Eric Kay

KAY, Eric Late of Pinjarra Hills and Formerly Nundah. Passed away peacefully on the 11th of December, 2015. Loving Husband of the Late Dorothy Kay.  Much Loved Father and Father-in-law of Peter and Dawn, Gary and Heather, Stephen and Rosemary, and David and Lindy.  Adored Grandfather to His seven (7) grandchildren.  Family and friends of the Late Eric Kay are warmly invited to attend his Funeral, to be held in the George McGregor Recreational Hall of the RSL Fairview Retirement Community, 2603 Moggill Road, Pinjarra Hills, on Friday, the 18th of December, 2015, commencing at 1.30 p. m.

Vale – Major-General William Brian (Digger) James AC AO(Mil) MBE MC


One of Australia’s best-known and respected veterans, Major-General James died on Friday night aged 85.

Major-General ‘Digger’ James was highly regarded and respected throughout the nation as an outstanding leader, advocate for veterans, and one of the most decent and honourable Australians of the 20th century.

Major-General James was born in May 1930 in Shepparton, Victoria, where his father established the first fruit orchard.  He graduated from the Royal Military College, Duntroon, in 1951, and served as a junior officer with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), in Korea.

He was awarded the Military Cross for his actions while leading a patrol on the night of November 7, 1952.  One soldier was killed after stepping on a mine and four others, including Lieutenant James, were wounded.

Although severely wounded, with the loss of his left foot and damage to his right leg, he remained conscious and in command of the patrol, organising the evacuation of casualties back to the battalion, insisting that he was moved last, more than three hours later.

The citation for his award of a Military Cross read:

The example set by Lieutenant James and his leadership, devotion to duty, self-sacrifice and extreme fortitude when in great personal distress was an inspiration to members of his battalion.”

He was evacuated home to Australia and spent 14 months in rehabilitation in hospital.

He transferred to the Royal Australian Armoured Corps (RAAC) and served as adjutant at the Armoured School and the 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers at Muswellbrook before deciding he had no future as a regular army officer and resigning in 1957.

He took up medical studies at Sydney University and after graduating in December 1963 and serving his hospital residency, he rejoined the Army as a medical officer in the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps (RAAMC).

He commanded the 8th Field Ambulance in South Vietnam and was Senior Medical Officer of the 1st Australian Task Force at Nui Dat for 12 months from January 1968 to January 1969, and was inspirational for the encouragement and personal example he provided to soldiers wounded by anti-personnel mines.

For his outstanding service in Vietnam he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1969.

In 1971 he served with a British St John Ambulance medical relief team at the conclusion of the Biafran Civil War in Nigeria, for which he was awarded the Order of St John.   He was subsequently appointed Director Army Medical Services in Queensland between 1971 and 1975, Director of Army Medical Services, Army Headquarters from 1975 to 1981.

He was also named honorary physician to the Queen.

Promoted to Major General, he served as Director General of Army Health Services between 1981 and 1985, in which year he retired.

As well as serving as the National President of the Returned Services League from 1993 to 1997, Major-General James served on the Council of the Australian War Memorial from 1993; he was appointed chairman in 1999 and served in that capacity until 2000.

Australian Light Horse Association president Phil Chalker praised his involvement in a number of projects, including the Waler Memorial in Tamworth and the Park of the Australian Soldier in Beersheba, Israel.

Major-General James is survived by his wife of more than 60 years, Barbara, four children and nine grandchildren.

VALE – Michael (Mick) Stuart Swain GM

Award Presentation

Michael (Mick) Stuart Swain GM – passed away peacefully on 15th of September, 2015 Aged 86 Years.  Dearly loved and devoted Husband to Mary.  Adored Father and Father-in-Law to Greg and Debbie, and Debbie and John.  Treasured Grandfather to Leah and Kaitlyn.  Family and Friends are invited to a celebration of Mick’s Life to be held at Centenary Memorial Gardens Chapel, 353 Wacol Station Road, Sumner on Monday 21st of September, 2015 commencing at 2.00 p. m.

Mick was residing at the RSL Pinjarra Hills Aged Care Community prior to his passing and he and Mary were regular attendees at the Friday morning teas provide by the Kenmore-Moggill Sub-Branch.  Mick’s attendance will be missed by Branch members and other members of the Aged Care Community.


Michael (Mick) Stuart Swain GM, came from England to Australia as a member of the Barnardo Orphan Scheme.  After arrival his first billet was at Mudgee and then Walgett.  As a teenager he joined the Air Training Corps while working on a sheep station in the Walgett district.  When visiting Sydney on holidays in 1949, he joined the Royal Australian Air Force because it seemed like a good idea at the time and was immediately posted to Richmond (West of Sydney) for recruit training, and then on to Forest Hill (Wagga Wagga) for trade training as a Flight Rigger.

After training at Wagga Wagga he was posted to Point Cook, East Sale then back to Wagga Wagga for training as a Fitter 2A.  This trade later became what is known as Air Frame Fitter. Following Fitter 2A training Michael was posted to Archerfield (Brisbane) where he worked on Tiger Moths.

During his service career Michael had many more interesting postings including the British Occupational Forces in  Japan, Korea with No. 77 Squadron and Iwakuni (Japan) with DC3s supporting the local R & R run from Korea to Japan. His combined deployment duration was over 15 months in these overseas locations.  Additionally, he served at Richmond (NSW) and the VIP Flight at Canberra – he assisted with the aircraft which transported the Queen during her visit in 1954.  Postings to Uranquinty (near Wagga Wagga) Advanced Flight Training School, and Amberley No 3 Aircraft Depot where he worked on Lincoln aircraft followed.

While at Amberley he was selected to train on helicopters which saw him attend training courses with Hawker De Havilland at Bankstown.  The conversion from fixed to rotary wing was conducted on Bell 47G-2 helicopters which the Army were using.  After the conversion, Michael continued to work on helicopters with ARMYAIR for more than seven years until he was posted to No. 9 Squadron Amberley.  He spent the usual tenure of 12 months in Vietnam (1967/1968) based at Nui Dat with the Army’s 161 Recce Flight.  Following his service in Vietnam he returned to No. 82 Wing Amberley as a Warrant Officer Engineer until 1970 when he retired for family reasons after a distinguished 21 years service.

During his posting to ARMYAIR Michael was test flying a helicopter with the pilot on 1st November 1961 when it lost power, crashed and immediately caught on fire near Amberley.   Michael escaped quickly and was running away from the crash when he heard the pilot calling for help.  Unselfishly he returned to the aircraft and released the pilot with little thought for his own safety.  The rescue was successful although the pilot was on fire but Michael managed to extinguish the burning pilot by taking off his overalls and smothering the flames. Both men survived their injuries, Michael returned to his work with ARMYAIR but sadly the pilot’s army career was over due to his injuries.  For this act of bravery Michael was awarded the George Medal – the Citation is below.

Medal Citation

“On 1st November, 1961, Sergeant Swain was flying as a technical crew member of a Bell Sioux Helicopter of No. 16 ALA Squadron when the aircraft crashed. On impact the port side fuel tank ruptured and burned fiercely, particularly on the pilot’s side of the aircraft.


Sergeant Swain released his harness and escaped from the burning wreck with his clothing alight.  He then heard a call for assistance from the pilot, who was unable to release his harness.  Sergeant Swain, with complete disregard for his personal safety, returned to the flame-enveloped cockpit to assist the pilot from the aircraft.  At this stage there was a very great risk of explosion of either the whole of the wreckage, or from the starboard fuel tank.

After assisting the pilot from the aircraft, Sergeant Swain attempted to smother with his hands the pilot’s clothing.  This was unsuccessful so he attempted to remove the pilot’s flying suit.  Being unable to do so he removed his own overalls and with them extinguished the flames enveloping the pilot.

Sergeants Swain’s face and hands were severely burnt by his action. At hospital, after the rescue, the pilot was placed on the dangerously ill list and sergeant on the seriously ill list.

During this emergency Sergeant Swain showed a complete disregard for his own safety.  His coolness, self-discipline and courage in the face of great danger were in keeping with the highest traditions of the service.”


Vale – Jan Elliot (Jon) Wickham – Service No. 1411042


Johm Wickham

It is my sad duty to announce that Jan Elliot (Jon) Wickham passed away on 2nd June 2015.  The life of Jon will be celebrated on Tuesday 9th June.

Jon passed away peacefully at Fairview RSL Care, Tuesday, 2nd June, 2015. Dearly loved Father of Marney, Lance and Naomi, Grandfather of Adrian, Jonty, Lily, Michael and Luca. Relatives and Friends are respectfully invited to attend Jon’s Service, to be held in the Alex Gow Chapel, 56 Breakfast Creek Road, Newstead, Tuesday, 9th June, 2015, commencing at 2 p. m.   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Fred Hollows Foundation and Remembrance House.

Jon was in the Army for a total of 376 days during the Vietnam Conflict between 14th September 1965 to 24 September 1966. He served as a Gunner in the 1st Field Regiment and 105th Field Battery.  During this period, Jon was a member of a gun crew which provided crucial and precisely accurate fire support to Australian troops from D Company 6 RAR pinned down at the Battle of Long Tan.  Jon’s unit fired 3198 rounds in the three hour  battle.


The President of the Kenmore-Moggill RSL Sub-Branch respectfully invites all members of the RSL and members of the Vietnam Veterans Association to attend the funeral of Jon Wickham to pay tribute to the service he provided this country.

105 Gun

Accurate and sustained artillery support. The photo shows A 105-mm L5 Pack Howitzer from 105th Field Battery firing from the Bien Hoa gun position, South Vietnam. Eighteen similar guns at the 1 ATF base at Nui Dat provided Delta Coy close support during the Battle of Long Tan.



The 1st Field Regiment was initially formed in May 1945 at North Head, Sydney. In April 1965 the decision was taken to deploy the 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) to Vietnam. This resulted in an expansion of artillery regiments by the addition of a third field battery. 1st Field Regiment’s order of battle for deployment to Vietnam was 101st Field Battery, 105th Field Battery, 161st Field Battery Royal New Zealand Artillery and Headquarters Battery.

In February 1969, 105th Field Battery returned to Vietnam for a second tour of duty to be followed by the remainder of the Regiment a month later. On completion of their final tour of duty, the Regiment returned to Sanananda Barracks, Wacol in March 1970.

Vale: (Vic) – Charles Victor Philp Henderson


It is my sad duty to announce that  Vic Henderson passed away on Wednesday 27th May. The life of Vic Henderson will be celebrated on Thursday 4th June.



Charles Victor Philp Henderson (known as Vic), Late of Kenmore, passed away peacefully at Wesley Hospital on 27th May, 2015 aged 91. Dearly loved Husband of Sheila, beloved Father of Sue and Jill, adored Grandpa and Grandpa-in-law of Harry, Grace and James; and Treasured Cousin, Uncle and Friend. He will be remembered and farewelled at 1400h Thursday, 4th June, at Centenary Memorial Gardens, Wacol Station Rd, Sumner. “A life well lived; greatly missed; fondly remembered. “Family requests that donations in Vic’s memory can be made in lieu of flowers, to either The Wesley Hospital or The Kenmore-Moggill RSL Sub-Branch, kenmoremoggillrsl. org/donations.

The President of Kenmore-Moggill Sub-Branch RSL respectfully requests that Members attend the Funeral Service.



Vic Henderson was the iconic Royal Australian Air Force veteran who served in Bomber Command in the UK during WWII and in a classic romance married his war-time sweet heart, RAF dental nurse Sheila, over 60 years ago.

A long term resident of Kenmore, Brisbane, he was easily identifiable by his Air Force handle bar moustache and was a constant reminder of a now almost lost era of one of the most dangerous roles of WWII; bombing missions over occupied Europe, where he completed 30 operations. He regularly attended veteran functions and donned his Flight Lieutenant uniform including leading and taking the salutes at Anzac Day services in Brisbane and the western suburbs.

Vic, as he was widely known, was truly a Queenslander, born at the family home “Mallow”  on the present site of Brisbane Boys College, his maternal grandfather was former Queensland Premier Sir Robert Philp. His grandfather became a widower at 36 and as part of a bequest gave land to BCC to ensure his family would receive a good education. Vic’s father, William, married his mother, Elsie, and they moved to Sanford Park, a sheep station south of Charleville. This was where Vic began his enduring love of the outback.

He was educated at Toowoomba Prep and Grammar, excelled at spelling, maths and athletics particularly high jumping. He worked in the bank and from there went into the Air Force in 1942. After training in Australia he became a wireless navigator and arrived in the UK in 1944 for the build up of the D-Day invasion of Europe. He became one of the 10,000 Australians who flew with Bomber Command flying Lancasters joining RAF 150 Squadron.

Bomber Command incurred some of highest casualties of any allied services during the war. Its air crew lost over 55,000 killed of whom Australia lost 5,397 killed and 947 wounded. They made up 5 per cent of Australia’s armed services in WWII but incurred over 20 per cent of the overall losses. Life was very dangerous for these young men. That Vic survived operations was a miracle. Before one operation he fell ill and was grounded when his normal crew was  lost. He was then assigned to another crew where he served out his tour. During early 1945 he often flew every second night and on one occasion encountered attacks by German jets. His last bombing operation was on 25 April 1945 against Hitler’s lair; Berchtesgarden.

Vic often spoke of his proudest role dropping food in the final stages of the war to the starving people of Holland in Operation Manna. This prompted on at least two occasions Dutch families thanking him personally for saving their lives. He completed 192 hours on operations as a Warrant officer.

It was a proud visit for Vic and Sheila to be part of the 80 strong Australian delegation of former Bomber Command members to be invited to attend the unveiling of the memorial by Queen Elizabeth in London in 2012.

His war service was a duet with Sheila his wife of 63 years. She was a RAF dental nurse during the war and volunteered for service in occupied Germany at the war’s end. On leave before departure she holidayed in Brighton, a known centre for Aussie air crews, and picked the shyest member there ; Vic, when the romance began.  It took a few years for her to move to Australia and marry Vic in  September 1951.

On returning to Australia Vic had run a chicken farm at Pullenvale but had it sold by the time Sheila arrived in Australia. With the responsibilities of a wife Vic needed a steady job so decided to re-enlist in the RAAF in 1952 serving another six years including during the Malayian Emergency where he completed another 125 operational hours on Lincolns the successor to the Lancaster.

He returned to Brisbane to work in real estate with Hookers at Jindalee but maintained his Air Force love and passion as an instructor with the Air Training Cadets for over 30 years including a flight at Kenmore State High School.

His love of the bush included his love of animals and during their early home life included horses, calves and dogs. He outlived most of his contemporaries and regularly went with Sheila to the Irish Club as the man to six other war brides whose husbands had passed on.

Vic also found time to be an active member of the RSL, Meals-on-wheels and supporting legacy with one legatee David Lincoln saying he became the ultimate father role model for him. He said Vic also helped nurture his children one of whom has now taken up flying.

Vic was always willing to attend at the local schools particularly on Anzac Days particularly Kenmore South and in 2014 was the main speaker with Sheila at Milton State Primary where both gave their War Service stories to an enthralled audience. A number of tears were shed as they spoke.

He died after a short illness. Vic is remembered as an honourable, kind and generous man and is survived by wife, Sheila, two children, Sue and Jill, and grand children Harry, Grace and James.



RAF Bomber Command controlled the RAF’s bomber forces from 1936 to 1968. Along with the United States Army Air Force, it played the central role in the strategic bombing of Germany in WWII.  From 1942 onward, the British bombing campaign against Germany became less reactive and increasingly targeted industrial sites and the civilian manpower base essential for German war production.

Bomber Command stood at the peak of its post-war military power in the 1960s, the V Bombers holding the United Kingdom’s nuclear deterrent and a supplemental force of Canberra light bombers.

In August 2006, a memorial was unveiled at Lincoln Cathedral. A memorial in Green park in London was unveiled by the Queen on 28 June 2012 to highlight the price paid by the aircrews.

At the height of its operations in late 1944 Bomber Command comprised over 80 operational squadrons. These squadrons were organised into several groups on the basis of their role, the type of aircraft they operated, and the locations of the airfields from which they operated. In 1939 these groups were numbered 2-5 and by the end of the war Bomber Command comprised 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (Canadian), 8 (Pathfinder), 100 (Special Duties), and 91, 92 and 93 (Training) groups.




VALE: Oliver John Scott (Jock) Atkinson DFC

We lost one of our Air Force legends last week, this Monday we celebrate the life of Oliver John Scott Atkinson DFC.

Jock, as he liked to be called, started his military career as a private soldier in the 61st Battalion, Queensland Cameron Highlanders. He transferred to the RAAF, underwent flight training and was posted to 57 Squadron at East Kirkby.  He was awarded the DFC flying Lancasters in Bomber Command.

hodgeson 7690

hodgeson 7690

Formerly of Kenmore and recently of Fairview, Pinjarra Hills. Oliver John Scott Atkinson DFC (Jock), passed away peacefully on 11 May, 2015, aged 95 years. Dearly loved Husband of Heather, Father and Father-in-law of Roslyn and Richard, Elizabeth (dec’d), John (dec’d), and Grandfather and Grandfather-in-law of Claire, Tom and Emmy, Great-grandfather of Allegra and Alex Jock, and Uncle of Peter and Mary, Lynn and Jamie, Great-uncle of James and Philip, Charles, Eleanor and Felicity and their Families.

A service to celebrate Jock’s wonderful life will be held at 11.00a.m., on Monday, 18 May, 2015 in bushland surroundings at the Chapel, Centenary Memorial Gardens, 353 Wacol Station Road, Sumner Park Q.  The President of Kenmore-Moggill Sub Branch respectfully requests that Members , attend the Funeral Service.

During the Second World War, Britain’s Royal Air Force was divided into a number of functional and geographic commands in line with an organisation that had first been implemented in 1936. Bomber Command was based in Great Britain and was responsible for bombing targets in enemy-controlled Europe.

bomber-command-web_2At the height of its operations in late 1944 Bomber Command comprised over 80 operational squadrons. These squadrons were organised into several groups on the basis of their role, the type of aircraft they operated, and the locations of the airfields from which they operated. In 1939 these groups were numbered 2-5 and by the end of the war Bomber Command comprised 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 (Canadian), 8 (Pathfinder), 100 (Special Duties), and 91, 92 and 93 (Training) groups.

Approximately 10,000 Royal Australian Air Force personnel served with Bomber Command and 3,486 were killed.

“Lest we Forget”

Vale – Colin Richardson


It is my sad duty to inform you that Colin Richardson has passed away.  Colin attended his last ANZAC Day service just over a week ago now and more than one person commented on how frail he was.  He was responsible for the “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” plaque on our Kenmore memorial, something very dear to him as he owed his life to these men during the Kokoda campaign.

Rest Ye, Oh Warrior

You’ll battle no more

No longer to live

The horrors of war

Your duty was done

With honour and pride

Farewell! Oh Brother

Until we march by your side

Colin’s funeral will be conducted Monday, 11th May in the Christ Church Anglican Church at the corner of Central and 9th Avenues, St Lucia commencing at 1400 hours. The funeral notice will appear in the Courier Mail Friday 8th May. A poppy service will be included into the service.

Colin’s story is remarkable and we expect a large attendance – Kenmore Moggill sub-branch members are encouraged to attend.


Kokoda Track veteran Colin Richardson, 91, was a lieutenant with the 3rd Battalion.

IT was a medical “miracle” which took place on the Kokoda Track during World War II.  Colin Richardson, a lieutenant with the 3rd Battalion, lay wounded at Templeton’s Crossing, between Port Moresby and Kokoda, after being shot by a Japanese sniper.  The bullet went through his left shoulder blade and out his lower back, destroying a lung. It was seven hours before the then 22-year-old was seen by army medic Geoff Mutton and Catholic priest James Lynch.

One thought he was dead, the other read him the last rites.  But seven decades on, 91-year-old Mr Richardson is alive to tell the tale.  “They thought I was dead because I had stopped breathing,” he said.  “When I heard one of them say: ‘This boy is dead’ and the priest said: ‘I’ll give him the last rites’ I think all that scared the life into me.”

Dr Mutton, who has since died, recalled the incident in a letter to Mr Richardson decades later.  “You had a bloody great hole in your chest,” he said.  “I found some cat gut in the bottom of my haversack and without any attempt to observe the good surgical principles of sterility, I closed the hole.  “I then rolled you over and to my horror found a bigger bloody hole coming out of your back. I had run out of gut. I found a few safety pins in my haversack and was successful in closing the wound.”

Mr Richardson spent more than a year recovering in hospitals in Australia.  He later married and had two “lovely daughters”.  Six weeks ago his cardiologist, Darren Walters, who is based at Brisbane’s Prince Charles Hospital, replaced the great grandfather’s aortic valve.  

After seeing Mr Richardson’s chest X-ray, Associate Professor Walters said: “It’s a miracle he survived Kokoda. It’s an amazing story. He’s a real hero.

Vale Neil Macdonald

Members of the Kenmore-Moggill RSL sub-branch are respectfully requested to attend the funeral of our late member, Neil Macdonald, to be held at the Uniting Church Chapel Hill, corner Chapel Hill and Moggill Roads, Chapel Hill on Tuesday 24 July commencing at 2.00pm, by request of the President.

Neil passed away suddenly on Wednesday 18th July, at RBH following a massive heart attack at Fairview, our thoughts and prayers are with Neil’s widow, Dorothy.  A funeral service has been arranged for 2.00pm Tuesday 24 July, at the Uniting Church, Chapel Hill,( cnr Chapel Hill Rd and Moggill Rd).

Neil was a strong and active supporter of the Sub-Branch, and only last Monday was discussing the possibility of another visit to The Intelligence Centre museum at Canungra, with which, as a result of a long association with The Intelligence Corps, Neil had maintained a close interest.


Neil, an Hon Captain served in the Australian Intelligence Corps during the war, operating in New Guinea and the Islands to the North.  Trained in Air Photo Analysis, the role of Air Photo Imagery Units was to interpret photographs taken by aircraft and pass on that information to Allied commanders planning operations in the area.

In Port Moresby, images from Japanese positions in occupied New Guinea, New Britainincluding Rabaul and New Ireland were identified with particularly important areas in Wewak and Boram which were used as main Japanese bases along with Salamaua and Lae.

Today’s battlefield images are beamed into our lounge rooms via satellite, back then conditions were remarkably different.  “Air photos were often damp, tables were made of drums and planks and lighting was by hurricane lamp making interpretation extremely difficult.”  “In spite of the conditions, the information was invaluable to both forward operating troops and the air force targeting enemy bases at dawn the following morning.”

The hardships endured by troops in the tropics was very real for Neil who had severe attacks of Dengue fever.  While recovering in the Advanced Medical Station at Wareo, some of the patients there were not as fortunate, failing to recover and it is the sacrifice of all these gallant men to whom we are indebted.

“Lest We Forget”

VALE: Ronald O’Brien

O’BRIEN, Ronald George

Members of the Kenmore-Moggill RSL Sub Branch, are respectfully requested to attend the Funeral of our Late Member, Ronald O’Brien, to be held at Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic Church, 2 Kenmore Road, Kenmore, on Saturday July 21, 2012, commencing at 10.45 a.m.. By request of the President

Late of Brisbane, formerly of Swan Hill. Passed away peacefully July 16, 2012, aged 91 years. Beloved husband of Shirley. Loved and loving father and father-in-law of Campbell and Deborah, Louise and Ian. Grandfather and great grandfather to their families.

It appears that he has been ill for the past couple of years but his service to his country will not  be forgotten.

“Lest we Forget”

Vale Les Carey

Les sadly passed away on 24 November. His funeral was
held on 2 December at the Moggill Anglican Church.

May he rest in peace. Our condolences go to their families.
Lest we forget.