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Army March 14, 2013
CA LT-GEN David Morrison began
his Army Birthday address with the
names of the seven soldiers killed
while on duty in the past year in a
ceremony in front of the Australian
War Memorial's Pool of Reflection
on March 1.
"It seems somewhat discordant to
talk of celebrating a birthday in so sol-
emn a setting, with an Army at war,"
"That is not to say that we do not
have much to celebrate. But in this
place, with many of our comrades still
in the field against an implacable and
dangerous enemy, I prefer to mark this
occasion with sombre reflection."
The ceremony, hosted by Principal
Chaplain -- Army Chap Geoffrey
Webb, was attended by several hun-
dred Army personnel from the Canberra
region and included a catafalque
party at the Tomb of the Unknown
Soldier, a colour party displaying the
Army banner and a wreath-laying
ceremony for official guests, including
CDF Gen David Hurley and Defence
Parliamentary Secretary David Feeney.
The CA took the opportunity to
thank the families of all soldiers and to
draw attention to the new challenges the
Army would face in the coming years.
"Our operational tempo seems likely
to slow as we draw down force levels in
Afghanistan," he said.
"Soldiering in times of financial
stringency, when the thrill of operations
has worn off, demands every ounce of
our professionalism and dedication.
"Commitment to standards when it
seems to be for no discernible opera-
tional reason is what separates the pro-
fessional from the thrill seeker and the
"Those I served with when I
first joined [after the Vietnam War]
kept their devotion to the Army
and the nation in the face of shrink-
ing numbers, shrinking budg-
ets and minimal opportunities for
"They ensured the flames of profes-
sionalism and our warrior ethos stayed
burning. They kept the faith and I want
to mark their part in our history today."
RSM-A WO David Ashley read the
Soldier's Prayer at the ceremony and
RSM Ceremonial WO1 David Lehr
read the Ode before attendees observed
a minute's silence.
"All of us who wear the rising sun
badge have an obligation to live up to
the powerful title 'an Australian sol-
dier'," Lt-Gen Morrison said.
"Almost no other title in our national
lexicon is so laden with meaning. We
can be proud that we have earned that
title through our soldiers' bravery, pro-
fessionalism, and devotion to duty and
to one another.
"Let us pause to remember all those
who died in all our wars wearing that
same slouch hat and rising sun badge
that we wear today. On this Army birth-
day let us not forget them, nor forget
who we are."
Army turns 112
Soldiers killed in Afghanistan are honoured in birthday ceremony at War Memorial
Army birthday: Top and inset, the Banner Party
from Australia's Federation Guard present arms
during the Army's 112th birthday commemorative
service held at the Australian War Memorial.
Right, CDF Gen David Hurley pays his respects
in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as soldiers
from Australia's Federation Guard rest on arms.
Bottom, CA Lt-Gen David Morrison addresses the
Photos by LCpl Matthew Bickerton
A DEFENCE tribunal has ruled
against awarding 13 former soldiers
and sailors retrospective Victoria
Crosses, including Gallipoli Pte John
Simpson Kirkpatrick, who is remem-
bered for rescuing wounded person-
nel with his donkey.
The Defence Honours and
Awards Appeals Inquiry into
Unresolved Recognition for Past
Acts of Naval and Military Gallantry
and Valour also recommended that
no action be taken by the Australian
Government to award a Victoria
Cross to Gnr Albert Neil Cleary, who
suffered an 11-day beating at the
hands of Japanese guards after an
escape attempt in Borneo in World
Pte Simpson's commanders in
World War I did not recommend he
be awarded a VC and the two-year
inquiry has found that those superi-
ors followed the correct process.
The inquiry found no case where
allegedly new evidence proved
acceptable or compelling.
The initiative and bravery Pte
Kirkpatrick exhibited was considered
representative of the actions of all
stretcher bearers at that time.
CA Lt-Gen David Morrison said
he appreciated the public admiration
for Simpson and his donkey, but that
he supported the tribunal's decision.
"The story of Simpson and his
donkey is iconic in the Anzac story
and one that will be marked in his-
tory forever," Lt-Gen Morrison said.
"While Pte Kirkpatrick will not
receive medallic recognition, he has
been honoured in many ways, includ-
ing in literature and art, and in a stat-
ue at the Australian War Memorial.
"I too have admiration for
Simpson and for so many Australians
who served heroically during WWI.
The actions of Pte Kirkpatrick are
representative of the bravery of
stretcher bearers during this time."
Gnr Albert Neil (Neale) Cleary
Midn Robert Ian Davies
Leading Cook Francis Bassett
Lt (later Capt, later Senator)
David John Hamer AM, DSC
Pte John Simpson Kirkpatrick
Leut-Cmdr Robert William Rankin
AB Dalmorton Joseph Owendale
Ordinary Seaman Edward
LAC Noel Ervin Shipp
Leut-Cmdr Francis Edward Smith
Leut-Cmdr (later Cmdr) Henry
Hugh Gordon Dacre Stoker DSO
LS Ronald Taylor
Capt Hector Macdonald Laws
Waller, DSO and Bar
Retrospective VCs not granted
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