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                                                                              PATRON: Brigadier The Hon David Thomson MC, (RL)

e Founded 30th July 2004 f 

The following 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. 

ADDITIONAL PRESIDENTS REPORT NUMBER 3/07 


Garry Heskett - President/Secretary  0414512302 garryheskett@aol.com

Dave Morris - Senior Vice President  0438532208 davidsshrine@optushome.com.au

XO – Junior Vice President        Bn HQs’ 87822626                 

Phil Sadler - Treasurer   0418400549 sadlerpm@gmail.com

Ian Morrison - Webmaster/Editor    0403112758 zunt46@bigpond.com

RSM - Committee               Bn HQs’ 87822626                 

John Woodley - Committee                  97081736    jw42@primus.com.au

Jim Wrigley - Committee  47738013      jim61846@bigpond.net.au

Chris Hurley - Committee  96485064      cfhurley@optusnet.com.au

Daryl Green - Committee  0425343670 zabadak@optusnet.com.au

CHAPLAIN - Welfare                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.  

VALE – PRIVATE LUKE WORSLEY B COY/4RAR (Cdo) 

 

On Friday/23rd 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 
 

RAMP CEREMONY 

 

Comrades farewell Pte Luke Worsley at Tarin Kowt in Afghanistan 28th Nov 07 

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.  
 
“The thoughts of the Task Force now turn to Luke’s family who must carry the great burden of sorrow and grief as Luke is returned to them.”
 

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. 

 
AUST POLICE RUGBY UNION TOUR 

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.  
 

FAREWELL 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.


ASSOC MEMORABILIA 

 

                             
 

UNIT CITATION GALLANTRY PARADE
 

 

 

          

On Friday/26th 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. 

59TH BIRTHDAY DINNER RAR ASSOC QLD 

On Saturday/24th 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 Registration. 

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

 
“Since the death of our son, Luke, we have been overwhelmed by the kindness of a number of people who have assisted us through this difficult time. 
 
We’ve received lovely messages from many people, including Luke’s army mates. They have been kind enough to tell us about how Luke could always be relied upon to lift people’s spirits and encourage them to go farther when they’d had enough. 
 
Our family is so proud of all our soldiers. They were Luke’s mates, his comrades and they entrusted each others lives into each others hands and did the best they could for each other. They’re bonded. It’s something money can’t buy. 
 
Luke was only one of our soldiers and they’re all the same, they’re all equal, they’re wonderful and they represent this country.  
Luke’s military family has been so kind and generous to us in the days since Luke died. When they brought our son home last week, no detail escaped their attention. We had feared the grief of the day would be too much to bear, but instead the dignity of the occasion made us stronger.  
 
We thank everyone from 4RAR and the wider Defence community who was involved in Luke’s homecoming and who helped us prepare for the funeral. 
 
We would also like to thank the management of the organisation we both work for, Railcorp. They have provided us with personal support and arranged a minute’s silence at City Rail stations during the funeral of our son today.  
 
Our neighbours in the Hawkesbury have rallied around us too, with comforting words and delights from their kitchens. It has been heartening to see that kind of community spirit.”

4RAR (Cdo) OFFICERS/SERGEANTS REGIMENTAL DINING – OUT NIGHT 

Col. Mark Smethurst AM and WO1 Ken Morris with Assoc members at the 4RAR (Cdo) Officers Mess. 

On Thursday/6th 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 command. 

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.

 
 

  1. THE BATTALION WELCOMES 39 NEW Commando’s.
  2. FAREWELL DELTA COY FOR THEIR 2nd ROTATIONAL TOUR TO AFGHANISTAN DURING JAN 08.
  3. MEMBERS RECEIVED THEIR PROMOTIONS TO L/CPL, CPL AND SGT.
  4. WELCOME NEW CO AND RSM.
 

At 11.30am/Friday/7th 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 4RAR family. 

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. 

 
 

At 7.30pm/Wednesday/5th 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 I am 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 each other. 

Cheers & Duty First

Garry Heskett – President/Secretary 
 
 
 
 

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