th 2009 Navigation Previous Page Next Page