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Army March 31, 2011
By Natalie Alexander
A QUEENSLAND-born bat-
talion from World War II has
been remembered with a plaque
dedication at the Australian War
Veterans, family and friends from
across the country came to the cere-
mony on March 18 at the Memorial's
Western Courtyard to honour the
service of the men of 2/15 Infantry
The battalion, part of 9 Div of the
AIF, was raised in Brisbane in May
1940 and went on to serve in several
theatres of war from North Africa to
the South Pacific.
Hon Secretary of 2/15 Inf Bn
Remembrance Club Steve Rowan,
whose father was killed in action in
Tobruk, said the dedication was a
long time coming.
"Today we come to perform an
action which should have been done
some years ago, while more of our
fellows were alive, and could have
taken part in this ceremony," he said.
Mr Rowan said the plaque, placed
on Memorial Walk, represented the
entire journey of the unit as they
moved from battles in northern
Africa, including the siege of Tobruk,
to jungle operations in New Guinea
and their final campaign in Borneo.
"We can leave this place knowing
there is now a permanent remind-
er to all who pass this way that this
battalion truly lived to its motto," he
said. "Caveant Hostes -- Let Enemies
Throughout its five years of ser-
vice, 197 members of the battalion
died and 504 were wounded.
One of the surviving veterans
who came to commemorate his fallen
friends was Colin Hadwen, who left
work in advertising to join the unit's
campaigns in the South Pacific.
"It was quite surprising really to
have this dedication ceremony," Mr
Hadwen said. "I didn't expect this
sort of thing and it's been a great day."
Mr Hadwen said the battalion's
varied service was something he
hoped would be remembered. "The
2/15 was involved in several places,
and I think this is a good memory of
our service in all the different areas."
"We'd like to remember that they
served and did their duty -- that's
about all we would hope."
The dedication ceremony coincid-
ed with the opening of the Memorial's
new exhibition, Rats of Tobruk 1941.
The exhibition documents the
famous eight-month siege in which
about 14,000 Australians, including
the men of the 2/15 Inf Bn, defend-
ed Tobruk from German and Italian
The exhibition runs until
Old mates: Veterans of 2/15 Bn, from left Colin Hadwen, Doug Smales
and Patrick Collins catch up at the plaque dedication ceremony.
Recognition overdue: Steve Rowan, President of the Rats of Tobruk
Association, addresses guests during the dedication of the 2/15 Inf Bn plaque
(inset) at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Photos by LS Paul Berry
SOLDIERS from 7RAR spent
four days at one of Australia's
major car race meetings speaking
to people about their unit and the
APCs on display, and whenever
time permitted, watching the V8
Supercars charge around the
Clipsal 500 track in Adelaide.
Across the four days, 270,000
car racing enthusiasts went to the
Adelaide street circuit where Jamie
Whincup finished the victor in
unpredictable weather conditions.
The 7RAR display on Defence
Force Oval attracted huge numbers,
particularly on the schools day.
This was Pte Daniel Sudweeks'
first time at an event where the
APCs were on display and he was
impressed with the high level of
interest in the battalion and what it
was doing in Adelaide.
"I liked talking to people about
what we do and I noticed that some
guys went to the recruiting booth to
find out more."
Pte Scott Livori said he would
definitely come back next year if he
had the chance and he believed it
was a great public affairs opportu-
nity for Army.
A highlight for the soldiers was
a visit to the display by Brad Jones
Racing drivers Jason Bright, Jason
Bargwanna and Karl Reindler.
Soldiers show off hardware
New wheels: Holden drivers Jason Bargwanna, top, and Jason Bright learn the ropes on the M113 from
Ptes Daniel Suclweeks, left, and Nick Manion.
Photo by LAC Brenton Kwaterski
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