PATRON: Brigadier The Hon David Thomson MC, (RL)
July 2004 f
report is in addition to your latest copy of the 4RAR Assoc Qld December
Edition Fighting Fourth Newsletter. Due to the vast amount of News
in respect to our current Battalion and Assoc business – there is no way
that it would all fit into my normal half or one page contribution. In
this vane, I have prepared an additional report for the 4RAR/4RAR (Cdo)
Assoc members which is longer than 1 page, and is forwarded for your
perusal and viewing pleasure.
PRESIDENTS REPORT NUMBER 3/07
Garry Heskett - President/Secretary 0414512302 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Morris - Senior Vice President 0438532208 email@example.com
XO – Junior Vice President Bn HQs’ 87822626
Phil Sadler - Treasurer 0418400549 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Morrison - Webmaster/Editor 0403112758 email@example.com
RSM - Committee Bn HQs’ 87822626
John Woodley - Committee 97081736 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jim Wrigley - Committee 47738013 email@example.com
Chris Hurley - Committee 96485064 firstname.lastname@example.org
Daryl Green - Committee 0425343670 email@example.com
Bn HQs’ 87822626
A big welcome to all our
Association Members across NSW and ACT. Also I extend a
similar welcome to one and all former brothers across Australia and
overseas. Since the last Newsletter we have had a significant
increase in new applications from former members that were originals,
with a small but important increase with our present day Commando
Warriors that have served their time and our nation, and have returned
to their civilian life.
PRIVATE LUKE WORSLEY B COY/4RAR (Cdo)
November 07 at 0730hrs An Australian Commando serving with the
Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) in Afghanistan was KIA by Taliban
extremists. He was as most of you are aware by now Private Luke
Worsley of B Coy/4RAR (Cdo) – he was 26 years of age. The action
in which Luke died was characterised by heavy, close quarter fighting.
The SOTG was conducting an operation to clear an identified Taliban bomb
making facility in Oruzgan Province, when Luke was hit by small arms
fire. This was indeed tragic news for Luke’s father; John, Mother;
Marjorie, his three sisters, brother, family relatives and friends of
Luke. It was also tragic news for the ADF – particularly our
serving warriors of 4RAR (Cdo) and all former members of 4RAR.
From memory this was the first soldier KIA from B Coy/4RAR since Vietnam
68-69 and the first soldier KIA from 4RAR since we turned the lights out
in Vietnam in 1972. I have received emails from a number of our
members offering their condolences and sympathy to the family and
friends of Luke and to our current serving battalion 4RAR (Cdo).
Both Alan Price and I have expressed our deepest sorrow in our
respective letters to Luke’s family which was delivered by the CO Lt.Col.
Mark Smethurst AM in company with Maj.Gen. Mike Hindmarsh AM., CSC…on
Monday afternoon the 26th November 07.
If you have ever visited our 4RAR (Cdo) base at Holsworthy Barracks, you may have noticed a Memorial Stone within the confines of our famous and history making Battalion. On our Memorial Stone under the heading of “4th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment Honour Roll” are the names of 34 of our former 4RAR warriors who have similarly made the supreme sacrifice from Malaya/Sarawak to Vietnam. In cooperation with our Battalions’ Command, Dave Morris our Sen/Vice coordinated Pte Luke Worsley’s name to be included as the 35th name to be inscribed upon our Honour Roll. We are thankful that our Battalion financed this worthy project. We send our finest, and there is no doubt that Luke was one of our best who sadly has made the ultimate and supreme sacrifice, and his name will always be recited and remembered at commemorative type services conducted by the Battalion or our Association in perpetuity - for we shall never forget.
Lest We Forget
farewell Pte Luke Worsley at Tarin Kowt in Afghanistan 28th
On Wednesday, 28
November 2007 Private Luke Worsley was bid farewell by his comrades
during a solemn ceremony at Tarin Kowt. During the Ramp Ceremony, a
bearer party of eight commandos (see above) carried the casket slowly
between two rows of saluting soldiers who formed a guard of honour to
mark his final departure from the Australian base. As fellow diggers
stood bowed at the rear of the aircraft, a final prayer was read over
the body of Private Worsley by Army Chaplain David Niven. Chaplain Niven
said that today’s ceremony was an opportunity for those deployed in
southern Afghanistan to send their mate home to his family in a manner
that was dignified and respectful. “It gives him the honour that is due
a soldier that has lost his life in battle,” he said. The Commander of
Australian forces in the Middle East, Major-General Mark Evans, said the
Joint Task Force was deeply saddened by the loss of Private Worsley. “If
there is any solace, it is in our knowledge that Luke was a fine soldier
and was with his mates at the time of his death.
Since our last Newsletter – we
have also had to say a sad goodbye to a lot of our former brothers in
arms from 4RAR as you well know. I take this opportunity on behalf
of all our members to pass on to the families and friends of our
recently departed comrades our deepest sympathy and sincerest
condolences which are extended across Australia - Lest We Ever Forget.
Further, to all our members who are hospitalised or are suffering ill
health we send our best wishes for a Get Well Soon. To our current
serving 4RAR(Cod) troops away from home on various courses or on
temporary transfer, and in particular those serving in various hot spots
around the globe – we pray for your well being and safe return.
Bryan Holborow (Holby) 4RAR
68-69 and I were selected as Trainers for the Australian Police Rugby
Union (APRU) Tour of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and London where our team
visited and played against brother Police Representative Rugby teams
from the aforementioned. The tour went for a month departing
Australia on the worst day anyone would want to travel by plane 11th
Sept or as the yanks say 9/11 and returning on the 9th Oct.
We played in 5 x tests, and yes we won some and came 2nd in
some and ate a lot of curry and chips or chicken and chips in between.
In fact everything is served with chips. When we were not busy
with the team doing Injury Management in the ‘House of Pain’ as it
became known, or Training - and we got some free time, we visited some
wonderful historical sites as well as Military and Police Museums.
We also visited some very old pubs as we felt it was our duty to learn
the culture and speak the language or dialect of each country we visited
and sample their respective amber liquid. We discovered our
accents were all the same when we drank more – not less. We
had a great and memorable time, but sure glad to be back home. I
think the lowest point of the tour was going to a pub in London full of
Poms and seeing England defeat the Wallabies, and later that same day
during the evening - Holby and I went to another Pub to throw our
support behind the Kiwis in their World Cup Rugby game against France in
a pub full of Frenchmen would you believe yelling “Viva la France” - and
the kiwis let us down too. At least we beat the Pommy Police in
our game. It was not a good time to be an Aussie or Kiwi for that matter
in the middle of London. There are numerous and funny tales to tell if
space allowed, and of course tales that will always remain on tour.
TO B COY 4RAR (Cdo) & OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE SFTF AT 4RAR (Cdo)
On Tuesday/24th July 07, in coy with David Morris, John Woodley, Ian Morrison and other Assoc members, and I apologise if I have omitted anyone/s name - we attended 4RAR (Cdo) for 2 x significant events in the presence of the Governor General and other VIP’s. These activities were:
1. Farewell to the B Coy (Cdo) Group (BCCG) to Afghanistan
2. Official Opening of the Special Forces Training Facility. (SFTF) which is absolutely outstanding and is considered the best SFTF in the western world. After the official farewell and official opening, we were witness to a large range of their arsenal and ordinance and an exercise where explosions and gunfire were all around us – including forced building entries. If you ever get the opportunity to see their Training facility - then you will know why our 4RAR (Cdo) Bn is widely recognised as one of the best, if not the best Cdo Unit in the world. This function also gave us Assoc members the opportunity to say farewell to the boys, and at the same time speak to a number of their parents and friends who attended. Luke Worsley was part of this detachment as you know, and us Assoc Members that attended to bid farewell, to a man are extremely grateful for the opportunity to do so.
October 07, I attended the 4RAR (Cdo) Unit Citation for Gallantry
Parade at their new HQ’s area at Holsworthy. It was grand to see
our most esteemed Patron Brig The Hon David Thomson MC together with his
caring loving wife Judy at this parade. David was looking good
particularly after his long bout of sickness which saw him hospitalised
in Canberra and Bateman’s Bay. He is back walking and swimming
with his mermaids again and showing us all what a fighter he is. It was
also particularly pleasing to see Alan Price President 4RAR Assoc Qld
make the flight and attend this Parade as well. Other members of our
Assoc in attendance were Wally Thompson OAM, John & Mary Woodley, Ian &
Rita Morrison, Dave Morris, Daryl Green, Doug & Judy Sewell, Chris
Hurley, Tony Lowe including family and friends of the current members on
Parade. Once again if I failed to mention your name as in attendance – I
apologise. Other Official Guest was: Governor General, CA,
SOCAUST, DSOC, The Hon Dana Vale, as well as the COs and members of all
other units who contributed to the parade. This includes SOHQ, 1 CDO,
171 Sqn, 5 AVN, SOLS, 1 Int BN, 6 RAR and the IRR. It was an
occasion of Historical Importance for our current serving Battalion, and
we were privileged to be present and witness to our Battalion being
officially honoured with their Unit Citation for Gallantry as a result
of their brave and heroic actions during their service in Afghanistan.
The Unit Citations for Gallantry was officially attached to our
magnificent Bn Colours. The UCG related to the same actions and
are in addition to the 2 x personal Gallantry Medals already received by
2 x current serving members of the Battalion by the Governor General
during Nov 2006.
CALL TO ARMS
I have been requested to put
out a call to arms by the Battalion Unit Trust Fund if we have any
members out there who is an accountant? The Battalion is
establishing their Unit Trust and need to appoint an accountant to
voluntarily administer it and keep the minutes of the trust. If
possible, the Battalion would prefer to utilise one of us in the
Association instead of an outsider. I have been reliably informed that
the Trust will require minimal work, PLUS a little incentive on the side
for the volunteer. Once again I reiterate that the position is
voluntary, so if any of our members out there are sitting at home
twiddling their thumbs - looking for something to do - I am sure that
your assistance would be greatly appreciated and welcomed. Please
phone or email me if you can help. I iterate that I have been
reliably informed that once the Trust is set up – it will require
minimal work, and you will be doing something really worthwhile in
helping out our Battalion.
BIRTHDAY DINNER RAR ASSOC QLD
November 07 after we voted in Coffs Harbour - In coy with my wife
Suzanne we drove up to Brisbane and attended the RAR Assoc Qld 59th
Birthday Annual Dinner at the Gaythorne RSL where our Bn’s current CO –
Lt.Col. Mark Smethurst AM was the Guest Speaker. With my wife Suzanne I
was seated at the official table with Mark, also Lt. Col. Ted Chitham MC
(Rtd) President RAR Assoc Qld and his wife Maureen, Noel Fairley and his
daughter Amanda, Alan and Maureen Price and SSGT Frank N. Stein who was
out of uniform as he was still wearing his DPCU’s. Other 4RAR members
there as well seated at another table were Noel and Ah Moi Kelly, Ross
and Trish McGregor, Ian ‘Zunt’ Morrison and Christine Upton. There
were others, which I did not get a chance to see or speak to so forgive
me if I have omitted your name. Lt.Col. Mark Smethurst AM looked
absolutely buggered for the want of a better word, as he had been with
the family of Pte Luke Worsley all day comforting them in their time of
grief. Hearing of Luke Worsley death most certainly made us all
feel somber, but the evening was an enjoyable one. Mark looking
very tired delivered an exceptional and outstanding speech and update on
our Battalions current history. One could have heard a pin drop as
we sat and listened to the current conflicts etc that our current
Battalion is engaged in. As former 4RAR members present – to a man
and woman he made us very proud as 4RAR (Cdo) was the showcase Battalion
amongst all other Battalion representatives from the RAR that were
present at this dinner. After dinner we shared a drink until the lights
went out, and told to leave the premises. There were only 6 of us left
being Allan and Maureen Price, myself and Suzanne and Mark Smethurst and
SSGT Frank N. Stein. Frank N. Stein was put to bed in his suitcase as we
accompanied both Mark and Frank N Stein to a taxi and bid them both
farewell. There were photos taken throughout the evening and I
have no doubt that the Editor of the Fighting Fourth will include some
of those in his next newsletter in 2008 with his report. On the
way home on Sunday, I think I was zapped by a Speeding Camera, and if so
it will have been an expensive weekend. I should have let my wife
drive……oh well I will wait for the ticket to arrive, however, I am
hoping it zapped the P Plate Driver in front of me with QLD
FUNERAL OF PTE LUKE WORSLEY (Photos by Brendan Esposito SMH)
At 1000hrs/Tuesday/4th December 07 – In company with 4RAR Association members – 1st RSM/A Wally Thompson OAM, David Morris and Chris Burgess (Both Former B Coy 71-72 with Chris travelling down from Qld), Derrill de Heer who travelled up from the ACT, Tony Lowe, Chris Hurley and Warren Barnes President of the Assoc of 4th Inf Bn’s, and Ryan Morris (Son of David Morris who is a Serving Member and former 4RAR(Cdo) - we joined Luke's family, relatives, friends, current serving members of 4RAR(Cdo), the ADF, and both State and Federal Politicians, at the Funeral service for the late Private Luke Worsley, at the St Andrew's Anglican Cathedral next to the Sydney Town Hall. All former and current serving members were requested not to wear Medals, so that the media could not identify and zoom in on our current serving Commandos. The very nature of their service affords them protected identity status due to our current Battalions commitment in respect to our global war on terrorism and their special security operations role both nationally and internationally. The dress for men was suit and tie without medals and equivalent for ladies.
The cathedral was filled to capacity, as family, friends and colleagues of Private Worsley came together to pay their respects to a brave soldier whose humour and good nature was endearing to all who knew him. During the service Luke’s actions became profoundly clear when his brave deed and service life were eulogized by his CO Lt.Col Mark Smethurst AM, his Platoon Commander, Platoon Sgt and others. He was well loved by all his family and friends, and well respected and liked by all his brothers in arms. “Luke was the first man of the team through the door, and was met by enemy forces that opened fire at close range, resulting in Luke being killed almost instantly. Luke’s actions upon entering the room, warning of the enemy threat, almost certainly saved the lives of other members of his team” It was Luke’s 2nd tour of Afghanistan. He served in East Timor in 2003 with 1 RAR. He qualified as a Commando in 2004 and was part of 4RAR (Cdo) tour of Afghanistan when the Bn was awarded the Unit Citation for Gallantry (UCG).
Following the funeral service there was a wake held at 4 RAR (Cdo) consisting of a buffet lunch and drinks in the SGT’s Mess. We joined families and friends of our deployed personnel at the wake and personally conveyed our respect and sympathies to Luke’s family and friends. Beccy Cole – Australian Country Music Artist who visited the Middle East over Christmas 2006 to entertain the troops kept from their families, also attended the wake at the Sgt’s Mess and performed her honest, touching and thought provoking song titled 'Poster Girl'. It was very moving.
MESSAGE OF THANKS FROM JOHN AND MARJORIE WORSLEY
OFFICERS/SERGEANTS REGIMENTAL DINING – OUT NIGHT
Smethurst AM and WO1 Ken Morris with Assoc members at the 4RAR (Cdo)
December 07 I joined the following 4RAR/4RAR(Cdo) Assoc members from
NSW and ACT namely:- Brig The Hon David Thomson MC, Wal
Thompson OAM, Bill Field MBE, David Morris, John Woodley, Chris
Hurley, Arthur Lancaster, Warran Barnes, Derrill de Heer, Ian 'Zunt'
Morrison, Michael De La Hunty, Tony Lowe, and Phil Sadler at
the 4RAR(Cdo) OR’s
Mess where the Unit facilitated a Officers/Sergeants Regimental
Dining-Out function to farewell the current CO, RSM, SOCAUST, plus
others out of the Unit and Command respectively. It was a terrific
turn-out by Assoc Members with only Daryl Green who confirmed his
attendance, however, cancelling at the last minute due to his wife Eva
being unwell with an on-going medical problem. There were many great
speeches throughout the dinner with many deserving accolades orated
towards the CO and RSM, who as a team during their command tenure over
the past two years - have facilitated the Special Operational
capabilities of our old Battalion both in resources, facilities and
personnel to a standard that is not only world class, but the envy of
the ADF and other Special Operational Forces from around the world.
Also during the dinner, we
proudly witnessed Maj.Gen Mike Hindmarsh promote Lt.Col. Smethurst to
the rank of full Colonel which was received with a standing ovation from
all present. As an Assoc we presented both Mark and Ken with gifts
that will find a special place on their desk at their new posting and
At the conclusion of the dinner, we all adjourned to the Officers Mess, where fun times were had by all to the wee daylight hours of the following day. In coy with Dave Morris and Mike De La Hunty we bedded down on camp stretchers on the floor of the 4RAR (Cdo) Museum. With just 2.5 hours sleep we were up again and into the Officers Mess for breakfast and warmly greeted by applause from Officers with very sore heads and red eyes. We would have liked to have slept in; however, the Museum had to be open for the new Commando inductees into the Battalion and their families for inspection. During breakfast we bumped into our esteemed Patron – Brig The Hon David Thomson MC who looked remarkably fresh and alert. This wise gentleman went to bed very early and did not participate in the mess games. Mike De La Hunty was the best dressed – wearing his slightly crumbled dinner suit from the night before to breakfast.
December 07, in coy with Brig David Thomson and Dave Morris we
attended the Ors’ Mess 4RAR(Cdo) where we witnessed 39 new 4RAR(Cdo)’s
being personally and individually presented with their Green Beret and
Wings by the SOCAUST – Maj.Gen Mike Hindmarsh, therefore adding
to the Bn’s strength capabilities. The Parade was witnessed by the whole
Bn including their families and Friends. This fine group of men
were the final product for the want of a better word out of an original
138(sic) Applicants that undertook over several months the Intensive
Commando Course to qualify. Maj.Gen. Hindmarsh said (inter alia) that
during his tenure as SOCAUST he had traveled extensively overseas and
had personally seen other Commando Units in action therefore was well
qualified and confident to state in front of all present that 4RAR (Cdo)
was the best in the world at what they do. We as former members can be
extremely proud of our current Bn and welcome our new brothers into the
Shortly after this presentation, Delta Coy 4RAR (Cdo) were farewelled by speeches from Maj.Gen. Mike Hindmarsh and Col. Mark Smethurst as they prepare for the 2nd deployment into Afghanistan in Jan 08.
We as former members Australia
wide wish Delta Coy to be as safe as they can be in a dangerous and
hostile environment, and we are united in prayer that God will look
after our warriors in battle and for everyone’s safe return to their
families and loved ones.
We then witnessed a number of
members receive their well earned promotions to L/Cpl, Cpl and Sgt from
Col. Mark Smethurst and WO1 Ken Morris.
Then Col. Smethurst gave his
final speech as the outgoing CO and welcomed in the new CO Lt.Col. Paul
Kenny who was a former member of 4RAR (Cdo) as a junior Officer. Col.
Smethurst will take up his new role in Duntroon as the Director of
Military Arts (DMA) Similarly the outgoing RSM WO1 Ken Morris also gave
his final talk. He has served 11 years with the Bn and has endured
all the changes. His new posting will be Canungra Qld as the WO1
NCO Wing. He welcomed in the new RSM WO1 Darren Hunt.
As an Association we look
forward to building on the relationship which has been forged with Mark
Smethurst and Ken Morris. On their departure both Mark, Ken
together with the outgoing Adjt Capt Justin Ryan presented a Gift to the
Battalion of a photographic display of Operations including the MUC and
UCG Citations………see below.
November 07 whilst I was down in Sydney for Luke Worsley’s funeral
and Dining-Out Night etc, etc – we utilised the opportunity to conduct a
Committee Meeting out at Ian 'Zunt' Morrison's house, where Rita his
wife cooked us up some of her traditional cultural delights. The
Minutes of that meeting will be forwarded to NSW and ACT Members in due
course. But it would be remiss of me not to thank Ian and Rita for
the use of your residence for our Meeting and thank Rita for the lovely
snacks. During that meeting we processed 21 New Applications for
membership to the 4RAR/4RAR (Cdo) Assoc. I welcome those new
former members back into the perimeter. We also passed a motion
for an Honorary Membership to WO1 Warren Barnes – a long time President
of the Assoc of 4th Infantry Battalions for the wonderful
support he has provided to 4RAR since it’s re-raising and 4RAR(Cdo).
More information will be provided in my next report for the Fighting
Fourth Newsletter No 1 of 2008. An Application and Welcome letter
is on the way Warren when I get a minute of time.
We the Committee agreed during our meeting that seeing as we are all going to be together - It should be noted for the attention of all 4RAR/4RAR (Cdo) Assoc members that our next meeting will be during the Melbourne Reunion.
A Time/Date/Place TBA and
open to suggestions.
On that note, Christmas and New
Year are looming at a fast pace. It is the silly season out
there on the roads – so please stay safe and drive carefully. On
behalf of the 4RAR/4RAR (Cdo) Assoc I would like to extend to you all
good wishes, and an enjoyable festive time surrounded by family, friends
and loved ones. To our members serving overseas during the
Christmas period, our thoughts and prayers are constantly with you all.
See ya all at the Melbourne
Reunion in Jan 2008 or at the AWM at 10am/4th February 08 for
the official laying of the 4RAR Plaque or alternatively - somewhere in
the pages of the Fighting Fourth next year.
In the interim take care of
Cheers & Duty First
Garry Heskett –
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