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Page 3

AS ONLY AN RSM CAN     
Submitted by Lt Roger Wickham, Platoon Commander, 11 P1 D Coy and Assistant Adjutant 4RAR 1964-1967

                                                                                                   Roger Wickham c.1966    

Warrant Officer Class I L.E. (Paddy) Brennan MBE was my RSM at the Officer Cadet School, Portsea (OCS) and when I marched into 4RAR early in February 1964, I did the only thing that a new, intelligent, career minded, young 2Lt would do when I discovered that my new RSM was the same Paddy Brennan, I hid!!!!!
A South Korean general was due at Terendak and it was decided to have a combined ANZAC Guard to welcome him. I carried the Regimental Colour of 4RAR and Lt Jim Brown MC, carried the I RNZIR Regimental Colour.
Paddy trained the guard of about 60 all ranks. Initially Paddy shunned and unshunned and turned us left, right and about until the Kiwis got the grasp of his method of giving orders. We were left at attention when suddenly Paddy smartly marched off to the end of the parade ground, some 100 metres away. Not surprisingly, we could only just see him but we could hear him well enough. He then gave us some orders which left us back at attention.
He then bent forward as if to get a better look at us. He then yelled, "Sometin's not right with you girls!" Two more orders, then, "Nah! The whole t'ings out of balance. One of you sheilas is screwin' up ma guard." Then he leaned forward again, "I t'ink it's one of you Kiwis! Prove da girl whose stuffin' up ma guard!" Naturally there was much murmuring among the Kiwis. "Hey, boy. Who is this lunatic talking about?" "Quiet back there!!" said Jim brown, no less puzzled than the rest of us.
Finally Paddy yells, "No 2 in the rear rank, prove!" and a Maori snaps out his left hand. "Sir!!" "One pace left front march!" Bang, bang!! "No 3 in the rear rank!" "Sir!" "Check out No 2, he's lopsided!" (Man, what is this boy talking about?) "Well??", yells Paddy. "He seems OK to me sir!" "Nah, nah! Dere's sometin' wrong! Check his puttees and
pockets!" This was done with much low-key mumbling. "Well??" yells Paddy."Yes sir. He's got a back pocket button undone, sir!"
"I tort so!!!" screams Paddy. "Messing up ma guard! Do it up girlie! And Mr Brown, sir?" "RSM!" answers Jim. "I'd appreciate it if you would dress your guard before you bring `em over here in the morning!" "I certainly will RSM. My sincere apologies."
Needless to say, the Kiwis were floored and so were the Diggers. How on earth did this mad Irishmen see an undone BACK pocket button from 100m away? There was only one Paddy Brennan. God rest his soul.
The incomparable Scotsman Jock Richardson, CSM B Coy, who went on to become RSM of the OCS, was also one of my instructors at OCS Portsea and the mustachioed Welshman, Tony Toghill, RSM 4RAR, could throw his hat into the ring with any of the legendary RSMs.
My unique English platoon sergeant, 53298 Sergeant (later WO2) Neville Denis Cook of Royal Marines and SAS fame, recently deceased and may he rest in peace, always assured me that the Australian Army was a "bluudy good army stooffed up by a few bluudy Australians'".
Not to be outdone by some Irishman, Warrant Officer Class One A.C. (Tony) Toghill MBE, now RSM, lined up the first defaulters for CO's Orders after our return from Borneo. There were seven of them, all Nashos who came direct from Oz to Terendak. On their first night in camp, the old sweats took them out for a night on the tiles. They were left unbriefed (in more ways than one) and ignorant in a brothel and sure enough at midnight, in walked the Redcaps and rounded them up.
So, on day two in country, our heroes are completely perplexed as to how they got to be with no hats, no belts, under escort, lined up, standing at ease outside the RSM's office and invited to have morning tea with the CO.
 

Continued page 4

EMU BOB
Borneo
After five months service in Borneo in 1966 with West Brigade (99 Gurkha Brigade) and to recognise the close relationship which had developed between 4RAR and the Gurkha battalions, particularly the 7th Duke of Edinburgh's Own Gurkha Rifles, Brigadier Cheyne gave permission for 4RAR to wear the 99 Gurkha Brigade tie, a rare honour indeed.
(From Brian Avery's
Book, Our Secret War.)
Thanks Brian.
You should have in your library, every book that was written by every 4RAR member. Your descendents should know what you did.

Sad News
We regretfully and sadly report that Theresa Palmer, the wife of Kevin `Lofty' Palmer, passed away in August 2005.Our thoughts are with you Lofty in this sad time and please accept our sincerest, though belated, condolences.
Contributions
Thank you to all those who contributed your stories and warries. Curley's Diary will commence in the next issue but I'm sure that there are many more stories out there. Don't worry about literary genius, just write and send.

Click to page 4

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Last modified:
Sunday, 24 February 2013 22:36:52