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Reserve Forces Day 2012

  Helping Out the With the National Boer War Memorial  

This year, Reserve Forces Day not only helped to raise the profile of the Boer War, and need to have a National Memorial by having the Boer War as theme; commemorative medallion sales yielded the largest single contribution ($38,000) to memorial funding. Medallions were bought by descendants and supporters and presentation ceremonies organised wherever there was a Reserve Forces Day parade, and at other locations; including Tshwane (Pretoria) South Africa where presentations were organised for a tour group of Australians to have theirs presented by the head of tourism for the Tshwane City Council. All presentations were made by a prominent person.

The photos above, show clockwise from top left: Colonel Bill Molloy receives his medallion on 31 May 2012 outside Melrose House where the peace treaty was signed 100 years ago to the day; Senator Matt Thistlethwaite presents medallions at the Reserve Forces Day parade Sydney 1 July 2012; Judith Higson receives her medallion at the Federal Parliamentary Offices, Sydney 16 July 2012; Major Frank Woodhams, Reserve Forces Day Council Treasurer looks on as Senator Matt Thistlethwaite on behalf of the Reserve Forces Day Council congratulates Colonel John Haynes president of the National Boer War Memorial Association after the presentation of the unprecedented donation.

The Reserve Forces Day Council has now formed a group consisting of Reserve Forces Day Council and National Boer War Memorial Association members to assist with continuing funding initiatives. The commemorative medallions will continue to be sold CLICK HERE for details, and the Military History Tour of the South African Boer War sites will again include medal presentations at Melrose House on 31 May 2013, CLICK HERE for details.

  National Parade go to top of page

Please activate the button to your left to view a slideshow of the National Parade in Sydney on 1 July 2012 prepared by Peter Butterworth.

Major General Warren Glenny AO, RFD, ED representing Sir Laurence Street congratulated those organising the Sydney Reserve Forces Day Council for being able to react to the weather situation, and the quagmire the usual venue, the Sydney Domain, had become in moving the parade to the Sydney Town Hall with such efficiency. He and Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO both spoke of the sacrifice of young Australian Reservists in the Second Boer War 110 years ago and congratulated the Reservists present on their service to the nation.

DOWNLOAD Prime Minister's mesage of support.

DOWNLOAD Reserve Forces Day Boer War Flyer.

  Horsham 5 August 2012  

400 people attended RFD Horsham on Sunday 5 August a sunny but cold day held at the 15 Transport Sqn RACT Training Depot. Horsham. RFD was a bit different this year as we combined RFD with a Unit open day at the depot. The main reason for this was the naming of the Training Depot. Maj Carl Edwards OC 15 Tpt Sqn RACT announced that the name of the Depot is to be the 'James Lawson Depot' in honour of Colonel James Lawson DSO of the Charge at Beersheba fame and who was perhaps the Wimmera's most famous soldier.

  Mount Gambier 7 July 2012  

The President of the royal South Australia Regiment Association stated that the Reserve Forces Day Memorial Service held on Saturday night the 7 July was an outstanding tribute to the 'Fathers of Our Anzacs'.

The service conducted this year seen a break away from the 'traditional' by including junior organisations assisting with the service; the Catafalque party conducted by the local 48 ACU (Cadet unit), with the Ode being recited by Cadet WO2 Glen Fleet, the reading of the honour roll by senior

Scout Darian Rochow, and a senior Girl Guide namely Emily Turley, leading the assembly in the Lord’s prayer.

Slightly more than 100 people members attended the service; of note in that number comprised the Management Committee of the Mount Gambier RSL, approximately 10 Viet Nam Veterans, a sprinkling on National Servicemen, South Australia Police Superintendent for this region, 12 members of A Company 10/27th Battalion and other community minded officials.

A very good roll up of our members, from the Royal South Australia Regiment Association attended to ensure that 'thing'” went as planned.

A total of 9 wreaths were placed, 3 of those by Boer War descendants, of which our local Independent Member for SA, Don Pegler and his Father participated.

The Local media attended both the Service and the supper dance which held after the service which was a joint venture between the RSARA and the RSAR, with most of the groups mentioned above having a great night at the Community RSL.

To date we have received the equivalent of 5 pages in the local print media the Border Watch, 2 news items on Win TV, with very generous support from the local radio station 963.

It was a great event, certainly worthy of the effort put in by all sorts of persons too numerous to mention, having said that we in Mount Gambier would like to pass our thanks to the Reserve forces Day National Committee for the platform that allowed us all associated with the event to look good and feel proud of our community.

Robert Sandow.

  The Governor of NSW's Reception go to top of page

Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC, CVO kindly hosted a reception for New South Wales descendants of Boer War soldiers to receive their commemorative medallions.

  The Presentation of Medallions in South Africa go to top of page

In Tshwane (Pretoria) outh Africa the head of tourism attended a ceremony conducted by Military History Tours Australia, presenting commemorative medallions to those on descendants tour.

CLICK HERE for more information.

  Community Service Announcements go to top of page

The chief of the Defence Force General David Hurley AC, DSC kindly supported Reserve Forces Day 2012 by recording our Community Service Announcements:

for New South Wales:

for elsewhere in Australia:

  Association Sergeant Majors - April 2012 go to top of page

Parade briefing and awarding of ASM badges

  National Launch - Parliament House, Sydney 26 November 2011  

The Premier of New South Wales, the Hon Barry O’Farrell MP launched Reserve Forces Day 2012 at Parliament House, Sydney on Saturday 26 November 2011. The launch was spectacular and moving, The Premier standing near where Sir William Lyne would have when he announced New South Wales would send troops to the Boer War in 1899.

The day started ominously, usually sunny Sydney was not so. It was raining heavily, and had done so for days. There were thoughts of cancelling the parade of Boer War descendants, and unit standards from Hyde Park North to Parliament House when the sky cleared, sun came out and temperature seemed to rise by 10 degrees. Some put it all down to the presence of Captain Fred Nile ED (Ret’d) and his reputed capacity to commune with the almighty, the rest just considered the force was strong near John Moore.

A great parade and ceremony followed. Please click on the thumbnails to access video of the parade and speeches.

The parade from Hyde Park North to Parliament House Sir Laurence Street and Lieutenant Colonel John Moore open proceedings. Senator Mark Thistlethwaite delivers the Prime Minister's message. The Hon Barry O'Farrell MP, Premier of NSW launches Reserve Forces Day 2012. Colonel John Haynes introduces the Boer War theme. Keith Anderson recites the Lancers' Revellie by AB Patterson.
Please activate the button to view a slideshow of the launch.
Please activate the buttons to your left to download messages of support from the Governor General and the Prime Minister and the Premier's media release.
Please activate the button to your right to download the flyer handed out by the National Boer War Memorial association at the launch.
Please select the image to your left to hear PTE Elizabeth Smith sing "Soldiers of the Queen" accompanied by MUSN Tom Urquhart on the piano.


  Rehearsal for the National and NSW Launch go to top of page

On Sat 12 Nov 11 the rehearsal for the National and NSW Launch was held in Hyde Park North and Parliament House. We were very pleased with the number on parade.

A special presentation was made during morning tea of two RAAF Standards as well as the white carriers and carry bag donated by the City of Sydney.

Councilor Shayne Mallard represented the Lord Mayor of Sydney. Councilor Mallard has been a great supporter of RFD. He is a Councilor in the South Sydney Council and was responsible for having the Minister of Defence at the time appearing on our TV CSA.

  • The first Standard presented by the Councilor, represents No 22 (City of Sydney) Squadron RAAF, formerly a Citizen Air Force Squadron formed in 1936. The Squadron protected the Sydney area should there be war. Upon the outbreak of WWII, the Squadron served with distinction in the Pacific and a courageous pilot was awarded the Victoria Cross for Valour. The Squadron’s last flight, in 1956, flew over Sydney in a flight of eight Meteor aircraft and bid farewell as it returned to RAAF Base Richmond to continue to proudly serve as a non flying Squadron.
  • The second Standard presented by the Councilor, represents those members who served as National Servicemen in the RAAF and for all other RAAF members to rally behind.


The Parade Commander LTCOL Wayne Butler and the OIC Standard Party Capt Michael Carrodus presented the RFDC Recognition badges to the qualified Standard Bearers and asked them to wear them at the Launch so that they are readily recognised and thanked by the VIPs. The members have been awarded a the Badge after achieving the performance level required. The badges are also awarded in recognition of the commitment, dedication and extra time they contribute to successful parades and launches.

  Comemorating the Boer War 1899 - 1902 go to top of page

In 2012, Reserve Forces Day comemorates the 110th anniversary of the treaty signing to end the Second Boer War at Tshwane (Pretoria) on 31 May 1902.

The Boer War saw the deployment of 1,600 Australian Cavalry, Mounted Infantry (some infantry were sent but quickly mounted), Artillery, Medical and specialist troops from all Australian states, almost all were serving part-time soldiers and had the bush skills needed to sway this conflict.  At Belmont on 19 November 1899 the New South Wales Lancers became the first Australians in combat, and at Sunnyside on 1 January 1900 Trooper Victor Jones of the Queensland Mounted Infantry became the first Australian to die in battle.  516 young Australians lost their lives, Six Australian soldiers were awarded VC's and three of our nurses were awarded Royal Red Cross. Our soldiers were dying when our nation was formed. We should never forget them. FIND OUT MORE about the Boer War.

Mouse-over images for details.

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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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