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Army September 12, 2013
Chaplains head for
Gallipoli study tour
Sgt Dave Morley
FOURTEEN chaplains, the same
number that landed at Gallipoli in
1915, will undertake a self-funded
battlefield study tour of Gallipoli in
The contingent of padres will
celebrate 100 years of service to the
Army by the Royal Australian Army
Chaplains Department (RAAChD)
during the tour.
Contingent leader Chap Jim
Cosgrove said padres were with the
soldiers when they first landed at
Gallipoli and have been with the
soldiers in every conflict since.
“Today’s chaplains still go every-
where the soldiers go and are there to
help them when they need it most,” he
Chap Cosgrove said the tour would
visit the famous “Seven Churches”
of the Bible’s Book of Revelations,
as well as walking, remembering and
praying for the diggers of Gallipoli.
“The padres will be undertaking
a pre-tour study package of the cam-
paign and the Seven Churches and will
each make presentations on these top-
ics throughout the tour,” he said.
The tour, named Exercise
McKenzie after the famous WWI
chaplain “Fighting Mac”, will be led
by Maj Jack Thurgar, who has been
leading history tours on the peninsula
for more than 20 years.
Maj Thurgar said the trip would
be poignant for him as the last time
he was on the peninsula was with the
Chief of Army’s “I am an Australian
Soldier” Gallipoli scholarship winners.
“I remember sitting with one
of those fine young soldiers, Cpl
Cameron Baird, at Walkers Ridge
Cemetery at the grave of Tpr Harold
Rush, 10th Australian Light Horse
Regiment, KIA August 7, 1915,” he
“Engraved on his headstone were
the words, ‘Goodbye cobber, God
“I remember Cameron reflecting on
how he would meet his death and if he
‘had the bottle’ to charge into certain
death the same way the light horsemen
“Sadly we all have the answer now,
and Cameron and his 39 mates will be
remembered, especially by the padres
during their visit.”
Moment’s peace: An Army chaplain leads a service for diggers at
Gallipoli during WWI.
Photo courtesy Australian War Memorial
Chap William McKenzie joined
the AIF in September 1914, at
He was attached to the 4th
Bn, remaining with that unit for
the duration of his service, and
sailed for Egypt on October 20.
As well as conducting church
parades on the troopship he
organised sports and concerts.
Chap McKenzie took delight
in boxing contests and many of
the AIF’s top boxers were left
dazed by “his long reach, jarring
uppercuts and dangerous
He went ashore at Gallipoli in
the first few days of the campaign
and once conducted 647 burials
in three days.
He was awarded a Military
Cross for gallantry in June 1916.
Cpl Nick Wiseman
THE instinctive actions of a sol-
dier who tackled a jewellery thief
to the ground in 2011 have earned
LCpl Andrew Fenech a Bravery
Medal in this year’s Australian
LCpl (then Pte) Fenech, of
8/9RAR, chased down and appre-
hended a jewellery thief at Brookside
Shopping Centre in Brisbane on
October 16, 2011, while waiting for
his morning coffee.
“I looked over and saw one of the
ladies in the jewellery store hit the
ground,” he said.
“I couldn’t really see what was
going on but a man came running out
after throwing up the almost-closed
security door, so I started to chase him
Closing in on the thief, LCpl
Fenech tackled him to the ground with
the assistance of another bystander,
Digger receives Bravery Medal for chasing down jewellery thief
but was attacked with a Taser in the
“I thought he was slicing me with
a knife at first,” he said. “Until I saw
LCpl Fenech attempted to remove
the Taser from the thief, but was
attacked again, this time in the back,
and said he was lucky it wasn’t fully
“I let go of his head, twisted his
arm around his back and threw the
Taser away,” he said.
“It was at this point I knocked the
bag he was carrying and discovered
that he had stolen jewellery after it fell
The two men kept the thief
restrained for a short while until
Queensland Police arrived and took
control of the scene.
LCpl Fenech said he hadn’t given
the event a second thought since it
happened, until he was notified three
“I was very surprised to hear I had
been nominated,” he said.
“I didn’t expect it at all and still
don’t know to this day who nominated
LCpl Fenech is to also receive a
letter of thanks from the Queensland
Police Commissioner for his actions
on the day.
The incident was originally reported in the
December 8, 2011, edition of Army.
I didn’t expect
[to receive a
medal] at all and
still don’t know
to this day who
– LCpl Andrew Fenech,8/9RAR
Recognition: LCpl Andrew Fenech, of 8/9RAR, has been awarded a Bravery Medal for his efforts to
apprehend a jewellery thief in 2011.
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