Radschool Association Magazine - Vol 26

Page 3

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Col Price sent us this. Col said it was written by an Australian Peacekeeping Soldier stationed overseas and that it should be passed on to others – we think he’s right!!

 

And even though Christmas has been and gone and we are a bit late getting it out, we still think it's relevant.

 

 

T'WAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE,
MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE. 

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY,
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO,
IN THIS HOME, DID LIVE. 

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE. 

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES,
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS. 

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT,
CAME THROUGH MY MIND. 

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY. 

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR,
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME. 

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN  DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED,
AN AUSTRALIAN SOLDIER. 

WAS THIS THE HERO,  
OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, 
THE FLOOR FOR A BED? 

I REALIZED THE FAMILIES,
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS,
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT. 

 

SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,

 

AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE,

A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY. 

 

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM,
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE. 

I COULDN'T HELP WONDER,
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE,
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME. 

THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT,
A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES,
AND STARTED TO CRY. 

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED,
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
"SANTA DON'T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE; 

I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS." 

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP. 

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL,
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED,
FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL. 

I DID NOT WANT TO LEAVE,
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR,
SO WILLING TO FIGHT. 

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA,
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE." 

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,  
 AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,  
 AND TO ALL A GOOD   NIGHT."

 

 

Radschool Staff – we name more names!!

 

Here’s that photo again, it first appeared in Vol 24 with only a few names, and now we’ve nearly got them all, though we still don’t know who the girls are.

 

Back Row L-R:   ?? ??, ?? ??, ?? ??, Ray Blake, Peter Coleman, Noel Green, ?? ??,

Middle Row L-R:   ?? ??, ?? ??, Alan Plummer, ?? ??, Peter Fraser, ?? ??, Trevor Forbes,

Front Row L-R:   ?? ??, Graham Brownrigg, Dickie Bird, Trevor Brougham (EDO), Nick  Ward (EDO), John Dallimore, Andrew Elverston, Jim Lander, Bugs Rose, ?? ??,

 

Chris Caterer gave us Trevor Brougham, Kevin Ward and John Dallimore and Bruce Hart said that the bloke in the middle row, 3rd in from the right is Peter Fraser, not Jon Wye and the bloke who is in the front row, 5th from right is (John ?) Dallymore - may have been CO at the time but definitely became CO of Radschool at one time. (Sept86 to Jan90 - tb).

 

Nev Ford gave us F-R 6th from left - Nick Ward, now working as an engineer at Boeing Australia in Brisbane and F-R 7th from left is Andrew Elverston currently a GPCAPT in Canberra. Kevin Cragg says the bloke in the back row second from the right is Cpl Noel Gree, a Rad Tech G from Newcastle. Kev says he worked with Noel on the Surad Head at Willy 79-8? A real gentleman.

 

 

No 1 RTG.

 

Eddie Young sent us the photo below, he doesn’t think many of the graduates in the photo are still around, but he’s pleased to say that he is - having celebrated his 80th birthday last May and he’s still involved in running his own business.

 

Back L-R: Keith (Tubby) Cameron, Snow Terry, Ray Pitcher, Eddie Young, John Blythman, Jack Humphries

Front L-R:  Basil Lofthouse, Jack Chard, Harry Andrews, Bren Thompson, Jim Carr, Alan Barty

 

Eddie completed a radio serviceman course in December 1947 learning the servicing techniques of air borne gear e.g APX 2, Loran, radio compass etc.

 

After finishing his serviceman's (Mechs) course, he was posted to 82 Wing at Amberley, which was loaded with Lincolns, which at that time had no radar. He said they learned to service the 5043 Marconi transceiver and the battery intercom which was the limit of their electronic installation. He sent us this photo (right) which he reckons is of a piece of equipment that took up a lot of their time trying to keep it working and he reckons it is a bit of gear not a lot of us would have worked on, let alone know what it is. It is the APX2 IFF set that was fitted to the Catalina.

 

He then did a tech conversion course, No 1 Rad. Tech (G) course, and graduated on the 5th May 1950.  All blokes on the course were previously Radio servicemen who had spent up to 18 months at various units prior to returning to Ballarat mid 1949 for the tech conversion.

 

After completing his tech (G) course (1 RTG) he was posted to Base Squadron Canberra for 3 weeks and thence to 86 wing at Richmond to work on the intricate electronic equipment fitted to the DC3’s. 

 

Eddie reckons someone had not bothered to advise the general hand in charge of postings what the (G) or (A) meant in the mustering title.

 

 

 

This is a bunch of 19 Appies – at Laverton, back in 1965. They are top to bottom:

 

 Phil Laird, Allan George, Arnie Vereschildt,

Tony Neave and Kevin Smith.

 

The photo was taken from the hallway in their hut 450, when the blokes were 15 or 16 year olds.  Back then the rooms had no doors on them – perhaps so the Appies couldn’t lock themselves in?

 

 

 

 

18 RMT Revisited

 

 

We heard from Robin Haynes who is currently living in Thailand, he says he was in the 18 RMT photo and is in the front row, 7th from the left.

 

We asked him if he could remember the incident and he replied “No, sorry, I can not remember much about the incident only that there was a bit of a stink for a while about something, perhaps now I know why.”

 

So, now we have:

 

Back Row:   No names.

Middle row:  Greg Black, ??, Arthur Woods, ??, ??, ??, ??, Alan Talbot, ??

Front Row:   ??, ??, ??, ??, ??, ??, Robin Haynes, ??, ??, ???

 

 

Allan George sent us the following photos which were taken during his stay at Appyland back in 1965. They are sure to bring back a lot of (fond??) memories…..

 

 

 

 

 
 

 
 
 

 

 

Paul Hewitt’s room at Appyland back in 1965.

 

 

 

Notice the thickness of the mattress on the bed, they must have been just so comfortable.

 

I’m pretty sure the “Thicks” had ‘slightly’ better foams, perhaps we had 4 inch as against the “Brat’s” 2 inch.

 

And bed rolls!!! tell that to blokes who joined up yesterday and they just wouldn’t believe you.

 

But, I bet we look back at our time with fonder memories than they will……

 

 

 

REOA Members at their Mid Year Lunch

 

On the 9 July 2008, some 31 REOA members visited the Officers’ Mess at Victoria Barracks in Melbourne. The lunch was conducted very much like a formal dinning-in night in very traditional surrounds with the dark wood and table settings. Based on the feed back received, it appears to have been very well received by those who attended.

 

Following lunch, the blokes were split into three groups. With a guide allocated to each group, they were escorted on a shortened formal tour of the Victoria Barracks complex including the old war rooms. For many of them this brought back fond memories of time spent here under the old HQSC structure.

 

Lunch at the Victoria Barracks Officers’ Mess provided a welcome opportunity to partake of good food and refreshments and bring back memories for a large number of the blokes... And, even more importantly, to catch up with friendships which had developed over the many years service in the RAAF.

 

 

The REOA website is http://mc2.vicnet.net.au/home/raafreoa/web/index.html

 

 

When four of Santa's elves got sick, the trainee elves did not produce toys as fast as the regular ones, and Santa began to feel the Pre-Christmas pressure.

Then Mrs Claus told Santa her Mother was coming to visit, which stressed Santa even more.

When he went to harness the reindeer, he found that three of them were about to give birth and two others had jumped the fence and were out, Heaven knows where.

Then when he began to load the sleigh, one of the floorboards cracked, the toy bag fell to the ground and all the toys were scattered.

Frustrated, Santa went in the house for a cup of apple cider and a shot of rum. When he went to the cupboard, he discovered the elves had drank all the cider and hidden the rum. In his frustration, he accidentally dropped the cider jug, and it broke into hundreds of little glass pieces all over the kitchen floor. He went to get the broom and found the mice had eaten all the straw off the end of the broom.

Just then the doorbell rang, and an irritated Santa marched to the door, yanked it open, and there stood a little angel with a great big Christmas tree.

The angel said very cheerfully, 'Merry Christmas, Santa. Isn't this a lovely day? I have a beautiful tree for you. Where would you like me to stick it?'

And so began the tradition of the little angel on top of the Christmas tree.

 

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