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Reserve Forces Day 2007
-384 Days to go until 1 July 2008

  A Great day was had in 2007  

Each year a concept is chosen to highlight an important part of Australia's military history which will draw the media's attention and in turn adds to the support for Reserve Forces Day Council and its aim. In 2007 we will celebrate 90 years since the Charge at Beersheba and the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Australian Intelligence Corps. The charge at Beersheba  was the last successful charge by horse-mounted forces with a British connection.  The heritage of the two regiments in the charge, the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments is currently preserved by the 4th/19th Prince of Wales' Light Horse and the 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers of the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, Army Reserve based in Victoria and the New England District of New South Wales respectively.

Lancer Association on parade
Lancers Association with Guidons on parade at the National Parade, Sydney

  National Parade Sydney 1 July 2007 go to top of page

This year was a really grand parade in Sydney.

The parade was reviewed by Her Excellency the Governor of New South Wales, Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO and the Vice Chief of the Defence Force Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie, AO, DSC, CSM, The Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP represented the Prime Minister.

The parade featured the Light Horse, with 15 horses carrying pennants with the colours of the 15 Regiments that fought in World War 1, and a further group of horses totalling 90, the number of years since the successful charge at Beersheba. A display by the Armoured Vehicle Collectors Society, the New South Wales Lancers Museum and serving members of the 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers covered all aspects of the mechanised light horse. The Guidons of the 1st 12th and 15th Light Horse Regiments were paraded, with members of the Royal New South Wales Lancers Association, 12th/16th/24th Regimental Association (who had travelled down from New England), and one member of the Prince of Wales’ Light Horse Association addressed by Her Excellency.

The parade also featured overseas contingents from the Royal Yeomanry (UK), Reservists from the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps and the British Army Intelligence Corps.

Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry VC and Warrant Officer (Retired) Keith Payne VC were special guests of honour as were the last of the World War 2 veterans who trained as lighthorsemen.

The parade was coordinated by Warrant Officers Class 1 Barry Willoughby (Retired) Alby Churchilli (RSM 1/15 RNSWL) and Peter Sly (RSM UNSWR) all of whom made certain those of us charged with giving the orders made few mistakes. Special mention also needs to be made of Major (Retd) Michael Lewins RFD who wrote the parade orders, and Inspector (Retd) Don Eyb APM who conducted the horse training and coordinated the horses on parade.

Using the buttons below you can view slide shows of the training, Association Sergeant Majors with the VC winners, and the parade. Special thanks to the photographers Sean Littler, Alan Hitchell, Ron Wee-Wan and Rosemary Howells.

Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry VC was Guest of Honour at Reserve Forces Day 2007

LCPL JG Beharry VCCorporal Beharry arrived in Australia in late June2007, and was at the parades in Sydney and Newcastle.

On 1 May 2004, the then Private Beharry was driving a Warrior Tracked Armoured Vehicle that had been called to the assistance of a foot patrol caught in a series of ambushes. The Warrior was hit by multiple rocket propelled grenades, causing damage and resulting in the loss of radio communications. The platoon commander, the vehicle’s gunner and a number of other soldiers in the vehicle were injured. Beharry drove through the ambush, taking his own crew and leading five other Warriors to safety. He then extracted his wounded colleagues from the vehicle, all the time exposed to further enemy fire. He was cited on this occasion for "valour of the highest order".

Corporal Beharry is the latest winner of the Victoria Cross. Please use the Beharry VC button below to read about the action that resulted in the award, and the full citation courtesy the BBC.  Select the video of interview button to see Johnson Beharry interviewed by Kerri-Anne Kennerley of Channel 9 Sydney during his visit to Australia.


 South Australian Report Reserve Forces Day 2007 go to top of page

His Excellency inspects the SA ParadeHis Excellency, Major General Michael Jeffery, AC, CVO, MC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and Her Excellency, Mrs Marlena Jeffery, attended the South Australian Reserve Forces Day activities at Keswick Barracks, Keswick on Sunday August 12, 2007.

Approximately 1000 people watched as troopers from the Barossa Light Horse and 30 historic military vehicles from the Military Vehicles Collectors Society of South Australia led the March of 200 past-Reservists and the re-enactment groups from the Noarlunga Rifles, Fort Glanville Historical Society and the 9 Mile Snipers onto the Parade Ground in Keswick Barracks. The Australian Army Band Adelaide then led a Tri-Service Guard of Reservists to complete the Parade for inspection by His Excellency.

The Guard Commander, Lieutenant Commander Trish Matthews, together with the Commander of the 9th Brigade, Brigadier Tim Hanna, escorted the Governor-General to review the Tri-Service Guard and the Band and afterwards, with the Chairman of the Reserve Forces Day Council – SA, Captain Barrie Newman, RFD, ED (Retd), Major General Jeffery reviewed the past Reservists, cadets from the Australian Air League, re-enactment troops and each of the beautifully restored historic military vehicles.

As Reserve Forces Day this year also commemorated the 90th Anniversary of the successful Charge of the Australian Light Horse at Beersheba in 1917 and the cavalry was the forerunner of Australian armoured forces, the vehicles on parade included many World War II Australian armoured vehicles such as the Dingo, Rover, Bandicoot and Saracen Armoured Cars, bren gun carriers, a scout car, as well as gun tractors, 25pdrs and jeeps. Other armoured vehicles included the Ferret and also the M113 Armoured Personnel Carriers used widely in Vietnam. The latest Light Cavalry Patrol Vehicles from 3rd/9th Light Horse (SAMR) and members of the South Australian Mounted Rifles Association were also part of the March and Parade.

In his following address to “the troops” and to the visitors, His Excellency, commented on the splendid contribution made over the years by Australia’s Reservists and how today they are required to be a more ready Operational Reserve than before. He highlighted the professional commitment of many of our Reserve specialist personnel to a range of humanitarian contingencies and stated, “Today, the Reserves are being geared to bolster our defences against terrorism in the protection of vital national installations and other functions.” He also formally acknowledged, “the families and employers who have supported, or continue to support our Reservists in their service to our nation.”

In thanking His Excellency, “for coming to Adelaide especially to Review our Parade and to address us today,” the Chairman of Reserve Forces Day Council – SA, Captain Barrie Newman, presented the Governor-General with a copy of the book “Vietnam Remembered – Notes by South Australian CMF Observers” about their Tour of Duty as Reservists during the Vietnam War.

After the Parade, drill exhibitions and firings were conducted by the Noarlunga Rifles, Fort Glanville Troopers and the 9 Mile Snipers and a free BBQ was enjoyed by all as they inspected the displays, vehicles and other Reserve activities.

Please use the buttons below to view a short slide show of the parade and read the Governor General's Speech.

 Western Australian Report Reserve Forces Day 2007 go to top of page

This year, as has occurred since 2002, Reserve Forces Day in WA was observed as a combined service at the State War Memorial in King’s Park with the Z Force Operation Rimau Memorial Service on Sunday 8th July and its organisation was coordinated by HQ 13th Brigade. It was supported by Army Cadets. No flypast was provided by 2FTS this year due to operational constraints.

The Catafalque party was provided by the SAS Regiment.

The combined service results from the proximity of the two dates (1st & 7th July) and enables 13th Brigade to support an Association whose numbers and age present difficulties in organization of such a service.

The service was well attended by Reservists past and present, Z Force veterans and was supported by ADF Cadets from the Army Cadets and Army Band Perth.

The service took place in showery weather.

LTCOL Dick Cook
WA Coordinator

 Horsham Parade go to top of page

We had a great day on Sunday 24th at Horsham. Just a couple of random photographs.

1. Leaders of L/H in march.
2. Saracen APC.
3. Left Sec Horsham RFDC Clive Johnson, Maj Jim Amos, Lt Col Ted Lynes.
4. The Horsham 4th Light Horse Troop.

And some more to a total of 18.Regards Jim Amos

 Parkes Reunion Weekend 29 Jun - 1 July 2007 go to top of page

Reserve Forces Day parade Parkes 2007The Army Reserve Reunion weekend saw over 150 ex members and current serving members of the Army Reserve converge on the Parkes Army Reserve depot from Friday night 29 Jun to Sunday 1 July 2007. The Reunion commenced with a meet and greet on the Friday night with some people not having seen there mates for over 30 years. The evening saw people who had travelled from Helensvale QLD, Sydney, Glenbrook, Port Macquarie, Wagga and many people locally. It was not long before the ol’ drill hall came alive with many stories and adventurous capers that these soldiers had endured in their time with the Army Reserve at Parkes. It was a momentous occasion to see and hear these people talking, chatting and laughing to catch up on times gone by and relive those times so many years ago where mateship kept them together. The night wore on into the early hours of Saturday morning where taxis were called to take a few of the battle weary and hardened soldiers home to a warm soft bed.

Saturday morning saw a cool and cloudy morning greet the early risers that attended the Parkes Army Reserve depot for breakfast. The water was boiling and was not long in many cups of coffee and tea were being consumed to clear the head and try to remember some of the previous night’s conversation. With the barbeque heating up, the cooked breakfast was on the move as more of the reunion members released the comforts of that warm bed and turned out to the depot to catch onto the conversations they left behind from the previous night. Time was soon getting away and preparations were being made to gather the forces together again to march one more time as a consolidated group of soldiers/sailors and airmen who stood side by side during many years of training for the defence of Australia. The bus arrived around 1015 hours and the members boarded the bus complimenting on the comfort offered today compared with the trucks and buses that were in service during their time of service. Many people were worried when Mr Tony Scarce turned up in his renovated Military American truck to drive them down to the start point; nobody took up his generous offer.

The parade stepped off at 11.00 with the Trundle Reenactment Troop, 6th Mounted Rifles leading the parade with seven horses and their riders. These horsemen led the parade to commemorate the Australian Light Horseman that went into battle 90 years ago with the last known Light Horse Charge at Beersheba. It was a great privilege and honour to have the Trundle Reenactment Troop, 6th Mounted Rifles to lead the parade to honour all Reserve Defence Forces personnel who had served their time. The parade proceeded down Clarinda Street with Historical Military vehicles, the combined Pipes, Drum Bands of Lachlan Valley Band, and the Canobolas Band. The Pipes and Drums provided a stirring marching beat for the Reunion members to step out with heads held high and shoulders straight. It was good to see the local community turn out to watch the parade and show their appreciation as they passed by. The parade concluded at Cooke Park where invited dignitaries Mr John Cobb MP, Dawn Fardel Local Member Dubbo, Peter Draper Local Member Tamworth and Cr Robert Wilson Mayor of Parkes greeted the parade. After a short address Mr John Cobb presented 13 Australian Defence Medals to Reunion personnel and current serving members 1/19 RNSWR. Generous praise was given to all Reserve Defence personnel who had and still are giving their time and commitment to the Australian Defence Forces and for a great turn out for the weekend. This was then followed by a luncheon at the Army Reserve Depot and an afternoon of fellowship and catching up on times gone by.

Saturday night saw a dinner at the Parkes Services and Citizens Club where 70 reunion members attended a formal dinner in comfortable surroundings to once again have a more sedate chat over a meal. The raffle that had been run over the last 4 months was drawn and the winners were 1st prize $300.00 Fuel voucher Jim Harper, 2nd prize $150.00 Fuel Voucher Todd Sutherland, 3rd prize $50.00 Fuel voucher Ray Griffiths. Congratulations to these winners and big thank you to all the people who bought tickets and supportted this Reunion and the Restoration of the 77mm German Field Gun which will be getting underway very soon.

Sunday 1 July 2007 Reserve Forces Day saw a few hardy people attend the Parkes Army Reserve Depot for breakfast to start the end of a great weekend. At 11.00am, a service was held at the Cenotaph in Cooke Park to commemorate Reserve Forces Day. Over30 Ex serving and current serving Reservists attended the service. The conclusion of the service brought to close the end of the reunion weekend and people were thanked for their attendance to the weekend that made all the preparations a worthwhile effort.

It was the consensus from the weekend that a reunion be held each year from now on, this was agreed with but not on this scale being held over one day.

It is very difficult to thanks everyone that has assisted the committee in bring the Reunion together and making it such a huge success, a special thanks goes out to the Trundle Reenactment Troop 6th Mounted Rifles and the Pipes and Drum Bands for their attendance. A big thanks goes out to Parkes Shire Council and the outdoor staff, the Parkes and Forbes SES Unit members that assisted with the road closures during the parade. Alan Ward and his staff, BAKM Enterprises for their after hours work for the merchandise, Ben and Chris Parkes Cellars for their cooperative assistance, Parkes and District Nasho’s and as stated previously everyone that helped. THANK YOU.

Story and Photos provided by Greg Goode.

  Newcastle Parade 30 June 2007 go to top of page

Overseas visitors in the Newcastle ParadeThe event was successfully conducted on the same timings (from about 9am to 1.30pm) and with the same elements (assembly, march, service and lunch) as in previous years.

The PASHA BULKER salvage operation, extreme weather experienced three weeks before the event and the threat of more of the same, raised questions about the viability of the event. The organisers were forced to make a number of changes, including last minute changes, requiring an intense effort to communicate with those affected, and also provide re-assurance that the event would go ahead.

The Police had warned that the number of sightseers trying to get close to the PASHA BULKER may grid lock the city traffic in the East end. Certainly there were problems for Reserve Forces Day regarding traffic delays and parking for vehicles.

The exclusion zones established for the PASHA BULKER salvage operation meant that we could not march along Wharf Road, could not use TS TOBRUK to assemble guests, nor use Camp Shortland Park next to Nobbys Beach for the service. The whole event had to be conducted on the South side of Wharf Road, going no further East than the Carriage Shed.

The reception of Official Guests was relocated from TS TOBRUK to the Customs House Hotel, which was a convenient location, the down side being that about 50 Official Guests had to be individually contacted to notify this change, in a short time before the event.

A drawcard for the event was the participation of Australia’s now youngest Victoria Cross winner, Mr Keith Payne VC OAM (Vietnam War) and the UK’s youngest ever Victoria Cross awardee, Lance Corporal Johnson Beharry, VC (Iraq War). Other special guests were the Lord Mayor, Councillor John Tate and Lady Mayoress, Cathy and the Reviewing Officer, Major General Warren Glenny AO RFD ED.

We were able to retain the usual assembly area in front of Customs House, so march participants simply had to turn up at the usual time and place. The length of the march was halved from over 800 metres to about 400 metres. This was a major but unavoidable effect, which, among other things, prevented vehicles from accompanying the march column. Some World War II restored vehicles were used for static display and as a backdrop to the service.

The number that marched was about 460, down on the usual number of 600 in previous years, but not surprising, given the conditions and uncertainties. Total attendance at the event was towards 800.

The service was relocated from near Nobbys Beach/TS TOBRUK to an area near the Carriage Shed, which was not a problem and reduced the time and distance to get from the service to the lunch venue. The lunch was at the same time and place as in previous years, possibly the only downside being the greater than usual difficulty estimating the number for whom to cater.

Between lunch and train time, the Mayfield Ex-Services Club bus and two sedans were used to give the visiting reservists from the United Kingdom and Canada a tour of Newcastle’s East Coast. From foreign reservists in previous years, we learned that they found Newcastle’s East to be very interesting and scenic.

There were things that went wrong and there always will be with an event of this size and complexity. However, the organisers of Reserve Forces Day received total cooperation from all the authorities involved, especially the Newcastle City Council and it’s Event Coordinator, Mr James Mackay and the NSW Traffic Police, led by Senior Constable Len Rees. We are very grateful for their outstanding efforts, which helped keep problems to the minimum.

Peter Toms
RFD Hunter

  Canberra Parade go to top of page

Reserve Forces Day Parade Canberra 2007The Reserve Forces Day parade was held in Canberra on Saturday 23 June 2007. The guest of honour was the Chief of the Defence Force Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, AO, AFC, he was quoted as saying:

"Reserve Forces Day is a wonderful opportunity for the wider Australian community to acknowledge the service of past and present Defence Reservists"


  Melbourne Launch go to top of page

John and Virginia Moore attended the Melbourne Launch of the RFD last Sunday 20 May 07.

It was an excellent launch including 4/19 PWLH members with Lances and Pennants, their Band, Digger James and John Cox spoke and then after moving inside Peter Corlett the sculptor showed the model of the new monument and spoke on its design. The 5 min clip of the Lighthorsemen film was shown.

The Pratt foundation provided the drinks catering VIP tent etc etc. The Pratt's allowed their home "Raheen" to be used for the Launch. They were not available as they were in Brisbane.

Please use the button below to download Minister Billson's speech which gives a good wrap for RFD.

Well done to Peter Wertheimer and the Melbourne RFDC.

  Community Service Announcements go to top of page

General LeahyThe Chief of the Australian Army Lieutenant General Peter Leahy AO has kindly recorded TV Community Service Announcements to publicise the 2007 parade.  Select the buttons below to view the announcements.  The NSW announcement is a 472 kb .wmv file, elsewhere in Australia video a 556 kb .wmv file.  The audio CSA was recorded by radio personality John Laws, it is a 272 kb .wma file.

  Sydney Launch 1 March 2007 go to top of page

A successful launch of the parade to be held in Sydney on 1 July 2007 was held in Defence Plaza, Pitt Street on the evening of 1 March 2007.

Unit associations were honoured with presentations by Sit Laurence Street for their excellent turn-out in the 2006 parade, and 2006 wrapped up with a video of parade excerpts.

Members of regimental associations whose units trace their traditions to the Light Horse carried pennants, one for each light horse regiment in WW1. Brian Walters, secretary/treasurer of the Royal New South Wales Lancers' Association carried the 1st pennant, Jeff Darke, the 15th Dave Crisp, Barry Follington of the Hunter River Lancers Association and members of the Commando association also carried pennants.  Pennants for the the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments, the regiments that took part in the charge were carried by Light Horse re-enactors. The Australian Intelligence Corps banner was marched in to indicate the parade this year will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Australian Intelligence Corps.

Captain Cox again gave a detailed description of the charge at Beersheba, Peter Phelps told what it was like as an actor on the set of the film the Lighthorsemen 20 years ago.

Colonel John Moore gave a short description of what is proposed for this year, and thanked our sponsors.

Video is 1.3mb .wmv file.

  National and NSW Launch 2 December 2006 go to top of page

The Premier of New South Wales Morris Iemma, the Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP representing the Prime Minister and Actor Peter Phelps, one of the stars from the 1987 Australian feature film “The Lighthorsemen”, joined Navy, Army and Air Force Reservists and Light Horse  re-enactors for the national launch of the 2007 Reserve Forces Day program on Saturday 2 December 2006 at Shore School, Blue Street, North Sydney.

The Launch was performed by Major General “Digger” James AC AO OBE MC Patron of the Light Horse Association of Australia.  It was preceded by a parade led by Pipes and Drums followed by Army and Air Force Cadets carrying 15 pennants representing the Australian Light Horse Regiments from the Desert Campaign, WW1; a section of 4 horses and riders, equipped in Light Horse uniform and gear used in the Charge at Beersheba.

Speeches in support of the reserve, and in remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice were made by Mr Iemma and Senator Bishop.  Captain Cox, son of the RSM of the 4th LH at Beersheba spoke of the charge describing it in detail; there was not a dry eye in the house.  Lieutenant Colonel Roger Noble DSC CSC who was the Commander of the Al Muthanna Task Group in Southern Iraq and CO of the Second Cavalry Regiment (2 Cav is one of the regiments carrying forward the traditions of the Light Horse) drew on the accolade given the  Light Horse by General Allenby, a description of the Australian soldier's adaptability; as applicable today as it was in 1918. An excerpt of the film "The Lighthorsemen" was also shown.

The buttons below take you to a slide show of the launch, short videos (windows media player required) of the parade and Lieutenant Colonel Noble's speech, .pdf files (Adobe Acrobat reader required) of the Prime Minister's message the Premier's speech and coverage in the Mosman Daily of 30 November 2006.

You can use the buttons below to view a shortened version the charge sequence (Slow: 38kb/s 1MB; Fast: 150kb/s 4MB) from the film "The Lighthorsemen" or Click Here to go to our memorabilia shop and buy a DVD copy of the entire film.

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Reserve Forces Day Council Inc
Patron in Chief His Excellency General the Honourable Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd), Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia
National Chairman the Honourable Tim Fischer AC
National Executive Officer and NSW Chairman Lieutenant Colonel John Moore OAM RFD ED Retd

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