QSO the World

The aim of this page is to pass on articles of interest to serving & ex-serving Communicators  and interested
parties.  I am sure that many of the names listed below will be familiar to other Communicator shipmates. 
We are now in direct contact around the globe via the Internet and email, so we are truly 
QSO the World

This is not an on-line forum, if you would like something published on this page please send me an email.

I update regularly and will publish your article (with accompanying photo/s if you wish) as soon as I am able.

John Curbishley
Web Manager

Follow the links below for previous QSO pages:

1998/99 2000 2001 2002
 (Jan to Jun)

 (Jul to Dec)

2003 2004

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010  


December 2011 Entries:


Australian Service Medal with Middle East Clasp

The following article refers to the recent authorisation for the issue of the Australian Service Medal with Middle East clasp to those who were deployed to the North West Indian Ocean from 1980 to 1986. I'm sure there are lots of RANCBA guys eligible for this medal and/or clasp. Could you please post this article in the QSO THE WORLD forum.

Thank you for all your hard work in keeping the RANCBA website a vital connection for ex communicators.  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

Dick Waldie

Australian Service Medal with Middle East clasp - 1980 to 1986
For those of you who went on one of the North West Indian Ocean (NWIO) deployments during the early 80's, you are probably eligible for the Australian Service Medal with Middle East clasp. As stated in Gazette No. S80 of 19 May 2011 the prescribed period is from 1 Sep 80 to 31 Jul 86 and the prescribed area is North of 10deg North and West of 75deg East, which bascially equates to the area west of the tip of India and includes NWIO, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman. The prescribed period is 30 days operation in this area, which includes official visits to ports in that area which would include Bombay.

To view further information go to http://www.defence.gov.au/medals 
then click on Campaign Medals
then click Since 1975
then click Australian Service Medal
then click Middle East

At the bottom of the list you will see "RAN ships in North West Indian Ocean deployments" where there is a link to the Gazette authorising the issue of this medal. You can download an application form from the website at


Along with the application form you will need to send some certified copies showing proof of posting for the period of the deployment. I have copied a page from my service record showing postings and a couple of pages from the cruise book showing the route and itinerary of the deployment. If you don't have any documents, then they will accept some Stat Decs from yourself and someone else who was on the deployment with you.

HMAS CHOULES Departs Fremantle

Sandy McNab sends:

Per favour of local historian Ian J on the World Naval Ships Forum he has posted photo's of the NuShip Choules arrival and HMAS Choules departure Fremantle enroute to Sydney.

With its Commissioning its previously embargoed allocated Aussie signal letters are now for all to see Victor Kilo Juliet Charlie (VKJC) to which I will include in my next worksheet update.

You may wish to include a link to the Ships Forum page and threads on your QSO Forum page when convenient.


P.S. I would like to have seen her hull number as L110 (i.e.Claude's age at the time of his passing and not L100 as in the 100th anniversary of the RAN) and perhaps to have VKCC (as in Claude Choules) re-allocated from previously Air Sprite SAR6301/Y256 if they were available.

I fronted at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal with my Pentax digital SLR, hoping to get a couple of good photo's of the Choules berthed alongside from the normal public visiting viewing balcony, but entry was 'by invitation only'. So I hope the photo's on the above http page will suffice. Cheers


Vale Paul Louis "Frenchie" Le Grand R53308 (ex RO)

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt sends:

It is my sad duty to advise of the passing of Paul Le Grand on Thursday 8 December.  Commonly known both in the RAN and DCA as Frenchie.  A great hand, and loved life.

Frenchie's funeral will be held in Brisbane on Thursday 15 December.  No further details known at present.

Lest we Forget

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Fm Bob Simpson:

I have been waiting for the funeral notice for Paul Le Grand to appear in the Brisbane Courier Mail, but thus far it hasn't been included. So I searched the web for local entries from Hervey Bay and found the following notice, for the benefit of those who wish to attend on Thursday.

Bob Simpson
Tuesday 13 Dec 2011

LE GRAND, Paul Louis

Late of Hervey Bay, formerly of Rockhampton. Passed away peacefully at the Hervey Bay Hospital on 8th December, 2011. Aged 71 years. Loved husband of Val (dec'd). Loved father and father-in-law of Bernadette and Brad, Mark, Jacqui. Loved Poppy of Samantha and Matthew.


Family and friends of Paul are invited to attend his funeral service to be held at the East Chapel, Mt Thompson Crematorium, Nursery Road, Holland Park on Thursday 15.12.11 commencing at 11.30am. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Qld Cancer Council would be appreciated, envelopes at service.

Published in Fraser Coast Chronicle on December 10, 2011.


Sad news of Frenchie. We were good mates both in the Navy and after discharge. Had many good times.
R.I.P. mate.
Fred Harper

Deeply saddened to read of the passing of Paul Le Grand. Fond memories of Harman, the odd smokey and a cold drink on a warm day. Vale Frenchie, a good hand.  RIP
David MacLean

Sorry to hear about “Frenchy”. Spent many a good time with him during our Harman years and a joy to “drink with”. RIP mate


Dave Down sends:

Compliments of the season to you & all website readers.

I came across this website recently, and some of the ''old crews'' might be interested to have a look: more than 3000 examples of restored & preserved Morse keys.

Fello ex-Sparkers might like to count them if having difficulty getting to sleep.......??


Dave (Wescombe-) Down in Adelaide

Bob York sends:

I am looking for any communicators who were on HMAS Vendetta for the Far East Tour which departed Australia in August 1970. I am currently fighting DVA for an increase in disability pension, and any information would be greatly appreciated.

In particular I am seeking information regarding the 'Clear Lower Deck" of Comms to the Flag Deck when we arrived in Bombay, India, and the SCO, (Lt GASC Wilson RN ??) asked for volunteers to try and get photographs of a Russian nuclear submarine in dry dock there.

I am also looking for any memories of the 'Operation Awkward' incident which occurred a day or so later in the early hours of a morning after RSS 'Tiny' Kopp, who was in sickbay, alerted to the presence of divers bubbles in the water.

This was followed by Op Awkward - State 1, and the Indian navy went wild, dropping scare charges and using small weapons fire. The 'official' version of events was that it was an Indian Navy exercise.

I can be contacted direct via e-mail at bob_york@bigpond.com or cporses@hotmail.com

Bob York

Peter 'Pedro' Franklin in Sick Bay

Pedro has recently been diagnosed with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.  He completes all his tests today with a visit to Brisbane to commence chemo on Wednesday, 14 December.

I have talked to Pedro via email and he knows he is in good hands and is therefore very upbeat about things.  If all goes well with the treatment he should have a positive result by June next year.

I am sure all Communicators will join with me in wishing Pedro all the very best for the days ahead, we will be thinking of him and Sue as things progress.  I hope to keep you informed with updates in the new year.

John Curbishley
Web Manager

All the very best to Pedro for a successful and speedy recovery.
Jim Anderson




On Saturday, 3rd December commencing about 12.30pm. ex Communicators started to muster at Parramatta RSL Club for a Get Together and have a Christmas drink. We had no sooner settled down, when a strange person, wearing a red suit and a full white beard arrived. All were asking "who is this person"??


He seemed to have a voice of authority, as he detailed off Rod McLaurin and myself that we would now be his helpers and carry his bag of goodies.


We walked through the Club, where he delighted all Patrons (especially the ladies) with his HO HO HO and best wishes and then he came across the ex Communicators.


Here he made sure everyone had been a good person for the last 12 months and had not been tempted to stray, and then gave each a bag containing goodies.


After, this he said if everyone is good for the next year, he should be able to return, but will be checking up on each person.


With a  HO HO HO this person was gone, where he went to or who he was, no ones know


But he wished everyone A Very Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year.


Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM

President, RANCBA (NSW)


Memorial Service for the late CPO / Telegraphist Air Gunner Danny Bowden MID O/N 16455
26th February 1910 - 30th September 2011

On Tuesday , 29th November 2011 commencing at 1530 hrs, a Memorial Service was held for the late CPO Tel Danny Bowden at The Entrance RSL Club, Long Jetty NSW. The introduction and MC was Cmdr Ken Barnett RAN. Among the many guests invited included, The Hon. Warren Snowden MP, Minister for Veterans Affairs, accompanied by his ADC Flt Lieutenant Terry Lee RAAF, Major-General Mark Kelly AO DSC Repatriation Commissioner, Mr. Michael Lee Secretary of the "TINGIRA" Association, Mr Anthony Mills HMAS PERTH Association, Mr. Robert Auston President HMAS SYDNEY Association, Mr Joe Madeley OAM President "Rats of Tobruk" Association, Cmdr Ken Swain AM, President FNSA, Mr. Allan Moffatt OAM President RANCBA.

Apologies received Vice Admiral David Leach AC CBE LVO RAN, Patron HMAS Perth Association, Vice Admiral Rus Crane AO CSM RAN Rtd ( his wife had just been hospitalised), Senator, The Hon. Michael Donaldson , Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs, Cmdr John King, President HMAS PERTH Association, The Hon. Vicent Dominell MLA, Assisting NSW Premier on Veterans Affairs.

The Service began with " Amazing Grace" and then the Naval Psalm by Cmdr Ken Swain AM, the Bible Reading by LCDR Steve Reynolds CSM RAN, the Homily by the The Hon. Warren Snowden MP, Minister for Veterans Affairs. He spoke on a trip just a few months ago when he had the privilege to meet Danny for the first time.. Danny was one of six, selected by the Federal Government and Department of Veterans Affairs to attend a 70th Memorial in Crete. He spoke how Danny knew of many places that he had come to know during WW II whilst flying in a Walrus aircraft from HMAS PERTH, and also , even though he was 101 years old, he still have a great outlook on life. He still enjoyed his daily walk, at least 1/2 hours breathing and other exercises every morning, always slept with an open window.

The Eulogy was his son Mr. Peter Bowden

The Gospel Reading was given by Major-General Mark Kelly AO DSC, Repatriation Commissioner with he RSL Tribute by Mr. Alan Fletcher OAM, President , The Entrance Long Jetty RSL SUB Branch.

This was followed by the Last Post, the Naval Ode by CPO Colin Wild RAN and then Reveille

After the Naval Hymn and the Naval Prayer and the National Anthem, all were asked to partake of refreshments.

Here we were all given a chance to meet and talk on how we knew Danny. I would have to say, I have have known him from 1976 and he was indeed a character.  It was a privilege to be invited to attend this Service accompanied by my wife Helen and Ken Swain was accompanied by his wife June.

He loved this Nation. very loyal to the Royal Australian Navy and the Communications Branch.

Lest we Forget
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)
Photo1: The Hon. Warren Snowden, MP, Federal Minister for Veterans Affairs, Shorty, Ken Swain AM.
Photo2: Danny Bowdens Plaque with his MID, all of this Medals.
Photo 3: Shorty holding the frame photo of all the ships named PERTH presented to Danny when he was 96 by Cmdr Michelle Miller RAN who was the then Commanding Officer of the current HMAS PERTH .


Vale Peter Burdett - ex TO

I regret to inform you of the death of Pete (Birdie) Burdett (see below).

Birdie (TO) and Col (Kool) Barrett (TO) and I were great mates back in the early 70's at Harman. We had many happy times together at the booza. Both played a very important part in my life and I will be forever grateful.

Please be kind enough to place this on the RANCBA website.

Kind regards
Ronald (Robbie) Robinson


Service No. 12929
13 July 1950 - 22 November 2011

It is with sadness that this office informs you of the death of former member Peter Burdett, who passed away on 22 November 2011 at age 61.

Mr Burdett began work with the Australian Protective Service (APS) in 1985 following 10 year's service in the Royal Australian Navy. He became an AFP member when the APS integrated into the AFP. He retired from the AFP in February 2008. Mr Burdett held the National Medal and the AFP Service Medal.

The funeral details are as follows:

Funeral Service:
Date: Friday, 2 December 2011

Location: Tobin Brothers
3/36 Synnot Street
Werribee, Vic 3030

Time: 1400 Hrs

Uniform members - Summer ceremonial uniform with medals (please see National Guideline on Uniform and Standards of Dress)
Plain clothes members - Lounge suit or equivalent with medals.

Recognition and Ceremonial

Lest We Forget

Just wanted to pass on my condolences to all for Pete Burdett' s passing. I was also at Harman in the early 70's and had a lot to do with Pete, Robby and Cool Barrett on off watch smokies at Pine Island and of course the wets, great memories. It seems that a day doesn't pass without someone of our vintage passing on.
Peter K Roberts (ex CPOETC 1969 - 1989)


Jim Anderson sends:

I wonder if all the DFRB/DFRDB superannuants who belong to this forum could contact me with details of what, if anything, they are involved in to try and rectify the problems we are having with fair indexation of the scheme.

In turn, I could let them know what our little group up here in North Queensland is doing.

Jim Anderson VK4AQ

Gavin Jensen sends:

Hi John , I am wondering if you can put me in touch with any ex Comms living at Rosebud Vic, as next Nov. I will be playing in the Aust. Vets Golf Championship down there, and would like to get some info regarding the council run caravan parks down there, any help appreciated.

Gavin Jensen Gympie QLD
If anyone in the Rosebud area can assist Gavin please communicate direct.


November 2011 Entries:

HMAS PARRAMATTA II Memorial Service & 2 School Presentations

Yesterday on the 27th November after a week of constant and heavy rain, the HMAS PARRAMATTA II Memorial Service was held in brilliant sunshine at the Queen's Park Reserve along the banks of the Parramatta River where the stern of HMAS PARRAMATTA I is fixed.

It was a very well attended Service with the MC being Russ Jardine, NAA (Parramatta Sub Section), Officiated by Chaplain Colin Acton RAN, the Sydney RAN Band Detachment, and help from Sea Cadets from TS Sirius and NEPEAN. The day marked the 70th Anniversary of the sinking of PARRAMATTA II by the German U-boat U559, 25nm of the coast near Bardia, Libya . Sadly 138 of the crew, including all Officers were lost with 24 survivors.
Amongst the attendees was a man called Terry (I didn't get his last name) he had been a young crew man onboard HMS AVONDALE whose Commanding Officer had disobeyed orders and stopped to rescue survivors. In this time, no ship was to stop for any reason and more so when a U-boat was in the area.

Sadly the last survivor, Mr Charlie Moss passed away in July this year, but one of the Guests, Captain Colin Dagg RAN, representing the Maritime Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Steve Gilmore AM RAN, advised all that on this very day and nearly the same time, there will be a "Clear Lower Deck" and all onboard HMAS PARRAMATTA IV currently on deployment in the Red Sea, a Service will be held and the Ashes of the late Charlie Morris will be scattered. and as he quoted " to rejoin with the former shipmates of long ago".

There were many there which included , Ms, J. Owens, MP Federal Member for Parramatta, Dr, G. Lee MP State Member for Parramatta, Councilor Mrs. L. Wearne, Lord Mayor of Parramatta, Rear Admiral Guy Griffiuths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd who was the first Commanding Officer of HMAS PARRAMATTA III.  Ken Swain AM, as President of the FNSA, myself as President of the RANCBA (NSW) and Ms Liz Watts, Secretary of the Ex WRANS Assn Laid Wreath and a Floral arrangement as a Tribute to those who Had Paid the Supreme Sacrifice.
Also in attendance was John & Pam Short, June Swain and Helen Moffatt.

On completion of the Service all were invited back to the Parramatta RSL Club for refreshments and to meet with all that had attended. A few of us had the great pleasure of the speaking to Terry from HMS AVONDALE who had travelled from Victoria, also the daughter of the XO of HMAS PARRAMATTA II who had never known her father, but she had travelled from WA for this Service.  It was a very moving Service to all those who had served onboard her.

Now, at our last RANCBA Committee Meeting it was decided we would Lay a Book at the HMAS PARRAMATTA II Service and donated to the school library whom we chose. Both schools when approached, were more than happy for this but asked could we do this prior to the 27th November, due to final school exams and other heavy commitments during this period. We agreed, and it was not problem and we would then Lay a Wreath at the Service.

At both schools, we had at least 300 -350 school children plus teachers and at one, parents in attendance in the school hall. (this was the maximum that could fit in the hall) Also one school had the full school band there for the singing of the school song and then the National Anthem. We were made very welcome by all.  At both schools, I was asked to give a speech which I did, a small history of the RANCBA and the sad loss of HMAS PARRAMATTA II. John Short in both cases who had accompanied me, presented the books to the School Captains.

I was asked by one school's Deputy Principal could I write and article for their schools magazine, which I have done, but whether it gets printed is another thing.  In both cases, even though the presentation was done prior to the HMAS PARRAMATTA II Memorial Service, I feel we have been able to let young children know of what the Navy is doing today and more importantly of those that went before.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Photo 1:  Ken Swain AM, Shorty, Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN RTD, Captain C. Dagg RAN representing the Maritime Fleet Commander, Chaplain Colin Acton RAN.
Photos 2 and 3:  School presentations.


Vale Raymond Edwin Richards R51972 (ex LRO)

LRO Ray "Knuckles" Richards.  It is with very sad feelings that I have to inform you all of the passing of Ray on Sunday 20 November.   He was a very likeable person, and those who were onboard HMAS MELBOURNE and HMAS HARMAN in the late 50's and early 60's would remember him. Always happy and liked the social life.

His Funeral Service will be held at Bega on Thursday 24th November at 11am. Assume this will be the Bega Crematorium.

"Lest we Forget"
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)

Ray served 1956 -1962, discharged at Kuttabul as LRO.  Born 15.11.1936.

Fm Brian Jackson:
Joined up with Ray in 56 and on Melbourne and Harman, was very good mate and friend will be sadly missed RIP mate. Jacko.

Fm Keghead Weaver:
Belatedly, very sorry to hear about “Knuckles” passing, although it wasn’t a surprise as he had been ill for some time. Doesn’t alter the fact that he was a gentleman and live the life to the hilt. You’ll be sadly missed mate. RIP.  Lest We Forget.

A fine Ships Company

"Knuckles" Richards, Keghead, Peter Baggot, Brian “Jacko” Jackson, “Duke” Norfolk,
“Red” Ryder (RIP), Keith Bebbington and John “Gunner” King (seated).


Sydney Xmas Get Together

The NSW Chapter will be holding their Xmas Get Together on the 3rd December, commencing midday and calling stumps whenever you wish.  Venue, Parramatta RSL Club, Macquarie Street. It is within 10 minutes easy walk from the Parramatta Rail and Bus Interchange.

Should you come by private vehicle, the Club has its own parking station opposite the Club, under cover, security etc. On entry to the parking station, you will receive an auto ticket printout, but when departing, you need to get it validated at the Club to activate the auto gates. See me for further information.

Cost. We normally all put in $20.00 for drinks (your choice). All money over is put into Association funds.

Food. This is at your own cost, either Cafe or Bistro within the Club, and with Club costs, very good value.
Partners, friends are more than welcome .

Hope to see as many there as possible, meet old friends, make new ones and have a Xmas drink.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Canadian Naval Radio Station - CKN

Thought you may be able to let the troops (the real one's – Sparkers ) know about this link of the Canadian Naval Radio Station – CKN. It is very interesting and has quite a lot of info and pictures. Some of us can probably remember working these stations as part of the Commonwealth.


Best Regards
Tank Evans



Date – Sunday 18th December 2011

Time – 1100

Venue – Black Mountain Peninsula – John Cardiff Place – Map 18 L6


Email will be sent to members closer to the event – please mark your diaries.

Peter Guy

Vale Reginald (Reg) Carlyle Gardner R20847 ex-Chief Yeo of Sigs

Trevor Percival sends:

It is my sad duty to inform you that Reg passed away on 29 August 2011, aged 94.

I would appreciate very much if you could let the members of RANCBA know of Reg's passing. He was much respected by all those who came in contact with him. Reg and his wife Jess, knowing I did not have any parents when I joined as an OD at Cerberus, treated me like a son. I thought it something special when I had my first ride in their flash Citroen. I had many outings with their son John who in the latter years became estranged with Reg.

I next met Jess and Reg when they took over the franchise of the Post Office at HMAS Harman when I was transferred there in 1963. The next time I saw Reg was in 2002 when my wife Josephine and I called into Cessnock to visit him and by this time his wife Jess had passed away. Reg was coping OK and was always cheerful and full of humor and a pleasure to be around with.

We kept in contact by the regular Christmas card and the odd phone call and I knew something was wrong when I last rang in September and was advised by (robot voice) that the number had been disconnected. I then wrote to his carers Gary and Kim and it was only yesterday (10 Nov) that I received the letter of Reg's passing. Nothing was mentioned about the service or where it was held. The letter was full of glowing information on how Reg had made Kim and her daughter's lives so enriched with love and understanding. The only "Poppy" Kim's daughter ever had and Kim being the daughter that Reg never had. Kim was there with Reg and Reg's dog beside him when the last breath left Reg's body. It is a blessing that Reg did not die alone.

I only wish I had written down many of the things Reg told me about his life but I guess at the time, I thought I would remember everything but with some of us, the old grey matter has a bad habit of a very slow recall or a brain blankness at times. I find I am a better communicator by writing when my mind is clear than at many times I talk when my mouth is in gear before my brain.

RIP Reg, you left your mark upon this world and you won't be forgotten.

Best wishes
Trevor (Percy) Percival


Fm Sandy McNab:

After finally catching up with Reg and his carer onboard the harbour cruise at the 2005 Sydney reunion, and introducing him to the late George Bracken, the glow on his face said it all. Isn't this what re-unions are all about. I know he enjoyed the event immensely. My earliest memories of Reg would have to be when I joined in 1958 and he was the OIC of the Sig School typing training section, and one of the other later instructors being Frank 'Boof' Taunton. Back at Sig School in 61/62 and I recall many a forenoon brew over at the typing hut chatting, where I learnt that their previous navy ship-borne lives saw them actively engaged through the war years in many theatre of operations.

When you peruse many of the Sig School staff photo's Reg is there from around the mid 1950's. Yes I also recall his new French sedan the Citreon DS parked at the Sig School.  After Sig School I believe his civilian employment path took him to Canberra, not sure if it was Navy Office MSO or something similar till the late 1970's.
Trevor Percival has in recent years kept me in the loop of Reg's circumstance, and let me know each time he has been QSO. Sadly Reg has finally slipped away, a splendid innings. In noting the privacy of Reg's passing on the 29th August, however I am sure he would not mind his Communicator service career years being acknowledged.

From the archives, Reg dob 14.12.1916 enlisted 11.6.1935 for 12 years.  Promoted an ORD SIG at Cerberus 11.1936 and drafted to the Canberra 12.1936, promoted SIG 4.1937 and back to Cerberus 7.38 and on to the Stuart 10.1938 for a fortnight, back to Cerberus 10.1938 (you can pick these ML natives!) and thence Voyager 12.1938. Penguin 8.39 and promoted A/L/SIG 6.40 and drafted to Napier 11.40, confirmed L/SIG 6.41, A/YEO 10.41, YEO (TY) 10.42 and back to Cerberus again 1.1943. His last couple of years wartime service card details are not legible. Reg was Rated Chief Yeoman of Signals 1.1.1947 and demobilised 8.7.1947. Smooth seas Reg, and we will see you anon.


PLAQUE DEDICATION - 6th November 2011

On Sunday, 6th November commencing at 1400, 16 Plaques were Dedicated at the Chapel GI. This is a very moving Service and with the numbers and with one person from the congregation to speak about that person, it is indeed very unique. Each speaker is given about 2 minutes and some of the speeches are great, and it is a pity more cannot attend.

The Service was Officiated by Senior Chaplain Martin Lund RAN, with a sailor (f) from the Sydney Detachment of the RAN Band playing the LAST POST & REVEILLE.  I was given about 10 minutes notice, could I Read the Lesson Psalm 77, Verses 1 - 15.

Amongst those on this particular day was for the late Ex WORS George Bracken, and sadly no one had come to speak on his behalf or family. Later on when speaking to Terry Nugent, we both said that as we had known him, we could have presented on behalf of the family had we been asked.

The next was for the late LCDR James "Jim" Griggs RAN. Here, a long time friend Dave Jeffrey came to the front and told the congregation of his friendship from way back and how that friendship continues today, with both his wife Maureen and Jim's wife, Maureen.

For those that may not be aware, the current Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AM CSC RAN is their son, and due to another function inter-state the previous night advised he may not be able to attend.

The next was for Coder Robert Clayton. After seeing some of the code messages of WW II, I now know why a new Communication category of a Coder was carried onboard ships as part of the Communications Branch. They wore the crossed flags of the Signalman with the letter C below.

All 3 of the above were very long standing Members of the RANCBA.

RANCBA Members in attendance, Kevin & Kay Mongan (ACT), Dave & Maureen Jeffrey (ACT), Ms Lesley Lalor, Ms Maureen Griggs (SA), Don Ferguson, Laurie Scutts, Ray & Sharon Mundy, Terry Nugent, John & Pam Short, Ms. Diana Avent, Trevor Pike, Liz Watts, Helen & self (Shorty). All are shown in the photo but not in that listing.

Lest We Forget

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Plaque Dedication Nov 2011


VALE - Danny Bowden MID - ex CPO TAG

It is with sad feelings I was informed last night that Ex CPO Telegraphist Air Gunner, Danny Bowden, Mentioned in Dispatches passed away, aged 102 years.

I first met Danny around 1976 and came to know him very well, and this more so when his wife passed away in 1985. He would always ring me or send a letter, (typed by what I would say, an old Imperial typewriter, which he may have borrowed from the Navy and forgot to return. I have no idea where he was getting typewriter ribbons).

A rough resume of his Naval Career:

Danny at the age of 15, joined the RAN in 1925 as a Boy Seaman about HMAS TINGIRA. He may have been the last Old Tingara Boy!!!  Trained as a Telegraphist and went to England to Commission HMAS AUSTRALIA II in 1928.  Served aboard the carrier, HMAS ALBATROSS and selected to become a Telegraphist Air Gunner and part of a 3 man crew flying a SEAGULL aircraft. In 1935 as a TAG Commissioned HMAS SYDNEY II in England. At the outbreak of WW II was the Senior Telegraphist aboard HMAS ORARA which was the Senior Ship Minesweeping.

Then the recently Commissioned HMAS PERTH requested a TAG and he was released and drafted to HMAS PERTH.  Whilst on Service in the Mediterranean, the aircraft was shot down, by what he believes was a JU88 , and whilst floating around on a raft, they were mistaken as a part of a U-boat and HMS HAVCOK was on course to ram them. 

As there was no aircraft then aboard HMAS PERTH and he was surplus and HMAS STUART required a PO/Telegraphist he was drafted aboard STUART.  On return to Australia he was drafted to HMAS SWAN carrying out patrols, bombardments as required.  He was then drafted to HMAS PLATYPUS on the Staff of Commander "D" in charge of all Corvettes in the area.

On the end of WW II was drafted to HMAS CERBERUS as an Instructor at Signal School , but that didn't last too long, drafted to Commission HMAS SYDNEY III in the UK. On return, as his engagement was now completed, he took his discharge and worked for the Victorian State Electricity.

They moved to the Central Coast of NSW and he became a long stalwart of the RANCBA.

When he turned 95, I wrote to Navy Office about providing some recognition, to which they did. I would like to thank Commander Michelle Miller RAN who was the Commanding Officer of the current HMAS PERTH and as they were coming to Sydney, arranged a tour aboard etc (I was to be his carer, but I think he looked after me instead). Anyway HMAS PERTH due to no berth available had to anchor out, and we were given a full and very good tour of HMAS BALLARAT. Nothing was left by our Guide, a LCDR EWO (cannot remember his name) and on completion, the OOD, the coxswains of HMAS PERTH & BALLARAT represented Danny with a beautiful framed photo of all the PERTH's and up in the left hand side, a photo of a WALRUS aircraft.

When he turned 100, I again wrote to Navy Office about his age etc and a trip on a Minehunter was arranged, but when I wrote and told him, he phoned to say he was unavailable, He was joining QUEEN MARY II in Sydney for a cruise to Hong Kong. He did send me a card and letter, advising if you are going to celebrate your 100th Birthday, do it on a cruise ship, they couldn't do enough for you.

This year, he was selected by the RANCBA NSW Committee as our Guest at the Federation of Naval Association Luncheon at NSW State Parliament House.  So when I wrote and told him, once again he came back not available. He had been selected as one of six Veterans by the Federal Government and Dept of Veterans Affairs to be part of the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Crete and would be flying out the day of the Luncheon. He was an Hon. Member of the 6th Division who had fought in Crete.

Later on when Ken Swain and I were asked to attend the NSW RSL State Congress opening, one of the first speakers was The Hon. Warren Snowden MP, Federal Minister for Veterans Affairs who advised all he had just returned from Crete and the first person he named was Danny Bowden who had been one of the six Veterans.

Danny was a credit to this Nation, Australia, he loved the Royal Australian Navy and was a Communicator to the end.   He will be sadly missed by all that knew him.


Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)



For all you Veterans who use (or don’t use) the Form D800 when claiming mileage allowance for medical visits, please take note.

I was recently advised by one of my health providers that they wouldn’t sign my form as “the Director has told us not to sign unless you have an official appointment”.

On enquiry with DVA Canberra and after she had checked with the Transport Guru’s in Brisbane, I was advised the following new directive:-

“If the distance travelled is under 100 km/s (in total) and the Provider either will not or can not sign your D800, you may sign the form yourself, noting who the Provider is and it will be paid by DVA”

Hope this helps those using this form and encourages those who DO NOT.

Keghead Weaver

October 2011 Entries:

Subject: Plaque Dedication Service - 6th November

A reminder that the next Plaque Dedication Service will take place on the 6th November at 1400 hr at the Chapel, Garden Island.  For those attending by private vehicle, could you send me your car rego, type of car for SECURITY no later than 3rd November so that I can forward details to G.I.

Now, 2 of these, the late WORS Geoge Bracken and the late LCDR Jim Griggs are ex Communicators and it would be great if as many as possible Communicators could attend to remember those that were part of this great Branch.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)
email shortym@optusnet.com.au


For widest dissemination please to former and current Army, Navy and Air Force personnel of Commonwealth nations, Australian Defence Forces and other Commonwealth Nations Defence Forces

Assistance / contributions required for a book to commemorate the reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II

'Under the Queen's Colours 1952-2012'

Replies MUST be submitted by 31 October 2011

Follow this link for more information. This seems a wonderful idea to record stories of former and current service personnel of the Commonwealth.


RANCBA VIC Newsletter "Basegram"

Would appreciate it if you would put the Vic Newsletter in its usual link place on the site.

And would also appreciate it if you would post a comment on the QSO the World site that the current version is now available with a clickable link to it.

Follow this link for the Spring 2011 Basegram - parts 1 and 2.

Ian Hogarth
Honorary Secretary


Sandy McNab sends:

Further to Pete Rogers 'guest book entry' of the 30th August seeking Bill Mann and his VMT 'guest book reply' of the 13th September and the publishing of Bill's recruit class photo on the QSO Forum seeking names.

I recognised Albie Boyd and also Brian McGurgan the younger brother of the late Martin McGurgan and conveyed this to Pete, Bill and Brian to cue their memories. Brian later contacted Ralph Ringe who luckily also had a copy of the Class photo thus the remaining gaps have been filled. A great result.

I also met up with Albie Boyd a couple of times when at home on W.A. leave. I believe he served on the Perth, and paid off in 1969 an LTO on the Diamantina or Leeuwin MSO. Sadly, from the local MCB records Albie R56570 (Albert William Boyd) is noted as having passed away at Maddington W.A. back in 1997 aged just 59.


L to R rear row:
R/CO Kenneth Barton (reverted R/SMN), R/ME Gordon Lane, R/CO Graham Jones, R/CO William Mann, R/CO Reginald Watson, R/ME Graeme Treller, R/CO Peter Rogers, R/CO Albert Boyd, R/CO Michael Shannon (reverted R/SMN).
L to R front row:
R/CO John Howie (reverted R/SMN thence PTI), R/ME Brian McGurgan, R/ME Ralph Ringe, Instructor A/PO QMG Stan Shields, R/CO John Ford, R/CO Barry Nagorcka, R/ME Jens Udo Magdeburger.


Navy Week Victoria

You're invited!

Naval Commemoration Committee of Victoria has arranged the Navy Week Wreath Laying Service to be conducted in the Sanctuary at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne at 1400 hrs on Sunday 16th October 2011. This is designed to honour the service of both past and members of the RAN. Contact Terry Makings, NCCV (0411 135 163)

Service will be held inside the Shrine so the weather won’t be a problem!

Ian Hogarth

Vale Ronald Ross 'Pinky' Pinkstone R52633 (ex CCY)

Peter Archibald advises that he saw a death notice in the Melbourne Herald Sun on Saturday 8 October for Ronald Ross (Pinky) Pinkstone, who passed away in Ararat on Oct 6.

Funeral is in Ararat at 11.30am Wednesday 12th October.

Pinky was a Chief Yeoman and would have been well known to any communicators who served from the late fifties to the seventies.

Peter Archibald

Sad news Peter, Pinky was 78.  He joined the RAN in January 1957, paid of briefly in 1963 before reentering and then served until the late 70's (I think).  He was then employed as a typing instructor at Comms School and is shown in the staff photos for 1980, 1982 and 1984.  Pinky was CY on ANZAC in 1966/67 when I was a young TO and he was a great mentor to his V/S staff.  I was lucky enough to catch up with him in Canberra on Anzac Day a few years ago and he was fit and healthy and the Pinky of old.  We enjoyed several beers and swapped a few stories after the march.  Sad to see the old hands moving on.  Rest in peace old mate, you won't be forgotten. 
John Curbishley

Fm Nugget Nugent:
Sad to see the notice of EX CCY Ron Pinkstone. I remember him very well as CCY on Vampire during refit in Williamstown. Pinky and his family took me under their wing and I had many a dinner and stayovers when he lived at Frankston. I played lots of golf with him in that area and at Cerberus. He was a very good mentor to me on Vampire when as a young LROS I had to take on the duties of the (S) Branch when Tiny Kopp took ill in Singapore and returned to Australia. Fair winds and tight halyards my friend....RIP

Fm Jim Anderson:
Many's the ripper run ashore with Pinky. Another great gentleman to cross the bar.

Fm Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker:
When I was posted (drafted?) to my first ship (HMAS Sydney), I was given my paperwork and told to make my way to Melbourne and to report to Leading Seaman Pinkstone, who would make sure that I didn't get into any trouble on the train to Sydney. Well, Pinky kept me out of trouble alright. He made sure I had ample supplies of liquid refreshment for the trip. I was probably drunk by the time we got out of greater Melbourne..I certainly don't remember anything until we arrived at Central Railway Station, where Pinky handed me over to the RTO. I never saw him again, but I often had a chuckle whenever I heard his name mentioned. Lest we Forget.

Fm Graham Bence:
Sorry to hear about Pinky Pinstone. Always wondered where he got to. The last I heard was that he was up at Gove.  Serve with him on the Quickmatch both leading hands together. Good runs ashore in the Far East. Sadly missed.

Fm Kev Mongan:
I joined the RAN as a Recruit Telegraphist and was in the same Recruit Class (Bass 10) in January 1957. Ron was our Class Leader (or whatever they called them in those days).

We both went through Signal School - he as a Bunting Tosser and me as a Sparker and were posted to the Melbourne at the same time.

After being posted off the ship in 1959 we vowed to get together some time in the future for a beer or two, unfortunately this did not eventuate.

When looking through old photos on the website, I found a photo of him when he was at the Sig School as a Typing Instructor.

RIP Pinky.

Kev Mongan

Vale Trevor Sidney Haymes R104431 (ex LTO)

We sadly inform you of the passing of LTO Trevor Sidney Haymes - R104431.

Dad had been suffering from Lung Cancer over the past year and passed away on 5th October 2011 aged 59 years.

He served on HMAS Melbourne, Vampire, Brisbane and Stalwart.

A funeral service will be held on Thursday (13 October) at St Matthews Anglican Church Windsor (NSW) commencing at 10.00am.

Can you please pass it on to all concerned.

Kind Regards
Danny Haymes
0413 092 732
Sad news, our thoughts are with Trevor's family.  Trevor joined as a JR in July 1968.  Lest we forget.


Vale Ian David Mitchell - World War II Convoy Signalman.

It is my sad duty to inform of the passing of Ian Mitchell or as he was known "Mitch" aged 87 years.

He was in the original class of a special draft to carry out duties on Convoys in the UK, but with the entry of Japan into the War in December 1941, he served on convoys in Australia and Pacific. He served on 30 different ships during this time and whilst carrying out this duty, and was onboard the ship "ORMISTON" when it was torpedoed on 12th May 1943.

He was a long standing Member of the RANCBA for over 50 years, and will be sadly missed.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)
Lest We Forget


Vale Bryant Attwood R39260 (ex CCY)

Tackers Miles sends:

I have been informed that Brian Atwood, an LTO in the original Vampire commissioning crew has passed away. I don't have any details but believe that he lived in Geelong. I have no idea what happened to him after 1960, when I left Vampire. I just remember him as firm but fair and very interested in the welfare of us young OD'S.

Maybe RANCBA VIC can turn up some more info.

Tony (Tackers) Miles

If anyone is able to confirm the above please let me know.  I have not been able to turn up a Record of Service card for Brian Atwood from the National Archives website.  I seem to remember a CCY 'Boof' Atwood at Cerberus sometime from the mid to late 60's, I can't confirm this and he doesn't turn up in any of the Sig School staff photos.  I would like more info before I add him to the Vale list. 

Thanks to Sandy McNab who pointed me to the correct spelling of the surname and the fact that CY Bryant Attwood is shown in the Sig School Staff photo for 1963. He was then found in Archives, born 1931, joined October 1950, paid off in October 1965 as a CCY.  Shorty Moffatt then advised that he heard of Bryant's death via Les Church, so I have now added Bryant Attwood to the Vale list.  Many thanks to Curley Lenton and Dave Jeffrey who also assisted, their responses are below:

Fm Curley Lenton:
Re: Brian Atwood....there is a Bryant Attwood listed in the NAA, he joined in 1950 and DEE'd in 1966, he was a CCY on DEE. His O/N was R39260. Probably the man you are looking for.

I took an interest because I am always looking for ex-navy who enlisted in the 50's. I enlisted in July 1951 and Bryant was just about finished his training so we must have crossed paths at Sig School. Comms from that era seem to be few and far between. My class was CB24.

Keith (Curley) Lenton R45660

Fm Dave Jeffrey:
For what it's worth, Brian Attwood was a CY at Cerberus when I did my RO's course in 1962. He was a very solid Aussie Rules full back and as an instructor probably some of the TO's of my vintage could enlighten you. I haven't seen him since mid to late 60's.

Fm Bill Aylott:
I always knew him as Brian. We were in the same VS course down at FND & both drafted to the Bataan in 1951, both served in Korea in 1952 on Bataan. Being Odes, we were both made daygirls under L/Sig Jameson aka Donald Duck or Sluggo (for obvious reasons) I missed the ship in Kure so lost track of him but at the recent Bataan re-union, the Pres of the Victorian Branch informed me that Brian had died about 2 weeks earlier (the re-union was held 8-11 Sept this year).
Bill Aylott

Fm Rossco Gibb:
I can confirm that Bryant Attwood passed away a couple of months ago. I worked with him at the Port of Geelong which I believe he joined after his time in the RAN. There is a photo of him in the 1963 Sig School photo and you can find him in the middle row second from the right in a CY uniform. I'm not sure what rank he paid off as, but I think Andy Cowley would have more information. Another ex signalman Kevin Higgins worked with us and he passed away a few years ago now, I think he was also a CY but Andy would be able to elaborate as well.


Vale Jim 'Dutchy' Holland (ex Tel)

Peter Bonser advises that  one of our members from Bemboka NSW Jim (Dutchy) Holland passed away last week. Jim was a Telegraphist, joined the Navy circa 1946 to 1958. He served mostly in small ships. He is survived by his wife Loraine.

Pete has sent a sympathy card on behalf of RANCBA Vic!


Please check newspapers for details!

Ian Hogarth

Terry Gleeson sends:

Having read the QSO from Jim Anderson today, I just had to respond to add my two bob’s worth regarding Murgy and his travels.

As background info - I needed a mini refit on the good vessel Accalia, (involving full paint job of topsides and hull) in Darwin recently and being stuck overseas working, sought out help from Alan and one of his boating mates Bill (ex Army – Alan and Bill first met on the Sydney back in VT ferry days!) to help me out with the refit. Well, in a nutshell, these two mates did an absolutely brilliant job on the boat in the month she was out of the water, now the best she has ever looked. This pair put all the younger local ‘tradesmen’ to shame with their work ethic and ‘nothing too hard approach’.

Rumor also has it that the girls at the Darwin Sailing Club also most impressed with the two dapper gentlemen who became regulars at the club for the ‘sundowners’ after each day in the boatyard.

Have enclosed a good photograph of Bill and Alan, fit and looking half their age.

Fair seas Alan and Bill,
Thanks Again,
Terry Gleeson

Bill & Murgy 2011


Retirement of LEUT Kel Nagle

Donald (Kel) Nagle retired from the RAN on Friday 30th September 2011 after 36 years of service to the RAN. Kel began his career as a Signalman and finished up a Lieutenant where he carried out the duties of the HMAS Cerberus ADPA. Kel was presented with a farewell gift by the CO of HMAS Cerberus, Captain Mark Hill CSC, RAN at the monthly Presentations & Promotions gathering held at Club Cerberus. Whilst Kel greatly received his pussers clock from the CO, it was the gift from his Communications Branch friends that topped it off.

The gift was a framed representation of Kels 36 years service, it depicted the hat badges of each rank, the crests of each ship / establishment, his sea time history along with his tiered IR Badges. It also had the rate badges of the Signals branch, both old and new, his service history, his medals and the CIS Medallion. The presentation was conceived by CPOCIS Steve Kime and CPOCIS Shane O'Grady.

Attached is a picture of the presentation with the CO of HMAS Cerberus, Kel surrounded with Communications Branch sailors and the presentation gift itself.

Names of Comms Sailors in group pic, Left to Right are:
POCIS Terry Crilly, WOCIS Jim Nitschke, POCIS Brendan Loftus, Kel Nagle, CPOCIS Shane O'Grady, POCIS Gary Swanton, CPOCIS Rohan Jennings, CPOCIS Kevin Stenhouse, CPOCIS Steve Kime

Gary Swanton


September 2011 Entries:

Jim Anderson sends:

I was doing my regular early morning CW sked on 3 MHz yesterday with my two ex PMG mates when Murgy broke in. He is an Amateur Radio op as well.

He is stuck up at Flinders Island (near Cooktown) with an unserviceable Davey pump on his motor launch MV Paul Mitchell. Anyway, we managed to get it all sorted out and a new pump will be delivered to him by the supply barge Emu Bay on her run up the Cape on Saturday.

Murgy asked that his regards be passed on to all on the RANCB website. I saw him in Cairns about a month ago for a beer and he hasn't changed a bit in 50 years. Maybe he has one or two grey hairs these days and has maybe put on about 4 ounces in weight.

Jim Anderson VK4AQ

VALE - Ex CRS Ian Pringle R35901

Evening all. I have just had a phone call advising of the passing of ex CRS Ian Pringle from a heart attack. He passed away earlier this month and the Funeral Service has already been carried out.

It was only on opening his WILL that he had inserted that on his passing to inform Shorty Moffatt , phone number etc.

Ian was a real character and many would have stories about him, good and bad. I was on his watch in Darwin in 1960, when it was 24 on 24 off and nothing to do when off watch, but Ian could organise a smokie/banyan down at Howard or Berry Springs without any problems, but at the same time, he also knew his work and would let you know if you had made an error.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Ian's record of service card shows he  was 82 years old (1929-2011) He served from 1948 to 1969, then signed on for 12 months RAFR service at Kuttabul.  The Record of Service cards cards were discontinued in 1970 so I am not sure of his movements after 1970.
Lest We Forget


Ian Pringle - Sig School 1963

Fm Kev Eastley (Beast):
In 1959 at Harman Fifi was a legend. Rest in peace.

Fm Bill Aylott:
I served with Ian on the Bataan I think it was 51/52, quite a character.

Fm John Jenkins (R50761 ex LRO):
I was saddened to hear about the passing of Ian Pringle.
served with him on MELBOURNE in 1956 -57 along with Max Miller, Kev Eastley.

Fm Trevor Percival (Percy):
Thank you for letting us know. There would not be too many of our age who did not know him personally. I wonder how old he was.

Fm Ron Tuckwell:
Thank you for that Allan. I considered myself Ian Pringle’s friend. I served in Harman with him and also did an Instructors course with him.
Norah sewed badges on his uniform.  
He was a good sparker and a top crypto hand.
Rest is peace with smooth seas and fair winds Ian Pringle.

Fm Bill Watts:
I have fond memories of Ian at Flinders and around the fleet, he was a one of a kind, what was his favourite recording artist that he doted on? Was it Frankie Lane?

Fm Duke Norfolk:
Thanks for the info re Ian...I was on the Melbourne in the late 50s when he was, I think, a PO Tel though he may have been a kellick. He also did his time on the ship's SRE and did a good job too. Gunner King would be interested I think.

Fm Trevor Pike:
Sad to hear of the passing of Ian, he was a real character, I 1st met him when he was the Chief RS on Yarra and I was an Ord CO a professional Chief very fair with his troops a genuine nice guy but when ashore that was something else, On several occasions he came down from South West Rocks for Anzac Days here in Sydney and on the last one he attended was the last time I saw him. He will be sorely missed as one of the characters of the Communications Branch.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning....

Fm Ken Swain:
Sad to hear this news about Ian Pringle. Served under him as a sailor and he worked for me years later when I was a Lieutenant and he was a Chief. He was most professional and in general a "Good Hand".... At the going down.... He will be missed by me and hopefully many others.

Fm Errol Hedges:
Fifi took our class to Melbourne - RAAF Frognell - to see their large comm.centre...What a day it was! We had a few at the wet canteen and the trip back to Cerberus was hilarious!! We asked Fifi how he got the nickname... his reply was reverse it... Ifif... He and CRS Norm Harridine were significant in our time at Cerberus.  RIP Fifi.


PO WRAN Class early 60's

The photo below was sent to me by Helen Harvey (nee Worrell), ex WRAN STD, who was a member of Class 62 of 1962.  Helen names most of the WRAN PO's pictured except for 3 WRAN RS' in the back row.

I ran a couple of photos similar to this in 2008/09 which resulted in successful identification, so it would be good if we could identify the unknowns in this photo.

Back Row L to R:
RS Grant, Unknown, PO Smith, Unknown, Unknown, PO McDonald, PO Hall, PO Hyde, PO Maiden.

Front Row L to R:
RS Weate, PO Melocco, Chief WRAN Geisler, PO Kennedy, PO Baker.


Fm Joan Henstock:

Carolyn Davey asked me if I knew some of the some of the senior ranks in the photo recently posted on the RANCBA.

I have had a quick look and at this time can only identify one more which is Lois Redpath (RSS) next to Enid Smith (REG).

Give me a bit more time and I may be able to come up with a name for the other unknown.

First names for others in the photo:

Hazel Grant (RSS), Debbie Robertson (RSS), Enid Smith (REG), Lois Redpath (RSS later a linguist), Unknown, PO McDonald & PO Hall (I did not know), Val Hyde (Cook), Lennie Maiden (Steward)

Bev Weate (RSS), Judith Melocco (REG), Ella Geisler (Stores), Janet Kennedy (Steward), Joan Baker (MTD).

Fm Penny Seib (nee Broadbent):
The remaining unknown in the back row of the PO Wran Class could be Angela Sweetapple. As the memory is not as good as it used to be and considering it’s such a long time ago, I may well be wrong. Will be interested to see other comments.

Per favor Natalie Cullity (nee Thom), current incumbent Sec. ex-WRANs WA and through her grape-vine responses, they have been able to identify the three missing names as:

Angie Vincent, Aroha McDonald and Lois Hall. A good result.

Many thanks to all who helped identify the above.


Freedom of Entry March - Melbourne

Please find attached photo of DFSS MCISW (Comms School) personnel participating in the recent Freedom of Entry march through the Melbourne CBD on Friday 16Sep11.

The march was conducted as part of the RAN's 100th Anniversary of the granting of the title 'Royal'. Approximately 1300 personnel from HMAS Cerberus marched.

Gary Swanton


Battle for Australia Ceremony - Melbourne

I note on the QSO that you had a couple of pics from the Battle For Australia ceremony up in Sydney. I have attached a pic from the same ceremony that was conducted down here in Melbourne at the Shrine of Remembrance. The color party comprised of DFSS MCISW staff and the guard comprised of personnel from several HMAS Cerberus Faculties.

Comms Personnel of the Color Escort are (Left to Right)

Color Escort Chief - CPOCIS Rohan Jennings

Color Escort - LSCIS Peter Turner, POCIS Gary Swanton & LSCIS Steve Mantovani

Gary Swanton


Fm Les Thurgood:
Ref Gary Swanton's QSO of this event.  I was singing in the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic involved with the event.  This is the 4th year we have been involved through ANZAC House in Melbourne. This year we did the ANZAC Day dawn service and end of march (I did not sing then due to Comms reunion in Adelaide). At present we will be doing ANZAC Day in the future.


16th Minesweeping Squadron Reunion.

To be held at Twin Towns RSL, Coolangatta/Tweed Heads on 14th, 15th, 16th September 2012.

On Sunday 16th a Memorial & Wreath Laying Ceremony will take place at the Tweed Heads Cenotaph. Crew members from HMAS Curlew, Gull, Hawk, Snipe, Ibis & Teal will Lay a Wreath.

Hoping that as many Communicators that served on the Ton Class sweepers can attend. Please pass onto any other Branches that you know about. Lets make it a good turn-out.

Shorty Moffatt
HMAS SNIPE 1965 - 66

Vale Gordon Roy 'Stroppy' Prove R55954 - ex TO

The attached notices appeared in the Hervey Bay Observer today, Wednesday 14 September 2011.

I didn’t know him, but I believe he was known by the nickname “Stroppy”. The Hervey Bay RSL has a photo of him on a signal light on HMAS Melbourne with CCY George Davey watching on. From that it can be seen that he was a TO. What his final rank was I do not know. If you didn’t know him yourself, there must be someone among the signalmen fraternity that did and who can provide more information.

Rod Beckinsale

I have viewed Stroppy's record of service card at National Archives and note he served between 1959 and 1965 before being discharged as a TO.  I sense there is a story here somewhere.  If anyone knew him and would like to add a reflection on his service please do so.

Fm G.R. 'Sandy' McNab 16/09:
I have scanned a photo from Shorty's Feb 2011 Newsletter of two ex-VKLP 1961 TO's 'Spider' Harris and 'Stroppy' Prove taken at last years Remembrance Day Service at Hervey Bay. 'Stroppy' looking his usual dapper self, of slight build, quietly spoken and a quirky sense of humour if I am correct in my recollection of him in 5DeltaPort all those years ago. Not sure how or when he acquired the nickname, but obviously it has stuck for all those years. Cheers.


Plaque Dedication - 6th November 2011 - Garden Island Chapel

I had a very nice phone call on Monday evening from a friend from way back, Mrs Maureen Griggs, (ex WRAN RO) who wished to thank me for the newsletter as both her late husband and self looked forward to receiving it and also to thank me for the help I had given her about organising a Plaque at the Chapel of Remembrance, Garden Island for her late husband, LCDR Jim Griggs.

She had looked me up at the Reunion in Adelaide and asked if I could help, as I had mentioned it in many newsletters.  It was indeed a pleasure to do this as I had served with Jim at HMAS HARMAN when we were both lowly sparkers on the same watch before he decided to do a conversion course and become a (S) sparker, then went onto do a Commission.

Now, along with the list I had previously notified about for the 6th November, a late inclusion, Jim's Plaque will also be Dedicated on that day at 1400 at the Chapel of Remembrance. Garden Island. It is hoped that as many that knew both Jim and also Maureen can attend, but saying that all Communicators are more than welcome.

Due to security, if attending, I will need names and if travelling by private vehicle, the rego. The cut off date for this will be 3rd November.  Dress is as for ANZAC Day and full Medals where applicable.

For those that may not be aware, their son is Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Ray Griggs AM CSC RAN, but due to a prior commitment the evening before, may not be able to attend, but let's make a great effort and attend.

Allan Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


Jim Anderson sends:

Nearly 70 years old and pulling stunts like these for the first time ever.

A tandem parachute jump from 14,000 feet with the first minute freefall. What an absolute bloody buzz.
Just Do It...

Have also been Abseiling and Rapelling with the Grade 7's on a recent School Camp at Lake Tinaroo.

Cheers mate


Roger Shee sends:

Dear Web Manager, After several years absence, I am now 'back on deck'!. Can I please change my current entry (under "Shea") to "Shee". Although I altered the spelling of my surname, I would like to now show my birth name - to reflect as it was during my naval service. Hope that is ok? ie: Same as for my brother "Adrian Shee" and also my other brother "Mac Shee" (now deceased), so old shipmates can identify me better.

Also, please add my wife's name to my entry as above. Her name is "Anh". We currently are living in Port Pirie. My email address is unchanged.

Many thanks, Roger/Ricko.

Fm Roger Shee 23/09:
I need to clarify that my brother Adrian (Shee) has not left us and is still most definitely alive and well, living in Canberra!. The "now deceased" in my previous message was in reference to our other brother "Mac Shee" (also ex RAN/REM) who sadly died very young, around 15 years ago. Thanks for the message Percy 'though you gave me a bit of start there! Cheers, Roger


Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans & Associated Forces Memorial Day.

The RANCBA was invited to attend the BMVV Memorial Day which also incorporated the Battle of Long Tan, held at Springwood, in the Blue Mountains, 14th August.

We displayed out Mini Banner for the March and it was carried by 2 Sea Cadets from TS NEPEAN.  The RANCBA was well represented and it was pleasing to have Shirley (ex WRAN) and Tony Sullivan join with us from Wynyard, Tasmania and also Col McCarthy from the mid north coast of NSW.

The Guest of Honour, was Her Excellency, Professor Mari Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW and a Wreath was laid on behalf of all Communicators across the Nation.

Here in NSW, we have items for sale, RANCBA tie, Medal Box, engraved with name and RANCBA logo, RANCBA Tie Pin and Medal Plastic holder. For all those with expression of interest, please contact and the price and postage/handling will be made available to you.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW


Battle for Australia

The RANCBA as part of the Ex Service Organisation was invited to attend the Battle for Australia, held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place, 7th September with the Guest of Honour, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW.

The RANCBA was well represented and here the photos were taken with Fuzzy Wuzzy "angels" who had taken part in the Battle in New Guinea and with your PNG children brought to Australia for the Service.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA NSW


Sheryl Richards (nee White) sends:

Here is a photo I have which is specifically of the ROS team that finished their training at HMAS Harman. The dinner was held in Canberra in 1979 and the only names I can remember are as follows:

Rear row from left :
Shane Fuller, Kaye Quinn, Kerry Sutton, Eve Rach, Sheryl White.
Front row from left:
Bob Vorenkamp, Peter Cook, Yvonne Corby (Instructor).

If someone can provide the other names please do. (All have now been identified, many thanks to those who responded).


August 2011 Entries:

National Launch of Legacy

As President of the RANCBA, (NSW) Chapter I received an Official Invitation to attend the National Launch of Legacy today at the Cenotaph, Martin Place, today, 29th August 2011.

The MC, was Gordon Bray AM,(ABC) with the Cataflaque Party and Flag Orderlies from the Federation Guard, with the music by the Band of the Australian Army.  The Guest of Honour was Ms Quentin Bryce AC, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia. but then Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO Governor of NSW, 3 very Senior Officers of the ADF, Representatives of both the Federal and State Government, Ms Clover Moore Lord Mayor of Sydney was there also, Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO, Federal President of the RSL from the ACT, Ms Jennifer Collins. Deputy Commissioner of Vets Affairs for the ACT/NSW. There were many others, but too numerous to recall.

Now there was also 2 very young Victorian Cross winners from the War in Afghanistan. Corporal Mark Donaldson VC and Corporal Ben Robert-Smith VC, who both Laid Wreaths on behalf of those 29 ADF personnel KIA there, also the very young widow remembering her late husband killed in a helo accident in June there.

Corporal Mark Donadson VC read the Legatee Address as his father had died when he was very young and Legacy supported his mother to enable her to raise both his younger brother and self.

I was very proud to have attended and represent the RANCBA, and it was not just for NSW, but it was for all across this Nation, and I hope that all will support this very worthy cause.

Annual Communications Function

I have received a correspondence inviting RANCBA Members to attend the Annual Communications Function to be held on Friday, 7th October 2011 commencing at 2pm till 4.30pm at the Royal Exhibition Hotel, Sydney (also known as Swampies). You may wish to kick on !!!!

For those that do not know the location, it is at the corner of Sussex and Devonshire Streets, just off Central Railway Station.

If would be pleasing to see as many attend and meet the young serving sailors of todays Communication Branch.

Should you be showing an expression of interest about this, if you could, let me know.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)


Forum with Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs

I’ve become aware of two forums that have been organised whereby the Shadow Minister for Veterans Affairs, Senator Michael Ronaldson will be available to answer questions from Veterans. May be a good opportunity to further voice displeasure of the DFRDB scheme by those affected.

The invitations are attached for Tallai, Gold Coast and Beaudesert, SE QLD on the 6th Sep 11. Grateful if you would post on the website for those in these areas that would like to attend.

Follow this link for the Beaudesert forum invitation.

Follow this link for the Mudgeeraba forum invitation.

Kev Slavin

Important Message

The attached flyer provides an excellent message of support for our Fair Go Campaign from Ian Stenlake who played the lead role in the Sea Patrol TV Series. The flyer is designed to take our Fair Indexation issue into the wider public arena with an appeal for their support.

For this initiative to be successful it requires extensive viral circulation within the non-military community, and we are therefore asking all our members to get involved and circulate the flyer to all their contacts, both military and non-military, and importantly, ask for their support and further circulation.

We are launching the flyer to coincide with Operation Letter Raid to further increase the impact of our campaign. Together with mass email distribution, the flyer is also going on all our websites and facebook pages. We encourage you to add it to your personal facebook page if you have one.

A media release will also be issued and we will be looking to place a printed version of the flyer in selected newspapers later. Hopefully, the launch may generate some media interest.

Anything you can do to help ensure the success of this initiative through wide circulation of the flyer and supportive messages to your friends would be greatly appreciated.

Rob Shortridge
President DFWA QLD Inc
(07) 32787826
0412 503 203

Follow this link for the message of support.

I received this message from a number of sources which means this worthy cause is receiving the circulation is deserves - I pass it on for those of you who may not have seen it.


Vale Wayne F. J. Wells - ex WORSES(SM)

I have confirmed through the ROEW community and by contacting Bomber's wife, that one of our ex Warrant Officers passed away in Perth, WA on 4th September 2000.

Wayne F.J. Wells, better known as 'Bomber', was promoted to CPORSS in 1974, then later changed branch to CPORSEW(SM).  He was promoted to WORSEW(SM) in 1979 and changed branch again in early 1980's to WORSES(SM).  Bomber was one of the founding fathers of the ROEW branch in the early 1970's

I thought I would forward this info to you, as there would be many RANCBA members who would remember Bomber and not be aware of his passing.

Dick Waldie

Lest We Forget


Vale Greg Percival - ex Tel

Ray Mundy passes on the following article from the SMH.
Vale Greg Percival, 1925 – 2011, Ex Communicator.

Follow this link to read the Sydney Morning Herald obituary.

Lest We Forget


Vale Ean Lawrance McDonald F2669 (ex Sig/LCDR RANVR)

Sandy McNab sends.....

It is with sadness that I convey the passing of Ean McDonald on the 15th August as reported in yesterdays West Australian.

We recently have both sold our homes, he at number 32 and I at 57 Watsonia Road and my only regret is that I did not get to see him once more before we shifted out.

An accomplished sailor, surveyor, architect, artist and author I enjoyed my conversations on all things naval in particular some of his early chequered career happenings, 'tis not often you have the opportunity to successfully shoot down one of your own allied aircraft.

From the archives, Ean b 3.9.1918 reported for duty upon mobilisation 4.9.1939 as an Ord Sig and joined the Sydney 29.10.39 till 31.5.1940 and then drafted to the Stuart as a Sig. I think his book records him as being on Capt Hec Waller's flotilla leader Signal staff and so served uniquely on all 5 of the Scrap Iron flotilla ships till 30.9.1941. Drafted to the Perth till 8.2.1942 and thence to Cerberus and promoted A/Sub Lt 1.9.1942. His remaining war years were as a naval Surveyor serving in the northern waters ahead of the allied landings, initially on the Whyalla to 8.2.1943, promoted Lieut 3.9.1943 and thence Shepparton demobilising 25.12.1945 thence RANVR and promoted Lt.Cdr 30/6/1958, tranferred to the retired list RANR 3.9.1963.

The Funeral Cortege for Ean will assemble at the main entrance of KARRAKATTA Cemetery for a cremation service commencing at 12.30pm on MONDAY 22.8.2011. Smooth seas Ean and we will see you anon.

Lest We Forget

Included below (from The West Australian, Wednesday 28 September), Ean McDonalds obit penned by Torrance Mendez.
I have also included a couple of pages from his book Flip Side War which just may whet the appetite of some to have a read themselves, of a remarkable continuous six years of wartime service experiences. I hardly put it down until finished, as it is so readily identifiable to some of our shipborne career experiences albeit not in wartime.  By Hesperian Press ISBN 085905 353 9 and possibly at your local library if available.
Sandy McNab



Vale Ray Galpin (Galps) R30809 Ex LDG TEL

James Raymond (Ray) Galpin EX-LDG TEL crossed the bar on 3/8/2011 in Canberra. Ray joined the RAN on 2 Sept 1938 and was on HMAS Australia when it was hit by Kamikaze aircraft during the Battle of the Philippines in 1945. Ray was discharged in 1958 and settled in Canberra.

I first met him when posted to HMAS Melbourne in 1958 where he was in charge of FRS (a good skulking sport for Entering and Leaving Harbour and other times when Clear Lower Deck was piped).

After his posting off the Melbourne, I did not meet up with him until the mid 60s and saw him occasionally over the past few years.

He is survived by his wife and family and his funeral was held on Wednesday 10 August 2011 in Canberra.

Lest We Forget.

Kev Mongan


The RANCBA NSW Chapter shall be holding their AGM on the 27th August 2011 commencing at 11.00am. On completion, as in previous years, our mid year Get Together.  The Parramatta RSL Club for our AGM they have allocated the lounge room for us, it will be set up with a table, chairs for the Meeting plus jugs of water & glasses etc.  They will also put tables together outside on the verandah which overlooks Parramatta Park for our Get Together .

All are invited and partners/friends are very welcome to the Get Together.

Normally we put money in a "kitty" for drinks (normal Club prices) and food is at your own cost and choice. There is a choice of a Bistro, or a Cafe within the Club, and both have a good selection of food at a very good cost.

For those that have never been to Parramatta RSL Club, which is located in Macquarie Street at the entrance to Parramatta Park. It is approximately 8-10 minutes walk from the Parramatta Rail & Bus Interchange, Should you come by private vehicle, the Club has a 5 story car park right opposite the Club, which is secure and it is monitored.

It is your Association and this is more so, especially for Serving personnel, as you are the Members we hope will continue this Association. Come along, have your say, meet with old friends and start new friendships.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM

Sandy McNab sends:

Callsign memorabilia.

From the archives, a couple of relevant RAN pages from the 1947, 1959 and 1967 isssues of BR70 - SLOBS perhaps of nostalgic interest to all those ex-VHP/VHK/VHM and coastal common morse operators. See how good your recollections and memories of yesteryear are. Go get your tissue box out Keg. Cheers



Vale Doug Kissick (ex CPOSY)

It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of Doug Kissick.  As you know, Doug was diagnosed with cancer before Christmas 2010.  He fought a game fight but in the end it was too much.  He passed away tonight (2 August 2011) at approx 1845. 

Lest We Forget

Laurie Pegler
Very sad news, our thoughts and condolences go to Sally and family.  A great bloke and a passionate Collingwood supporter.  Go Pies!

Doug & Sally Kissick with Sue Franklin (centre) at Canberra Reunion 2002.  Jim Quick, Laurie Pegler, Doug Kissick & Pedro Franklin - a recent visit to Doug...  Recent photo of Doug & Sally Kissick - Sally incognito thanks to Doug...

Funeral Details:
Doug's funeral will be held on Monday 8th August at 1400 at the Funeral Parlour Chapel of Yarrawonga-Mulwala - 67 Ely Street, Yarrawonga.  Medals to be worn.

Fm Alan Rodgers:
It is very sad to see the notice on the website today that Doug Kissick has passed away.  It was always good to see an email addressed from flagdeck@bigpond.com.

He will be sadly missed.

With regards
Alan Buck Rodgers
For and on behalf of the RANCBA WA

Fm Rod Withers:
Extremely sad to hear of Doug’s passing. RANCBA Victoria’s thoughts and condolences are with Doug’s family during this distressing period. We were so looking forward to catching up at our upcoming AGM in November. Another great communicator crosses the bar.

Rod Withers
RANCBA Victoria

Fm Bruce Spender:
So sorry to learn of the passing of Doug Kissick. Having known Doug since he went to sea as an EDP and then serving with him at Cerberus, he was one of those to whom nothing was too much trouble. Whilst he was a mad Collingwood supporter, I believe he did at one time support the "Blues", the Nowra Blues, when he was the Yeoman at HMAS Albatross. Our thoughts are with Sally and family at this stressful time. Rest in Peace in that big "Flagdeck" up above.
Bruce Spender ex WOSY



July 2011 Entries:

Seeking a WRAN from 1965

This letter will probably seem a "bit odd" to you, but I can assure you, that I am genuine!! I will explain!!

My name is Robert Haack.
I use to be in the RAAF, many years ago!!

My reason for writing---I am trying to find a very lovely Navy lass, I met and went out with, way back in 1965!!!
The problem---I cannot remember her name!!!!!!!!!!! (Now I think you will think, "this bloke's a nut!!!!!!)

Details of this lady and where we met.

In the latter half of 1965, I went to RAAF Base, Point Cook, to do a law course etc!! Whilst there, I met this graceful and beautiful young woman, who was a Navy lass, at the School of Languages at Point Cook.
This lady was slim; dark hair and very graceful. She was the envy of every bloke on the base, but, she only went out with me!!  As always in the Services, one gets moved around, and we were moved to different Bases.  I managed to catch up with this lady in Sydney, during 1966. By that time, she had resigned from the Navy. I have not seen her for 45 years!!!

I was wondering, if you could put some info somewhere in your Association, or post an advert or whatever, giving these details to members. Someone may know this woman or recognise this lady from the Language School at Point Cook!!  I know it is a long shot, but sometimes, long shots return a result.

My address is:

Robert Haack
Cumnock NSW 2867
Mob.Ph. No. 0427114059

I thank you for any assistance you can give, and hope for a result at some time.  If you need anymore info, I would be happy to give it to you, if I can!

Without wishing to start a dating service or a home for lost souls, if anyone has any information which may assist Robert in his search please pass it on.


HMAS QUADRANT - Wellington 1955

Just found this amongst some old pix, It’s the “Quadrant” in Wellington NZ 1955. At the time, I think it was the first Australian warship to visit and they paid us in Pounds Sterling, but the same amount of Pounds as we were getting in Oz quids….Keghead

HMAS QUADRANT Wellington 1955

Fm Beast 31/7:
Yes Keghead also the Quadrant escorted the Melbourne in "57 (I think) I have photos of us in Milford Sound. Cheers to all Beast.


Vale Horace Young S3428 L/Tel

Noticed in today's Express Advocate newspaper (Central Coast) that Horace Young, the RAN radio operator from the Krait raid on Singapore (Operation Jaywick) and a member of Z Special Unit, died last week - he was 90. His funeral is on tomorrow Thursday 21 July in Gosford. He was one of the three surviving members of Operation Jaywick.

The Advocate article can be found at http://express-advocate-gosford.whereilive.com.au/news/story/obituary-1/.

For information of anyone who might have known Horrie.

Jim Muldoon
Lest we forget


Battle for Australia

The following has been received.

The President and Members of the Battle for Australia Commemoration Committee request the company of the RAN Communications Branch Assn at their Annual Service at the Cenotaph, Martin Place, Wednesday 7th September 2011 commencing at 11,00am

Our Guest of Honour will be Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW.  It is hoped that many ex RAN Communicators can attend as we are very well know within the Ex Service Organisation (ESO).

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Blue Mtns Vietnam Vets & Associated Forces Day

The RANCBA has been invited again this year to participate in the Blue Mnts Vietnam and Associated Forces Day which is being held at Springwood on the 14th August commencing at 11.00am. Fall In opposite /near the Fire Station about 10.45am. Our Mini Banner will be displayed as in previous years.  The RANCBA will be Laying a Wreath, on behalf of all Communicators across this Nation.

The Guest of Honour will be the Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, Governor of NSW.  Dress is as for ANZAC Day. Full Medals. I an awaiting confirmation that there will be free travel for those attending wearing Medals.  Also if you can advise either Ray Mundy or myself if attending. Come along and join with us and other Ex Serving Organisations, we really do have a great day.

NOTE. You do not have to have been a Vietnam Veteran as the Associated Forces now includes, Korea, Malayan Emergency, FESR, Borneo-Indonesian Confrontation, Vietnam, Gulf, Iraq, Afghanistan and Peace Keeping Forces.

Allan Shorty" Moffatt OAM;
President RANCBA (NSW)

JRTE 3rd Intake 50th Reunion - Communicators Photo.

Geoff Broomhall & Max Hasson send:

We recently returned from our JR 3rd intake 50th reunion (July 61-Jul 11) held at Maroochydore on the Sunshine coast. Had a great time catching up with the old blokes. A few of the boys (15) unfortunately have crossed the bar but we managed to get 44 of us together with spouses/partners which added up to a nice group of about 75.

From the ACT there was Stretch Beck, Geoff Broomhall and Allan (Pony) Moore (ex Phot). Attached is a photo of the comms contingent:

Left to Right.
Greg (Stretch) Beck, Nev (Sambo) Sampson, Charlie Rigg, Dave Jobson, Norm Hutchings, Max Hasson, Geoff Broomhall & Pete Retallick.

Noted absentees were Sam Hughes and Chuma Hulme who are both overseas I believe. There were a few more ex Comms who couldn't make it but we made up for them in spirit.

Appreciate it if you can put this on the web. Thanks much.
Geoff Broomhall & Max Hasson

JRTE 3rd Intake 50th Reunion

Paul Blair seeks Pete de Maskens

I'm distantly related to Pete, and would like to send him an email about family matters. The Bigpond address shown on the RANCBA site bounces.

If you happen to have a more recent address could you please advise or, if possible, pass the above message on to Pete.

Paul Blair
02 6288 3584

I don't have a current email address for Pete, if anyone is in contact with him could they please pass on the message from Paul, along with his contact details.


RAN Band Recital - 10th July 2011

As one of the many functions that will be held to promote the Royal Australian Navy's 100th Anniversary, the RAN Band held a Concert "A Naval Salute" at the Recital Hall, Angel Place, Sydney which commenced at 7.30pm.  The RAN Band under the Directorship of Commander Phillip Anderson OAM, RAN can take a Bravo Zulu for a evening that will be long remembered by all those that attended.

The evening commenced with music, called Serving Australia with Pride, on each side of the stage were 2 Sea Cadets from TS SIRIUS sending a semaphore message. On arrival of the Guests of Honour, The Governor-General of Australia, Her Excellency Ms Quentin Bryce AC, with Mr Michael Bryce, Chief of Navy Vice Admiral R. Griggs, AM CSC RAN, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir, AC CVO, Governor of NSW accompanied by Sir Nicholas Sheaddie, and The Hon. Browyn Bishop MP, the Vice Regal Salute was taken.
Colours was then carried out with 2 masts had been erected and a Colour Party all bearing arms - .303 rifles and also bayonets were fixed, the Australian White Ensign and the Australian National Flag were hoisted.
The music then commenced, Ships Without a Name (a tribute to our first submarines AE1 and AE2 the fate of the ships and the men who served), Jack Tar, to mark the irreverence and humour of the sailors of the RAN.

Then a spectacular music performance Belle's Broadcast in Honour of the 14 women from the Women's Emergency Signalling Corp who enlisted in the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service and were based at HMAS HARMAN during WW II . Belles Broadcast was a moving tribute and the music commenced with eight bells, and uses of a number of Morse Code messages, including Clear Lower Deck, SOS and SYDNEY is Missing. A very moving version of the Naval Hymn and then songs made famous by Vera Lynn.

The next music was The Scrap Iron Flotilla with the Ceremonial Drill Team all wearing Cap Tallies of HMAS STUART, VOYAGER, VENDETTA, VAMPIRE and WATERHEN served in WW II with pride a tag given by Goebbels to ships as a "consignment of junk". This was completed with music , from the Naval Hymn, Eternal Father Strong to Save..

A 30 Minute Intermission was then held, and here I had the very great pleasure of meeting with many that I knew, and also to be introduced to the Governor-General of Australia. Some of the Communicators that were also in attendance, Ken & June Swain, John & Pam Short accompanied with their daughter Kathleen, Max Mill and friend Bev, Diana Avent, John & Phyllis Reeves, Liz Watts, Allan & Helen Moffatt, Brian & Dawn Gray. Also met with Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO, DSO DSC RAN RTd and his wife Carla, Howard & Helen Halsted.

On return to the Hall the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral R. Griggs AM CSC RAN gave a speech reflecting on all, the Past, the Present and the Future which was well received - followed by a video presentation, Navy's People.  A display was given by some of the crew of HMAS KANIMBLA, called Boarding Party Close Up.
Then Commander Phillip Anderson OAM RAN, Director of Music gave a speech and invited a member of the 14 Veterans of the Big Banner displayed on the stage to come forward, AUSTRALIA, SHROPSHIRE, FAIRMILES, MELBOURNE, SYDNEY, QUIBERON, WRANS, CORVETTES, COMMUNICATIONS , VUNG TAU FERRY, PERTH, (in no particular order) seating had been arranged for us. The RAN Band then played Manned Ship and Cheer Ship and on completion all Band removed their caps and gave 3 cheers and all in the Hall were asked to participate in the last cheer for those that had served..

This was followed by Ceremonial Sunset with music The Day Thou Gavest Lord is Ended and Sunset. A very moving Ceremony.  A musical combination My Country was played and sung, followed by Advance Australia Fair, Waltzing Matilda and A Life on the Ocean Wave.

I felt very proud and humble being asked to come forward and represent the RAN Communications Branch across this Nation, on this very special night, but my thoughts went to those that I served with in the RAN, those Communicators who are no longer with us, and the young ones who are following in our wake, who have made our Branch and our Association what it is today.

Allan " Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA (NSW)

Fm Nugget Nugent:
I was also there on Sunday night and it was everything Shorty described. The City Recital Hall was a fitting arena for this display. It was very moving to see and hear the current young personnel honour those of us who had gone before. Got a bit misty eyed towards the end when they played Evening Song and Sunset. Believe the event was televised so will look forward to its release.

Proposed Amendment to RANCBA NSW Constitution

Request you put this on the RANCBA QSO so that members of the NSW Chapter can be informed of the proposed amendment prior to the AGM on 27th August 2011 at Parramatta RSL.

Kind Regards,
Ray Mundy
Secretary RANCBA NSW Chapter

Extract of our current Constitution.


i. The Annual General Meeting of the association shall be held during the month of May or June of each year.

ii. The business of the meeting shall consist of the consideration of reports of the executive and the committees and shall cover the preceding twelve months.

iii. The election of the office bearers for the ensuing twelve months shall be conducted at this meeting.

Proposed amendment to the RANCBA Constitution Item 4a (i) with respect to the AGM.

“The association shall in each calendar year convene an Annual General Meeting of its members. The Annual General Meeting shall be held on such day as the Committee determines after the end of the financial year, in a place, and at a time to be decided by the Committee”.


Vale Jack Thorpe Langford (ex Tel)

Regret to advise the passing of Jack Langford last night in Brisbane.  Jack was born in Toowoomba 2/10/1925, he became a PMG Telegraphist and joined the Royal Australian Navy on the 1 Oct 1943 as an ord.smn (cb) at Flinders naval depot .O/N B/4702.

After completion of training as an ord Tel he was drafted to LADAVA (Ran naval base Milne bay) on 21 dec 1943 until 25 mar 44.  Jack then done service at Buna and Lae RAN stations until 23 may 1944 then drafted to HMAS Laurabada in New Guinea waters until 30 Sept 1944 then to Madang - Belliau island RAN wireless station until 9 Sept 45.

Jack was then drafted to Moreton naval depot until 11 Jan 1946 then to Kuttabul to join HMAS Warramunga until 3 Jul 1946, then to Moreton where he was demobilised on 1 Aug 1946 returned to Toowoomba and on retirement lived at Tolga on the Atherton tablelands.

Jack is survived by his wife Florence and five sons and their families . a true gentleman sadly missed. Some of Jacks memoirs were printed in the RANCBA Newsletters.

Tom Lane

Lest we forget


Communications Branch - RAN Class of 1938

The following was on the back page of the latest Vetaffairs newsletter (June 2011).

RAN Class of 1938 Communications Branch.  Contact Jim Francis O/N 22036 now aged 91, for a natter for old times sake. 
(03) 5480 7606
0428 103 942

I will contact Jim and advise him about the RANCBA website which he may not be aware of.


Ex HMAS QUICKMATCH Association - 70th Anniversary

HMAS Quickmatch Association is holding the HMAS Quickmatch 70th Anniversary Commemorative Reunion in Melbourne September 16th/17th 2012.

A bus trip to HMAS Cerberus is planned for the Sunday16th with a luncheon at the Frankston RSL.
The bus will leave the Waverley RSL at 9.30am Sunday, tour Cerberus, 2pm lunch at the Frankston RSL and return by 4.30pm to the Glen Waverley RSL.  Bookings for the bus trip should reach Bryan Burdett (13 Boonah Way, Forrest Hill 3131) by the 3oth August 2012.

The AGM and Luncheon will be held at the Waverley RSL on Monday the 17th (This is usually a three course set menu and is quite good).  Before the AGM will be a march through Glen Waverley and laying a wreath at the Cenotaph. To attend you must be a member of the Ex HMAS Quickmatch Association which has an annual fee of $5.00.

Joined this year and received all the information from Bryan Burdett about the event next year.

Graham Bence

VALE - Lieutenant Harry Watson

It is with sadness that I have to inform you of the passing of Harry Watson, who suffered a heart attack last week. I was first informed by Ex CRS Ron Tuckwell and then later that evening by Ian Hogarth, Secretary of the Victorian RANCBA Chapter, and also asked if I could put something together. I made many enquires to Ex Chief Yeoman Ray Hartam, Ex Cdre Alan Brecht and Ex Cmdr Ken Swain, who all served with him, but as Ray said, he tended to be a bit of a loner

As far as my knowledge on the couple of occasions that I did serve/meet him. I first met Harry back in 1956 at Signal School, where he was a L/Signalman doing his Yeomans course and one day along with a couple of other Rct Communicators, we were in the wrong place at the wrong time and we were sent to becomes the "writers" for Harry's class while they were doing a 2 semaphore and 2 flashing exams. I was Harry's scribe and with my knowledge at that stage of semaphore and flashing, I could not helped him at all. Later on when I moved to C Block where all Communicators lived on the Top floor, he was there also and every so often I would meet and speak with him, as he would asked how my training was going. From memory he passed out as Yeoman and drafted to HMAS MELBOURNE and from there to the UK for SD (C) course.

In 1963 whilst at HMAS HARMAN, we all had to attend a lecture on the new Branch being formed, Electronic Data Processing (EDP), and Harry had just returned from the UK and he was in charge. He had a vision of what the world of communication was about to go through and become. HOW RIGHT HE WAS.

Even though he was a Member of the RANCBA, I never saw him till last year in Canberra. We met at the Korean Embassy were we had both been invited to the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War function. Along with both our partners we had a great yarn and thoroughly enjoyed the food and ales given by the Staff at the Embassy.

He told me he had served on HMAS BATAAN during the Korean War, but no doubt someone will be able to confirm that and also, he said I read that you served on the Ton Class Sweepers ,and he then said on completion of his Communication Officers Course he spent sometime attached to RN Ton Class Squadrons in England.

Sadly I am unable to supply anymore details, but should anyone else be able to do so, it would be more than welcome as even though he kept to himself, he was a nice person when you got to know him.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Sad news, Lest we forget.  05/07/11.

Harry Watson RANCBA Reunion 1999

From the archives....

Harry Walter Watson R36738 O1737 E1737 dob 26.2.31 Croydon S.A.
Initial engagement 12/10/1948 for 12 years.
Ord Sig Shoalhaven 10/49, Bataan 9/50, Lonsdale NO 6/51, Cerberus 1/52, Sydney 3/52, A/L/Sig 4/52, Lonsdale NO 12/52, L/Sig 4/53, Cerberus 8/53, A/YEO Warramunga 5/55, Penguin 2/56, Cerberus 5/56, Melbourne 9/56, YEO Lonsdale 8/57, Cerberus II, promoted A/Sub Lt SD(C) 6/58, Sub Lt 6/59, 9/61 Cerberus II Attached R.N. OIC RAN CD Singapore, Vendetta 4/64, Lieut 4/64, Harman Addn'l 7/66 NO EDP, RANR 8/65, Albatross 11/66, Harman Addn'l 7/67 to 9/69.

Fm Dick Cantwell 7/7:

Sad news re Harry. He was OIC during the first part of the Singapore RANCD team 1962-1964. We all of course got to know him fairly well. For me he was a pleasant sort of guy and apart from a few fractious occasions when some of the crew were marched into his office by Ted Pretty or George Bell life was great up there and pretty relaxed. Harry was a friendly type and used to front at special party occasions like Christmas celebrations and the like and on those occasions enjoy a drink or three with the troops.

Long time ago but think he was RANCD OIC on my arrival at HMS Terror (prior to moving to RAF Seletar) March/April 1962. Could be wrong, but reckon he left very early 1964 and was replaced by Ray Johnson.

Vale Harry and RIP - the list gets longer!!


June 2011 Entries:

Bonshaw Reunion 2012

I have now finalised the itinerary for the Bonshaw reunion 2012. Can you please post the attached details to the RANCBA Reunion site for the information of members.

Jo Westthorp

Please follow this link for information about the reunion.


Trevor Mander sends:

I know this might be a long shot but will give it a try...I recently bought two fishing boat chairs on Ebay and having just recently moved from WA to NSW was not sure of the distance involved from where the chairs were to where I am living.  The Chairs are located in Bomaderry and I am in Valentine.  I was wondering if there is anyone that travels from around the Nowra way up to Newcastle way that would be willing to pick these chairs up for me and drop them off. I know this is a long shot but you never never know if you don't ask.  Another problem is that I head overseas on the 7th July for 2 months but my next door neighbor would be able to store them for me until my return.  I am contactable by email or phone 49469609.

Trevor (Mongrel) Mander

Korean Commemoration Service

Follow this link for advice regarding a Korean Commemorative Ceremony to be held in Canberra on 27 July 2011.


DFRDB Amendment Bill

This article is worthy of mention I think.

Also I believe every DFRB/DFRDB recipient should be getting behind Brigadier Neil Weeks and writing to pollies as he suggests to do something about our rotten DFRDB Scheme. I think Neil's submission would have reached just about every ex serviceman and woman by now. If it hasn't, follow the second link below for a copy.




Jim Anderson

Follow this link for Jim's submission he sent to every pollie who voted against the Fair Indexation Bill.

Jim has also provided the latest email from Neil Weekes which I have linked to this page.

Plaque Dedication

The Command Chaplains Office rang me yesterday to inform and could I promulgate that a Plaque would be also dedicated for a ex CPO WRAN Joyce Saunders, one of the original Telegraphists. This will take place on the 6th November.

This will be the day also when a Plaque is Dedicated for the late Ex CRS George Bracken.

Hoping that as many Communicators can attend.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President, RANCBA NSW

Graham 'Tiny' Linning

Sandy McNab sends:

Curb's, on a lighter note. This chap has dropped off my radar quite some time back and so I made a determined effort to rectify the situation.

We had him along to the '99 National Communicators reunion, and he attended the 2008 National reunion at Melbourne with his ex Vendetta ship-mate in 'Buddy' Clarke as they drove over from Adelaide. Last weekend we took a leisurely tourist trail drive from Mandurah to Dwellingup up in the hills east of Pinjarra for a lunch with our grandchildren.

Yes Graham 'Tiny' Linning and Bev (nee Williams) were home and Bev parked us on the front verandah for an enjoyable pussers chin-wag as she was busy with customers.

They own and Bev runs a Devonshire Scones and Tea and locally made artifacts business. His 1959 RS(Q)s course along with Tex Toohey, Bill Watts, Noel Ellis, the 1962 delivery voyage of the Supply 'Rocky Lusk', Alan Murgatroyd and the 'redcaps' incident at Singapore, 1965 at Coonawarra 'Wop' Boydle' all got a mention. About to pay off a CRS in 1967 he signed on for and commenced a new later naval officer career. NWC along with Peter Gerrey and I learnt he is in regular contact with Bill Joyce at Ipswich and a couple of others whose names escaped me (I knew I should have had a voice recorder with me). Bev says she has the telephone accounts to prove it !

I thought I'd share the photo with your readers.

Cheers Sandy

Sandy McNab & Tiny Linning


Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

I have been forwarded all the names and asked promulgate the list of those ex RAN personnel who have passed away and their families/friends have requested a Plaque be Dedicated in the Chapel of Remembrance, Garden Island on the dates shown.

3rd July, LS MECHANIC Allan Wilson, CMDR Roy Christie, Sig Brian Cecil, CPO Stanley McAndrew, CMDR Raymond Hughes, LTO Daryl Archibald, CMDR Charles Reid, AB Harry Price.

6th November, LCDR Robert Nicholls, POMTP Brian Davis, PO Merle Fenn (nee Horner), WORS George Bracken, PO George Hatfield, CODER Robert Clayton, AB George F Magee, Chief Blacksmith George J Magee, POWTR Dorothy Munro (nee Otter), AB Alexander Powell, CMDR William Seymour.

(As mark of remembrance to WORS George Bracken those ex Communicators who were part of the Commissioning of HMAS HOBART in the USA and then its subsequent deployment as the first RAN committed to the Vietnam War could attend as he was very much a part of both)

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Adelaide Reunion Photos

Tex Sherriff advises that all photo's of the Adelaide Reunion BBQ, March & Lunch are now on the web site at:



ALL RANCBA Members both Serving and Ex Serving

Forthcoming events that the RANCBA has or will be invited to. It is open to all RANCBA Members, so please mark your calenders, but saying, it would great if you could advise me or our Secretary Ray Mundy email lremundy@tpg.com.au of your expression of interest.

Blue Mnts Vietnam Veterans & Associated Forces Memorial Day.
This is held on 14th August commencing at 11.00am, at Springwood. The Guest of Honour will be the Governor of NSW, Her Excellency, Professor Marie Bashir, AC, CVO. Fall in opposite the Firestation near the rail station, There is a very small March and here we will be using our Mini Banner, and we have been requested to Lay a Wreath. On completion of the Service, there is a Informal Gathering at the Royal Hotel, or at the Community Club. Dress is as for ANZAC Day with full Medals. Partner/s more than welcome. In previous years all those attending wearing Medals etc have been given free rail travel by the SRA, but this will be notified closer to the date.

VP Day also on the 14th August.
This Service commences at 10.30am and is held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place.

Battle for Australia.
This Service will be held on the 7th September commencing 10.30am at the Cenotaph, Martin Place. This is a very good Service and well attended by many of Ex Service Organisations (ESO's).

HMAS PARRAMATTA II Memorial Service.
It will be held on Sunday 27th November at Parramatta, near the Plaques and the Memorial which is part of HMAS PARRAMATTA I. We are asked to either Lay a Wreath or Donate a Book, and in the last couple of years, we have donated a book to be given to a school of our choice. Further details will be given at a later date.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


The RANCBA which is affiliated within the Federation of Naval Ships Assn (FNSA) here in Sydney has been requested by Cmdr Phillip Anderson OAM RAN, Director of Music to participate in this Recital to be held at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place Sydney (virtually just opposite the Cenotaph Sydney) commencing at 19.30hrs on Sunday 10th July .  He has asked that 15 large Associations provide their big Banners, and the 2 Banner bearers be dressed in jacket and tie with Full Medals. At the last RANCBA Committee Meeting held in Sydney, John Short and Allan Moffatt were selected and both volunteered.

The Naval Salute is being held to celebrate the "Centenary of the 100 Years of the RAN" and will be attended by Her Excellency, Ms Quentin Bryce AC, the Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia and she will be welcomed with Military Honours so all attending are requested to be seated by 19.15hr in time for the commencement of formalities. The new Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Ray Griggs RAN will also be in attendance.

The Salute will promote core messages about the history, current activities and people and the future direction of the RAN using narrative and music with audio accompaniment, and will include Colours, Beat to Quarters, Man Ship, Cheer Ship and Ceremonial Sunset. At the Finale, the Banner and Banner Bearers would be required to March out and display their Banners to all then standing to attention.

The volunteers will be required to attend the rehearsal between 1300-1630 and then again between 1930-2200 hrs.

It is a major concert to Celebrate 100 Years of the RAN and it is FREE but they are anticipating approximately 1,000 RAN Officers, Sailors and us Veterans along with partners to attend. For those who will be attending, tickets maybe obtained by contacting the Navy Band Concert Ticket Coordinator, L/Seaman Cathy Wainwright, on email navy.band@defence.gov.au or phone 02 9359 2618. She intends dispatching tickets to each individual or Association on the 27th June, so be early and get a good seat.

It is hoped that as many as possible can attend and give this their Full Support and show how good the RANCBA is.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)


RADM Ray Griggs - CN Designate

Just thought that for those tha do not know - we should recognise that the new CN is the son of a communicator - Jim Griggs ex SD.  Ray has made Vice Admiral in just over 30 years and I bet his Dad sitting in the great BWO up there will be beaming on Tuesday!!
Dave Jeffrey

Follow this link for a bio of the new Chief of Navy.

Our heartiest congratulations go to Ray for his achievement, I'm sure he will be an outstanding CN.


WRANS Reunion Melbourne 2012

Would it be possible for you to advertise the WRANS - RAN Reunion 2012 in Melbourne March 30/31 April1st 2012. Information and Expression of Interest forms can be obtained by emailing

DNWM - Staff Officer (Reserve Finance)


RAN Centenary Medallion

Below is an image of a 60mm double sided Medallion commemorating the Centenary of the RAN (1911 -2011) The medallion is offered for purchase through the FESR Qld Division and comes in a presentation box. The small plastic stands do not come with the medallion but are available separately.

You are able to view more details of this medallion and how to order by opening the "Slops & Memorabilia" menu of the FESR website http://www.fesrnavy.asn.au

Les Sheehan

Front and back of medallion, with presentation box.

Bonshaw Reunion 2012

Due to increased interest can you please post the following regarding a Bonshaw reunion in 2012.

Dates: Sunday 22/4/2012 - Wednesday 25/4/2012


Sunday 22 April - 1600 hours Meet and Greet at Queanbeyan Leagues Club

Monday 23rd April 14OO? Hours tour of Harman/Bonshaw site, followed by reunion dinner at SS Mess (TBC) otherwise another private venue.

Tuesday 24th April - Smokey at either Cotter Dam or Pine Island majority votes rule.

Wednesday 25th April - Anzac March at Shrine, conclusion after march at venue to be decided.

All Ex Bonshaw personnel and families are invited to attend. Costs will be at your own expense, however the reunion dinner may need to be booked and paid for up front, that is to be confirmed. Rabbits may be for sale also, again depending on interest.

All enquiries please email Al Conway or Jo Westthorp - robjow@bigpond.com

May 2011 Entries:


Doug 'Pony' Moore sends:

I have just returned from Hobart where many hours were spent with ex RO(s) Graeme (Buzzy) Luttrell. Buzzy is a survivor from HMAS Voyager and unfortunately he is now in very poor health. He has inoperable prostate cancer due to other medical problems. He is confined to his bed for 20 hours a day and I'm sure he would dearly love to hear from anyone who can spare a few minutes to talk with him.

He is at Vaucluse Manor Retirement Home, South Hobart and has a direct line into his room which is 03 6221 3324. He has retained his sense of humour and is realistic as well as fatalistic about his future. While there "we jumped the fence" and had a few hours away from the complex sniggering like a couple of O.D's which cheered him up.

Regards Doug (Pony) Moore

Graeme 'Buzzy' Luttrell

Bonshaw Facebook

John Wright sends:

I have noticed on "Facebook" there is a page for Bonshaw, with the aim of setting up a reunion in 2012.
This may be of interest to communications people.

It might be worthwhile, for RANCBA to check this out, and have a combined event in Canberra over the Anzac Week as they have proposed to have a Reunion next Anzac weekend, 2012.

John Wright
I do not run a Facebook account so am not able to check this out, those who do may wish to follow progress.  See the comment from Al Conway below.

Fm Al Conway 26/05...
Just cruising through the QSO and thought I would relay the situation to you (we tend to forget that not everyone is on FB)..

Jo Westthorpe is currently in the throes of organising a reunion for all those who served at Bonshaw (East and West), basically germinated from Facebook page I set up for Bonshaw. Anyone wanting details is welcome to email me on allanconway@internode.on.net, nonetheless apart from proposed dates (Anzac day 2012), nothing else has been sorted, apart from contact with current Harman hierarchy (Jo has rx'd a letter back from XO).


Vale Ken James R29225 (ex PO/Tel)

Dick Cantwell sends:

Have just opened mail from a friend in Perth who advised that Ken James had recently passed away and that his funeral was to be held in Perth - Karrakatta - Monday (thinking that was Monday just gone). Ken was an ex Comm PO/Tel I think and an extremely well liked and respected Air Traffic Services Manager with CAA in WA.

I know that he had numerous RAN Comm friends here in WA. No-one but No-one had anything but respect and high regard for Ken James. He was one of a kind. I visited the Darwin Waratahs footy club on one occasion many years ago and on a list of club legends one Ken James was front and centre. He was a diminutive person but what summed him up was this: get between Jamesy and the ball and he'll go straight through you. In CAA he was a straight shooter - all of the time.

So another vale, I believe that if you haven't heard this sad news there would be a heap of old Comms guys before us that would appreciate the notice.

Regards Dick
Lest we forget 25/05/11.

Sandy McNab sends....

From today's 'The West Australian' Wednesday 25th May.....
The Funeral Service to celebrate the life of Mr Ken James of Noranda will assemble at the main entrance of Karrakatta cemetery for a Cremation Service commencing at 10.30am next Tuesday (31.5.2011).

Received from Bob Bergin...

Hi Sandy,
Am deeply shocked at the news of Ken's passing. We went back a long way, having both joined the Navy in March, 1946. He was younger than me, from memory he had several months boy's time. We didn't serve on any ships together, but, apart from the FND Signal School, we were at Harman and later, in 1956, at Coonawarra.  He was also at Manus Island in 1952 when I was on Kangaroo, doing regular trips to that tropical paradise! Please pass on our sincere condolences to his family.

From the Archives...

Ken James R29225, b 4/9/28 joined the RAN 1.2.46 and commenced his 12 years mans time 4.9.46 paying off a 3 badge PO TEL 3/9/58.  Drafts included Harman 11/46, TEL Culgoa 4/47, Albatross 4/49, Cerberus 10/50, L/TEL Tarangau 5/51, Cerberus 10/52, Albatross 6/53, PO TEL Sydney 8/54, Leeuwin 7/55, Melville (Coonawarra) 8/55, Leeuwin 8/57, Albatross 9/57 DEE 9/58.

RIP Ken, smooth seas and we will see you anon.


Terry 'Red' Ryder sends:

Doug Conn has been going through some old photos and found this one from I am pretty sure 1969 and it was my farewell smokey at Frank Hoys place in the patch at Harman before I left for Darwin. It is the boys of D Watch Bonshaw and shows Frank Hoy at the back then Paul Lamont (?) Speed Rowley, Kev Ruwoldt and Doug Conn with me at the front. It was a great night from memory!

Terry Red Ryder


Nugget Nugent sends:

Here is a photo from HMAS Horbart Re-union in Bundaberg 2 years ago. Rates of the 1968 2nd Tour Vietnam.  Fm left, ROS Nugget Nugent, LROS Kerrie Wade, LTO Neville (Sambo) Sampson, ROS Peter Puxty, and MET Mac McDermott.

Next Re-union in Canberra around Remembrance Day 2011.


Vale Robert Bruce 'Woof' Collie R55311 (ex CY)

Lance Sutherland sends:

I have been advised by Blue Kavanaugh, that Bob Collie has passed away, details in tomorrows Canberra times.

It would be appreciated if you could get the details from the paper and advise the wider Comms community.

Bob was a character who loved a drink, a punch up and punt on the horses. Sadly missed by those who knew him.

Sad news, may Woof rest in peace.  I'm pretty sure he made Yeoman, if anyone has other information please pass it on.  Lest we forget.

Athletics Team VKLP early 60's  LTO Woof in Brisbane passing thru Panama Canal - sent by Frank Wood.. 
Woof, 3rd from left at rear, Comms Athletic Team VKLP, early 60's.
Woof pictured passing through Panama Canal, HMAS BRISBANE.
Woof at left next to Bill Huggins.  HMAS VENDETTA 60's.

Fm Lance 21/05:
The following funeral details for Bob Collie were in today's Canberra Times.

‘Friends are invited to the funeral service for Bob, to be held at the Chapel of the Norwood Park
Crematorium, Sandford Street Mitchell on Tuesday, 24 May 2011 commencing at 10.30am’.

Fm Dave Sutherland:
Sad to hear of Woof's passing. Remember him with great fondness, as the CYOW at CTRC circa 1969. He was one of the most colourful lads to ever wear the crossed flags.
Two incidents come to mind, being:-

1. The Sanger Incident. Woof (by name and nature) discovered a unattended neatly prepared sandwich had been left on the CYOW table. Without a second thought, Woof bit into same. The reaction was a sight to behold, given the main ingredient was the best part of a bottle of Tabasco sauce. From memory, the 'sandwich hands' involved were Sandy Hastie and Cookie McInnes. I cannot recall what punishment was meted out to those two likely lads.

2. The Rugby Coaching Incident. Woof was coaching a rugby team, and, had some plays down on paper, but wished to workshop them. Accordingly, the whole watch were enlisted for this workshop, and, was formed up, out the back near the infamous incinerator. The lack of a ball was overcome by the use of the metho tin from the MSO. The workshop got underway, with much yelling and crashing as the tin hit the tarmac surface. Given that this exercise was conducted at around 0200 hours, it was not long before the lights in the adjacent Wardroom came on, and, a less than happy OOD put a stop to the workshop.

RIP Woof – Sadly missed.

Fm Graham Bence:
I had the pleasure of running C watch (I think) in Harman in 1976 and 1977 just before I paid off in May 1977.
He made Yeoman and was Yeoman of the watch in CTRC and I was the CRS in Charge.  A great bloke and he will be missed by a lot of ex-communicators.

Fm Alan Murgatroyd:
Very saddened to see that Woof has gone. He was a good mate of mine and a good bloke too. I spent a lot of time with him in the 60’s and 70’s both professionally and as a mate. No one who played football with Woof would forget him ,charging up the centre , snot hanging out of his nose ,sweat pouring off him, a truly frightening figure (to the opposition) . He was Yeoman of the watch with me at Harman in the torn tape days , together with Len Hulme, and we got on famously, he really knew how to handle his band of desperates, blokes like Maverick Meaker etc., it was a great watch. If there is any suggestion of any money needed for wreaths or whatever please let me know.

Fm Von Klimpel:
Great sadness on hearing about Woof, he was the Yeoman of the watch at Harman in 1969, the first Yeoman I worked for after Comms School. Great Memories.

Fm Jenny Duscher:
Please acknowledge my sadness at Woof Collies passing like Dave Sutherland and Von Klimpel I too was on Woof's shift at Harman and had great respect for my first Yeoman of the Watch RIP Woof. Fond Memories and sympathy to his loved ones. JJ Duscher (nee Morrow).

Fm Shorty Moffatt:
Sad news, he was a great hand, One of the most easy going I have known but same time, did his job.

Fm Barry Appleby:
So sad to hear of Woofs passing I last visited him when I was in Canberra for the reunion, and he was not in good health then but still had that same outlook on life. I was a young signalman on the Melbourne when he was posted to the Melbourne for disciplinary reasons after a misdemeanour in Hong Kong, at this time he was serving on the Vendetta I was in the 5D port mess deck and opposite it was the seamans mess deck and he asked me was this 5 D and I pointed him towards the seamens mess and for those of you who knew him would understand my reasons this. We became real good mates after this time and we spent a lot of time out Coogee way staying with his Mum and visiting a few of the pubs in that area. Whenever you went on a 'run' with Woof you certainly were in for a good time. I also spent time with him at Harman when he was a fellow Yeoman of the watch.  He will be sadly missed and condolences to his wife Pat and son David.

Fm Garry 'Dusty' Miller:
I have heard the really sad news of the passing of Woof Collie from John (Blue) McLaughlin.  What a character Woof was and none better as a shipmate.  I spent nearly two years in Queenborough with Woof when both of us were TO's and the memories of those days will remain with me forever.  At work, Woof could easily lighten up some of the most serious moments and ashore - that could be a book in the making but you would have to sell as fiction as no one outside of ex pussers would believe it.  I would normally say that Woof should "rest in peace" but I know that is not going to happen and he will soon liven up whatever place he ends up in.   So, just "carry on Woof" as you did in life and all around you will benefit as we did in life.
Lest we forget and condolences to family.

Fm Dick Cantwell:
Buster Crabbe emailed me to advise that Woof had departed the planet. I picked up the news in Seattle. I felt extremely sad for some time but soon snapped out of it remembering Woof. We were really good Mates early 60's (R55305 and Woof R55311 I think). There was one occasion when I saw Woof in a really worried, almost frightened, state of mind - early 1960 or 61 when we were running a Crown and Anchor board at the Neptune bar in HK. He quietly said to me "...get ready to run Dicky we can't cover the board if things go bad this roll...." our Mamasan banker also looked as if she was going to faint. Anyhow she (Mamasan) rolled a beauty and we never looked back. At the end of the game we split about $HK900 that we did not have when we started. I think Woof may have been on the QB, I was on the Voyager. We often paired up whenever we could.

Trincomalee was a bad one for Woof - maybe '61. We were both behaving like OD's, whacked as 40 cats, and Terry Morris had rightly had enough of both of us - think Terry may have been RS at the time. He told me BUFFS or ship out back to the pontoon. Well, Woof was incensed and told Terry what was going to happen to him. I think it was a right cross and a left and Woof was down for the count. Terry looked at me and said ..."get him up and get going..." I was pleased to obey. On reflection, Terry probably saved us both from more serious harm as the Taranaki shore patrol were about to manhandle both of us. When Woof stopped seeing stars he just said ......didn't even see him move. Terry was a good hand and there was no ill feeling.

Things were never dull around Woof and he was a really funny guy when he got going. One thing I will say, Woof was the worlds worst driver, or maybe the second worst - remembering my RANCD time. On many occasions a whole heap of us would drive up to Sydney with Woof and really loved getting some really good tucker from his old Mum. The last time I had contact with Woof would have been about '85 and I didn't see him after that. However, one things for sure I'll never forget him.

OK well RIP Woof he was a truly nice guy.

Fm Frank Wood:
A great bloke - spent time with him on the Melbourne and Brisbane plus about 3 mins in the ring - I didn't last long. Sad to hear about his passing, however never forgotten.

Fm Jen Barrett:
I met "Woof Collie" when working the MSO at Navcomsta Canberra in about 1975.  Kol "Kool Barrett" had worked with him and had nothing but praise for him.


Vale Norm Atwell  R24323 (ex-L/SIG)

Sandy McNab sends:

Noted in last Friday's 'The West Australian' the passing of ex-L/Sig Norm Atwell including an obit entry from the City of Perth sub-section of the NAA and the RANCBA W.A.

From the archives Norm joined 28/10/1940 for 12 years and his wartime drafts included the Westralia 9/41, Adelaide 10/41, Australia 6/42, Platypus 9/42, Melville 12/42, Leeuwin 12/43, Lanka Pool 5/44, Toowoomba 6/44, Burnie 11/44, Cerberus 10/45, Leeuwin 2/46, Toowoomba 5/46, LST3022 7/46, Leeuwin 2/47, Penguin 8/48, and finally back to Leeuwin as a L/Sig 9/49 to complete his final years DEE 27/10/1952. A remarkable journey of drafts and I dips me lid to Norm.

May he RIP


VALE - Ex WRAN Marjorie Taylor

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt sends:

It is my sad duty to advise the sad passing of Marjorie. She had joined the WRANS in WW II - 1942 as a Telegraphist, and was for as long as I can remember a very stalwart Member of the Ex WRANS and the RANCBA. She will sadly missed by all that knew her.

Marjorie was Secretary to the Federation of Naval Ships for many, many years, a Foundation Member of the Ex WRANS Assn in NSW and wrote and compiled the WRANS Newsletter "Ditty Box".

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM

Rod McLaurin sends:

A mate of mine who was on the Sydney with me in 1969 - 1971 (Medic, I didn't know him at the time) recently gave me a couple of photographs of a couple of signalman who I don't recognise. When convenient could you display them on the QSO page.

He also gave me one of a couple of guys in the ring, different era I would think.



I think the Sig with the clipboard in photo one is Peter Gooch, Lach Graham is handling the halyard in the second one and the third I have no idea.  Please assist if you can, I will publish responses on Wednesday 18th May when we are back from a quick trip to Nowra and Canberra.

Fm Dave Sutherland:
1. With Peter Gooch – appears to be Brenton "Percy" Masson, who, I understand, passed
away some years ago. Suggest it was taken circa first half of 1966.

2. With Lach Graham – a bit a long shot, but is it Glenn "Chopper" Holmes ?
If taken about the same time as 1. above, this would rule out Chopper.

3. The boxers. Cannot assist.

Fm Charlie Rigg:
Ref the above photos. I'm sure the signalman bending on the flags next to Lach Graham in the second photo is the late Kevin ''Barnie'' Barnett.

Fm Fred Goddard:
The one handling the flag looks like Barney Barnard.

Fm Nugget Nugent:
Sydney pics, on the light looks like Vic Ford. If so saw both Vic and Peter at Adelaide Reunion.


RANCBA National Reunion Photos

Photo's of the Adelaide Reunion BBQ & March are now on the reunion web site at :-


Photo's of the Lunch to follow at a later date.

Tex Sherriff
0413 601 612

Noel Chidgey has also provided a link to photos he took at the Adelaide Reunion.
Follow this link to view Noel's photos of all tables at the luncheon.


Plaque Dedication Amendment

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt sends:

There has been an error in date given for the Plaque Dedication at the Chapel, Garden Island, it should read the 3rd July and not the 6th July as previously advised.

The 2 late Communicators whose Plaques will be dedicated are Signalman Brian Cecil and LTO Daryl Archibald.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW).

Vale Richard McTaggart

Sonja Hellier sends:

Received an email a couple of weeks ago to say that Dick McTaggart was not well, and forwarded best wishes from the Chapter.

Unfortunately his recovery was not to be, he passed away on 28th April.

Funeral arrangements attached - Alan and I will be unable to attend, so hope that some members of the Chapter can make it. We will fwd condolences to his wife and family.

Funeral Arrangements for Richard McTaggart

A Requiem Mass will be held on Friday 6th May 2011 at 1000hrs

Our Lady of the Way
Catholic Church
38 Armstrong St

Proceeding to the Albany Creek Crematorium
400 Albany Creek Rd
Bridgeman Downs
For Poppy Service and Commital

Afternoon Tea will be served following the Commital

For Family and Friends who wish to reminisce and enjoy the memories of Richard, you are welcome to come back to 6 Corinto Court, Dakabin and do so.

Official notification will be in Wednesday’s Courier Mail.

Phone numbers- 07 3886 0378 or 0417631374.

No flowers by request.
We would appreciate donations to The Karuna Hospice Service.
Envelopes will be available at the Church or you can donate via their website

Lest we forget.


Vale Ray Parker R94284 (ex POSY)
Have been advised that Ray Parker R94284 died on Tuesday 19 April.  Ray lived at Coorparoo in Queensland.  He was cremated at Mount Thompson Crematorium, Nursery Road, Holland Park on Friday 29th April.
RIP Ray Parker - 20/05/1948 - 19/04/2011.
Sad news, Ray joined the RAN in January 1964 as part of the 8th Intake JRTE.  Our thoughts and condolences go to his family.  Lest we forget.

April 2011 Entries:


Vale CMDR Geoff Harle MBE RAN Rtd

It is my sad duty to inform you that Geoff Harle has crossed the bar for the final time.

Many will remember him from amongst his many other roles as the OIC Communications School at HMAS Cerberus.

A Memorial Service will be held to celebrate his life at Tobin Brothers, Spirit of Life Chapel at 232 Cranbourne Rd Frankston, on Wednesday (Apr. 27 2011) commencing at 2.pm.

Messages of condolence may be passed to me ianwhogarth@optusnet.com.au and I will pass them on to his family.

Ian Hogarth
Honorary Secretary

Sad news, a doyen of the Comms branch who served his country and fellow man with distinction.
Lest we forget.


Ian 'Stumpy' Broadsmith advises the following:

Snow Harle is in an Aged Care facility in Carum Downs, near Frankston.  He is very ill with cancer but still retains a sense of humour.

Rod Withers has contracted prostate cancer which has spread to other areas and is currently in the early stages of radiation therapy. He has a very positive attitude and both he and Jan are determined to reach a good outcome.

Many thanks Stumpy, our thoughts and prayers are with our shipmates above. 


Navy Victoria Network

Welcome to the Commissioning of an exciting new website NVN, and, as a flow on from that, a regular Electronic Newsletter.

Please go to http://navyvic.net to view the Website which is still under construction with more exciting things to come.

By way of background of the NVN, in mid 2010, 6 ex Navy people met informally over a lunch in Melbourne to discuss what could be done to bring the extended Navy family in Victoria closer together as the passage of time (particularly for the WWII Veterans), tougher drinking laws and harsh economic times were forcing the closure of many Navy Associations (and also large numbers of RSL’s) thus leaving the Navy Veteran without any support or knowledge of what was happening in the ex- Navy Community.

The main reason for these people wanting to set up a website and a regular electronic newsletter was because they would often bump into ex-Navy personnel who complained that they never know what’s going on (particularly in relation to ‘naval activities’ in their own State) but that, given a ‘heads-up’ about things of interest, they’d love to be more active ‘observers’ or ‘participants’ in order to be ‘reconnected’ with likeminded ex-Navy (and serving) personnel.

This new Website does not belong to any existing Navy Association nor are they trying to poach members from other Organisations. It is a free service with no membership fees or strings attached.

All we ask is that you bring the details of the web-site address to the attention of your members so they can see, at their convenience, what's happening in and around Victoria at any time. It would also be appreciated if you could encourage them to sign up to receive the monthly 'Electronic Newsletters' by completing the application on the right hand side of the home page. Once signed up they will then receive monthly 'Newsletters' which provide updates about what's new or changed on the web-site relating to the subjects described in the attached Mission Statement. Although primarily designed with Victorians in mind, anyone can subscribe to the Newsletter and access the Website. All that is required is an email address. Unfortunately time and resources preclude having a printed Newsletter distributed via Australia Post.

The creation of the website and ongoing costs has been made possible by a Grant from the Melbourne Naval Centre.

NVN Team


ANZAC Day Arrangements - RANCBA ACT

The RANCBA (ACT) will be marching in Canberra on Anzac Day (Monday 25 April).

The march leader will be ex-CPORS Denise Butler.

Members usually meet at the Navy Memorial – form up between 0945-1015 – the march commences at 1030. Look for our banner

As many members will be at the National Reunion being held in Adelaide this Anzac Day there will not be an after-march function, but you will be made very welcome at the Canberra Bowling Club, Hobart Ave Forrest.

Please pass this email onto other communicators/ex-communicators.

Peter Guy

RAN Band -  Participation at Functions

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt sends:

I have received the following correspondence from the RAN Band PR Manager, LS Muscn Cathy Wainwright regarding the functions that the Band will be participating and you may wish to attend.

Bear with me as this is the easier way of communicating about this and it is very comprehensive. Should you require more details contact me ASAP as heading to Adelaide for the RANCBA Reunion.

10th July A very special event in Sydney marking the Royal Australian Navy Centenary - more to follow prior to this date.

Following was held but did not receive notice till after:

Sunday 10th April. St Peters Anglican Church, Brighton Beach Victoria.

Thursday 14th April.  Soundwaves at Northside Baptist Church Crows Nest Sydney (unfortunately this clashes with our FNSA Luncheon at Parliament House).

Saturday 16th April.  Soundwaves at Camden Civic Centre 1pm-2.30pm Camden Civic Centre Oxley Street Camden.

Wednesday 20th April. Concert in Corso 12noon to 2.00pm John Speight Stage Manly Corso Manly.

Wednesday 27th April. 1.00pm - 2.00pm St James Church 173 King Street Sydney.

Friday 29th April.  Morning Commemoration Flat, Captain Cooks Landing Place Kurnell, Sydney. For more information call Sutherland Shire Council on 02 9710 0333

Saturday 30th April. 12.45pm - 1.45pm Dingo Creek Winery Traveston Sunshine Coast QLD.  Qld Detachment of the RAN Band.

Sunday 1st May. 11am - 1pm Redlands Museum, 60 Smith Street Cleveland Brisbane.

Wednesday 4th May.  Band Call 12.30pm - 1.30pm St Andrews Cathedral , cnr George & Bathurst Streets Sydney.

Thursday 5th May.  2pm - 3pm Commemoration Ceremony 69th Anniversary of the Battle of the Coral Sea. Australian - American War Memorial , Sir Thomas Blamey Square, Russell Offices , Russell ACT - Ceremonial Parade of the Sydney Detachment.

Wednesday 8th June. 1.00pm - 2.00pm St James Church 173 King Street Sydney
Saturday 11th June Morning HMAS NEWCASTLE FREEDOM of ENTRY PARADE . City of Newcastle - Sydney Detachment plus the Ships Company HMAS NEWCASTLE.

Saturday 18th June. 2.45pm - 3.45pm then Ceremonial Sunset at 5pm Dunbar Park Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach. Sydney Detachment of the RAN Band.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Tom Ware sends:

Came across the RANCB website and was 'blown away' by nostalgia when I saw so many of those old photos of former shipmates, ships, depots and the like. I was a Sparker. Served May 1954 until May 1960. Cerberus, Sydney, Barcoo, Kookaburra, Kuttabul, and Kimbla.

Thought I'd send you a short piece I wrote some time ago on 'My small ships,' plus a couple of photos. The portrait is of me at 20 on Kookaburra (I was both sig and tel on this one) and the class is Class 15 Recruit School 1954. The only other sparker in the class photo besides me is Gary Hastings. Four started but two didn't make it. Can't recall who took went on as Sigs.

As you're probably aware, a very big percentage of ex Com Branch went on to join the now defunct Australian Dept. of Civil Aviation. I did this, staying with DCA for eleven years after leaving the navy. Many went on until their retirement. They used to call the Com Centre at Sydney Airport HMAS Mascot.

Tom Ware.
Follow this link for Tom's piece on "My 'little' ships"

Tom Ware at 20...  RAN Class 15 - 1954

Fm Shorty Moffatt 14/04:
Tom. 'ullo sailor. Great to hear from you, been a long, long time between drinks. Liked your item on KIMBLA/VLNK I got a draft there from SNIPE, and when it can out, I spent the day going around ships in Singapore asking if anyone would like to swap. Due to no coarse language on this website, unable to tell the reponse.  I came to like the KIMBLA, both as sparker. signalman and also Nav"s Yeoman doing star sights. Standby fix brings back memories.
Anyway great to hear from you
Shorty Moffatt

Fm Bill Aylott 16/04:
Good day Tom. I thought I recognised your head, was on the Barcoo where I was disgracing myself as postie and tide pole party at Penneshaw on Kangaroo Island. Good old days in Mc Hales Navy. Now gone forever. Good to see you're alive and kicking.
Regards Bill Aylott


RANCBA Reunion Adelaide - Update

Could you post on the QSO page that there has been a major update on the reunion web site that all those attending should read.

Tex Sherriff
0413 601 612

National Reunion -Adelaide

We will be taking over the following items for sale (save on postage) and will be available prior to the ANZAC Day March.

Plastic Medal Holders. Save pushing pin through your jacket. Easy to slip in and take out of pocket of your jacket. Cost $5.00

RANCBA Ties. Wear with pride on ANZAC Day and other functions and promote the RANCBA. Cost $20.00.

See the following Members for these items, Frank Lawton, Ray Mundy and self (Shorty)

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Looking For R59617 David John Osborne - TO?

David Lackey, a mate of David "Jamaica" Osborne, from Recruit School, January 1963, would like to make contact.  Dave is not on line but can be contacted through me.

Peter Maher,

Ramon Deed Veteran's Retreat

Dear Webmaster,

I have been made aware of your re-union in Adelaide. If you have any members travelling to or from Adelaide in caravans, they may be interested in our retreat.   Wishing you all the best for your re-union.

Please find attached an information sheet.

Barry Langan (exPOSV)
Ramon Deed Veteran's Retreat

Please follow this link for more information.



March 2011 Entries:

RANCBA National Reunion 2011 – Adelaide

Only a couple of days left to register for the reunion, for all the information go to :-


Registration Cut Off Date – 31 March 2011.

Purchase of Memorabilia has closed (31 January 2011).

Barry Sherriff
0413 601 612

Vale CMDR John Moorcroft RAN (Rtd)

Royce Bell noticed this on the Gunplot site and very kindly passed it on.  I'm sure many Communicators would have known John....

By Mick44, Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:07 pm

It's with great sadness that I have to advise of the sudden & unexpected passing of John Moorcroft Friday morning 18th March. John was an LTO, commissioned on the Supplementary List in 1971 & graduated top of his class. He served in various staff & sea postings during his career with command of the patrol boats BARRICADE & GAWLER in Cairns & Darwin respectively. Subsequently gaining a permanent commission, his last posting was with the Patrol Boat project in Canberra from which he retired around 11 years ago. He & Robyn went to live in Cooroy Qld & later moved to Tewantin. After being a handy Rugby player during his Navy days, John embraced lawn bowls in later life, became a very good bowler & was President of his local club. Funeral arrangements tba.

RIP Moorie, fair winds & a following sea be with you.

Very sad news, John was only 62.  He joined Jan 1967 (R66003) and was at Cerberus for his TO's course in 67/68, then Kuttabul (68/69) and Queenborough (69/70) before undertaking his SDEX course.

Lest we forget

WRAN Communicators

Laurie Pegler sends:

Attached is a photo of the shirt I purchased for my wife.  I'm sure there's many ex Wran communicators out there who would like something much the same.  The shirt has 3/4 length sleeves. 

Full details are on the associations website: http://hmassydney.com/poloshirts.html

Thanks mate,


HMAS TEAL 1964/65

Shorty Moffatt sends:

Calling all Communicators who served on the 'sweepers in 64-65, maybe you can assist. I remember those on SNIPE and CURLEW, and Rod Beckinsale and others on the HAWK, but start thinking..

Hi Shorty,
I would like to contact sparkers or sigs who served on the Teal in 1964/65.  They would have been there with Laurie Dripps. Rang Laurie's family and sadly he has passed away.  Grateful for any help you can give om

Tingira Association

Following the fantastic success of the Junior Recruit reunion in Perth in July 2010, it is essential that we continue with a program to have all ex Junior Recruits under one umbrella hence we are to launch the Tingira Association.

The committee, gathered from around Australia has been working hard in an endeavour to ensure that all JR’s remain under “one roof” with the website www.tingira.org being constructed and launched very soon.

The inaugural function will be held in Sydney on 2nd April 2011, at the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park, from 1830 to 2130, please see the attached invitation for all relevant details for this event.

Remember, as with the functions in Perth because of the size of facilities, numbers are restricted and will be allocated on a first in first served basis.

Please do not leave it too long to make a response.

Thank you
And looking forward to meeting with you all
Kind regards

Yours Aye
Chris Perrin
President Tingira Association

FNSA Luncheon - Parliament House Sydney - 14TH April 2011.

All those that are planning to attend the Federation of Naval Ships Assn Luncheon (in which the RANCBA is affiliated here in NSW). could you please forward payment asap.

Let show the other 46 Ships and Associations how good the Communication Branch is. We had 41 Ex Communicators and partners sat down last year, lets make it better this year.

Cost is $75.00 p/h which includes pre Luncheon drinks, then beer, wine or soft drinks with the 2 course meal.

The CN, Vice Admiral Russ Crane AO CSC RAN and his wife have confirmed they will be attending.
Dress jacket/tie/lounge suit and full Medals where applicable. Ladies Day dress.

Partners are more than welcome.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW

VALE Dick Perryman

Peter McNay (NAA) sends:

I regret to inform you that shipmate Dick Perryman passed away this morning.
Funeral arrangements are expected to appear in tomorrow's (Saturday) CT.

His funeral Service will be held at the Uniting Church 19 Parkinson Street,
Weston Creek on Wednesday 16 March 2011 commencing at 1400.

His cremation will be a family only private service.

Peter McNay
Sad news, Dick was also a member of the RANCBA ACT. 


Terence 'Bluey' Ireland sends:

I am trying to locate any communicators, specially signalmen who were on HMAS Vendetta during May 1960.  It has been great catching up with old mates since I first became aware of this website, many thanks.

Bluey Ireland.

Aeradio and Flight Service Survey

Many former RAN communications service personnel went on to serve as Aeradio operators and Flight Service Officers with the Department of Civil Aviation, and its subsequent entities, after they left the Navy.

I am now embarked on seeking contributions from ex Aeradio and FS operators to assist me to build up the history of the various units with a view to handing over all contributions received to the Civil Aviation Historical Society so that the contribution that these operators made to the development of civil aviation in Australia is never forgotten. The attached letter and survey form explain my objectives in more detail.

Considering the above, I am enquiring as to whether you would be prepared to post the attached letter and survey form in a prominent position on your website in order to bring the survey to the attention of your members?

If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me and I look forward to your positive response.

Thank you very much for your assistance.

Kind regards

Brian Jackson
Managing Director
The Ambidji Group Pty Ltd
Suite 11, 622 Ferntree Gully Road
Wheelers Hill VIC 3150
t: +61 3 9545 1581
f: +61 3 9545 1734
m: +61 414 747303

Follow this link for the ATS Covering Letter

Follow this link for the ATS Survey Form


Australia's Oldest Man

Sandy McNab sends:

You may recall our interest in Claude Choules with his approaching 109th last year, and Godfrey 'Jeff' Dykes also promulgated it on his website, well Claude has survived another year, just as it seems with near blindness and is mostly deaf, one wonders when his heart will finally give out.

Would you like to promulgate the navy web link address below, as an item of interest on the QSO Forum.

From: Gary Booth, Regional Manager, Defence Public Affairs WA

I write to advise that Claude has reached his 110th birthday today. The following link is a presser I put together last week:

http://www.navy.gov.au/News_%26_Events then select "Navy's Oldest Celebrates 110th Birthday"

The CO HMAS Stirling, a few of his sailors and myself joined Claude and his family in wishing him a very happy birthday today at a small party held in his honour.

Media weren't invited, nor were current photographs taken of Claude today at the family's request. Imagery out there on Claude now dates 12-24 months old. I have spent some days explaining to the media that Claude is no longer in a position to conduct interviews or pose for photographs, while disappointed they have accepted the family's desire to preserve Claude's image.

Now that he is Australia's oldest man and the last known link to WW1, I expect that interest in him will continue for some time.

Kind Regards,
Gary Booth

Plaque Dedications

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt sends:

The Chaplain's Office at GI rang me today and advised of the following Plaques being dedicated for former Communicators. 

On Sunday 6th March at 2pm for the late Ex WOSY Roger Gaydon. I know it is late notification, but if you are planning on attending Roger's Service, please let me know by Friday morning 4th March.

On Sunday 3rd July at 2pm for the late Sig Brian Cecil and LTO Daryl Archibald. Brian was part of Commissioning crew of VAMPIRE and Daryl of the Commissioning crew of VENDETTA, so it would be nice if any Communicator who were part of these 2 ships could attend.

If you are planning to do so, now with Security I would require your name and vehicle registration if you are driving into GI. not later than the 28th June.

Please give this a lot of thought and remember those Communicators that have gone before.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

February 2011 Entries:

Seeking Antoinette Gaye Evans

Ralph Ringe sends:

I am an ex M(E), then became a Mechanician.  I joined in 1960 and DEE in 1966.  I spent time at HARMAN, working at Navy Office. There was a WRAN RO there, her name was Antoinette Gaye EVANS, I am now wondering where she went to after all these years. It would be something to have some contact with her again. If anyone could forward my email address to her.

Ralph Ringe
Ex Mechanician
If anyone can help please advise Antoinette or contact Ralph direct.


 HMAS VOYAGER (D31/D04) All Crews Reunion - Brisbane

David MacLean sends:

About 200 attended the combined All Crews Voyager reunion & memorial service held at Kangaroo Point, Brisbane over the weekend 11/13 February. The reunion committee did a fantastic job pulling together an event to replace the Perth reunion, cancelled due to the death of the organiser, ex-CCY Doug Bain.

Friday night was an informal "meet & greet" at the Pineapple Steak-House. Saturday saw the reunion dinner attended by 160 at the Pineapple Hotel, a delightful venue built to service the Port of Brisbane in 1864. Great food and entertainment, a good night was had by all.

On Sunday, a moving memorial service was held at St Mary's, Kangaroo Point, the "navy" church for SE Qld. The Governor of Queensland was represented by Lt Commander Mathew Rowe. In attendance were Commander Lachlan King RAN, NOIC SE QLD and Rear Admiral R.C. (Ross) Swan AO, CBE, RAN (Rtd.), survivors, family members and former ship's company crowded the church. The service was led by the Parish Priest, Fr Stephen Redhead, assisted by Fr John Brooker (ex-Voyager) and The Rev William Pearson (Rtd), a former Chaplain to the RAN. A specially designed Voyager flag was dedicated and presented to the church, along with other items, to be displayed at the Warriors Altar in St Mary's.

Following the service, which included a Colour Party, Choir and the RAN Band, the congregation provided morning tea for the reunion party. Communicators sighted included Sonja & Alan Hellier, Alan Murgatroyd, John Cull and Jean & David MacLean - apologies to anyone I missed.

The farewell lunch (again at the Pineapple) was well attended and a decision taken to hold the next reunion (the 50th anniversary of the sinking) in Ballina in 2014.

Kind regards
David MacLean

Seeking Information on ex HMAS TEAL

HMAS Teal, 1152, de-commissioned in 1973 and was sold in 1977 to the Gold Coast to be converted to a prawn trawler for the Gulf of Carpentaria fisheries (thanks to Phil Robson who was onboard her in the Gulf), then sold to two Greek brothers (named Palace or Palice ?) from Tasmania who converted her down there to an abalone mother ship.

She was next heard of in Perth for the America's Cup in 1983, where she had the aft superstructure added to work as a ferry and a "race chaser" before ending up in Hong Kong and being sold to The Near East University (NEU), Cyprus.

Any information about the Teal or sightings of her in Tassie or in Perth would be appreciated. Any recollections of newspaper articles or ads (as a "race Chaser " or ferry in Perth) also any photos.

Teal is still a working research ship with the Near East University, Cyprus

Thanks all

Phil Bensted email: dialabull1@bigpond.com


Morse Key Collection

Barry 'Tex' Sherriff sends:

You might like to post this link on the QSO page, some of those old sparkers may get excited when viewing it.


Don't really know how I stumbled across it.

Cheers Tex

What a great collection, should warm the cockles of Sparker's hearts!

Jim Anderson sends:
If you're interested, these are pictures of the two keys I use every morning on my CW sched between 5 a.m. - 6.30 a.m. (3599 kHz).  The guys we have on the net come from Cairns, Innisfail, Malanda (x2) Mt Fox, Townsville, Ayr, Bowen, Rockhampton, Brisbane (now and then) and Adelaide.  Speeds range from 40 wpm when we open at 5 a.m. and drop back to about 20 wpm between 6 - 6.30 a.m.   We have an ex CPO Hydrographer who is a self taught morsie to a nice 20 odd wpm and getting better all the time.  Unfortunately he has a fixation with a bloody Vibroplex key which I'll steal and bury one of these days.  At 55, he is the youngest in the group.  The oldest is 94.
Amateur Radio is relatively easy to get into these days with a Foundation Licence and CW is no longer a licence requirement for any of the licences (Foundation, Standard and Advanced).
A very good Australian amateur radio theory site may be found at www.radioelectronicschool.com if any RANCB'ers are interested in a 'busman's holiday'.
BY-2 Iambic Paddle
Bencher Iambic Paddles
Straight Key hand made for me by VK2DLF (Have a look at the keys he makes at www.morsekeys.com)  This guy suffers CFS and can only work for a couple of hours per day and has orders for keys two years in advance.  Every part of the keys he makes is hand made/machined.
Jim Anderson VK4AQ


To all Navy/ex-Navy Personnel - RAN 100th Anniversary Badge.

The HMAS Sydney & VLSVA(Vic Inc.) have designed a special R.A.N. 100th Anniversary Embroidered Badge.   The design has been approved by the Navy.

You can have this badge embroidered on a Polo shirt to mark this special occasion.  As the badge is quite intricate, (over 30,000 stitches) the price is a little more than our normal Polo shirt.

1. Polo:
Anniversary badge left Breast. Right Breast, your name and years served underneath = $35.00

2. Polo:
Anniversary badge left Breast, years served underneath. Right Breast, Ships crest (eg VENDETTA), your name underneath = $37.00

The badges can also be embroidered on rugby tops, chambray shirt and reversible vests. Prices available on request.

Full details and order form can be found on the associations website: http://hmassydney.com/poloshirts.html

Laurie Pegler

For the information of members who may wish to purchase same.

Opening of Navy in Vietnam Cafe and Quarterdeck Art Gallery/Ship Model Room at HMAS CERBERUS

The HMAS SYDNEY and Vietnam Logistical Support Veterans Association (Vic) and Crest Canteens (formerly Millies) at HMAS CERBERUS have recently completed the development of a Cafe and Art Gallery/Ship Model Room in the old Gunnery administration Building adjacent to the Museum of HMAS CERBERUS (old Supply School).

The paintings are all the work of ex Navy man, Randall "Tug" WILSON an internationally acclaimed Maritime Artist. You can view his magnificent work at www.navart.com.au.  Ship models are the work of another ex Navy man Max MONTAGUE. Both are proud members of the HMAS SYDNEY Association here in Victoria and will be in attendance on the day.

Banners and window decals have been supplied by another ex Navy man, Brent BALCHIN who has also produced a number of excellent DVD's which will be shown on the day.

The Webmaster of our HMAS SYDNEY Association, ex Navy man, Laurie PEGLER has also been involved with the project and will also be in attendance on the day.

The 50 framed prints on display in the Navy in Vietnam Cafe have been kindly donated by Steve LEWIS, Author and Publisher of Voyages to Vietnam.

You, your family and friends, are cordially invited to attend the Official opening at HMAS CERBERUS on Thursday 24th February at 1100. Rooms will be opened by the Patron of the HMAS SYDNEY & VLSVA (Vic), CDRE J.S. DICKSON, AM, MBE, RAN, RTD.

This is also a unique opportunity to attend Ships Company Divisions as a visitor, not a victim, which commences at 0900 on the morning - if you so desire. Come along and watch the spectacle, instead of being part of it. You will not even get picked up for a haircut, that's assuming you still have some. No need to even clean your shoes. Come along as a complete scran bag. Pay back time at last? Morning tea will be served in the Cafe on completion of Divisions.

The brand new Millies Mobile (as yet unnamed) aka the Roach Coach, painted in distinctive DPU Colours (the same as our new uniforms) will also be available for the purchase of snacks on completion of the opening ceremony.

Just let the civilian security staff manning the security box half way down the main road inside HMAS CERBERUS that you are attending the opening of the Rooms. The Gangway as we knew it is no longer in operation. Guides will direct you to the appropriate parking area which I sure will be the covered in Parade Ground.

Veterans are requested to wear Medals.

For any further information please contact Marty GROGAN at grevillethedevil@gmail.com  or 0417 377 763.

Best wishes,
Special Projects

For the information of members who may be in the area and wish to attend.


RANCBA National Reunion 2011 – Adelaide

Still time to register for the reunion, for all the information go to :-


Registration Cut Off Date – 31 March 2011.

Purchase of Memorabilia has closed (31 January 2011).

Barry Sherriff
0413 601 612


Allan "Shorty" Moffatt sends:

I was invited to attend the VOYAGER Survivors Memorial Service being held at Jervis Bay on the 12-13th February 2011. This was the 47th Anniversary of the fatal collision of HMAS VOYAGER & HMAS MELBOURNE off JB on the 10th February 1964 with the loss of 82 sailors from HMAS VOYAGER with many more of the crew still carrying emotional and physical scars.

A Memorial Dinner was held on Saturday, 12th February and the Guest of Honour was the Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Rus Crane AO, CSM RAN and he was accompanied by his newly appointed Flag Lieutenant, Maddy Newman RAN. Unfortunately the CN had been informed just prior to coming that he would have to leave for overseas on Sunday afternoon. This also precluded his wife from attending the Dinner as she was back in Canberra , packing etc.  At approximately 9pm, the Chief of Navy and his Flag had to tender their farewells and drive back to Canberra as he also prior to leaving for o/s on Sunday had to be at Russell Offices at 8am on Sunday.

Also this year, special mention and welcome was given to some of the crews of the SAR boats AIR NYMPH and AIR SPRITE from HMAS CRESWELL during that era who had when "scrambled" after hearing of the fatal collision put to sea and searched throughout the night for survivors. This included Kerry Stephen and ex LRO Les Thurgood. 

The following day, a Service was held at HMAS CRESWELL and here we were welcomed by the Commanding Officer of HMAS CRESWELL, Captain Jaimie Hatcher AM RAN, and Officiated by Chaplain Paul Stuart RAN.

The Scripture Reading was by Mr. Richard Reynolds a VOYAGER Survivor, the Address by the Captain Hatcher, the Presentation by Ex Commodore Toz Dadswell RAN Rtd, who at the time of the collision was the CO of the Squadrons aboard HMAS MELBOURNE and on that particular night was airborne and witnessed the collision. It had to be one of the most greatest presentations that I have heard and it was well received by all in attendance. This was probably more so by the 119 New Entry Cadets from the 44th New Officers Course at the Royal Australian Naval College, who had been just in the Navy for about 3 weeks.  Cmdre Dadswell, I believe made them more than welcome into the Navy Family, but always remember those that gone before.

The Commemoration was given by Mr. Gary Evans who was the Signalman on the bridge on that night and the only survivor from the bridge.

On completion of the Service we were escorted to the HMAS CRESWELL Wardroom to partake of morning tea and to meet some of the Officers from RANC. Also we were to meet with some of their partners and this included Allison, the wife of the Commanding Officer who made us specially welcome.

It was indeed a very special Memorial weekend and all thanks must go to Brenda and John Hannay and others on the Committee that made it so.

Should anyone be in the Huskisson area of JB, take the time to visit the Memorial behind the RSL and read the names of those who lost their life on that night, and it is hoped that this Service will not be forgotten.

Lest we Forget

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

St Mary’s – Naval Centenary Memorial, Brisbane.

The Memorial Wall to be built on the site of the first ship shore signal in St Mary’s Anglican Church Grounds Kangaroo Point overlooking the old historic Naval Stores, is taking shape. The project has slowed of late due to heritage listing with QLD State Govt and Council. The site and memorial will be visible from the viewing platform at the St Mary’s end of the new parklands and walkway along the Kangaroo Point cliffs. This will give the Memorial wonderful exposure to all and sundry, and will incorporate the history of the Navy by the addition of heritage plaques.

A 12 metre flag pole with yard arm and gaff arm, dedication plaque and time capsule will complete the Wall which will be floodlit from both sides. The wall will be constructed from stone that was obtained and stored by the church during the Clem 7 Tunnel dig. The early estimate of costs is approx $64,000, but actual costs will not be know till final approvals are given to the plans and further quotes obtained.

The Memorial was to be dedicated on the 100th Anniversary of the issue of the Royal Warrant, 10th July 2011. However, due to the catastrophic floods and cyclone that has devastated most of Queensland and other states in recent months, and the problems associated with plans, tradespersons, and of course funding constraints, the Committee have decided to delay the completion of the project, and aim for a foundation stone to be laid on 10th July 2011 with completion and dedication on a suitable date in the not too distant future.

The Committee consists of Naval Assoc of Aust (Q), Navy League of Aust (Q), RANCBA (Q), NHQ Sth Qld, and St Mary’s Church. Chairman is Cmdr Tony Townsend RAN (ret’d), Sonja Hellier (RANCB(Q) Secretary.

An Official Launch of the project will be conducted at St Mary’s Anglican Church, Friday 25th March from 6 – 8 pm at a cost of $20per head, lounge suit/after five. Anyone wishing to attend, please contact Sonja on 07 3397 0561 or email hpmtgrsl@bigpond.com by 14th March 2011.

Donations can be made to – Naval Centenary Memorial Committee direct transfer BSB 124 158, Account Number 21549138.  Details can be viewed www.saintmarys.org.au

Rgds to all,
Sonja and Alan Hellier


Allan Moffatt sends:

Vale Beverly Ruth Miller

It is with sad feelings that I have to advise of the passing of Beverly Ruth Miller, the wife of our Treasurer Max Miller. Bev, as she was known to all, passed away after a short illness and her Funeral was held on Friday, 4th February at Woronora Chapel. It was a very well attended Service both by people that had know Max in the Navy and then later in Civil Aviation for many years, but also of relatives and friends that Bev had made during their 50 years of marriage.

She will be sadly missed by all that had come to know her..

"Rest in Peace"
Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

Sandy McNab sends:

Vale Margaret Bloffwitch (nee English) WRRO(M) WR85967

It was a real shock to read of Margaret Bloffwitch's death as in yesterdays The West Australian. Margaret passed away peacefully at the Murdoch Hospice on the 1st.

We were hoping to have had her along for the 2005 Sydney reunion to meet up again with some of her recruit class mates, but it was not to be as Bob then was not well.  Pat and I had been in contact with her for quite some time, up until Bob's death several years ago.

Margaret joined from Ipswich QLD in October 64, thence Harman and on to Coonawarra in Sep 65, drafted south in Sep 66 and paid off from Harman in early 67 to marry Bob.

See http://www.rancba.org.au/WRANS_Class_78_of_1964.htm.

The funeral Cortege will arrive at the main entrance of KARRAKATTA cemetery next Tuesday the 8th at 10.00am for a Service in the Brown Chapel followed by a lawn burial Service at 11.00am. Sadly, in saying farewell Marg, we will see you anon.



Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker sends:

Vale Don Dargusch (ex WOETC)

Communicators who were at Melville/Coonawarra between about 69-71 (and, no doubt, others) would remember Don Dargusch, who paid off as a WOETC. Don passed away after a long illness and was cremated yesterday (Wednesday 02 Feb) at Burpengary, Queensland. He had been living at Esk when last I heard of him. I think, from memory, that he and Tackers Harding-Collis shared accommodation there. I only heard about the cremation today, and have no further details.

I remember once at Coonawarra when Don had done a job for someone and they paid him off with 10Kg of prawns. Don didn't like seafood, and said I could have the prawns if I cooked him a chicken dish (we both lived in the MQ on Hidden Valley Rd). Anyway, the bargain was struck, and Don enjoyed his Chicken Adobo, I pigged-out on prawns, and we both drank Chivas Regal all afternoon. Another thing Don didn't like was garlic. He reckoned he could smell garlic from a block away. My Chicken Adobo had about 5 cloves of garlic in it, so I lied to Don and said it had none. He said "Just as well, or I couldn't have eaten it!"

Rest in Peace, Don.

Jim Anderson sends:

Cyclone YASI

I reckon I'll be off the air for a few days after around 10 pm this evening until this mongrel Yasi passes over.

They've got it going over the top of us here at Innisfail at midnight. I thought Larry was a 'once in a lifetime' event but apparently not.

It's midday here now, the wind is starting to get up and it's looking a bit 'ominous' outside.

I'm having two stubbies of 4X Gold now, then baked chook lunch, big kindy nap and then we'll see what the evening brings. The bastard of a thing is due to cross when the tide is at its top which compounds things more for me, me being on the flats. Probably storm surge greater than we've had before.

I've got the 9 kva generator hooked up, camp shower and motor bike battery is all set up in the bathroom and the porta potti is ready to go if needs be. All the camp cooking gear is at the short stay and plenty of victuals on hand.

She's a big bastard this one !!

Cheers and will contact you all as soon as.

Jim A

Our thoughts are with Jim and other shipmates who are in the path of Cyclone Yasi.  The news reports paint a devastating picture, I sincerely hope that the next 24 hours is not as bad as expected. 

Update from Jim 0700/3 Feb:

Well, we seem to have come through that well enough. Still haven't had time to survey all the damage but nowhere near as much as we copped in Larry. Mind you, I didn't wear all of our back yard neighbour's roof this time tho. And big trees and regrowth hadn't had time to recover from Larry so not as much damage in that regard either. Still... a big clean up ahead of us again.

We are on generator power and it's still blowing what is classed at 'severe destruction'. We have had about 7 hours of absolutely howling winds.

Jim A


Trevor Percival sends:

I was given a copy of the sea going and harbour routines of our ships during the 1960's but am missing a small section. I have tried various libraries and web sites but still cannot find a copy. I wonder if any of our members have a copy they wouldn't mind sending to me as it would be greatly appreciated.

Trevor Percival.



January 2011 QSO Entries:

Bluey Ireland sends:

I have not been a member of the RANCB for many years, and it was very sad for me to read about the passing on of Ron Reavley. Ron was the best CRS regulator, trainer, mentor, friend, support, and truly cared about the men serving under him. He was a great person. I found out a few years back he and Alan (Dolly) Stafford were in Canberra, and was going to visit both of them, but I was working then in Petro Chemical construction and working seven days a week. I'm very sad I missed seeing Ron again and a lesson learnt that if you want to do something do it and don't put it off.

I will now be a constant reader of QSO the world many thanks for your website.

Best regards
Terry (Bluey) Ireland

P.S. Thanks Sandy re your article of Sandy Timms - great guy. And you gave me great memories recalling all those in the intake May 1958.

Tks Bluey, salient advice on this Australia Day holiday.


Federation of Naval Ships Association (FNSA) Annual Luncheon
- 14 April 2011

As in the last 2 years, the FNSA shall be hosting a Luncheon at Parliament House, Sydney and it is hoped that many Communicators with wives/or partners will take this opportunity to attend. Last year we had 2 Inter-Staters, Dave & Jean McLean (WA) and Dave Kerr (SA). In the inaugural Luncheon we had the pleasure of Dick & Jean Cantwell from WA. Approximately 41 both Members and Partners, representing the RANCBA sat down to the Luncheon, and I believe they all went away happy having had a great day. Let's see if we cannot better it this year.  Herewith all the details as received from the President, FNSA.

Event. FNSA Annual Luncheon
Where. Strangers Room, NSW Parliament House, Macquarie Street, SYDNEY
When. Thursday 14th April between noon and 1500
Cost. $75.00 per head for 2 courses, pre lunch drinks, then beer, wine and soft drinks
Dress. Men. Jacket & tie with Medals. Ladies. Day Dress with Medals where applicable
Guest Speaker. Chief of Navy. Vice Admiral Rus Crane. AO, CSC RAN and Mrs Crane have been invited but we await their confirmation.
Cost. Unfortunately the Parliament House Catering have been directed to run all events at a profit or at least break even, and this has resulted in a significant cost increase from $60.00 to $75.00. Also arrangements are too far advanced to change to an alternative this year, but we will considering an alternative in 2012.
Booking/Payment. Each Association is requested to book number of tables required ASAP. This will not lock you in to numbers attending, but will provide the coordinators with a guide to numbers expected to attend. Each table will be set for 10. Payment will be required no late than Monday 22nd March.

Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd
President FNSA

As you may or may not be aware the FNSA consists of 46 Ships & Associations, so you meet with shipmates from other Branches that you may have served with, and past friendships can be reborn. So that I can advise the Luncheon Committee, could those that are, or those showing an expression of interest contact me either via email, phone or normal mail of their intentions so that the number of tables required by the RANCBA can be ascertained. Also as full payment has to be made to the FNSA Secretary by the 22nd March, I would need to receive your payment by Friday 18th March so that I can forward it on. Please make the Cheques/Money Orders payable to the FNSA and not the RANCBA or myself.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)
email shortym@optusnet.com.au  Ph (02) 9631 8068 Mail 88 Bogalara Road, Toongabbie NSW 2146.

The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Rus Crane, AO, CSM RAN has confirmed he will be attending the FNSA Luncheon
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt


Des Vizzard sends:

I am trying to find out if anyone knows an ex WRAN named Sue Willis who was at Harman in 71.
She was an RO - I believe she worked at DSD and  I would like to contact her.

Des Vizzard
Vale Ed "Pricky" Reid (ex TEL)

Bill Aylott sends:

I have just learnt from Jim Eagles of the death of Telegraphist Ed "Pricky" Reid. Ed passed away in hospital last night from malignant melanoma. He served from Feb 1954 until Jul 1960. Ed served onboard Sydney III, Barcoo, Brolga, Melbourne, Harman and Melville (Coonawarra) and at Macquarie Island in the Antarctic. I served with Ed on Barcoo and Val and I socialised with him quite often. He will be sadly missed by all that knew him.

His funeral will be held at 1PM (NSW Time) on Friday 21/1/2011 at the Tweed Chapel, Tweed Heads Crematorium, Great Southern Garden of Remembrance, Sunshine Ave, Tweed Heads, NSW.

Lest We Forget
Bill Aylott

Fm Allan Moffatt 18/1:

Eddie 'Pricky" Reid. Sadly another great hand has gone, and he was an extraordinary person. I first Ed in HARMAN as we both drafted in about the same day, and lived in those old fibro huts, 20 to a hut, no heating, air conditioning, and 4 in a sort of square, and here there was Clive "Duke Norfolk, Bobby Harm, Eddie and myself. Eddies bunk was straight opposite mine so got to now him very well. Not only was he a great sparker, but he really socialised very, very hard (believe me).

Later on he came to a couple of Sydney ANZAC Day Marches and Reunions, and I couldn't believe how much he had changed. He had already done a tour of the Antarctic and was now heavily involved with the Outward Bound School, teaching youths, kayaking, rock climbing, bush hiking etc. A real Steve Irwin.   Later on I received correspondence from him, he had organised the ANZAC Day Service at Bathurst and Melville Island for the indigenous population which had been well received.

He was a man of very many hidden talents, and will be sadly missed by all that knew him.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt


RANCBA National Reunion 2011 - Adelaide

There is still some confusion regarding reunion registration, some think that because they have shown an 'Expression of Interest' to attend, that they have automatically registered to attend.  This is not the case.

In order to attend you must complete the registration via the Reunion Web Site at http://users.adam.com.au/bsherriff/RANCBA2011Reunion.html
pay the registration fee and for any functions/memorabilia you are attending/ordering.

Also be aware of the cut off dates for the reunion registration & purchase of memorabilia: -

Registration – 31 March 2011
Memorabilia – 31 January 2011

Tex Sherriff
0413 601 612


Vale John Rosewarne - ex CRS R54599

It is my sad duty to inform that I received notice today that John Rosewarne (ex CRS) sadly passed away in Tasmania during the weekend. No other details known.

Lest We Forget
Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM

Sad news, many QSO readers will remember Rosie and will be saddened to hear the news.  Another great bloke taken before his time.

Fm Grant 'Windy' Gale 12/1:

According to the Mercury newspaper, Dated Monday 10th, Rosie died suddenly at home at Cygnet, South of Hobart, presumably Sunday.

His funeral will be held at St Mary's Catholic Church, Channel Highway, Snug, on Friday Jan 14th, commencing at 1330.  Private cremation.

Windy Gale

Fm Dave Jeffrey 15/1:

Just like to add my thoughts on John Rosewarne. He was my introduction to Bonshaw, Ship-shore comms & the old w/k systems of heavys & lights. He was a great operator & a hard runner. At the time he was the bar manager of the Junior Rates Club, & after a morning watch, we were required to have b'fast, have a shower, get dressed for the afternoon watch at midday, and then down to the rates to help clean up the bar etc from the night before. That entailed cleaning the pipes, testing to see if beer ok and then back on watch. After afternoon watch 1200 - 1900, back to Rates for evening session, over to Rosie's after bar shut for smokey, a quick shower, back on watch at 0200 till 0800, and then the same routine next day. Thank god we were young!!!!


Fm Tony Froome 15/1:

Very sad news. Rosie was the CRS in Perth when I joined her as a baby RO2 in 1971. For some reason he took a shine to me and was very patient as I fumbled my way around the RADCEN. I still remember one incident when he came in smoking a cigar which greatly upset Nev Renfrey who was the Killick of the Watch. Renners chased him out threatening him with the sledge hammer from the Emergency Destruction Kit!! I can still hear Rosie yelling "You can't do this, I'm the Chief!!" Hilarious at the time...

He turned up again as the CRS on Stuart in 1977. The same old khaki warhorse..... He got the three LSROs together (myself, Shorty Shaw and Zack Michaels) gave us an inspiring talk....We were going to run the Commcen and he'd pop in every now and then just to check on things......I remember feeling quite chuffed that he had confidence in me personally as a junior LSRO...This was soon dashed as he walked from the Commcen...He turned around and added "Of course, if any of you stuff up, I'll kill ya". What I wouldn't have given to be a fly on the wall in the CPOs Mess....Rosie the CRS and the inimitable Yockie Shaw the CRSEW....Many happy memories of those days...RIP Rosie

Tony Froome

Fm Allan "Shorty" Moffatt 18/1:

John Rosewarne. About 2 years ago I caught up with Rosie at a ANZAC ship Reunion in Hobart,as we had both at some time served aboard this ship, and we had a few ales together and if my memory is correct both the last to leave the Reunion Dinner. We were talking about old times and we both fully remembered a little incident.
I had just finished about 14 months on SNIPE and on return to Sydney from Singapore was drafted to KIMBLA.. Now, Kevin Davis another RO rating joined the same day as me and the had to meet the CO (LCDR Peter Cummins) and the XO (LT Geoff Dove) who incidentally had joined that day from DUCHESS. The CO told us that no Signalman was borne on the ships complement so I will toss a coin and who ever is the looser shall also have to do the V/S work as well. The XO then piped in and said, he will also be required to be Nav. Yeomans and assist me with star sightings for navigation. You will never guess who lost the toss??

Anyway we sailed for Darwin, Port Moresby and the Gulf, to meet with 2 RN Submarines and the Submarine Mother Ship HMS FORTH as to were to carry out very hush hush anti submarine experiments on one part of the deployment, as this was the period of Red Subs, etc.  Anyway we were nearing Darwin, and I was below having a brew prior to doing the first dog in the W/T Office when a seaman raced in and said I was required on the bridge and 2 warries were flashing us. HMAS ANZAC and HMS ROTHESAY. When I ack their call they both went like a bat out of hell. So I left the bridge and got the ACP with all Ops Sigs and sent to both "You can descend out of the clouds and send slower" (there is 2 ops sig to cover both those) and then I got the message "Set Watch on Inter Ship Ratt) to which I sent a message “We will send Duplex on CW and it will sound like Ratty."

If you were drafted to KIMBLA, there was no such thing as Ratt B'cast, you had to be able read and send morse (good) , and also required to do heaps and heaps of off line crypto.

When the CO asked me what I had sent, he went a bit feral and said you cant sent things like that to major warships. I just followed up and told both there is no Sig onboard and I do the V/S work, so go easy on me, and also explained we do not have Ratty equipment, it is morse work, and the other sparker is tied up now reading the Fleet Broadcast. .
I never heard it anymore about it and only found out later on, that on ANZAC, it was my old friend the late Yeoman Pinkstone and lo and behold the RS was Rosie, and after all those years, he reminded me about "some smart a.... operator on KIMBLA" and I had to tell him it was me. So we had good old laugh about it ,another ale and how we missed those days.

He was another great person that I have had the pleasure on knowing and he also be missed by those that knew him.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt

Fm Keghead Weaver 21/1:

John Rosewarne.  Had the ‘pleasure’ of serving with “Rosie” at Harman in ’57. Seem to remember Rosie and Huff Duff were a terrible duo and ‘one’ to keep at arm’s length for fear of falling foul of our regulating people.

Rosie did ‘fall fowl’ at one stage and asked me to look after his “new” car (an FB Holden from memory) while he “was away”, which I did. But then he went crook at me when he returned because “you’ve put too many bloody miles on it “Keghead”!”

Ungrateful bas&^^$#d, but a fine bloke and did like the odd beer or three. Didn’t expect a “fine upstanding follower of rules and regs” like himself would make CRS though.

RIP old mate
Keghead Weaver

Jim Anderson sends:

All the very best to you and Sarah for 2011 and to all our members who regularly read this fine column I hope you have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011.

My one and only resolution is to do at least one camping trip into the Gulf of Carpentaria region every two months at least.


Jim Anderson VK4AQ

Thanks Jim, all the very best to you..enjoy the camping trips.


Ray 'Bogey' Knights sends:

Happy NY for 2011.

John can anyone advise me what has happened to Chris Bowman he was on the Stuart with me 70/71.  Would appreciate if somebody could advise.

Regards Bogey K..
Can anyone help?  If so please email Bogey direct.


Communication Centre Goes West

Follow the link for an interesting article on the relocation of the SUBCOMMCEN to Fleet Base West.



Sandy McNab sends:

And a Happy New Year to all your readers and may it be a healthy productive one. A few lines on a brighter note to start the QSO Forum year off, sadly we have sighted too many valediction notices recently. Photographic proof the hip replacement was a success as I can now swing a leg over the top bar and saddle and no need to worry about a puncture as I carry a spare tyre around my waistline, wasteline did you say! Roger Bower the bearded one whom some ex-Navy/DCA/CAA Communicators may recall and Mick Wilkinson whom I first met in 1966 when racing with him at the Darwin Amateur Cycle Club, and both now of the Hamilton Wheelers Cycle Club invited me whilst visiting Brisbane earlier last year to have a ride in their E grade, the over 65's and aged visitors, duration 25 minutes plus 2 laps. Mick lent me a bike, set the saddle and headstem height and lengths to suit my dynamics, did a 48 km training ride on it on the Thursday morning, and saddled up on the Saturday morning. G. McNab first, daylight second. Roger reckons I am a bandit, as I had quietly logged nearly 26 hours of spirited training riding on my mountain bike before we arrived at Brisbane and so got under their handicappers guard ruining my 'amateur status' in accepting first prize money.

As always sincere regards to you all from the West. Sandy and Pat.