'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 contributor names listed below will be familiar to other 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 Comms related articles published on this page please send me an email.

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

Follow this link for previous years QSO.

John Curbishley
Web Yeoman

December 2015 Entries

Medical Sitrep on Ron 'Nullarbor' Baker

The following sitrep was forwarded by Tab Hunter, Ron is happy for it to be passed on to his many shipmates in the Comms world.

On Monday 21 December, I had a CT Scan (again), and it was discovered that a secondary tumour had taken up residence in my spinal column. There were also some minor lesions in my lungs and liver that weren’t there last time.

My chemotherapy session (Tue/Thu) was cancelled, and the plan now is to try radiation therapy in the New Year. Meanwhile, Jenne and I will depart Boxing Day morning for a week or two in Dalgety, re-furnishing our house down there.

We wish you all the best for the Festive Season.

Warm Regards
Ron (aka Nullarbor)
Thanks Ron, we wish you all the very best in the days and months ahead and hope for a positive outcome.

Vale Robin Wilfred Clifford R50340 (aka Rigor Mortis) (ex RO)

Have just been advised by his wife that Rigga has just passed away (Sunday 27 December). No further details available and will advise funeral arrangements when known.

RIP Rigga

Keghead Weaver

The funeral for Robin Clifford (aka Rigor) will be held at the Canberra Crematorium at 1330 Thursday  7 January 2016.

Follow this link for the funeral washup from Shorty Moffatt.

Follow this link for more info on Rigor's battle.

From the Archives:
Robin Wilfred Clifford, aka Rigor Mortis, born 09 November 1935.  Joined RAN 28 June 1954, DEE 27 June 1960.  Re-entered 22 February 1962, discharged 3 January 1968.  Postings CERBERUS, HARMAN, ARUNTA, QUADRANT, HARMAN, MELVILLE (DEE June 1960), Re-entered Feb '62, service with DCA recognised, postings to follow.

From Dave Jeffrey:
Keghead tells me he has informed everyone of Rigor crossing the bar. I would just like to let everyone know that he died with dignity. Right until the time he passed into his sleep early last week, he was bright and ready to go on his way. I spent many hours with him over the last two months together with his wonderful kids and grandkids. He was much loved and they will all miss him desperately. When Artie and I visited him last Tuesday it was great to see the family there talking with him and letting him know they were there. On Xmas Eve I dropped in for five minutes or so and he was still there in Spirit. As u know he died early this morning 27/12 and he is now in a better pain free space. The next task is to ensure that DVA accept our case for his cancer and his wife Rosemarie is taken care of in the way she deserves.

VALE Robin Clifford aka Rigor Mortis.

From Artie Wyatt:
I would like to convey my sincere sadness and regret on the passing of Rigor, Mina and I were with family in Sydney for Xmas, and I was hoping I may see him when we returned today Sunday. However as Dave kindly stated he is in a far better place now than the void he was when we visited the hospital last week. Hope many of you may have the time to attend the funeral when the details are known
Artie Wyatt

From Kev Ruwoldt:
I first met Robin “Rigor Mortis” Clifford at Coonawarra in 1961. He was working at DCA then and shared a house at Berrimah with an ex “Greenie” Ron Powell. The place was named the “Hacienda”and became a great place for a “Smokey” anytime rivaling the “Log”. Old GB Thrum banned the two of them from the “Wets” and Coonawarra after a certain episode. Rigor decided to re-enter and was allowed back, this time GB had to put up with Rigor’s visiting the Wets waiting for his move to FND.

Next time I caught up with Rigor was at Flinders 1966 during my RS ’Q’ Course. He had been in a horrific car smash in Adelaide was transferred to Cerberus from Encounter and placed in hospital. Eventually walking with the aid of a cane he became attached to the Sig School. Once again I was easily led astray and we shared a few ales during my remaining time at Cerberus.

Had a phone call one morning after a Morning Watch at Harman in late 69 asking me did I want a beer. After naming several watering holes he calmly told me he was banned from the Ainslie Rex, Canberra Rex, Woden, eventually we met at the Kingston. After visiting the Vic in Queanbeyan we ended up at the Chiefs and PO’s later that night where Bill McMah banned him from there.

I saw Rigor for short period during the Canberra National and shared a few memories. A great bloke who will be missed. Great memories...

RIP old mate.
Kev Ruwoldt

From Alan Rodgers:
I remember him fondly during the early eighties.  “Rigor” had a business in Fyshwick ACT making and installing external window treatments. I worked for him on sub-contracting basis for some time. Remember him well.

RIP “Rigor”. May he have smooth seas and following breezes on his continuing journey.

RIP friend
Alan Rodgers


Vale June Caine – wife of ex-LRO Jack Caine

After a +14-year fight with leukaemia, June passed away peacefully at 7.45pm today, 22nd December 2015.

We send Jack and his family our deepest sympathy and thoughts during this sad time in his life.

Her pain has now gone.

June’s funeral will be at Karrakatta on the 4th January  at 9.30am with Four Seasons Funerals.

Alan Rodgers

Our most sincere sympathy in your moment of grief Jack.
Jim and Bev Anderson

It is with great sadness when I read of the passing of June. She was indeed a great lady and I had the privilege of meeting her on several occasions. May she now rest in peace and suffer no more pain.
Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt


From Patron of RANCBA ACT

Would you kindly give all RANCBA ACT members my best wishes for Xmas and New Year. Sadly we are losing a lot of good shipmates too regularly.  Best wishes to you and the family, stay healthy but not necessarily too sober.

Artie Wyatt

From Shorty Moffatt:
Kinnishiwa Artie, shall take you up on having a couple of ales. Will leave your name with my local Bowling Club that you will be picking up the tab!  I think you owe me a couple of coldies from way back in the FESR, 57-58 deployments !!!

Also if you and Dave Jeffrey call in to see Rigor Mortis, give him my sincere best wishes.
Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt-san


From the President and Committee members of the RANCBA WA.

We take this opportunity of wishing you and your family members a very merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year.

You be kind to each other.

Alan Rodgers
President RANCBA WA

Colin 'Wallaby' Ware Update

Following from Jenny Ware was passed on by Tab Hunter.

Dear Friends & Family

Very short email (I know, not possible), Colin managed to have 3 weeks at home, but with Hospital appointments in a wheelchair every other day. During that time we sort of managed with much kicking and screaming (me not Colin) but unfortunately after another foot infection, a big toe amputation and more underlying infection, he was readmitted to Westmead Hospital on 3rd December. We are hoping he will be home for Christmas but we have to go day to day at the moment.

I am sorry the messages are few and far between, but the support of close friends has been a lifeline … please keep us in your “good thoughts” basket and if Christmas Cards don’t arrive in time, please cut me some slack this year … also sorry for Birthdays, Weddings, Christenings etc that have slipped past us this year.

We wish all of you an amazing Christmas with family and friends and live each day to the maximum.

Love from

Vale Mark Brookes

Tony Crome passes on the following sad news:

"It is with great sadness that I inform fellow communicators and other friends of the passing of Mark Brookes, husband to Julie.... There will be a celebration of Mark's life on Friday 18th December @ 3pm @ the Queanbeyan Kangaroos Rugby League Club... R.I.P. old Friend...”

Thanks Tony, may he rest in peace.


Minesweepers/Hunters History

For all that served on the 6 Ton Class sweepers, this will bring back memories, be they good or bad.

Allan “Shorty” Moffatt
HMAS SNIPE 1965-66
Lots of info here, worth bookmarking.


RAN Ships Names and Callsigns Lists - Update

Sandy sends.....

Latest updates include the commissioning of HMAS Adelaide III, the decommissioning of the Sydney IV, the transferring and renaming of the ex-HMAS Brunei / BRP Batak, the ex-HMAS Tarakan / BRP Ivatan and some more provisional dates noted, i.e. nu-ship Hobart in 6/2017, nu-ship Brisbane in 9/2018 and the nu-ship Sydney 03/2020. Stay tuned ! ! !

If any like-minded reader stumbles across any information of allocated signal letters, not hull or pennant numbers for the HMAS submarines AE1, AE2 or the six HMAS submarines gifted to the RAN the J1, the J2, the J3,the J4, the J5 and the J7 or the WWII AMS/Corvettes HMAS Armidale sunk in 1942 and the HMAS Wallaroo sunk in 1943, it would make my day.

A chance Callsign clarification inquiry to John Curbishley from an overseas museum ships website manager Pim van Wijngaarden (see below) on the WWII AMS/Corvette HMAS Whyalla resulted in us also finally learning of the International Signal Letters of the WWII Dutch naval minesweeper Abraham Crijnssen and the Dutch submarine K9 (K IX) which both escaped to Australian waters and were commissioned into the RAN for a short period. I believe the Abraham is also now a display ship in Holland but I never received a Callsign inquiry reply myself.

For Pim's website and a wider International audience, in addition to the HMAS Whyalla ashore on a hard-stand at Whyalla in S.A. we also alerted him to the Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Fremantle maritime museums with their ex-HMAS ships and boats currently on display.

Minesweeper Abraham Crijnssen used call sign: Papa Alpha Bravo Romeo
Submarine K IX used: Papa Alpha Golf India
Pim van Wijngaarden

Cheers from the West and Seasons greeting to all those Communicators currently serving and to those that have.
QRU ZKL QRX in the New Year.
Sandy and Pat
Thanks Sandy, your work is a valuable contribution to this website.  All the best for Christmas and the New Year.


Service at Belconnen Transmitting Station

My father John B Kramme (ex Chief Petty Officer communication tech) worked at Belconnen naval base in Canberra 1980-1981, shortly after he retired after 18-20 years of service in the Royal Aus Navy. I am his fourth child and my Dad has asked me to track down any evidence showing my family lived at an address in Canberra while at Belconnen base. I am hoping to get a phone number at the Belconnen navy base, please if you can help me?

Leni Kramme
I have replied to Leni seeking more information, but if anyone remembers John Kramme please let me know.

From Alan Murgatroyd:
Regarding John Kramme. I served at Bells from 1964 to early '67 and can't remember him being there at that time, but I do remember John as a POETC in Brisbane during the 1975 commission . Together with POETC Paul Nuss they kept our w/t gear going when we decided to stay on an ASN from Sydney to Sydney via Japan . We won the Commodore Wardle cup that year and I have always thought that if it wasn't for them we simply couldn't have done it. So best wishes to you Mate , if you get to read this note !

From Phil Butler:
Service at Belconnen Transmitting Station.
Murgs, do you think CPO Kramme might have been one of those chiefs who went looking for the kegs from their mess that we ‘accidently’ found on the side of the road into Bells? If I remember correctly, one of them ended up under my house on the roundabout at Bells, waiting for the fuss to die down so we could have a party.

We had a good result on this as Red Lipscombe was able to provide John and his family with an extract of the electoral roll for Fraser (ACT) in 1980.  This confirmed that John and his family lived at an address in Flynn (ACT) and that John was employed by the RAN.   John's family was very grateful for Red's research and thanked us for passing on the information.


Christmas Wishes

John cud u plse pass on our best wishes to all for a Very Merry Xmas and a Prosperous and Happy New Year 2016.. Also thank you for a very informative and up to date website, all the very best.

Ciao from
Bob and Kate Vonarx
Thank you Bob & Kate, I wish you all the best for Xmas and the New Year.


Vale Robert Verne 'Shorty' Goeldner R51923 (ex POSY)

Following sad news has been received from Charlie Peterson:

Afternoon John, sorry to pass on the news, Shorty Goeldner crossed the bar at 1000 Sunday the 6th December at Austin Hospital Heidelberg. Funeral arrangements not yet known, will pass details as soon as I find out.

Shorty's funeral is at the White Lady Chapel, 25 Cooper St, Epping, on Friday 11 December at 1430.


Very sad news, Shorty was born on 13 February 1934 so he was 81.  He joined on 30 April 1956 and had a lengthy career in the RAN.  I will add more details later.  May he rest in peace.


From Graham Bence:
Today (Friday 11 Dec) Shorty was laid to rest with a lovely ceremony at White Lady funeral parlour, Epping. It was attended by approximately 120. They consisted of people from his bowling club, a good contingent from the Navy, comprising  myself, John Rowe, John 'Trog' Keenan, John Curbishley and Charlie Peterson, plus many people that knew and loved Shorty from all walks of life.

I will always remember Shorty as the bloke that had a smile that was infectious, a disposition that produced a happy retort or jibe that you could never take umbrage to, and if you did a good deed for him he replied 'that he would mention you in his will'. 

He had many loves but the first and always was his wife Loraine, then came Lalor Bowling Club, the Navy, Fitzroy Football Club, beer and a nice Scotch. Of course he saved his hatred for Collingwood Football Club. Its only a small hatred and shouldn't stop him from having a beer in the big bar in the sky. Sorry to see you go Shorty and I for one will miss your smile and cheeky disposition.
R.I.P old chap.


November 2015 Entries

Vale William Lawrence 'Bill' Lowe R29727 (ex CRS)

I have it on good authority that Bill passed away recently, I am attempting to find out more information.  If anyone is able to assist please do.

Photos:  Bill Lowe with shipmate Kevin Taylor, Cerberus 1961.                  Bill Lowe 1959.
From Gavin Jensen:
Bill had a massive stroke and passed away early Thursday morning 26th Nov. The funeral arrangement is Tuesday 1st Dec. at 1pm at the Broulee Crematorium. Address is 195 Broulee Rd Broulee. Bill and Elaine were like family and I have great memories of bygone days at Queanbeyan golf club. Our deepest sympathy from my family goes out to Elaine and Bill's family.

From the Archives:
William Lawrence 'Bill' Lowe R29727 ex-CRS.
DOB 26.8.1928, Joined RAN 12.3.1946. Re-engaged in 1958 and 1961 to complete 17 years service. DEE on 15.7.1963. Postings CERBERUS (ORD TEL) 1946, HOBART (TELEG) 1947, AUSTRALIA 1950/51, HARMAN (LDG TEL) 1952/53, QUEENBOROUGH (A/PO TEL) 1955/56, QUADRANT (Confirmed PO TEL) 1956/57, CERBERUS 1957/59, MELBOURNE (Rated CRS) 1959/60,  CERBERUS 1960/63, DEE 15.7.1963.

From Kev Ruwoldt:
Bill was my Sig School Instructor (R2/59) at Flinders. A hard man whilst we were under instruction but a gentleman outside of the class room. Caught up with Bill on the Melbourne when he was promoted to Chief. Had a few beers with Bill at Harman in 1969 with his old mate in tow Eric Steward. Bill attended the First National Reunion in Brisbane and commented how great it was to see his old mates again. I visited Bill in Moruya on my trip around Australia in 2002 on my way to Canberra for the 3rd National. Bill and Elaine put on a BBQ and a few coldies which were greatly appreciated. I spoke to him a few times on the phone when Bill Joyce was in and out of hospital last year. Bill’s health was not the best then but he was determined to keep going. The picture with Keith “Squizzy” Taylor brings back memories too, he was the RS on Quickmatch when I joined after leaving Flinders Naval Depot.

Smooth sailing Chief, RIP.

From Keghead Weaver:
Extremely sad and surprised to hear of Bill's passing as I was talking to him within last couple of weeks, as we did often and we were making arrangements for me and my wife to go down and visit. Elaine, so sorry to hear this sad news as Bill and I go back a long way. He was my PO on Quadrant and a hard task gentleman he was. Remember him from the 'old days' of Reunions at Harman and again at the '96 Brisbane Reunion. Elaine, please accept our condolences and we are so sorry to have missed the funeral. 

RIP Bill – you will be sadly missed.
Keghead and Ruth

From Dave Jeffrey:
Sad to read of Shorty Goeldner & Bill Lowe. Bill was our Tech instructor and ran a hard classroom as has already been stated in other messages of condolence. I lost touch with him over the past 10 years but he was always so pleased to see one of his "boys" and catch up over a beer. He was one of the "Old School" and will be missed. The photo with Kevin Taylor was also a blast from the past. When I left the Navy I took over from Kevin at a comms station in Darwin and then again later in Canberra when he had to retire because of ill health. Two great blokes who will be missed by those who can remember!!! The Chiefs' Mess up there is starting to fill up with a lot of years service from our branch!! VALE Bill & Kevin.

From Alan Murgatroyd:
Bill Lowe....How sad to see another good bloke gone. Everything said about him by other members is true. A great instructor and a truly great bloke when away from the front of the class.

I will post more information as it comes to hand.  Bill lived at Moruya, NSW, for many years.  Our thoughts and condolences go out to Elaine.

HMAS SYDNEY II Memorial Service

On Thursday 19th November 2015 the 74th Anniversary of the tragic loss of HMAS SYDNEY II and the entire crew of 645 Officers and sailors was held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place, commencing at 11.00am.

The MC was Chaplain Bob Durbin who is the SYDNEY Association Chaplain, and he asked all to stand for the March On of the Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies under the direction of the CPO Stuart Dollimore from Command Ceremonial . The Music was by the full RAN Band - Sydney Detachment., All remained standing for the arrival of the Guests of Honour, which included The Hon. Dame Marie Bashir AC CVO, former Governor of New South Wales, the Commander of Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer CSC and Bar RAN.

A Letter of Support from the Hon. Tanya Pliberesk MP, Federal Member for Sydney was read by the Chaplain Durbin.

The Address was given by Dame Marie Bashir AC CVO and her speech was well received by all. She spoke that she was growing up in Sydney during WW II and with media news blackout and when the news of the fatal of HMAS SYDNEY II with the entire crew, many could not believe this could have happened, and it was a part of Australia's Naval history that should never be forgotten.

Her speech was then followed by a speech from Captain Guy Holthouse RAN, 19th Commanding Officer HMAS SYDNEY IV , and he spoke warmly of this ship that he had commanded and all that had served in her, but at the same time, the name SYDNEY which 4 ships have borne that name and the new SYDNEY which will follow in a couple of years.

Prayers were then given by Chaplain Durbin and then the Wreath Layers were called forward and some of these included, The Hon. Dame Marie Bashir AC CVO, Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson AO DSC RAN Rtd and Commodore Nick Heyler MBE RANR (both co Patrons of the HMAS SYDNEY Association), Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer , Commander Australian Fleet, CPO Kerry Ross and AB Kristen Foster crew of the former HMAS SYDNEY IV, the RSL (NSW) , and I was invited to Lay a Wreath of behalf of the Federation of Naval Ships Assn . This is only a very small section of Wreath Layers, as there were many more.

The Naval Ode and Ode was Recited by Warrant Officer Mathew Hurley, Ships Warrant Officer, HMAS SYDNEY IV. Followed by the Last Post, One Minutes Silence and Reveille

All were asked to remain standing for the singing of the Naval Hymn and with great vocal support given by LS Mscn Tracey Kennedy . This was followed by the Blessing given by Chaplain Durbin and the all to join with singing of the Australian National Anthem

On completion, the Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies , Marched Off and this brought to the end of a very well conducted Memorial Service.

Here I had the chance to meet and talk with Rear Admiral Tony Horton AO RAN Rtd (Patron the the RANCBA NSW) , Ms.Meg Green, President of the War Widows Guild, Ms Angie Flint, Secretary of Combined Services Club, Phillip and Mary Bell (Mary is the Secretary of the Federation of Naval Ships Assn) to name just a few.

Then it was a case of making your way to the Bowlers Club for the Luncheon and refreshments. To put it mild, most were happy, as the weather had now reached 35 degs C, and wearing shirt/tie and jacket and no shade was not much fun.

At the Luncheon, a speech was given here by Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson AO DSC RAN Rtd, which was a very hard hitting and with what is taking place nowadays in this world.

Also at the raffle , Dame Marie Bashir AC CVO won one of the current SYDNEY caps and she was proud of this and had her photo taken with a group of very young serving sailors from HMAS SYDNEY IV.

A good day and a credit to all concerned.

Lest We Forget.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW


This Service was held on Sunday, 22 November 2015 to mark the 74th Anniversary of the loss of HMAS PARRAMATTA II which is held annually on a Sunday nearest to date of the fatal sinking of this very proud ship on the 27th November 1941

It was a very remarkable change in weather from the Service I had attended 3 days prior, this day was overcast, but no rain appeared.

The Service commenced with those able, to join in a short March to the Memorial and here with music supplied by the full RAN Band, Sydney Detachment.
We were then asked to stand for the Mounting of the Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies, once again under the direction of CPO Stuart Dollimore, Command Ceremonial.

Then when all seated, the MC Mr. Bruce Richens , Hon Secretary of the PARRAMATTA Memorial Sub Section, NAA , welcomed all .
Councillor Paul Garrard, Lord Mayor , Parramatta City Council came forward and gave a speech , hi lighting the close relationship between the four ships bearing the proud name PARRAMATTA and the people of Parramatta.

On completion, Chaplain Andrew Lewis RAN , carried out the Reading and asked all to stand for the singing of the Hymn, Psalm 23, and all to say the Naval Prayer

This was followed by his Address and then the Oration was given by Commander Simon Cannell RAN, former Commanding Officer HMAS PARRAMATTA IV, but now Staff Officer Maritime Warfare Centre.
He spoke of the proud name PARRAMATTA that has be borne by ships and the fatal loss of PARRAMATTA II which we set aside this special day to pay tribute and homage to the men lost when sunk by the submarine U559 on 27th November 1941 in the Mediterrean.

The Wreath Laying Service was then held , and here many were Invited to come forward , This included Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd who had been the first Commanding Officer, HMAS PARRAMATTA III.

The Lord Mayor Paul Garrard, Dr Geoff Lee MP, State Member for Parramatta, Relatives of the crew of HMAS PARRAMATTA II ,many and I many Delegates from surrounding RSL Sub Branches, Mr. John Haines AM , State Vice President RSL NSW, Here due to the President of the Parramatta RSL Sub Branch , Mr Rick Anderson being unavailable, could I represent the Sub Branch and Lay a Wreath and then Mr John Short , both RANCBA and FNSA Members , Laid a Wreath on behalf of the FNSA and Mrs Helen Moffatt Laid a Wreath on behalf of the RANCBA.
Also pleasing to see Ms Liz Watts who Laid a Wreath on behalf of the Ex WRANS.  This is only a small section .

On completion Mr. Ron Smith OAM , Castle Hill RSL Sub Branch Recited the Naval Ode and the Ode, followed by One Minutes Silence and then Reveille.

All were then asked to remain standing for the singing of the Naval Hymn and then the Blessing by Chaplain Andrew Lewis RAN and then the singing of the Australian National Anthem

On completion , the Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies marched off.

The Secretary, Mr. Bruce Richens invited all to adjourn to the Parramatta RSL Club for a Luncheon and refreshment.

Another very good and well conducted Service in memory of those who have served this Nation in the Royal Australian Navy.

Lest We Forget

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW


On Thursday 12th November, the harbour cruise offered by our very stalwart Member, Brian Gray was held. Those who had taken up this offer of $55 p/h started to arrive at number 5 Kings Wharf , at Pyrmont . By 11.45am all were there, and about 10 minutes later we went aboard the big MAGISTIC Cruise ship, and here we were welcomed aboard, and two big tables had been allocated to the RANCBA Members.

The setting was so great, with alternate black or white chairs, white table covering and black napkins. There was already decanters with chilled white wine and bottles of red wine, and should you decline, a waiter appeared with a bottle of Crown Lager etc. This was just the starters, Crown Lagers and wines came for all four hours. You only had to put up your hand and a waiter appeared.

The staff and crew on board were a credit to the ship and the Cruise Line.

The Luncheon was announced , and it was smorgasbord and you could not believe the amount of food available (the huge king prawns were great – believe me) and after there was a good selection of 6 desserts. You could also 'go around the buoy'.

We then had 4 hours of sailing on Sydney Harbour, and even though, the weather was rather overcast, this did not stop all enjoying themselves.

On passing Kirribilli House, the Royal Standard was flying, as this was the place the Royal Family would be residing whilst in Sydney. Also the Admiral's Barge was on the harbour, wearing a smaller Royal Standard.

It was a great day and already I have been asked, will there be another cruise soon??

Anyway full credit to Brian for this, and also it was so pleasing to see Brian Jackson (QLD) , Peter Baggott (QLD) and Gary Bawden (VIC) on board and to have a nice cold ale with them, long time between drinks from when we all served.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Vale Wayne 'Sprockett' Hedges R53619 (ex LRO)

It is with deep regret to inform you that former Ex LRO Wayne ‘Sprockett' Hedges passed away at 0100 this morning at the Redcliffe Hospital (Palliative Care). After his service in the RAN Wayne worked in DCA until his retirement, was a keen Fisherman, Bowler and Grey Nomad.

Funeral Details:

Funeral of Wayne ‘Sprockett’ Hedges will be held at the Great Northern Memorial Gardens, Tallowood Drive (off Deception Bay Road), Deception Bay at 0930 hours Friday 20th November. Medals to be worn.

Kev Ruwoldt
Lest we Forget

From Bill Aylott:
Very sad to see Sprockett has passed away. I served with him on HMAS Queenborough. Good times Sprock. Sympathy to family.
Lest We Forget.
Bill Aylott

From Ken Weaver:
Very sad to hear of passing of 'Sprockett'. He was one of my infamous 'D' watch, along with 'Dips' and 'Bugs' when I was POOW in Bonshaw. We enjoyed many a 'quiet' ale together and always had a smiling face.
RIP mate

From Fred Harper:
Saddened by the news of the Passing of “Sprockett”. I came across him a few times in the RAN, however, got to know him well during our time in DCA in Darwin. A Great guy.


Rob Dix Visiting Queanbeyan

Fm Lynn Gill:

Writing to advise that ex CPO Linguist Rob Dix and wife are currently in Queanbeyan. Rob is not in good health (he is 75!), and right now, I think if anyone wants to contact him, he’d be very glad for a chat.

They arrived in the area a few days earlier than planned due to his health issues, and at this point we have no diagnosis. He can’t walk much, which is a real worry.

Anyone who knows Rob is asked to get in touch and give him a bit of support. If you don’t know his number, flick me an email to and I will send you Rob’s number.

Lynn Gill


Update on Col Ware R93154 (EX LRO Submariner)

From Tab Hunter:

Received an update on the health of Col Ware (Submariner), from his wife via another friend.

Finally after seven and a half months in Westmead Hospital (but who’s counting), we are extremely pleased to be able to tell you Colin is finally coming home tomorrow afternoon !!! Despite the gloomy advice from one small section of doctors, Colin has been able to undertake 5 weeks extensive physio twice a day in the lovely Rehab Ward of Westmead Hospital. The young Physio who worked with Colin every day has achieved miracles and he is able to walk a few metres using his wheelie walker, looking a little bit like a drunken sailor, but nonetheless actually walking with me following closely behind with a wheelchair for safety!!

A metal ramp structure, not unlike Sydney Harbour Bridge, has been erected at the back of the house to enable us to get Colin in and out through the backdoor in a wheelchair as he will not be able to climb stairs, once again I feel the need to highlight “not unlike a drunken sailor”. He will need home nursing and ongoing physio and we understand the damage to his system is permanent, but we are so pleased that we ignored the “doom and gloom” brigade and refused to put him in a nursing home. Just goes to show, either you can’t keep a good man down or due to his deafness, Colin has misheard all diagnoses for the past seven plus months and thinks he has been in Hospital for ingrown toe nails !!!

We do realise it will be difficult at home, especially as he will not be able to be left on his own, but we are hopeful that some “babysitting” opportunities might allow me to regain some of the social contacts I have been missing and we are hoping that those of you living close by, or visiting Sydney, will drop in and visit … unfortunately, the same rules regarding “germ-free” will have to stay in place permanently as Colin will always be immune suppressed and will be closely monitored by his amazing teams of specialists at Westmead Hospital.

Thank you very much to those of you who have given so much support we couldn’t have done this without you … and I apologise for all the birthdays, christenings, weddings etc that we have missed and not sent cards … I promise 2016 will be a more thoughtful year, but you can all blame Colin for lack of contact during 2015 !!

Please make sure you all continue to live life as it should be lived and don’t keep anything for “best” … especially good scotch, port or china … use it every day.

Tab Hunter

HMAS SYDNEY I – SMS EMDEN Battle – 101st  Anniversary Commemorative Memorial Service

Today, Sunday 9th November, to mark this occasion, a Service was held at Bradley's Head, but unfortunately due to the inclement weather, with possible rain showers, the numbers were somewhat down.

The MC, was Mr. Maurice Green, APM with Chaplain Anthony Crook RAN Officiating. Music was by the RAN Band Sydney Detachment.

We were all asked to stand for the arrival of the Official Guests who included, the Mayor of Mosman, Councillor Peter Abelson, Commodore Peter Leavy RAN, representing the Commander Australian Fleet, RADM Stuart Mayer RAN , Mr. James Glossop son of Captain John Glossop RN who had been Commanding Officer HMAS SYDNEY I 1913-17 and Rear Admiral Andrew Robertson AO DSC RAN Rtd, Patron HMAS SYDNEY Assn

The Welcome was given by Mr. James Glossop who spoke of his father during this Commission from 26th June 1913 at Portsmouth, England.

The Battle Prayer was then given by Chaplain Anthony Crook , and following the Address by Ms Robyn Slade & Ms Nancy Purser both daughters of AB Cecil Turner who had served aboard HMAS SYDNEY I .

Following this was the Parading of 4 Memorial Flags in memory of the 4 sailors killed whilst serving aboard during the Battle with SMS EMDEN on 9th November 1914. The flag orderlies were Sea Cadets from TS SYDNEY, who were a credit to their Unit.

The Wreath Laying Ceremony was by Member of the Official Party, and on completion, if any former family Members of HMAS SYDNEY I wished to come forward and also Lay a Wreath.

The Naval Ode & Ode was Recited by Commodore Peter Leavy RAN, and then followed by the Last Post – One Minutes Silence and Reveille

All were invited to sing the Naval Hymn and then Chaplain Crook delivered the Benediction .

All were asked to stand for the Australian National Anthem.

This brought to an end of the Service

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Robin Clifford (aka Rigga Mortis) R50340 in Sick Bay

For those who remember this era, you would recollect the name 'Rigga Mortis' (real name Robin Clifford). I have been advised by his family that he is in Clare Holland Hospice, Canberra and the prognosis doesn't sound too good. It is his 80th birthday on Monday 9th and I will be visiting him with his family. He can receive visitors at any time, but don't know whether he will recognise too many people. Any further news to be advised.
Keghead Weaver

Update 07 November:

Have just visited Rigga in Clare Holland Hospice Canberra. He is being treated for prostate cancer but no prognosis given. He can have visitors but not greatly cohesive. It's his 80th birthday Monday. Will advise..... Keghead

From Shorty Moffatt:
I have just logged onto the QSO after attending a Memorial Service for HMAS SYDNEY I, and saw the news on Rigor. We go back a long way and he was indeed a legend, some of the things he did are all true., and nothing seemed to worry him. Live for today and see what happens tomorrow!!!!.

The last time I served with him was in Darwin 1960, and he was a great sparker and could read morse like it was his second language.

To anyone that shall be calling in to see him at the hospital, give him my very best and please keep me informed on his prognosis.
Shorty Moffatt

From Peter Archibald:
Sorry to hear Rigga is not well. We served together on HMAS Snipe during the Indonesian Confrontation and both got lashed up for acting in a manner "likely to bring discredit upon the service" after Rigga fell down a hole in Borneo when we were having a convivial run ashore, and sailing was delayed while we got his head stitched Great guy, and our thoughts are with him and his family.
Peter Archibald


From Dave Jeffrey:
I have been visiting Rigor at the Hospice, trying to sort out a DVA claim for prostate cancer. Unfortunately he is not part of the Vietnam crew, so it is a little bit more difficult - given his age. He turned 80 last week!! He is in good spirits, and at the moment is quite aware of his plight and his memory is still pretty good. Who sez alcohol kills your brain cells!!! I will pass on the regards of all communicators who know him. I will be seeing him agn today.

Fm Graham Bence:
I knew Rigor from Harman and he was a character. Always had his hands in the fire for a way to get on in this world.  Dave if you go in again can you give him my very best regards and give him a birthday greeting from me and tell him I'm thinking about the times in Harman..

From Dave Jeffrey:
I visited Rigor today (Thursday 10 Dec). He is starting to fade but is still in good spirits. He wants to go home, so I am trying to arrange with DVA for palliative care at home. He sends his regards to all his old mates.

From Dave Jeffrey:
Spent an hour with Rigor this morning. (Monday 14 Dec).  He is slowly fading away. He is very keen to get home, and we are looking at Palliative Care in the Home, if the doctors will let him go. He is still in good spirits, and still enjoying a whiskey at night. I have passed on all regards sent to QSO the World, and he thanks everyone. He reckons he might be the OD amongst all the old Chiefs waiting for him!!!!  I will see him again later in the week, and hopefully he will be home for Xmas.

From Keghead Weaver:
For those who still remember 'Rigga' I visited him yesterday (Tuesday 15 Dec) at the Hospice. He had just had a 'pain bout' and was not feeling too well and was very tired. It is very difficult to talk to him as his speech does not 'come out too well', but we were able to 'communicate' and exchanged 'niceties'. No prognosis. Will keep you advised.
Keghead Weaver (and Ruth - who is on the mend).

Update from Dave Jeffrey 19/12:
I visited Rigor again on Saturday morning (19/12). I believe they have upped the pain medication and he is now less lucid and hard to maintain a conversation. I promised him a cold beer before Xmas, so Artie Wyatt & I are visiting him on Tuesday. Will provide a further update.  He might not make the New Year!!

Update from Artie Wyatt 22/12:
Sadly accompanied Dave Jeffrey to visit Rigor Mortis at Clare Holland House today, where he is an induced state. “Rig” was non compus mentos, really sad to see an old mate just lying there, drugged and unaware of life, members of the family were also present, understand termination may occur on Thursday. Could you kindly inform RANCBA members of situation stating illness is terminal. First met “Rig” about 1959 when I was posted to CTRC Harman after the kellicks course at FND. Sorry to be the bearer of sad news.
Artie W.



Today, on the 3rd November commencing at 10.30am, in company with Ms Liz Watts, Secretary Ex WRANS (NSW) we attended a short but very well organised and conducted Service at the Kokoda Track Memorial

The Service was Officiated by Mr. John Haines AM, Vice State President RSL NSW (Metro) and also Chairman of the Kokoda Track Memorial Committee.

We were all asked to stand for the arrival of the Official Party, but here, I only recorded a few names and there was many more, some of these included, The Hon. David Elliott MP, Minister for Veterans Affairs in the NSW Government, Ms Jennifer Collins Deputy Commissioner DVA NSW/ACT, Mr. Rod White AM, President RSL NSW, Mr Andrew Scipione Commissioner NSW Police, Ms Meg Green President War Widows Guild, Federal Member for the area, NSW State Member and Local Government authorities, a Senior Officer representing the Australian Fleet Commander, many RSL Sub Branches and it was pleasing see many of the general public there

The Lords Prayer was given by the Rev Paul Weaver, Anglican Chaplain to the Concord Repatriation General Hospital and the Kokoda Track Speech was given by The Hon David Elliott. Nearing the end of his speech, rain started to fall and he advised all, that as he had served in Bougainville on Peace Keeping, it is not New Guinea unless rain appears. His speech was very well received by all.

This was followed by Visual Reflections –Unfolding story of 1942 this included many old news cutting and photos taken in New Guinea during those darkest hours. For those that may have attended the ANZAC Service this year , prior to ANZAC Day and the music 'Meeting the Sun', which had been especially written and played by the full Royal Australian Navy Band, the recording was played and it gave it that special meaning.

The Flag Raising Ceremony followed and this was carried out by Mr Reg Chard 55/53rd Battalion and ,Mr Dick Payten, Chairman 7th Division, both Veterans of the Kokoda Track 1942.

At the Wreath Laying Ceremony which followed,

The ODE was Recited by Mr Ron White AM, President of the RSL NSW, then The Last Post, a Minutes Silence and Rouse.

A Commemorative Prayer was delivered by the Rev, Paul Weaver and then a THANK YOU Speech by Ms. Carole Priest, Deputy Chair Person of the Kokoda Track Committee and also daughter of the late Rusty Priest.

On completion of the singing of the National Anthems of Papau New Guinea and Australia, this brought to end of the Service

Allan 'Shorty'Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

October 2015 Entries

Seeking Checkers and Gympie

My name is Kevin Dudman ex communicator R63088 1964 – 1973. Just read your page and came across a couple of familiar names, i.e. Checkers Aldridge and Gympie Inall. Served with both of them during my navy career. If they would like to get in touch with me, my email address is

Would love to hear from them

I have informed Checkers and Gympie, others may know Kevin and wish to get in touch.

LEEUWIN - The Final Chapter

For those of you who were once JRTE warriors, Alan Rodgers shares the following and will hopefully let us know about the "public briefing sessions to inform interested parties..."

 I wonder how much a housing block will cost?

Follow this link for more information on the meetings last week - sent by Alan Rodgers.


Vale Owen Steggles R94732 (ex ROS)

Bernie Brooks and Keggy Doyle inform members of the RANCBA that shipmate Owen Steggles crossed the bar this morning (at 0130, 21 October 2015) following a losing battle with aggressive cancer. Funeral arrangements will be advised in the days to come. Our deepest condolences go out to Gayle, Laura & Rhys and their families.
Lest we Forget
Follow this link for earlier posts on Steggs.

Funeral arrangements:

1330 Wednesday 28th October 2015
Garden chapel, Albany creek crematorium
400 Albany creek road, Bridgeman Downs
Refreshments following service at Pine Rivers Bowls Club.
DonAtions to The Prostate Cancer Foundation in lieu of flowers.

From the Archives:
Owen William Steggles R94732.  DOB 6 Feb 1949.  Joined RAN 05 Jan 65.  Postings Leeuwin, Sydney, Cerberus, Harman, Parramatta, Melville (postings after 1970 not known).  ROS2 April 1967, ROS 05 July 1967.

From Vic Ford:

It is with sad heart that I inform you of Owen (Steggs) Steggles crossing the bar at 0130 this morning 21 October after a battle with cancer. On behalf of the 10ther’s (10th Intake JRTE) I pass on all our condolences to his wife and family. Will be arranging a wreath on our behalf.
Gone too soon - RIP

From Ian Broadsmith:

Got word this morning that Owen Steggles lost his battle with cancer last night. You have likely got the word already but just in case ....  I joined with Steggs and remained friends through various postings and reunions - he will be missed but always remembered.

From David Stryker:

Saddened to hear of the passing of Steggs. He was was a great mate to many of us. My heartfelt condolences to his family. RIP mate
David Stryker

From Dusty Millar and Dick Lewis:

Saddened the hear the passing of Steggs, a small group of us ROS posted into COONAWARRA late 79 and Steggs taught us a few rigours associated with Top End posting. More times than not ended up down the Swamp and Ghetto. Great mate and wonderful memories. Condolences to Gayle and family.
Dusty Millar ex WOEWT

From Brian Dobson:

It is very sad to hear of the passing of Owen Steggles.
I was very lucky to share a cabin with Steggs in 69/70 at Melville where he introduced me to Chicken Man, Credence Clearwater Revival and Christmas Carols outside the Coxswains office to name a just a few. He will be missed by many people for many good reasons. It was always great to catch up at the Reunions for a chat and laugh.

My condolences to his wife and family.
RIP Owen Steggles.

From Dave Jeffrey:
Having not visited the site for a couple of weeks, I was stunned by Steggs' death. I knew him from the time he was a young sailor and last time I saw him in Adelaide 2011. My deepest condolences to Gayle & family, they were a great couple in Darwin and lit up Shoal Bay with their obvious love for each other. We will all miss him and as I said back in September, this has not been a good year for us oldies!!!
Dave Jeffrey

From Tony Froome:
Deeply saddened to hear of Steggs's passing. I first met him up at Coonawarra 74-76 and have many fond memories of him. Owen is one of those rare people who, when their name comes up in conversation or I think about them, I cannot help but smile. Sincerest condolences to his family..


First Victory

All signalmen should have a read of First Victory by Mike Carlton re the Sydney/Emden engagement in WW1. He tells the story of one John Seabrook who at a young age became a Warspite boy. When he turned 18, he was deemed fit to join the RN. He was drafted to HMS Ganges, a training ship to turn him into a proper Jack Tar. Because he showed promise and a quick intelligence, he was selected to be a signalman.
The defence rests!
Bill Aylott


Vale Norah Tuckwell (Nee Walmsley) WR4353 (ex WRAN TEL)

Denny Gorton advised by email that he had sighted a single entry in The Westralian (7 October 2015) of the passing of Norah Tuckwell, wife of the late CRS Ron Tuckwell.

Ron and Norah some time back, sold up here in the West and took up residence at Goulburn for his final years, and attended QLD, NSW and ACT activities from there.

Norah was a Walmsley dob 26.4.1931 and an ex WRAN TEL and married Ron in May 1954. She attended ex-WRAN WA luncheons and events with Ron, and thus kept me abreast of his travels, particularly the ex-HMAS Perth Communicators, of which there are several Forum photo entries of them/him. Ron was my CRS Regulator at Coonawarra in 1966.

I have copied an extract from The West's website to authenticate the advice of her passing.

I have included a photo of Ron and Norah at the 2008 Reunion Cerberus visit luncheon.

Best regards
Sandy McNab

Mrs Norah Tuckwell, widow of Ron, mother of John and Michael, mother-in-law of Elisabeth, grandmother of Joel and Alexander, passed away 6.10.2015.
We miss you Mum.

From the Archives:
Walmsley Norah, WR4353. DOB 26 April 1931, Joined WRANS 13 April 1953.  Postings CERBERUS, HARMAN as WRAN TEL, PENGUIN - WRAN TEL.  Discharged on marriage (Tuckwell) 8 May 1954.

Reunited, may they both now rest in peace.

From Trevor & Josephone Percival:
So sad to hear of Norah Tuckwells passing. I used to baby sit for Ron and Norah while at Coonawarra. A lovely couple. Our condolences to the family.


Vale John Gilbert 'Jack' Kleinhanss R44293 (ex Tel)

I believe Jack departed the planet on Monday 12th Oct.  Think he was in his early 80’s, do not know funeral details.

I don’t know much of Jack’s RAN time other than he was Comms – RO, may have been a higher rate. Served in Korea. Knew him throughout my CAA career, WA and PNG, nice guy.

There would be a lot of ex RAN COM/CAA FS/COM/ATO staff that would remember him.

Dick Cantwell
Lest We Forget

From the Archives:
John Gilbert Kleinhanss R44293.  DOB 6.2.1932.  Joined RAN 16.4.51, DEE 15.4.57. 
Postings:  CERBERUS (Ord Tel), SYDNEY (Tel), HARMAN (Tel).



One of our very stalwart members, Brian Gray, who is heavily involved with Cruise ships on Sydney Harbour has contacted me, and this year, instead of our Get Together being held at Parramatta RSL Club, that this time, a cruise and buffet luncheon on board.

The date that has been the most popular is the 12th November, and all RANCBA Members are invited.

Please read the following message and get back to me ASAP and your thoughts and whether affirm or negative. Many would remember the great times we had on board these vessels during the 100th Anniversary of the RAN.


Here's the details Shorty, note 4-hour cruise with deluxe buffet (option to disembark at 2pm). The web page talks about a 4 hour lunch cruise which is in fact a combination of the 2 hour lunch and 2 hour sightseeing. I'm not sure what all are interested in but I can do the lunch for $50 incl.

Allan 'Shorty, Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Vale WRAN Tel Audrey Cassidy

Notice in Saturday's paper.

Audrey Cassidy passed away 1st October 2015 aged 91 years. I believe she served at Coonawarra and Harman.

Funeral at St Andrews Uniting Church, Creek & Ann Sts Brisbane on Wednesday 7th October 2015 11 am.

Sonja Hellier


Not sure if the HMAS Whyalla is of any interest to the members, but if any other 'grey nomads' travel these parts it is recommended they drop by and have a look over the ship.

How they got it out of the water and loaded onto a wheeled platform and towed a couple of km's ashore is another story in itself. The photographed sequence of the uplift and transport are all at the museum.

The Maritime Museum is also a wealth of info as it also has a rich Mercantile history of its earlier ship building days. They also built three other AMS Corvettes at Whyalla and the Aussie coastline was plied by many National BHP ships bringing in coal for coking, limestone for steel making and exporting interstate. I think a couple were also lost to Japanese WWII coastal submarine activity.

Please use the photos if you wish.
Sandy McNab


From Dave Jeffrey:
I note Sandy's dit on HMAS Whyalla. We went over her a few years back, and in the messdecks was Blue Bushell's kitbag with some kit. Don't know if it is still there - perhaps not, as I'm sure Sandy would have mentioned it, as we both served with Blue in Coonawarra 65/66.



The RANCBA-ACT AGM is being held on Friday 9th October, 2015 at The Weston Club, Liardet St. Weston ACT. 1900 for a 1930 start.

No need to advise me you will be attending, but you can send in your apologies if unable to make it.

Finger food will be provided. The club has an excellent bistro if you would like to have dinner before the meeting.

All positions on the committee will be declared vacant, so please consider nominating for a position on the committee to keep our association alive and kicking.

Also, please remember to wear a name-badge, any association/event badge will do.

Please feel free to pass this email on to any prospective/lapsed members.

Our association needs and values your membership.

Peter Guy
02 6288 0828
0417 462 407


The 2015 RANCBA Victorian AGM meeting will again be conducted on Friday the 6th of November 2015 at the The Pumphouse Hotel, (located at the Corner of King William and Nicholson Steets Fitzroy – virtually opposite the rear of the Exhibition Building.)

Tram access from Flinders St Stn is via No 96 in Bourke St. Exit at No13 or No14 stop and then a short walk. Paid ticketed parking is generally available.

Note: The invitation to attend is also extended to “”all”” Ex R.A.N. Communicators and/or their partners.

The business of the AGM will commence at 1100 hours sharp so those who wish to charge their glasses prior to the commencement should arrive at 1045 hours at which time lunch orders will also be taken.

The menu this year will be similar to previous years eg

Entrée (your choice from)
Crisp Lemon pepper calamari, rocket and shaved cucumber salad, aioli
Bruschetta, tomato, feta, red onion, basil, balsamic glaze
Soup of the day

MAIN COURSE (your choice from)
Osso Bucco, braised in a rich red wine, herb and tomato ragu, pan-seared gnocchi, shaved grana padana, green olive gremolata.
Chicken Breast Saltimbocca, mushroom, bacon and cream cheese filled, herb buttered mash, greens, mustard seed crème.
Hand rolled Gnocchi, caramelised onion, wild mushroom and garlic crème sauce, truffle scented rocket,

NOTE: The cost will be $60 (same as last year) with RANCBA providing a limited tab for soft drinks beer and house wine.

For those attending, we would appreciate if you pay via the automated booking/event website.

See:- and then click on the REGISTRATION link and fill in the details.

The link also provides information regarding Game of Chance tickets and of course where relevant renewing your Annual subscriptions.

Please note for alternative arrangements, or if you need anything clarified please contact the Secretary eg Ian Hogarth on 03 9338 7068

September 2015 Entries


The RANCBA has been Invited to attend the Plaque Dedication Service and this time, also combined with the Federation of Naval Ships Association (FNSA) Church Service. This will be held at the Chapel , Garden Island, commencing at 10.00am.

Now as Garden Island is Safe Base Charlie, unless you have a current Official Pass, you have to park your car at the Navy Parking Station, (South) in Cowper Road and you will be taken by coach to the Chapel.

I need all names of those attending, the registration of your vehicle and passengers by 8th October . This is required by Security. Contact email or ph 9631 8068.

Dress is as for ANZAC Day and Medals where applicable.

On completion, morning tea is now provided at the Historical Bldg by the FNSA & RANCBA volunteers at no cost to all those attending. Though saying that, I have now have a Donation Box should any one wish to donate – it does not belong to either Association, and is used only for the purchase of incidentals, tea, coffee, milk, water,plates, cups etc.

Herewith names:

Gabriel Harrison Zemek BEM, CPO MTP
Robert Douglas Martin Ordinary Signalman
Leslie Birrell Leading Signalman
Alexander Watt CPO ( branch not known)
Kenneth Taylor Commodore
James Galpin – Leading Telegraphist



The RANCBA has been Invited to attend the Annual Memorial Service in honour of the men who served on HMAS PARRAMATTA II . This Service will be held at the Parramatta Naval Memorial, Queens Wharf Reserve, George Street, Parramatta on Sunday 22nd November, commencing at 11.00am.

There is a very small March prior to the Service. The RANCBA will be Laying a Wreath, and on completion of the Service all are invited back to the Parramatta RSL Club for a buffet luncheon.

In the event of wet weather, the Service will be held in the Parramatta RSL Club.

Dress is as for ANZAC Day – Medals where applicable.

Now names of those attending are required by 30th October , so could you send to me and I will pass onto our NSW Chapter Secretary, Ray Mundy or contact him direct on 0409 019335.

Hoping that as many as possible can attend and show your respect to those that have Served this Nation.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

VALE  Arthur Edward 'Tugboat' Shiplee 22727 ex Warrant Communications Officer

Dear Allan,

Arthur (Tugboat) Shiplee was a member of RANCBA. He regularly received your magazine although when the last one arrived he really didn't know what it was. Arthur died on Sunday night at Gosford Hospital after a short bout of illness. He was 95 years of age. He spoke warmly of the friends he made in the Navy. His naval service featured large in his recollections and his 7 grandchildren have all heard numerous stories many times over. Two of them wheeled him in his last ANZAC Day March 6 years ago. He will be missed by his family and many friends.

Yours sincerely,
Neil Macken

I first met Tugboat when I joined the RANCBA Committee in Sydney way back in 1976 and he was a Committee person. From what I remember he had joined the RAN back in the late '30's, as a Ord seaman (CB ) rating and served during WW II and Korean War, taking his discharge as a LCDR. One of his highlights he was so proud of, when he was the SCO on HMAS AUSTRALIA, they were supposed to be attending a function at Brisbane and all hands were turned to, painting ship etc, when an announcement was made on the PA, return all gear and prepare to sail. Next stop was Melbourne take on fuel and cold weather clothing and they sailed to the Antarctic to rescue a Doctor who had taken ill at one of the ANARE stations and by ship was the only way to get there.

I also remember when he was wheeled in his wheel chair with great pride on ANZAC Day.

He is now at Peace
Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

From Tank Evans:
I remember Arthur well when I was on the committee of the RANCBA and I think I joined just after Shorty. Tugboat was a nice bloke very friendly and good to be around. I am saddened to hear of his passing and would like to think he will be remembered by all that knew him as a happy and amicable person and I am sure he will be missed sorely by his family and friends. Farewell old friend. Tank Evans.

From Sandy McNab:
Saddened to learn of Arthur 'Tugboat' Shiplee's passing, and a wonderful innings of Service at that. Processing the National '99 Reunion registrations applications I did wonder how a nickname of 'Tugboat' could possibly have originated and for what glorious or infamous reason it stuck for all those years. When organising Reunion accommodation, Arthur requested info on Rosie O'Grady's in Fremantle right opposite the Town Hall where the Civic reception was to be held, to which he and a couple of others of his era booked in. I believe it was a recalled watering hole during WWII and he wished to revisit. And isn't that what Reunions are all about. RIP 'Tugboat'.

RANCBA National '99 Reunion Perth W.A.

The 'old meets the new'. In the foreground, Arthur 'Tugboat' Shiplee (1938-55) and maybe Len Boylson
(1942-46) seen mingling with some of the then current 'new breed' before the Anzac Day march.
Tugboat also appears in


Vale Anthony Edward 'Squatter' Thompson R52344 - ex SIG

Following has been passed on by Shorty Moffatt.

It is with great sadness that I inform you of the death of my husband Anthony Edward (Squatter) Thompson, known to his family as Tony.

SERVICE DETAILS: R52344 Anthony Edward Thompson commenced his service with the Royal Australian Navy on 23rd August 1956 and was discharged on 22nd August1962. He served on HMAS Cerberus 23rd August, HMAS Voyager 25th September 1957.  HMAS Harman 24th July 1959 & HMAS Melbourne 28 October 1960.

Tony saw service in Malaya and the Far East. Tony died peacefully on Monday 21st September 2015 and his funeral service was held in Taree on Thursday 24th September 2015.

Yours Sincerely
Eileen Thompson

Lest We Forget
Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

From Sandy McNab:
Taken at the Cerberus Sportsmanship Club luncheon. Grabbing the last vacant seat at the end of the table, yes I was adrift again after the tour of the then new Sig School. I did not recognise his name tag Anthony Thompson, and when he introduced himself as 'Squatter' Thompson memories of VKLP/5deltaPort 1961 flooded back, and so out with the photographs and a great chin-wag was shared. He was able to correctly identify 'Prairie' Meadows with him in a photo I had in the album. RIP 'Squatter' too young, too soon.

Sandy McNab & Squatter Thompson - RANCBA Reunion 2008

Squatter Thompson & Prairie Meadows 1961


Vale CDRE Alan Brecht RAN Rtd

Passing of Commodore AHR Brecht

I have been advised by Alan's son, Mathew, that "Lifetime Communicator" Alan Brecht passed away comfortably, yesterday afternoon around 4.00 PM Fri 25 Sep 15.

Alan had been seriously ill for several months prior to his passing. He was transferred from Hospital to their Palliative Care Unit last Wednesday and passed away on Friday.

Alan will be remembered by MANY Communicators as joining the RAN as an Ord Tel in 1957. He became an RS in 63 and proceeded to the UK to undergo Officers Qualifying Courses in 64. He spent much time in Canberra working in the Directorate of Naval Communications. As an Officer he was SCO of HMAS STUART and Executive Officer of HMAS MELBOURNE as a Commander. He then served as CO of HMAS Cairns. Alan was subsequently promoted Captain and was posted as Director of Naval Communications. In the early 90's Alan was promoted Commodore and posted as Director General Joint Service Communications.

For MANY years Alan was a Member of the RANCBA (ACT Chapter) and was elected Patron of this Association.

Alan's Funeral Service will be held in Melbourne next week. Details are yet to be advised. I will relay this information when known.

Alan will be sadly missed by his wife Jackie, children Samantha and Mathew, his many friends and Naval Associates.

Sent by Ken Swain
Ph: 0412 115 886 or 02 9907 9003

Funeral Details for CDRE A H R Brecht RAN

I have been advised by Alan's son Mathew, the funeral for Alan Brecht will be held as follows:

Date: Thursday 1st October 2015

Time: 1600

Place: Heritage and Heritage Funerals
733 Boronia Rd
Wantirna VIC 3152 (A suburb southeast of Melbourne City)

For further details, please contact;
Ken Swain
Ph : 02 9907 9003 or Mob: 0412 115 886

Vale Alan Brecht

My Dear Friends

Sadly, our dear friend Alan Brecht lost his battle this afternoon (Friday 25 September). Jackie was with him, and Mathew (his son) said *Dad was resting peacefully at the time*. Many of you will remember that Matt worked [way back] at Federal GC as part of the Bar Staff. Jackie was Alan's *rock* and Samantha, Alan and Jackie's daughter recently joined the family in Melbourne. I know this pleased Alan enormously. They were a tight knit and loving, caring family.

I have passed to the family ***our*** MOST SINCERE sympathy at this time.

Several of us grew up with Alan as our Leader, Petty Officer, Chief Petty Officer, Subby, Lieutenant, LCDR, CMDR, Captain and Commodore. He set the bar high and we all aspired.

More than that - we grew up with him as our friend. As we and he aged - several of us spent terrific time with him at Federal Golf Club as members of that fun group *The Dollar School [DS]*. I'd like to add that the *Drips* (Plumbers and Friends) will also remember our friend fondly - as they were part of a terrific rivalry known as The DS Vs The Drips.

Alan was (with Barry Cronan and me) an inaugural member of the Yarrawonga Dollar School Week of Golf - which became our current Merimbula Week of Golf. He came with us for 23 consecutive years.

I will miss my friend Alan. I know each of you feel the same.

Terry Feltham
Very sad news.  Many thanks to Ken & Terry for keeping us informed.  Our condolences and best wishes go out to Jackie and the family. May Alan RIP.

Fm Artie Wyatt:
Would you kindly include my condolences on the sad passing of Alan Brecht.  Alan was an excellent officer and communicator. Whilst I only served with him at DNC for a short period of time, he was a diligent, efficient Officer who expected and received full support from his staff and fellow communicators, my condolences to Jackie and family.
Sincerely Artie Wyatt.

From Shorty Moffatt:
Alan 'Snow' Brecht
It is with deep sadness I read of the passing of Alan. We go back a long way.  We were both were in the same year at Newcastle Boys High School , (also with another ex Communicator who has Crossed the Bar – the late Ex CPORS Max Stokoe.

Alan if my memory is correct, came from Teralba (Lake Macquarie) and at end of school we would walk to the local rail station as he had 2 trains to get.

Max and myself were in the same class, but Alan was in another, but at Assembly each Monday to say the School's Motto, sing the School song and the National Anthem, we would say hullo and then again at compulsory sport on Wednesday. There was another boy Noel Broadbent in our year, but he decided on joining the Stoker Branch!! and the School Captain at the time, was Kevin Gosper of Olympic fame who became one of Australia's Intl Olympic Committee.

Over the years in the Navy our paths crossed and it was on friendly basis reflecting back to our school years.
Rest in Peace
Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt.

From Frank Aldred:
It is with sadness that I read of Alan Brecht’s passing. Alan was a hard but fair senior communicator. He took me under his wing when I returned from the UK as a junior SD officer, helping me to assimilate back into the RAN after 2 years of the RN. Alan was always willing to help me in his roles as DNC and DGJCE, and was always welcoming after our service ended. Vale Alan.

From Ken Weaver:
As President of the ACT Chapter I would like to pass on the sincere condolences of myself, the committee and all of our members. Alan was our Patron for many years, attended many of our meetings and always had a few words of encouragement to 'help us along'.
He will be sadly missed.
RIP Alan
Ken Keghead Weaver

From RADM Rothesay Swan:
Indeed sad news. Alan was not only a great 'Communicator' but a loyal, innovative and hardworking Officer in whom I always had the greatest confidence. May he rest in well deserved peace.
Rothesay Swan (RADM)

From Paul Boase:
Please pass on my respectful condolences to Snow's family. It was a personal pleasure to have been the CRS on Melbourne for him. I will never forget the "little" notes he would give me to remind me of the "little" jobs that were outstanding. Rest in peace Sir.
Paul Boase

From John Farrell:
Served With Alan at HMAS Cairns for two years. He was a very professional officer with high moral and ethical standards. He was extremely professional and promoted this in those around him. He did me a number of favours one in particular being that he was instrumental in my being posted to commission HMAS Darwin. It is very sad news to hear of his passing. Condolences to his family.
John Farrell

Fm Robin Herron:
For a variety of reasons, chiefly health-related, I have pretty much lost touch with old friends in the branch. I actually learnt of Alan’s passing from some very old friends from my links in the 60s and 70s with DRCS at Salisbury. They too, were devastated to learn of Alan’s death. What many communicators may not be aware of, was Alan’s long-held interest and involvement in EW and his role in bringing ‘NULKA’ into service in both the RAN and USN. He was actually in retirement, when he was asked to assume the position of ASDPM in DMO, to get Project NULKA back on the rails – apparently it was in such a mess that cancellation was a very real possibility. Alan, in his inimitable fashion, sorted out the mess and then played a very significant role in the protracted negotiations with the USN, resulting in the signing of the NULKA agreement in August 1986.

Current RAN personnel owe a vote of thanks to Alan for his work in sorting out what had been a shambles of a project before he was asked to step in, and which has resulted in both the RAN and USN having an effective anti-missile decoy system in service.
Robin Herron.



My wife and I travelled to Melbourne on Tue 29 Sep to attend the funeral of our “long time” friend Alan Brecht. The funeral was held on Thu 1 Oct at Heritage and Heritage funerals, 733 Boronia Rd, Wantirna Vic. Also in attendance was long time Member and Committee Member of the RANCBA (NSW) John Short and his son John. They had also driven from Sydney. John joined the RAN with Alan in 1957 so they did their Ord’s Course together.

Alan Brecht became a legend in the Communications Branch. He joined in 57 as a Recruit Telegraphist, completed his Ord Course (with John) and was posted to HMAS Quickmatch in 58. He quickly rose to RS and in 1964 was posted to undergo Officers Qualifying Courses in UK for 2 years. On return to Australia in 1966 he was posted as SCO of HMAS PARRAMATTA. Having courted Jackie at Greenwich Naval College in 65/66 (Jackie was a 3rd Officer who hailed from Scotland). They married in 67. Alan was then posted as a Divisional Officer at the Comms School, HMAS CERBERUS. I returned from UK in 68 and joined Alan at the Comms School the same year. Thus began an almost 50 year friendship.

Alan was posted to the Directorate of Naval Communications (DNC) then to HMAS STUART as SCO. From STUART he was posted back to DNC. Along with several others he was transferred from the SD List to the GL List and promoted to LCDR shortly after. Alan and Jackie then went back to UK for Alan to undertake the “Dagger” Communications Course at the UK Defence College at Shrivenham UK. On return he was again back at DNC prior to being posted as SCO of HMAS MELBOURNE. MELBOURNE went into a long refit. Alan was promoted to CMDR and was reposted as XO of HMAS MELBOURNE.

He was then posted as Commanding Officer of HMAS CAIRNS, the navy’s major Patrol Boat base at Cairns. After this posting Alan did not let the grass grow under his feet for was promoted Captain RAN and came back to Canberra as the Director of Naval Communications. After a long stint as DNC he was promoted Commodore and posted as Director General Joint Service Communications. With his promotion to Commodore, Alan became only the 4th person to progress through the sailors ranks right up to Commodore and become the “BOSS” of all things Communications in the Defence Force of Australia... A great result from such “humble” beginnings. Alan remained a long time member of the RANCBA (ACT) and was their “Patron” for many years. He played golf with his communications mates at Federal Golf Club and could be relied upon to regularly attend the Golf Week along the Murray and later at Merimbula.

As expected, Alan’s wife Jackie “did him proud” at the funeral. In addition to Jackie, Alan’s children Samantha and Mathew and grandchildren also attended. Alan and Jackie recently moved to Melbourne to be closer to their children. In addition to John Short and myself the funeral was well attended by many members of Alan and Jackie’s Retirement Village at Rowville Vic. I received many emails wishing to be remembered to Jackie at the Funeral. I signed the ‘Condolence Book” on behalf of those who could not attend. I have listed these below;

“Keghead” Weaver, Artie Wyatt, Alan Moffatt, Dave Jeffrey, Jim Anderson, John Curbishley, Brian Willey, Ken Railton, Ron Cameron, Trevor Percival, Trevor Pike, Kerry Holmes, Ted Breukel, Doug (Pony) Moore, Jake Linton, RADM Roth Swan, RADM Tony Horton (Patron) RANCBA NSW.

Vale Alan Brecht...Perhaps the RAN’s most distinguished Communicator.

Ken Swain


The Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, 19th September 2015 with a good turn out by Members. Also in attendance was our Patron, RADM Tony Horton AO RAN Rtd, who gave a good speech and thanked all and carried out the duty of the Returning Officer when the President declared all positions vacant.

The 2014-2015 Committee was returned for the forthcoming term 2015-2016 with the exception of Frank Lawton who had advised that after 16 years on the Committee he would not be contesting this forthcoming year. His expertise, dedication and organisation will be badly missed but all wished him well.

Now, there are many Members who are un-financial. Subs are normally paid on the ANZAC period, so those that receive the RANCBA NSW Newsletter either by postal mail or electronic mail, and nothing is received by mid October, your name will be deleted from the Membership.  Should you wish to find out about your status, please don't hesitate to contact me by email or phone 02 9631 8068.

Its your Association and one of, if not the best in the Ex Service Organisation that started here in Sydney in 1946, so give your support, keep it running and viable.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

Ex CPORS Neil Beattie in Sick Bay

Gary Swanton passes on some sad news:

"Received advice that ex CPORS Neil Beattie is in ST Vincents Private Hospital in Melbourne recovering from surgery for multiple brain tumors. Neil discharged around 2000 and has been working in the IT Sector since. I visited him today and Neil is heavily sedated on morphine and whilst he can not speak, he did acknowledge my presence.

Neil’s wife Natalie advised that a couple of weeks ago, Neil reported having a migraine and didn’t feel well, shortly thereafter he collapsed and was rushed to Frankston Hospital for a suspected Heart Attack. After initial investigations were carried out it was decided to transfer him to St Vincents for further testing.

Following an MRI scan, it was discovered that Neil had several tumors on the brain and one of significant size on the brain stem which was the cause of his initial collapse. Neil has had surgery to remove one tumor from his brain, however, a decision has been made that the remaining tumors were in locations that were too dangerous to consider removal. The prognosis is not good and with one of Neil’s daughters travelling overseas, it is hoped that he hangs on for her arrival home this Thursday morning (24/9). "

If anybody has any stories about Neil that is print worthy, please share and I will pass them on to his wife Natalie.

Gary Swanton
Thanks Gary, our thoughts are with Neil, Natalie and their daughters at this difficult time.

Further information from Gary 27/09/15:
Neil has been defying the odds over the past week and is still be with us. Over the past week, his condition has somewhat stabilised although the prognosis is still poor. Neil’s daughter arrived back from the US last week which provided great relief to the remainder of the family. The latest update from Neil’s wife is that if the status quo continues, they may look at transferring out of St Vincents Private Hospital and into a location closer to his home in Somerville next week.

Vale Neil Beattie (ex CPORS)
It is with a heavy heart that I have been asked to advise you all that Neil passed away today (05Oct15) at approximately 15:15. Neil was relocated from St Vincents Hospital to a palliative care unit closer to home yesterday and it was after this move that his condition deteriorated. It appears as though Neil had suffered a significant brain seizure which subsequently contributed to his passing today. Neil's wife Natalie was with him and his daughters, Valerie, Kathryn and Alyce also had the opportunity to say goodbye. Natalie and the girls have also asked me pass on their sincere thanks to Neil's navy family whose kind words and thoughts over the past few weeks have provided the family which much need love and support. Funeral details will be posted once they become available. To a great man and a great mate, R.I.P Shipmate.
Gary Swanton
Ph: 0430 339 921

Funeral service for Neil will be:
Friday 16th October at 230pm
Chapel of Reflection at
Springvale Botanical Cemetery
600 Princes Hway Springvale
Refreshments afterwards on site.
Please wear touch of blue and the family ask for donations to Brain Cancer Research in lieu of flowers.
Notice in Thursday's Herald Sun.
Thank you...Natalie, Valerie, Kathryn and Elissa.

Donations may be made at and donation envelopes will also be available at the service.



The AGM for the ACT Chapter of the RANCBA will be held on Friday 9th October 2015 at The Weston Club in Weston ACT. Please mark your calendars. Further details will be sent at the end of the month.

Peter Guy

Chief Petty Officer James Richards CSC

Can anyone out there help with a contact for Jim. We have a pretty good honours and awards entry for him - but it is pretty much our story - not his.  We'd like to get some input from him.

I can be contacted as follows:

02 6593 6163

Terry Feltham

If anyone can assist please contact Terry direct.



RANCBA (Q) AGM/BBQ will be conducted at the Qld Maritime Museum on Saturday 31st October 2015 - 12 noon for 12.30 BBQ.

Cost $25 pp Names and payment to be forwarded to PO Box 119 HOLLAND PARK 4121 by Monday 26th October 2015,
Bank transfers to BSB 814 282 Account No 3061 6776 with remittance advice to 

Another old salt recently passed away -

Allan Baxter Dick B3388 Telegraphist passed away on 25th August 2015 aged 93. He served on Corvettes during WWII.

Many thanks
Sonja Hellier

Vale Graham 'Tiny' Linning R50356 (ex CRS)

Have just received an email from Graham “Tiny” Linning’s sister Irma of his passing away at 5.30pm 7th September.

I cannot tell you anymore than this but Bev’s address is C/- Post Office, Dwellingup, WA. 6213 – Ph 08 95381990.

Irma had told me previously that Graham was suffering with serious Dementia problems.

Kev Ruwoldt

From Shorty Moffatt
Really sad news, I knew Tiny from way way back.  When I first joined ANZAC at end 56, Tiny and Greg Howarth were the 2 AB's but they drafted off not long after. I came on his watch at Bonshaw a couple of years later.

He was a good hand and will be sadly missed by all that knew him.

Lest we Forget

Tiny, Sandy McNab, JCO Gray, Melbourne 2008

Tiny, Sandy & JCO Gray
Melbourne 2008

From Dave Jeffrey:
We are not having a very good September!!! I remember Tiny well from Coonawarra in 1965. We both had charge of a watch at the time. A good footballer (Rugby League) & a nice guy. His dementia has had him for a while now, I think I saw him last in Adelaide in 2011 and it had started then. Brian Lynch wasa LRO in the Books Office at the Signal School when I met in 1962. Once again haven't seen him for a while. We are losing too many too quickly. It gives one a feeling of having to look of one's shoulder!!

From Keghead Weaver:
Very sad to hear of the passing of 'Tiny'. Met him during my first stint at 'Harman' in '57 and we enjoyed the coldie or two at times. Great bloke and he will be sadly missed.
RIP 'Tiny'

From Kev Ruwoldt:
Tiny was doing his RS{Q} at FND when I started my OD course in 1959 at the Sig School and living in 'F' Block (C Block was being renovated) with fellow shipmates Tex Toohey, Noel Ellis and Bill Watts.

He was an RS at Albatross in 1960/61 when I was there and then RSOW (A Watch) in Coonawarra in 1965 with Wop Boydle and myself Ship/Shore Operators, Mavis Coe and Norma Erskine were the WRRO(T's).
1965 was a good time in Darwin, had a ball.

Last time I saw Tiny was in Perth at the 1999 Reunion on the first day at the bar (Registrations) around the swimming pool.  He didn't attend but wanted to catch up with his two lazy 'Sparkers' and other shipmates.  He did do the knife and fork course but I never had the pleasure of catching up up with him again.

From Trevor Percival:
I knew Tiny while in Coonawarra and found him very enjoyable company. I had some leave one year to my sister's residence at Scarbourough in Queensland. I met Tiny's wife Bev that year as she lived not far from my sister and Bev later joined the navy. RIP Tiny old shipmate.


Vale Bryan Joseph Lynch R52104 (ex CPORS)

It has been reported by Bernie Brooks and Dave Jeffrey that the Canberra Times today, Wednesday 16th of September, advises that ex CPORS Bryan Lynch crossed the bar on the 12th of September 2015.

A service to celebrate Bryan's life will be held at 1030 on Thursday 17th of September 2015 at the White Lady Chapel, 91 Crawford Street, Queanbeyan. Burial will follow at the Queanbeyan Lawn Cemetery, Lanyon Drive.

Sad news, may Bryan RIP.
Lest we Forget

Bryan Lynch 1967

From the Archives:
DOB 31.03.1939, Joined RAN 25/06/1956, ORD Tel 21.03.1957, Postings QUICKMATCH (RO 1958), ALBATROSS (LRO 1961), MELVILLE, CERBERUS, MELBOURNE (RS 1966), DEE CERBERUS 1968.
(Bryan re-entered at some stage post 1968 but I can't add service details as I don't have direct access to records after 1970.  If anyone can add to Bryan's service history please do so).

Bryan appears in the Sig School staff photo of 1967 -

Bryan Lynch (ex CPORS) in Sick Bay

I ran into Sue, the daughter of ex CPORS Bryan Lynch today in Queanbeyan. She informed me that her Dad is not traveling very well and the prognosis is not good. He has been diagnosed with Dementia and cancer of the brain which has spread through the body. At present, he is in Queanbeyan Hospital and is being made as comfortable as possible.

If memory serves me right, I served with Bryan when he was on the Melbourne in 1967. I asked him daughter if she wanted me to post this on the site. She would appreciate it very much. Contact with him may be difficult, as his memory is not good. I have given Sue the address of the RANCBA site to check messages of support.

Bernie Brooks
Many thanks Bernie, very sad news.  I will publish all messages of support.


Vale Kirwan Kerry RORISON R52637 (ex LRO)

I received the following from Max Miller that he had been informed that Kerry had passed away after a long illness.  Kerry had been a Telegraphist and then with the name change, Radio Operator, and on taking his discharge had a long career in Air Services (DCA) finishing in Regional Office SA/NT as Procedural Supervisor.   He developed MS and continued working for some time with this very debilitating disease. Kerry lived independently for a number of yeas before moving to a retirement home.
Max Miller

I remember Kerry and probably the first time we met, would have been on the bus taking us out to Bonshaw (HMAS Harman) back in 1959 and he was always had a smile on his face, nothing seemed to worry him. I used to think if ever he was run in on a charge, he would have fronted the OOD with a smile.

It was not long after that I left HMAS HARMAN and did not see him again till the RANCBA National Reunion held in Adelaide . He had made arrangements to come down to meet those that may have known or remember him. Along with Peter Davey, Peter Baggott and others, we took it in turns to push Kerry in his wheelchair for the whole of the March. To this, I would like to thank Barry 'Tex' Sheriff and Blue Kerr for allowing us to be up in the front, so that way if things went wrong we could just drop out to the side.

On the completion of the March, as he could not come to the Luncheon, having to return to a Retirement Home, so we had a couple of nice quiet ales with him and he was so happy. This was to be the last time I saw him.  For those that knew him, he will always be remembered for the happy smile he had.

The Funeral was held on Monday 7th September at Blackwell Funerals, Sandpiper Crescent , Aberfoyle Park, SA

He is now at peace.

Lest We Forget
Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
Sad news, I will add more details from Kerry's record of service shortly.

From Keghead Weaver:
Last met Kerry during the FESR Reunion with Bebbo in 2003 and we had a 'decent' session in the pub in Glenelg. He had his usual smiling face on and regardless of the wheelchair he always appeared happy.
RIP Kerry.

From Kevin Mongan:
I first met Kerry in January 1957 when we were in Bass !0 Recruit Class and Sig School at Cerberus. After Sigs Course we drafted (from memory) to HMAS Melbourne. Lost contact with him for a while and caught up with him again at Harman here we shared a 2 berth cabin. Did not see him until 2011 Reunion in Adelaide.
RIP Kerry .

Following received by Allan Moffatt from Denis Prider:
Hello Allan, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. Kerry's condition deteriorated due to his MS and he went to the Bethsalem Residential facility at Happy Valley probably around 2010 where he soon needed high level care and required a motorised wheel chair to get around. He would still make the considerable effort required to go out for lunch with us on many occasions as he did late in July. Unfortunately he had suffered a stroke which affected his speech and paralysed his right side. That was some time earlier this year. As if that was not enough the stroke was followed by two more in recent weeks which saw him admitted to hospital. Although he recognised me and his left hand shake was as firm as ever he was unable to speak. He was sent back to Bethsalem where he passed away on the 30th of Aug.We attended his funeral service on Mon 7/9. Regards Denis.


Stuart Lee Seeking Sue Orr

Introduction – Stuart Lee ex Navy communicator 1976-1982//ex wife Jillian Lee – nee Harry ex communicator 1980-1994.

Would anyone have a contact email/phone number for a lost friend Sue Orr.

Stuart Lee


The Annual General Meeting of the NSW Chapter of the RANCBA will be held on Saturday, 19th September, commencing at 11.00am at the Parramatta RSL Club, Macquarie Street, Parramatta and on completion our 'Get Together' will then be held. 

IAW with the NSW RANCBA Constitution, all positions of the Committee will be declared vacant , and any financial Member can be Nominated and Seconded to hold that position in the forthcoming year 2015-2016.

On completion the Get Together will be held and here all partners, friends and visitors are more than invited to attend. Normal procedure, $20 in the kitty glass, for drinks, but all food is at your own cost, (good Club cheap prices) Call it stumps when ever you wish.

For those that have never been there before, if coming by public transport (rail/bus) the Club is 10 minutes easy walk from the Rail Interchange. If using private vehicle the Club has its own Parking Station opposite the Club , but don't forget to take your parking ticket to get in validated on leaving the Club.

Also for those smoke, the NSW Govt Health Act regarding smoking is now in force, so you have to use the special area or go outside the Club itself.

Hoping to see you there – it's your Association, so come along and show your support

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

August 2015 Entries


At last have negotiated a price to suit everyone, plaques will cost $55 including p/p.

We have also obtained a supply of RANCBA Lapel Badges (Lapel size of the Crest on the plaque) $6 + $2 p/p.

All orders to be sent to Sonja and must include postal address and proof of payment.

Payment by cheque to be made out to RAN Communicators Assn (Q) and posted to RANCBA (Q) PO Box 119 HOLLAND PARK QLD 4121.

or direct transfer to:

RAN Communicators Assn
BSB 814 282
Account No 3061 6776

Please be sure to send remittance advice to so that your order can be placed on our data base and money receipted.

Lapel badges are now available, and plaques should arrive in a couple of weeks and will be sent on as soon as they arrive.

Sonja Hellier


'Renners' Renfrey (aka Knockerdog) R64392

Renners has asked for his contact details to be published (see below).

"Please post  my email and phone number if anyone wishes to contact me. My wife and I currently sponsor a Cancer Hospital in Vietnam so most of our time is spent there raising money to buy medicine and food etc.
0403 135 727
Married to Gaynor (nee Collins) ex WRRO


Annual FNSA Luncheon - 24 September 2015

The Federation of Naval Ships Association (FNSA) Luncheon is being held again in September at the Stranger's Room, NSW Parliament House. (See attached flyer).  All Serving & Ex Serving Communicators and their partners. friends are Invited.

The RANCBA is part of the FNSA who are responsible for our Sydney ANZAC Day March, Plaque Dedications and many Services.

Please come along and give your support.  Meet old friends from other Branches and make new ones.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Follow this link for the Invitation Flyer for Luncheon.

Sorry Everyone but I left a digit off the FNSA's bank account for when you do a Direct Deposit for the Luncheon. The correct numbers are BSB 062002 0080 2428. My apologies.

Kind regards
Mary Bell (Mrs)
Hon. Secretary,


Frank Bennie

Have had a request from Frank Bennie's daughter Lyndal. She is looking for any photographs of her Dad taken during his time in the Navy. If anybody has one or two could you please email them to

Graham Bence

Sandy McNab sends.....

In noting Graham Bence's write-up on the late Frank Bennie, whose earlier passing l learnt of at the 1999 National Reunion but not of the circumstance, prompted me to dig out and scan a couple of photos of yesteryear. The occasion being the completion of some new Admiralty Pattern RAN double brick and tile double cabins with inbuilt cupboards and real beds, behind what I recall as the old I and J blocks opposite the indoor swimming pool, with their 'open plan' donga's with wooden bench seats and tables, hammock rails, storage bin and wooden lockers.

These photos are endorsed on the back Herald & Weekly Times Ltd, Press photo Service, so I am guessing we four were seconded for an official press photo promoting the RAN's upgrading of recruit school accommodation at FND, circa possibly late 1958 or early 1959, but I stand corrected on that.


In the 'out with the old' hammocks photo on the left is the late Laurie Dripps and on the right the late Frank Bennie. In the 'in with the new' beds photo L to R is Laurie Dripps, Kerry 'Rocky' Lusk, Frank Bennie and myself. Noting my 'short back and sides' it may have been pay week.

We are all similarly shown in our R2 Class photo 2nd March to 26th August 1959 and after a short stint at Watson, working at Kuttabul MSO and thence to MHQ Bankstown for the annual Merchant Shipping Reporting exercise(s) it was off to our first sea drafts as very Ordinary RO's.

The late Martin McGurgan to the Gascoyne, Rocky Lusk to the Queenborough along with JCO Gray, Don Spencer to the Quiberon, Frank Bennie to the Vendetta, Kev Ruwoldt along with Laurie Dripps to the Quickmatch, and myself to join the then recently re-commissioned Diamantina back here at Fremantle.



The RANCBA was invited to attend and participate in the Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Memorial Service, This was held at Springwood on Sunday 16th August and the weather was perfect this year. Even though our numbers were down, we paraded our Mini Banner which was carried by 2 Air Training Corp personnel, LDG Cadet Reznor Gardiners and Cadet Gareth Lee-Smith, who did it well and with Tony Froome as our right hand marker and giving the Orders, the RANCBA were well received.

On completion of the March, all paraded at the War Memorial for the Wreath Laying etc. The Service was Officiated by Chaplain, Lt Col G, Aitken OAM RFD, Snr Chaplain AACHQ Canberra and the Guest of Honour and Guest Speaker, HE – General, The Hon. David Hurley AC DSC Rtd, Governor of NSW. The Catafalque Party and Flag Orderlies was provided by the School of Military Engineering.

The Guest Speaker spoke about how when he entered Duntroon Military College all of his Instructors were Vietnam Veterans and on graduating, he was posted to 1 RAR and once again most if not all of his Officers and NCO's were ex Vietnam and he has a special feeling for this Regiment.

At the Wreath Laying as it is now Vietnam and Associated Forces, I asked if the RANCBA could instead of Laying a Wreath or a single Book, that we have 3 RANCBA Members come forward as this would cover all periods of which we have been involved in. They advised me, yes, and many thanks for suggesting this.

On completion of the Service all were invited back to partake of refreshments and drinks and what I would call great entertainment.

Communicators in attendance. Frank Lawton, Paul Macklin, Tony Froome, Liz Watts, John Short, Don & Jan Ferguson, Max Miller, Allan & Helen Moffatt. Other Associations included Mrs Mary Bell – Secretary FNSA, Mr John Brynes HMAS SYDNEY Assn Mr. Rick Anderson Vung Tau Ferry Escorts to name just a few

I had also received an Invite in the mail to attend a Vietnam Veterans Day Service to be held at the 113th AGH Memorial Chapel , Concord Hospital on Wednesday 19th August commencing at 10.30am. It was indeed a full congregation and Officiated by Rev.Paul Weaver-Anglican Chaplain and Fr. Graeme Malone Roman Catholic, both Chaplains at the Hospital.

After the Welcome and Introduction , the Scripture Reading was Read by Terry Corcoran a Vietnam Veteran and then beautiful singing by 'Choir Monica', which was made up of 12 young ladies all wearing the traditional Vietnamese dress.

The Address was given by Dr. Rod Bain AM, NSW State RSL Councillor and Medical Advisor to RSL National. On completion of the Wreath Laying Ceremony, the ODE Recited by Mr. John Haines AM, State Vice President NSW – both are ex Vietnam Veterans. With the Benediction and the Australian National Anthem this concluded a very well organised and conducted Service

Among those in attendance, it was pleasing to see Ms. Angie Flint, Secretary of the Combined Services Club.

All were invited to partake of refreshments in the Conference Room.

I would like to make special mention of a young lady , approx 26 years old whose playing on a bugle of the Last Post & Reveille was nothing but brilliant, and when she played a trumpet at the National Anthem, and like many in attendance, made a point of giving their well done on both occasions.

At the end of the month, I have received an Invite to attend a Reception at Government House to be Hosted by the Premier of NSW, The Hon. Michael Baird to finish this period.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Owen Steggles in Sick Bay

I am writing to advise that another member of the RANCBA is not travelling very well. I have been in touch with Owen Steggles and he informs me that he is suffering from prostrate cancer. He has just rang to inform me that he is being admitted to the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane for further tests and possible chemotherapy treatment. He was meant to have an operation on the 31st of August but this has now been postponed.

He informs me that he is in a fair bit of pain but would love to hear from any old mates who wish to get in touch. His mobile number is 0402 817 351.

I am sure many members of the RANCBA will join with me in wishing Steggs all the very best for the future.

Bernie Brooks
Thanks for keeping us informed Bernie, we hope that Steggs responds to treatment and pulls through.

            Steggs - Melbourne Reunion 2008

All the best for your treatment. I went through it and I have survived. Keep your chin up mate.
Max Hemmy

Spoke to Stegs, first time in almost 20 years. He even knew who I was which was surprising. We reminisced and had some good laughs. Much needed. Take care.
"Renners" Renfrey.  Ala "Knocker"

Just a note to inform that Owen Steggles ex (S) is still in Wesley Hospital Brisbane fighting a very aggressive cancer. He is fighting extremely hard. The prognosis Is not good and he needs our thoughts and prayers. Saw him today and he is still in good spirits.
Graeme (Keggy) Doyle

Vale Geoffrey Allan McConnell R106979 (ex LSSIG)

Sad to inform you that Geoff died this morning at about 0630. His daughter Tracey is arranging the funeral which will be advised when known.

Sad news, may Geoff RIP.  More details to follow.  Follow this link for more entries on Geoff.
Lest we Forget

Funeral Details:
Arrangements are now in hand for Geoff McConnell's funeral to take place at 0900 Monday 31 August at the Norwood Crematorium in Mitchell ACT. The formal notice will appear in Saturday's (29/8) Canberra Times.
Medals are to be worn.
Dave Jeffrey


CDRE Alan Brecht RAN Rtd

I have just been informed that Commodore Alan Brecht RAN Rtd, has been admitted into the KNOX Private Hospital, Wantirna Vic (Eastern suburbs of Melbourne). His prognosis is not good.

Alan enjoyed a most distinguished career in the RAN. He joined as a Recruit Telegraphist in 1957 and advanced rapidly through the ranks to Captain, to become a Director of Communications in the 1980's followed be a promotion to Commodore and posting as Director General Joint Service Communications, the highest rank for a Communicator in the Australian Defence Force. Alan is well know to many communicators who served in the RAN in the latter part of the 20th Century.

My wife June and I will be travelling down to Melbourne this Friday to see Alan and his wife Jackie.

I will keep you informed of Alan's progress when we return from Melbourne next week. Anyone requiring further details can contact me via email at or Mob: 0412 115996

Ken Swain
Thanks Ken, Alan has beaten adversity before so let's hope he can do it again.  He is a former patron of the RANCBA (ACT) and was always active in this role with attendance at various Association functions.  I'm sure all Communicators who worked with him or for him over his lengthy career will wish him a speedy recovery.

Alan Brecht HEALTH UPDATE 12/8

Wife June and I arrived at Alan's bedside in Melbourne last Saturday. As previously indicated he was VERY poor.  As John Curb's also indicated, Alan has been crook many time previously and has always fought back. Well, I am pleased to report he has fought back again. We saw him again on Sunday and noticed a marked improvement.

Still NOT GREAT but certainly better. He picked up further on Monday so we headed back to Sydney. Alan's son Mathew advised me last evening that DVA have been REALLY terrific. They are putting in a LARGE electric Chair/Bed into home and arranging for him to be showered daily plus any other extra's he needs. Alan will be going home, (At his request) on Thursday. I emphasise...He remains, VERY fragile, BUT still "on deck". 

Alan and I wish to thank the following for their emails of support in the last few days;
Jim Anderson, Arty Wyatt, Dave Jeffrey, John "Dolly" Gray, Trevor Percival, Paul Boase, Alan Murgatroyd and John Curbishley.  Your messages of support have been passed on.

I am in touch with Alan's family each day, so please feel free to email me at or Mob: 0412 115 886 for a progress report if required. I will post a further message on this site as and if any significant development arises.

Best Wishes to All
Ken Swain

Following is SITREP on Ken (Keghead) Weaver

Went into National Capital Private Hospital (NCPH) for cardio version and was successful as arrhythmia now appears okay.  Unfortunately since returning home he has suffered many severe nose bleeds and as he is on blood thinners, they are very difficult to control.

Next was a cauterise of the offending blood vessel, but, due to so much blood being lost, his blood pressure is not good. Here's hoping it will improve.

Follow this link for other sitreps.

Ruth Weaver

July 2015 Entries

Vale Arthur Charles Penwarn MBE (B3418 Tel)

You might like to post the following Vale notice regarding one of your WW2 telegraphists as follows:

 Arthur Charles PENWARN, MBE, B3418 RAN.  Date of Birth 19 February 1921.  Category of service, Telegraphist.  Date of Enlistment 29 November 1941, Date of Discharge 02 April 1946.  Rank on discharge, Telegraphist.

Date Deceased: 30 June 2015

On being demobbed at PENGUIN in 1946 Arthur returned to his previous employment in PMG department (where he started as a telegram boy in 1937) and eventually ended up as the PMG State Purchasing Manager as well as President of the National Rifleman’s Association of Australia (nothing to do with American Rifleman’s Assocn) for which he received his MBE. Was also Treasurer and Life Member of John Oxley Sub Section of Naval Association of Australia Queensland Section, for over 50 years. But until a few weeks before his death he continued to do a Friday afternoon radio reporting shift each week at the Volunteer Coast Guard at Manly Qld. Once a Sparker always a Sparker!

Ross Wiseman (ex PO Scribe)
Vice President
Naval Association of Australia
Queensland Section
A good innings and a productive life.  May Arthur RIP.
Lest we Forget.


Bruce Spender would like to get in touch with Dave Jobson.

Dave attended the recent JR reunion in Maroochydore. I lost touch with Dave when I was posted to the States in 1972. Would love to catch up. My email address is

Anyone having contact details or Dave himself, could you please let me have them.

Bruce Spender

Just thought I'd let you know that I have exchanged emails and spoken on the phone with Dave Jobson. Received numerous to the QSO msg. Just demonstrates the wide readership of the web site. Many thanks. Bruce


Vale Thelma Thornton and Bob Bartlett

The current edition of Reveille mentions two former communicators in the Last Post. “THORNTON CT (Colin Thomas) R63344 TACT OP” and “BARTLETT RC (Robin Craig) R63077 AB CO”.

Thelma would be well known to many and Bob Bartlett did his RO’s course R5/65 with a number of us, including Bones Lehmann, John Strickland, Shorty Kennedy, Trevor Bickford and Les Allen (Wayne Nolan was another who started the course with us and from memory did not complete it).

During the course Bob and another OCO, Tony Brittain, did a runner and were recovered somewhere by the shore patrol, from memory they may have broken out of slot in Cerberus to take their unapproved leave. Both were later discharged, Bob after returning and failing his RO’s course, again from memory. Quite a few years ago I had heard that Bob became a commercial pilot doing charter and possibly regional airline work in South Australia.

Red Lipscombe
Tumut NSW
Lest We Forget

Fm Dave Sutherland 31/7/15:
I also read in Reveille, with sadness, of Thelma's passing. Plenty of ups and downs together - T4/66, KUTTABUL (briefly), HOBART for the 1968 Deployment, and, then HARMAN.

Many memories, one on posting to HARMAN together. We then both lived in the upper Central Coast of NSW, and his parents gave us a lift to Gosford to catch numerous trains south. During the course of the car journey, his mother made several references to 'Colin'. Thus, after over 2 years of serving together, I heard his correct name for the first time.

RIP CTT (Thelma's MSO fingerprint)
Dave Sutherland


I received an invite from the Premier and Government of NSW to attend a Reception in Honour of Korean Veterans to be held on Sunday, 19th July 2015.

Even though I went to Korea aboard HMAS ANZAC in 1957, (Commander JP Stevenson), by no stroke of the imagination could I be classified as a Veteran. My memories of Korea, is that we sailed in a Unit under the operational control of FO2 FES flying his Flag on the cruiser HMS BELFAST, in company with the light cruiser HMNZS ROYALIST, our sister ship HMAS TOBRUK (Captain R.Peek).

Prior to sailing from Hong Kong we had a big Union Jack painted on 'B' gun turret, and this was very evident as to why this had been done. When sailing between Nationalist Chinese on Taiwan and the Communist Mainland, in the Formosa Straits we were buzzed many times from aircraft and so we could be identified, this was one way of doing it.  Both were at warlike footings in this time at each other, and we wanted to advise them we were friendly.

We sailed up and down the coast of Korea, with stops at Pusan, Inchon where we were bussed for 2 hours shore leave into Seoul, spent at the big American PX . There was no over night leave, and the land and cities after 4 years of war was still very desolate and with cold weather, not very inviting.  Prior to sailing from Hong Kong we were issued with RN duffel coats, heavy mittens, heavy jumper etc for work on the upper deck . Also with no air conditioning, the warmest place was in your hammock.

Anyway yesterday in honour those that served there a Reception was held at Government House, commencing at 2pm .  The MC was the Mr. David Elliot MP, State Member for Veterans Affairs in NSW, and on completion of his Welcome Speech we were asked to stand for the arrival on the Governor of NSW, HE , General David Hurley AO DSC Rtd and accompanied by his wife Linda. Then Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd was called forward and he addressed all in attendance. He had served 2 deployments there, 1951-52 aboard HMAS SYDNEY then 1953-54 aboard HMAS ANZAC. Being a ex Service person and serving 2 tours there, his speech was very well received by all in attendance from the 3 Services and War Widows. The Premier The Hon. Mr Michael Baird MP came forward and spoke and thanked all those who have served and not only in Korea, but all Wars, Conflicts etc.

Then again Mr David Elliott thanked all and invited all the make their way outside to the gardens overlooking Sydney Harbour and partake of refreshments. The weather after all the very cold snap, it was a clear sky and the waters of the harbour looked a picture.

I met many I have known from other Naval Associations, and from other Services, and after a great time of meet & greet and the memories of those who had Served, say our farewells, it was time to make our way home.

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW
NB Please hold all emails from the 25th July till 16th August. Heading for a small cruise around the British Isles and coast of France.

BR 1615

I am a SW radio enthusiast located in Cape Town and I am seeking a original hard / photocopy or electronic copy of the CAW 'Common Aerial Working' Handbook B.R. 1615 for my Murphy B40/41 radio sets.

As far as I can establish the B.R. 1615 handbook was published around the 1950's.

The B.R. 1615 handbook relates to the use of a single antenna with multiple receivers.

Look forward to your reply.

Kind regards
Shawn Williams
If anyone is able to assist, please contact Shawn direct.

The following was fowarded by Sandy McNab who had been in contact with Jeff Dykes in UK (Check out Jeff's very informative website at ).

Your contact  seeks information about the HF/MF receiver B40 and the LF/VLF receiver B41 which we in the British Royal Navy called a CAY and a CAZ respectively.

In the early days, the receivers were fitted as one off's in small vessels [surface and sub surface] on single aerials and in larger vessels [surface] in multi fits using common aerial working systems. The main system was called Outfit EAL.

As attachments to this email, I have added a schematic of EAL and a textual description of EAL, which shows that this information comes from BR 1615 but also BR333 which covered ALL system {ergo, a BIG book of reference [BR]} .

The word antenna was never used by the British, the rationale being Get it right! A device which emits and receives radio waves is an A E R I A L - full stop. If you were a German or a French man you would say ANTENNE: if a Spaniard, ANTENA [one letter 'n'] and if an Italian, ANTENNA. Marconi [an Italian] is known as the father of radio communications, but, in the Royal Navy, Admiral of the Fleet H.B. Jackson [then Captain Jackson R.N.,] had as much to do with radio communications as did Marconi, at least in the embryonic days of the late 1890's. Unfortunately for us, our American friends copied the Italians, but we Brits say AERIAL. This little opening paragraph is taken from Chapter XVI of the RN W/T Manual dated 1920.
Jeff Dykes

Follow this link for the textual description of EAL.

Schematic EAL

Geoff McConnell in Sick Bay

Have just come home from the Canberra Hospital where I visited Geoff McConnell.  Unfortunately Geoff has been diagnosed with stage two Lung Cancer.  Had a sore leg last Wednesday, went to GP, and found himself in an ambulance on the way to hospital.  It has spread quite significantly through his body.  Geoff is happy for visitors and phone calls. He is in ward 11C bed 16.

A message for us all, he had no symptoms that he is aware of!!!!

Dave Jeffrey
Thanks Dave, let's hope that the treatment Geoff is receiving is beneficial and we see a rapid recovery.

If anyone from Canberra visits Geoff McConnell could they please pass on the best wishes of Tony Froome.  Tony hasn't seen Geoff for years but has good memories of him...'I wish him all the best...'

Update from Dave Jeffrey 31/7.
I spoke to Geoff's daughter Tracey yesterday, who reported that Geoff has had a heart attack and months have now become days. I will keep you up to date as things pan out.

Update from Dave Jeffrey 03/08:
I visited Geoff this afternoon.  He is back in oncology ward 14b - The Canberra Hospital. Was in reasonable spirits but the pain killers make him a bit hard to understand at times. Seems he had a burst blood vessel in his shoulder that actually cracked his shoulder blade!! Perhaps this was the heart attack reported last week. Will speak to his daughter and clarify the situation. Anyway, he is back to months again, and was happy to see the Timsons over the weekend.

Update from Dave 13/08:
Daughter Tracey advises Geoff has deteriorated and now delusional. If anyone would like to visit expect worst.
He is in TCH Ward 14b.


Seeking Paul Robert Cohen CSM (ex WOCIS)

We are trying to track the whereabouts of PAUL ROBERT COHEN, who was awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal (CSM) as a WOCIS in 2007.  If anyone can assist would they please contact me as I have a message to pass to Paul from Terry Feltham. Terry is assisting with the research for Ian Pfennigerth's latest book on honours and awards. They have not yet been able to track down Paul, so any assistance anyone can provide will be welcomed.

John Curbishley
Web Manager
Many thanks to Tony Froome who was able to put Terry in touch with Paul.


Website Updates

Website updates will be slow for the next couple of weeks while we move house.  If you are able, please hold any updates until early August.

John Curbishley
Web Manager
Sarah and I have moved temporarily to Wyndham Vale, near Werribee Vic.  We plan to be here for six months or more before we move permanently to Launceston, Tasmania.  Our eldest daughter lives in Werribee and is expecting her second child in the next week or so, so we will be busy assisting with grandchildren for the next few months.

I am now connected via NBN so normal services have resumed.

John Curbishley
Web Manager

JRTE 3rd Intake

Communicators attending the 54th reunion of our JR 3rd Intake 1961. Maroochydore RSL 11 July 2015.

Sam Hughes, Kit Carson (3 stints as SCO he reckons), Geoff Broomhall, Charlie Rigg, Stretch Beck, Max Hasson,
Pete Retallick, Chuma Hulme, Dave Jobson.

Please post on RANCBA web site. thanks.

Geoff Broomhall



I received a phone last night advising me of the passing of ex WW II Convoy Signalman Merv Bartlett and also if I could ring his daughter

I rang his daughter who told me that her father was 'now at peace' as he had been very ill lately and will now be resting. Unfortunately I cannot attend the Funeral, but should any Communicator live within the area of Port Macquarie, if they could attend and represent the RANCBA, it would be greatly appreciated.  Merv had been a Member of the RANCBA since it commenced here in Sydney 1946.

It will be held at the Innes Gardens Memorial Park Garden Crematorium & Lawn Cemetery, Harvey Phillips Drive off Oxley Drive commencing on Monday, 20th July at 10.00am

Convoy Signalmen were trained to man Merchant ships during voyages in convoy and even though the Captains & Officers in the MN were highly trained in seamanship etc, their skills in communications was very limited. On an average Convoy Sigs served on a minimum of 24 merchant ships during the war, they would arrive in Port from a Convoy in the forenoon, report to the Port Command Officer and then told to join another ship sailing that afternoon .

Lest We Forget
Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW


I have received a Invite from the Committee of the BMVV that the Annual Parade and Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, 16th August at Springwood . The Parade will start assembling at 11.00am , Macquarie Road ( just off the rail station) and the Communicators contingent fall in opposite the fire station.  On completion of the small march and the Wreath or Book Laying Service, a social function will be held at Royal Hotel to which all participating are invited.

The BMVV & Associated Forces now include , BCOF , Korea, Malayan Emergency, Borneo-Indonesian Confrontation, Vietnam, Peace Keeping, Timor, Iraq , Afghanistan, and the Skippy Squadron (they were crew of QANTAS who flew troops to Vietnam and medivac wounded home)

This year the Guest of Honour, is His Excellency, General David Hurley AC DSC Rtd, Governor of New South Wales.

Also this year, I will Lay a Book in lieu of a Wreath with the RANCBA logo inserted and presented to a School selected by the BMVV Executive

Hoping to see as many as possible. Dress is as for ANZAC Day, and full Medals where applicable. If you are attending could you notify me ASAP

Allan 'Shorty' Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA (NSW)

RANCBA VIC Regional Reunion 2015

Dear Fellow Communicators,

This year’s Regional Reunion will be held in Mildura from Friday 11th to Sunday 13th September 2015. It will take the same format as other years with a ‘meet and greet’ on Friday evening (about 1830 in the Deakin Holiday Park camp kitchen area), some sort of excursion on Saturday, Dinner at a local venue (probably the RSL) on Saturday evening followed by a brunch on Sunday morning (0930 in the Deakin Holiday Park BBQ area). Once again we will be asking for a $5.00 donation for the Friday evening smally eats as well as another $5.00 to cover the brunch on Sunday. All other costs will be at your own expense.

We will be holding the ‘meet and greet’ as well as the Sunday brunch at the Deakin Holiday Park (BIG 4) in Mildura. Unlike all of the other reunions, except Echuca, we will not be formally organising the Saturday ‘day’ event. There are many options for us to explore on the Saturday and we will make an adhoc decision and announce it on Friday evening what is on offer for the Saturday. The one I favour is a paddle boat cruise (about two hours) down the Murray. There is a bar and cafe onboard. Other options include a boat trip to a winery for lunch, etc. We will discuss it on Friday night but once again with there being so much on offer in Mildura people should be free to decide what they wish to do.

IF you know of other who may be interested in attending then please pass on the word. For information there is another BIG 4 Holiday Park across the intersection from the Deakin Holiday Park. One of these parks is ‘dog friendly’. Check out their website.

Looking forward to another good roll up for what should prove to be another great weekend.

Rod Withers
President RANCBA Vic


Could you place a message on this forum enquiring as to ex naval communicators who have become radio Amateurs since leaving pussers. There is quite a bit of CW activity on air these days and organised ex naval/ merchant communicators have international morse nets for those interested. More information can be gained by googling RNARS. Royal Naval Amateur Radio Society. The Queensland net control is onboard ex HMAS Diamantina. Other naval vessels are utilised in other states.

Brian Winterburn

RANCBA Plaques

We are in the process of re ordering RANCBA Plaques as presented during 2013 National Reunion in Brisbane.

To be able to get these at a lower price, we need to order a larger quantity. Refer to attached quote and artwork (already on hand from previous order) from our supplier.

It would be appreciated if your chapter could advise whether or not you would be interested in obtaining some of these plaques for distribution to your members, and how many you would require.

Many thanks for your consideration.

Sonja Hellier

Follow this link for plaque artwork.  If anyone is interested please contact Sonja direct.


Transmitting & Receiving Stations

I am working on a historical and conservation project with a consulting firm here in Canberra. We will be researching the history of communication facilities (TX & RX) , particularly in the Howard Springs region of NT (we are interested in both civilian and defence facilities in this area.

As many of us during our service spent some time in the Darwin NT area I would like to pick your brains and your memories.

Can anyone let me know what comms facilities were in the Darwin/Howard Springs area and does anyone know of a composite list of defence RX & TX stations throughout Australia – say from beginning of 20th century to present?

If anyone has any info on this it would save me a lot of time and assist in getting an accurate historical overview of Defence Comms.

Peter (Skeet) Dowling (CPORSS)
PS – I’m looking forward to seeing some of you at the reunion in Canberra.

Latest SITREP on Ken Weaver (Keghead)

Recent visit to cardiologist and ECG shows medication not having the required effect. This now means a visit to hospital to have the 'paddles' (electrical cardio version), which, we are told, has an 85% success rate. Let's hope we aren't in the 15%!! This does not happen for about three weeks, so we have a little waiting to do.

Follow this link for more info on Keghead.

Ruth Weaver
Hang in there Keghead, hope the jumper leads fix the problem.



To mark this Anniversary of the sinking on the 30th June 1941, a Service was held at the Base, HMAS WATERHEN.

Ken Swain (HMAS HAWK 1962 – Commissioning crew in the UK) along with his wife June, myself accompanied by wife Helen, and many others were invited.  Most were met at Waverton Rail Station and driven down to the Base, and then escorted into the Wardroom for tea/coffee refreshments (also it was much warmer inside there).

At 10.40am, we were then escorted to the Parade Ground, where seating had been set up for all invited Guests. At 11.00am, the Commanding Officer of HMAS WATERHEN , Commander Robyn Phillips RAN appeared. The Service began with an Introduction and the Lord's Prayer by Chaplain Darren Hindle RAN, and this was followed by the Scripture Reading (Psalm 107) by Petty Officer Joseph Cameron.

Then Commander Robyn Phillips gave the Address, and here she welcomed all and acknowledged the original owners of the land. Her Address was well received and she of the spoke of the life of HMAS WATERHEN, how she transferred with 3 'V' & 'W' Class ships, HMAS VAMPIRE, VENDETTA, VOYAGER and the Scot Class Destroyer HMAS STUART and they formed the 19th Destroyer Division. In May 1940 they were integrated into the 10th Destroyer Flotilla and then on the 29th June 1941, HMAS WATERHEN came under attack by German Stuka dive-bombers off Sollum Egypt, and she sank on 30th June 1941

On completion of the Address, the Sydney Detachment of the RAN Band played the 'Scrap Iron Flotilla March'. This was followed by a Prayer 'For Those Who Had Made The Supreme Sacrifice' by AB Peter Inglis and the Naval Prayer by LS Michelle Bush, followed by the Naval Hymn sung by all . The ODE was Recited by AB Paul Jones, then the Last Post, a Minutes Silence and Reveille. On completion the Australian National Anthem- sung by all

This completed the Service, but all were invited to remain for the Award Ceremony. This is where Officers, Senior Sailors and Sailors were called forward to be presented with Medals and other Awards for their Service by Commander Robyn Phillips. This was a very impressive function and full credit to all concerned, especially the recipients.

One of these included a very young AB CIS April Murray who was Awarded the Australian Operational Service Medal (AOSM).

At the completion of the Awards, all were asked to remain and partake of a BBQ Luncheon that had been prepared, and which I might add, was very enjoyable. It was here that I made the acquaintance of PO CIS Karina Mclean who had come on board and joined the RANCBA on ANZAC Day this year. So then, along with Karina, I met AB CIS April Murray and passed on the best wishes of the RANCBA for her Award. I also had the pleasure of meeting AB CIS Richard Hobby, and it is hoped they will become Members of the RANCBA. It was then time to take our farewells and be driven back to Waverton Station


Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
HMAS WATERHEN Service – Minesweepers 1965-66, & Attack Class Patrol Boats 1968-69 and part 1970.

June 2015 Entries


Well once again this very unique Service was held at the Chapel, Garden Island and it was a congregation of 150 plus in attendance.

The following had Plaques Dedicated a total of 18 were listed In this it included 5 Communicators. I have put an asterix near their names and also who spoke on their behalf.

AB William Clifford
*PO Signal Yeoman Rodney Clover ( his wife Gloria , accompanied by his sister Jennifer).
LSUW Peter Cousins
AB Athol Ewington
AB John Franks
*L/Telegraphist James Galpin (this was cancelled due his wife falling and breaking her hip and now in Canberra Hospital).
PO Theresa Hawkins ( the first female to serve at sea aboard HMAS JERVIS BAY and also the first female to be promoted at sea).
*LCDR W D Hunter who was the first OIC of Signal School .( I was contacted by Ms Jean Nysen who organised his Plaque, would I speak on her behalf and also as he had no NOK).
AB Arthur Johnson
AB Harold Murphy
*Telegraphist Rowan Paine (John Jenkins who had joined with him).
*L/Signalman Garry Pyke (Ex CYS Ian Schubert).
Ord Seaman Clifford Royston
Warrant Officer Edward Sheavils
CPO Ernest Wehrmann
AB Geoffrey Willis

The Service was conducted by Chaplain Warwick Cuthbertson RFD with music by the Sydney Detachment of the RAN Band.  The Naval Psalm was Read by Ken Swain AM.  I recited the Naval Ode and Ode.

With the Plaque for WO Edward Sheavils some that had attended and served with him on HMAS HOBART during its first deployment to Vietnam, RADM Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd who had been the first Commanding Officer, Bill Ross President of the HOBART Assn, Bill Bowley to name just a couple.

Communicators in attendance Ken Swain AM, Frank Lawton, Diana Avent, Andy & Jan Mills, Max Miller, John & Colleen Jenkins, Trevor & Joan Pike, Ian Schubert, Allan & Helen Moffatt.

On completion of the Service, morning tea was supplied to all by the RANCBA & FNSA and special mention to the volunteers who did the cooking of cakes/slices, made sandwiches etc John Byrnes (SYDNEY Assn) Diana Avent, Andy & Jan Mills, Ken Swain, Helen & Allan Moffatt. Unfortunately 5 of our normal volunteers were o/seas, but it came out well and with very favourable comments from those there.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President FNSA

Subject: 50th Anniversary Sarawak Tour Notices

Selamat tengahari Ladies and Gentlemen,.

August 2016 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Cease Fire and Declaration of the End of the Indonesian Confrontation. After some discussions during a visit to Sarawak last year, and a reciprocal visit to Adelaide by several Kuching government and business people in February this year, the decision to accept their invitation to place a Memorial for the Indonesian Confrontation in the Kuching War Memorial Gardens has been agreed to.

The Memorial will be sited next to the Australian SAS Memorial which is being unveiled during the first week of August this year. It will be a black granite block with the NMBVAA Inc bronze enamelled badge secured to it and made by a local Kuching craftsman, Mr Simon Sim who also made the SAS Memorial.

The attached notices provide an overview of the tour and I do not anticipate any major changes; a small list of preferred accommodation will be gathered at a later date with a list of sightseeing choices in Sarawak. I hope to be able to invite the NOK and family members of all of our casualties, and I look forward to hearing from you....I would also ask that you pass this info on to all former members of the various RAN, ARMY and RAAF units you may be in contact with please and of course all family and friends are welcome to join us....banyak bagusla dan terima kasih....
Brian Selby

Forwarded by:
Allan Moffatt OAM
If any Communicators are interested please contact me and I will forward the attached notices to you.

Vale Olive Mary Herd (nee Stone) WR347

Sandy McNab sends.....

As reported in the West Australian Tue 9 June, sadly the recent passing of Mrs Olive Mary Herd (nee Stone). Olive attended the National '99 Reunion with several other ladies of her era and was a member of the ex-WRANS WA Association.

From the archives, born 24/8/1921, she enlisted as a WR Telegraphist Group T adult 5/11/1942 at HMAS Harman for the duration of the War and showed her serving there to 31/12/1943, thence HMAS Leeuwin to 23/3/1944 and back to HMAS Harman 25/4/1944 and DEE HMAS Leeuwin 31/10/1945.

Olive’s funeral was held on  Friday 12th June at St Andrews Anglican Church, 259 Barker Road, Subiaco.

RIP Olive, a grand lady.


There has been a change of date for all FULL NAMES & VEHICLE REGISTRATION. They are now required to be at the Security Office by the 12th June and not the 17th as I previously advised. They will need to be approved for entry.

Hoping this will not cause any undue problems to anyone, but all those I have already received will be forwarded by this date.

Life is not meant to be easy !!!

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Vale Raymond Lewis Adamson R39426 (ex-SIG)

Could you please add the following as some of the old timers may remember Ray.

Ray Adamson, ex signalman sadly passed away on 21May15. Details from his funeral service were:

Raymond Lewis Adamson, R39426, 13Nov50 to 12Nov56. Ray served on Warramunga I which is how I got to know him when commissioning Warramunga II. He was an active member of the Warramunga Association (Vic) right up until his passing.

Rohan Jenning

Lest We Forget

Congratulations Dick Thompson OAM

Could you place on the QSO

Ex L/SIG Richard (Dick) Thompson WW II - Award of the Order of Australia.

On behalf of the NSW Chapter and also some that may have known him during his time in the RAN, then in the Antartica and in later years as Regional Director of DCA in the NSW Region , your Award of the Order of Australia is well and truly justified . BRAVO ZULU – SPLICE THE MAIN BRACE

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW Chapter

May 2015 Entries

Peter Puxty in Sick Bay

From Ray Davis -  following copied from RANCBA Facebook - placed by Glen Puxty.

Hi there everybody. Some of you are aware that my Dad, former ABRO(S) Peter Puxty (1964-76) has been fighting a really aggressive cancer for over a year now. Sadly, Dad has been told that he is not far from losing his battle and has been admitted to a palliative care unit at Ipswich Hospital.

He is being incredibly brave and still fighting but he is in so much pain now. Sorry to have to give such awful news but he wanted his fellow Sparkies to know what is going on.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts.

Glen Puxty
Sad news, our thoughts are with Peter as he fights this insidious disease and with Glen and his family during this very sad time..

From RANCBA Facebook site placed by son Glen Puxty.

Some sad news this morning at 0115 when my dad former ABRO(S) Peter Neale Puxty (1964-76) passed away in the Palliative Care Unit at Ipswich General Hospital. As many of you know, Dad fought a year long battle with renal cell carcinoma that ultimately proved too much for him. His funeral will be at Centenary Memorial Gardens, Qld on Friday the 12th of June at approximately 1000. In lieu of flowers, we ask of donations to be made to Soldier On ( ). He is now at peace and no longer in pain but we will always miss him.

Vale ex-ABRO(S) Peter Puxty R63314

From Ray Davis - VALE - Former ABRO(S) Peter Puxty
Just letting you know arrangements for Peter's funeral.  It will be held on Friday 12th June at 10am at Centenary Gardens, Wacol Station Road, Sumner Park. QLD.

From the Archives:
Peter Neale Puxty R63314. DOB 31.3.1948, Joined RAN 03.04.1964. Postings to 1969 - CERBERUS, DUCHESS, CERBERUS, HARMAN, HOBART, MELVILLE. Rated ROS 19.12.1966.

From Terry Gleeson:
Sad news to hear the passing of Pete Puxty. Have great memories from the late 70's when Pete used to run the cattle yards at Point Stuart station in the NT. He would invite his fishing mates from Coonawarra to visit and fish the then unheard of "Shady Camp" barra hot spot. Special times and lasting memories, RIP Pete old buddy.


Semaphore Show & Free Public Talk

We are currently running a show and a free public talk relating to signalling and communications and we think that they would be of interest to your organisation and consumers. So, I wanted to contact you and give you some information on the events to see if you would pass the information on to your network via your social media or website.

· The show is called Semaphore; it is a multimedia exploration of signalling, communication and miscommunication. Three dancers and eight musicians use Semaphore, Morse code, pennants, lights and binary code to create a complex coordination choreography of bodies, music and illumination.

Showing times:
Thursday 28th May 7.30pm
Friday 29th May 7.30pm
Saturday 30th May 2pm
Sunday 31st May 5pm

Tickets: Full tickets are $30, Concession are $20 and Student are $15.

Find out more information at:

· The free public talk is by Senior Naval Historical Officer at the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Sea Power Centre, John Perryman. Perryman discusses the history and development of visual signalling used in naval communications over the past 200 years.

Show time: Saturday 30th May at 6.30pm. It is a free event however bookings are recommended. You can book at the website:

· Both events are at Arts House, North Melbourne Town Hall, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne

If you think your consumers would be interested in either of these events we would very much appreciate if you could post the above information on your social networks or website.

If you have any questions regarding the events, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Thanks and kind regards,

Amy Watson | Marketing Assistant| Arts House
Arts & Culture | City of Melbourne | 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne 3051
T: +61 3 9322 3735 | F: +61 3 9326 8349 | E: | |

This may be of interest to ex-Buntings in the Melbourne area, in particular the talk by John Perryman.


Vale Jack Ronald Mahney R21305 (ex PO TEL)

Sandy McNab sends…..

It is with sadness I advise the passing of Jack ‘Mucka’ Mahney as reported in this morning’s West Australian death notices aged 96 years.

Jack entered the RAN 7.11.1936 as an ORD SEA II (CB) for 12 year’s service from the age of 18 years 10.12.1936 and paid off DEE as a PO TEL here at HMAS Leeuwin 9.12.1948.

Jack being one of the founding members of the ex-Communicators group headed up their Committee in W.A in the early 1950’s, possibly along with the likes of the late Charles Cole who himself was an original HMAS Tingira boy seaman. On the occasion of the National ’99 Reunion, at the Anzac day luncheon both Jack and Charles were presented with special plaques recognising their long term Life Membership. RIP Jack, a grand innings.

Lest we Forget

Re Jacks service years records to include:

HMAS Cerberus 7.11.1936 as an ORD SEA II (CB) passing as an ORD TEL 18.3.38 and drafted to the HMAS Sydney II 8.4.1938 and rated TEL 8.6.38, drafted to HMAS Stuart (Flotilla Leader Capt. Hec Waller) as a TEL 1.6.40, rated A/LTEL 4.1.42 drafted back to HMAS Cerberus 9.1.42.

His next couple of short postings are undecipherable on his service cards, however Penguin II 1.7.42 to pick up the HMAS Wallaroo 16.7.42.  Jack was aboard when the HMAS Wallaroo sunk after a 'darken ship' collision with a mercantile ship being escorted to sea west of Rottnest Is 30.9.42.

Drafted to HMAS Leeuwin next day 1.10.42, confirmed as a L/TEL 4.1.43 and drafted to HMAS Westralia 26.8.43.  His 1944/45/46 service years are not decipherable on his service cards, however it is noted that Jack was rated A/PO TEL 1.3.47 at HMAS Tarangau, and confirmed as PO TEL at HMAS Leeuwin 1.3.48 and drafted ashore DEE 9.12.1948.

Jacks funeral details from The Westralian:

Family and friends are warmly invited to a Funeral Service for Jack Ronald Mahney, formerly of Mt Pleasant and Bibra Lake, at the FREMANTLE Cemetery,  departing the main entrance Carrington Street at 2.30pm TUESDAY (26.5.2015).

Ean McDonald & Jack Mahney


The 74th Anniversary of the Commemoration of The Battle of Crete and the Greek Campaign.

On Saturday, 16th May I was invited to attend this Service and also to Lay a Wreath at the Cenotaph, Martin Place,
It was a very well organised and conducted Service and I have never seen so many Wreaths outside of ANZAC Day. I was no. 34 to Lay a Wreath and approximately 76 Wreaths were Laid.

The MC was Colonel Graham Fleeton Rtd with the Cataflaque Party by the RAN and music by the Band of the 1/15 NSW Lancers, accompanied by the Choirs of St. Euphemia College,& All Saints Grammar School & St. Spyridon College.

The Guest Speaker was by His Excellency, General , David Hurley AC DSC Rtd Governor of NSW and the Address by Lieutenant General Georgios Paraschpoulos, Chief of Staff of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the Response Address by Colonel Glenn Weir Asst Commander 5th Brigade, Malaya Lines, Holdsworthy.

The First Blessing was given by the Reverend Father, representing the Archbishop Stylainos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and then by Chaplain Bob Durbin, RSL Lifecare (many may know him when as a Ex WO Greenie in the RAN and then involved with the RSL NSW).

Wreaths as previously stated were laid by many including, the Governor of NSW, Representatives of the Federal Government and Opposition, NSW Government and Opposition, Consuls of New Zealand, Canada, the United Kingdom, and more importantly, a survivor of the 2/4 Infantry Battalion (surviving ANZAC's) 6th Division, and 3 WW II New Zealand Veterans, the 3 ADF Services, Commodore Tony Partridge RAN, Group Captain Andrew Doyle RAAF, Colonel Glenn Weir, Ms Jennifer Collins Asst Commissioner DVA ACT/NSW, Mr. Peter Stephenson Vice President RSL NSW, Commander Ken Barnett RAN Rtd, Mrs Wendy Thompson NSW State President War Widows NSW to name just a few .

I would have to say that the MC did a very good pronunciation of the Greek names !!!! and there were many

On the completion of the Recital of the ODE , The Last Post, and SACRED SILENCE, and Rouse the National Anthems of Greece Australia and New Zealand were played.

All were invited to the VAULT Hotel in Pitt Street, just off Martin Place for refreshments which completed a great Service, and I was privileged to be part of this Service.

Allan Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Names of those who will have a PLAQUE DEDICATED on 21st JUNE 2015

For ex Communicators I have placed an asterisk before their name. Years shown after name is time served in the RAN.

AB William Clifford 1938 - 1949
**PO Yeoman of Signals Rodney Clover 1966- 1976
LSUW Peter Cousins 1963 - 1973
AB Athol Ewington 1941 - 1946
AB John Franks 1942 - 1946
Stoker Sydney Furlong 1940 - 1946
** L/Telegraphist James Galpin 1939 - 1958
PO Theresa Hawkins 1981 1996
AB Arthur Johnson 1938 1942
AB Clarence Johnson 1941 - 1953
AB Harold Murphy 1943 - 1946
** Telegraphist Rowan Paine 1954 - 1960
** LSmn Sig Garry Pyke 1963 - 1975
Ord Smn Clifford Royston 1943 - 1945
WO Edward Sheavils 1963 - 2010
CPO Ernest Wehrmann 1939 - 1951
AB George Willis 1938 - 1943

Now, also for those that read the article I placed in RANCBA Newsletter and the QSO Website re LCDR W D Hunter RAN the first OIC of Signals School (Flinders Naval Depot ) now HMAS CERBERUS, I received a beautiful letter from one of the first WRAN Telegraphist, Ms Jean Nysen who has arranged for his Plaque also on that date.

I then received a correspondence from the Chaplaincy Centre, that this will go ahead, but his name will not be on the Order of Service as they are already printed.

Now with 5 departed Communicators having a Plaque Dedicated on that day, it would be great if the RANCBA was well and truly represented.

Should you be attending, as Garden Island is now "Base Safe Charlie", I will need your names, passengers and car Rego to be forwarded to me no later than Wednesday 17th June so that I can coordinate and forward to Security.

Dress as applicable to this day. Full Medals where applicable to be worn.

Morning Tea to all those attending will be provided after the Service by the RANCBA & FNSA.

Allan "Shorty Moffatt OAM
President FNSA & RANCBA (NSW)

Checkers Aldridge in Sick Bay

Just letting all know that Checkers Aldridge (ex LRO) is back in hospital. This time he has lost his third finger on the right hand down to the second knuckle.

The doctors say it was from Austio-my-litus (bone decay) which could have been caused by him knocking it. My guess though is that it is related to his diabetes.

Currently in the Hand Hospital which is in Sydney Hospital, Macquarie St, Sydney. Second floor West Ward.

They say he will be there for at least another week.

Will keep you posted if anything changes

Gympie Inall

Update from Gympie 18/05/15:

Just a short note advising that Checkers Aldridge is still in Sydney Hospital.

They are looking for a place to send him for rehab – He is having problems with medications which are holding up the process.

Will give an update when more is known.


Further update on Checkers Aldridge - 25 May

They have moved him to the Metro Rehab Hospital located at 275 Addison Road, Petersham.

He has a phone beside his bed – 8585 4935 if anyone wishes to have a chat to him.

I rang him today and he seems in good spirits. He thinks he will be in there for a couple of weeks depending on how the rehab goes.

Will give another update if anything changes


Follow up on Checkers Aldridge - 10 June

He is now out of Rehab and back home. He seems to be in good spirits although you never know with Checkers.

He would tell you black was white if he thought he could get away with it.

He can be contacted on his mobile 0407 939 585


ANZAC SERVICES - Gallipoli - Turkey - 25th April 2015

I had the very great privilege of attending the ANZAC Services at Gallipoli on the 25th April 2015, and happy that I accepted the notification to attend.

It will be hard to put all that happened in a short report and even though there were some small hiccups, they were nothing compared to what the original ANZAC's had to endure. It was cool and we did have some waiting around on completion, but we did not have heavy artillery, rifle machine guns firing and hand grenades firing down on us from above, and with the weather conditions they had to endure with no relief.

I had travelled with Insight Vacations who did a great job, and our guide, Ahmet Turgut was a very knowledgeable person and along with our coach driver made sure we were at the Services. It all began at 4pm at our accommodation, a hotel called the Barbarossa (very new) in the area of Assos. We had a meal at that time and by 4.30pm we were on our way, and prior to leaving given boxed breakfast food (no muesli or milk!!!), also in our back packs, gloves, heavy jackets, scarves, water bottle, and any medication that you would require over the next 24-36 hours. In our coach was 40 Aussies and Kiwis making the journey, and only 3 of us were ex Service personnel. We also had the usual jokes about sheep and Kiwis!!! 

Our first stop was at Cannakale where we joined other coaches for the ferry voyage across the water. Our number was 263 so you can imagine how many coaches, buses were heading there. After the ferry voyage, we started on the road and then came the first of three Security checks. Prior to leaving Australia all those who had received approval had received nice Security cards with your name, passport number etc. At the first check we received a nice carry bag containing a beanie with Gallipoli 2015 printed on the front, a poncho, a Commemorative Service book, a book of ANZAC, a lanyard, a Gallipoli lapel pin to name just a few of the items. Also we had a wrist band fixed on your arm. The next stop was a check on your back pack for illegal drugs, alcohol and also another wrist band to say you have been checked. Then we had to leave our coach and start walking.

On arrival at the sight were the Dawn Service was to take place was now full but we managed to find seating for two, even though Helen and myself were the only Aussies amongst about 20 Kiwis, we had a relatively good position. It was now about 2.45 am and rather cool, and with the breeze blowing off the waters gave it that bit of extra bite. Gloves, beanies, jackets and blankets wrapped around yourself was now the order of the day.


0500am the Service began and in the following Order.

Spirit of Place, an Australian Indigenous performance by William Barton , then a Soliloquy about the Landing at Anzac Cove by Warren Brown, then a Roll of Honour of those ANZAC's who died at Gallipoli. then Karanga - a Maori Call to Gathering (this was performed by Women of the New Zealand Defence Forces)

0530am  Dawn Service

Music by the Australian Army . the New Zealand Defence Force Band - All Hallows Gallipoli Choir all under the Baton of Lieutenant Colonel Andrea McMahon Director of Music ARA.

Introduction by MC, Major-General Mark Kelly AO DSC, Rtd , Repatriation Commissioner , DVA. Catafalque Party is Mounted by Members of the Australian Federation Guard and the NZ Defence Force. Call to Remembrance by Air Marshal Mark Binskin AC, Chief of Defence Force Australi . the Address by the Right Honourable John Key, Prime Minister New Zealand . A quotation by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, President of the Republic of Turkey 1923 - 1938 (this was given by a Serving Turkish Army Officer).

The Hymn God our Fathers, Address by The Honourable Tony Abbott MP Prime Minister of Australia, the Reading by His Royal Highness Prince of Wales, the Prayer of Remembrance by Monsignor Glynn Murphy OAM Director General, Chaplaincy Australian Army, the Lord's Prayer by Chaplain Class One Lance Lunkin RNZCHD . then the Wreath Laying by Official Representatives, the ODE of Remembrance by Lieutenant General Tim Keating MNZN, Chief of Defence New Zealand, The Last Post, One Minutes Silence, Reveille.

National Anthems Istiklal Margi (Turkey) Australia and New Zealand , then the Final Blessing by Monsignor Glynn Murphy OAM. , the Catafalque Party Dismounts and Official Party Departs.

We then had to make the journey to Lone Pine which was to commence at 11.00am

Lone Pine.

Music by the Australian Army Band under the Baton of Lieutenant Colonel Andrea McMahon.

Official Party arrives. Introduction by MC, Major General Mark Kelly AO DSC Rtd, Catafalque Party Mounts, the welcome by Senator the Honourable Michael Ronaldson Minister for Vets Affairs,  the Reflection by Air Chief Mark Binskin AC, Chief of Defence, the Bible Reading by The Honourable Bill Shorton MP, Leader of the Opposition, the Hymn Abide with Me, the Reading by His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales, the Address by The Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia, the Reading by a Student Maximlian Classsens , Scots of Riverina who was Winner of the Simpson Prize , the Prayer for the Australian Defence Force by Monsignor Glynn Murphy OAM , the Official Wreath Laying , the ODE of Remembrance by Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN Rtd, National President of the Australian RSL, the Last Post. One Minutes Silence, Rouse, the National Anthems of Turkey (Istiklal Marsi) and Australia , the Catafalque Party Dismounts, Official Party Departs and then Public Laying of Wreaths (there were many different Associations who participated in this Service). 

Now all those who were not walking to Chunuk Bair (the New Zealand Service) had to remain seated but could witness this Service on the big screens . 

I had hoped to meet up with Frank Lawton as we were both allocated seating in A3 stand and Bill Gadd in B2 stand, but with 10,000 in attendance this did not come about, but seated behind me was ex LTO Neville Sampson from Port Pirie SA, so during the break and the long wait for our coaches etc we spent the time , do you remember, what became of so and so. etc. Neville was aboard a cruise liner and had come ashore that morning and would be returning that night and sailing away.

The coach I was on did not leave till 1905pm so by the time we arrived back at our hotel (2300pm) it had been a long time, having been up since 0600am the previous day (we had a tour in the forenoon the previous day) but it was worth it.

Along with our group on our coach (263) we then did a ten day tour of Turkey, knocking up 2835 kms, it was so clean, green and I only spotted 3 pieces of graffiti and it  was totally different to what I thought I would see and the people were so nice and I would recommend to any who have the chance to go there - GO - you won't regret it 

I hoped that I have been able to convey how good this Service was to mark the 100th Anniversary of ANZAC at Gallipoli.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW 


From: Terry Gleeson <>

Currently on passage Cairns to Darwin, have a couple of special occasions to share on QSO.

Had a quiet but enjoyable ANZAC Breakfast at sea, at anchor off Coombe Islet FNQ. The flag hoist is from the Sydney reunion, looking a bit faded now, but still managed a proud flutter in the breeze. Weather at the time was magic. Listened to the Dawn Service on the SW radio with a freshly baked ANZAC biscuit and a (strong) cup of black coffee. Very special.

Further north spent a few days of fine weather cruising the outer reef, and yesterday left the reef and entered the Coral Sea via the Tijou reef passage for some blue water fishing. Later the same day, re - entered the reef via Bligh Boat Channel. This was the path through the reef found by Captain William Bligh on 28th May 1789, in his epic launch voyage following the HMS Bounty mutiny. What a buzz it was for me to retrace that passage,

Cheers All,
Terry Gleeson
M.V Accalia
(VJD 3536)


What a life!  Thanks Terry, all the best.

April 2015 Entries

Cryptanalysts in Navy

An interesting story for the Communicator family and maybe a link to it from the Forum.

Shorty may inquire if she is on the RANCBA or ex-WRANS books.

Sandy McNab

Just to let you now that Jean Nysen is a member of the Sydney WRANS Assoc and Pamela Nichols is a very active member here in Victoria.
DGNP - Staff Officer (Reserve Finance)


1OO Years of ANZAC

I received an Invite from Mr. John Haines AM, Chairman of the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway, and also Vice President RSL NSW to attend a Service this morning, Sunday 19th April, to attend a Dawn Service at 05.30am and Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of ANZAC. As this would be my last attendance at ANZAC Services here before I leave for Gallipoli tomorrow, I advised that I would be happy to attend, and remember those Communicators who have Paid the Supreme Sacrifice in all Wars and Conflicts..

After rain overnight by 5.00am, it had cleared and even though it was very dark, there was no chill factor. On arrival we were met by Members of the SES who then provided us with a bag containing a big Red Poppy, a Book on ANZAC, a small torch still in its case and the poncho - just in case.

We were directed and guided along the pathway to the area for the Service, and for those who had received Invites, seating had been arranged but there were many hundreds of the public standing who had made the journey to Commemorate this event.

The Service commenced with a introduction and then Mr, John Haines spoke, and then the full RAN Band (Sydney Detachment) under the baton of the Director of RAN Music LCDR Paul Cottier RAN., accompanied by the Gondwana Choir a music piece specially commissioned and which lasted 18 minutes called "Meeting of the Sun" was played and sung. This had been arranged by the Composer, Ms Elena Kats-Chermin. Absoultely brilliant and nearing the end the dawn was breaking to add to the arrangement.

The Guest Speaker, His Excellency, General The Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Rtd) Governor of New South Wales who had been accompanied by his wife Linda gave the Remembrance Speech.
There were many Federal, State and Local Members, Members of the Consuls of United Kingdom, United States of America, New Guinea, Turkey to name a few. Also in attendance Ms Jennifer Collins Deputy Commissioner of DVA ACT/NSW , Commissioner Andrew Spicione, NSW Police Force, many RSL Sub Branches and by this time many thousands of the public
On completion of the Official Laying of Wreaths , and the National Anthem, 100 white Doves were released , being one dove for each year of the 100 Anniversary.

After Benediction we were invited to rejoin the Kokoda Track and at a space arranged, Lay out Poppy in an area which when all poppies laid will be one big Red Poppy.

It was what I would call a very well and extremely organised Service and full credit to all those concerned and feel very privileged to have been Invited to attend.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW


Sandy McNab sends.....

Well that was a quick 8 months since my previous amendments and these updates reflect some recent activity e.g. HMAS Canberra III, LCH's Brunei, Labuan and Tarakan II and some updates on the earlier final fates and dates of others I have since read of.

HMAS Sydney IV although she flew a paying off pennant arriving Sydney, have they actually had a formal decommissioning stepping ashore ceremony like the LCH's at Cairns, or is she technically still a support vessel in commission for technical training purposes alongside? I guess some advice from current CIS ADF readers per medium of this QSO Forum will be forthcoming.

A further expanded sheet 4 now includes a swag of NAP private craft which were requisitioned during those bleak 1941 - 1944 years. 

Still keeping my eyes open for anything I can find on the Callsigns of the WWII Armidale I and Wallaroo I, and have drawn a blank in all my reading.

If we make it to Melbourne later this year, perhaps a couple of days at the National Archives could be productive. Pat is provisionally planning a late July departure with the caravan, and be away all of Aug, Sep and home mid to late Oct. Will cross one rabbit proof fence at a time and see how far we get East after the Nullarbor. Parts of S.A. we wish to revisit and on into some of VIC.

I hope all the Anzac Day marches are well attended by the Communicator family on this special Centenary occasion and that it is a great event for all participants.

Best regards from the West.

Follow this link to the Names and Callsigns page.

Sandy found the answer to his question re HMAS SYDNEY decommissioning from an ABC TV extract.

"After 32 years of service with the Royal Australian Navy, HMAS Sydney has made its final entry into its namesake city.  The guided missile frigate, will be decommissioned at the end of this year. The ship will support technical training courses at Garden Island until then".


ANZAC DAY 2015 Arrangements Melbourne

The details are contained in our newsletter in the following link!

RANCBA (Vic) 2015 Autumn Edition Newsletter available for viewing online (by following this link) – See 'Vic Chapter' via the main menu.

All serving and retired Communicators together with widows and other family are welcome to join us.


Ian Hogarth

RANCBA WA ANZAC Day Arrangements

Perth members of the RANCBA will fall in on the north side of St Georges Terrace, west of William Street. We are in Section B (Naval Section) - number 40. The march will commence at 9:30am and we are to fall in 4 abreast and will march along St Georges Terrace, right into Barrack Street, left into Riverside Drive, and left onto the Supreme Court Gardens.

For those with partners/wives in the Ex WRANS, they are to fall in behind us at number 48.

The RSL will also have Sunset Services in Kings Park and Botanic Garden - each evening from Sunday April 19th through to Friday April 24th. These services are conducted around the Flame of Remembrance starting at 5:00pm and finish at approximately 5:30pm. The services will be held over six evenings and will focus on a different theme each evening with the programme including a wreath laying ceremony.


Norma Dix
Secretary, RANCBA (WA)

David Lackey Seeks David Osborn

Shorty Moffatt has passed on the following:

Hello Shorty, Speed gave me your address in the belief that you could help me. I am trying to find David John Osborn, R59617, who joined with me in January 63.

He left in 65 as an OTO after we went to Vietnam and was working as a male nurse at Ryde Psychiatric Hospital. That was the last time I saw him.

I spent the last 45 years in North Queensland apart from a few years in Brisbane.

Hoping that you can help me.

Thanking you,
David Lackey

15/04/15 - If anyone can assist please contact David direct.


Jim Anderson Seeks Denis Fitzpatrick

I’m wondering what happened to LCDR Denis Fitzpatrick, a PWO C, who was at Navy Office with me in the mid 70’s. He seems to have dropped right off the radar.

I’m not sure now, but I seem to recall the late CAPT Harry Adams (when he was CO at Cerberus) telling me that Denis had transferred to the RN.

Just wondering if anyone in the Forum can confirm that as I’d like to catch up with him again.

Jim Anderson

AE2 Anzac Centenary Amateur Radio Special Event Operation

On 25th April 1915 the Australian submarine HMS AE2 successfully breached the Dardenelles and entered the Sea of Mamora whereupon it sank an enemy cruiser. The submarine surfaced, erected its timber mast and sent an arrival confirmation signal to the War Council aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, not knowing whether the message was received or not due to AE2 radio equipment malfunction.

In fact the message was received aboard HMS Jed and relayed to General Hamilton, presiding at the War Council meeting which was debating whether to withdraw all troops from Gallipoli or not, having been there less than 24 hours. It is understood that the message from the AE2 was seen as a good omen, the decision to remain and undertake the Gallipoli Campaign was made, and the rest is history. Our Anzac Legend and history was born.

As part of extensive amateur radio Anzac Centenary celebrations, a team of six operators has been formed to activate Morse and SSB activity across the MF and HF amateur bands during 25-30 April 2015 as a memorial tribute to the AE2 and her gallant crew, including Telegraphist Falconer.

The following ex-RAN personnel are team members:

Mike Wellen-Charteris VK4QS, former Electronic Warfare Systems Operator, operating LSB/USB modes on HF bands at various times and on a number of frequencies

Mike Patterson VK4MIK, former ''Droggy" and self-taught CW enthusiast, operating CW/LSB/USB modes on HF bands and various skeds during 0200-2300 UTC only on 27/4/15

Dr David ''Doc'' (Wescombe-)Down, VK5BUG, former Radio Supervisor & relief Radio Officer on European ice-breakers, operating CW on MF (472-479kHz & 1818kHz) 1130-2030 UTC each night

Further information is available at VI4AE2

"Lest we forget"

Dr David Wescombe-Down PhD ScEdD
VI4AE2/5 AE2 submarine ANZAC centenary
VK5MGY/RMS Titanic centenary
"Promoting Low Bands CW Down Under!"

Merchant Navy Memorial Service

This Service was held today, Sunday 12th April 2015 at the Merchant Navy Memorial Gardens within the confines of the big Rookwood Cemetary.

It commence at 11.00am the Welcome by Mr David Field , Chairman Merchant Navy Memorial who then handed over to the Officiating Clergy, Sister Mary Leahy OAM Chaplain to the Merchant Navy Sydney. For those who have never heard or spoke to her, she indeed one great person and should you ever have the chance, go up and say hullo to her.

Some of those in attendance, Captain Neville Teague AM CSC RAN, Naval Support and Representing CN Rear Admiral Tim Barrett AM RAN and Australian Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer CSC and Bar RAN. Mr Peter Sinclair AM CSC RAN Rtd and now on Board of Directors MN War Memorial Fund .Mr. Sean Barrett RNZN Rtd, Mrs Jennifer Collins Deputy Commissioner ACT/NSW DVA to name just a few.

Seated beside me was a Mr Joe Miller who will be 102 in July this year, and he is so active. He first went to sea in 1931 during the Depression and the only job he could get was as a 14 year old Boy Deck Hand. He was torpedoed whilst now a rated AB on Coast Farmer, on the 7th July approx 15 miles off Jervis Bay. He had just come off watch (8pm - midnight) as wheel hand on the bridge, put on pyjamas as it was freezing when they were hit. When rescued 2 days later he was still wearing his pyjamas and he told me "from that day on, he never put on pyjamas on whilst at sea, but wore clothing that more suited to going over the side in!!!). In 1981 after 50 years at sea from deck hand, the Australian Government advised him he was too old to go to sea and hang up his marlin spike as such.

Captain Richard Sandeman-Gay, Company of Master Mariners and Vice President Merchant Navy Association introduced the Guest of Honour to deliver the 2015 Address. Here Mrs Jennifer Collins gave a beautiful speech , the vital role of the Merchant Navy in WW I an WW II and now the 100th Anniversary of ANZAC.

After the Hymn Eternal Father Strong to Save, the Naval ODE and the ODE was Recited by Mr Don Kennedy, President MN Sub Branch, followed by the Last Post, One Minutes Silence and Rouse

This was time for the Wreath Laying , and there were many. I had the Honour of Laying a Wreath on behalf of the Federation of Naval Ships Association

The Hymn Amazing Grace was sung and whilst all still standing, the Royal Anthem, God Save the Queen.
Halfway though the Royal Anthem, loud bangs close at hand were heard by all. When the Final Prayer and Benediction was spoken , we were advised that they would like to thank the Chinese people for their Gun Fire Salute. Appears they were holding a Service near and fire off crackers etc. It sort of made a final tribute to a very well conducted Service.

"Lest We Forget"
Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM'

Mystery Flaghoist

I have been looking at some old ship photos on the 'Photoship' web site and have noted that a lot of the RN warships were flying a hoist that has me stumped and I was wondering if one of our older signalmen might shed some light on it (no pun intended).

The ships appear to be entering harbour at various ports and are flying in a superior position what appears to be a red or blue ensign over what looks like flag Mike.  The photos are pre, during and post World War 2.

I have attached an example of the cruiser HMS DANAE flying this hoist. 

I hope someone can put me out of my misery.

Phil Roy


From Dave Sutherland:
To add fuel to the mystery, perhaps the flag MIKE is "The white diagonal St Andrew's Cross of Scotland"
Further fuel in the attached picture - HMS DAUNTLESS - flying flag MIKE (?) above the UNION JACK.
Yours in bunting
Dave Sutherland

From Bruce Spender:
Re Phil Roy's flag question. I believe that it is a fleet designation, i.e. Mediterranean Fleet or Alpha if Atlantic etc. I have seen photos of RN ships operating together with both Alpha and Mike being flown by different ships in the same formation. I would welcome any clarification if I am wrong. If Bill Huggins was alive he would be able to confirm, as it was at his place that I saw the photos.
Regards Bruce Spender.

Makes sense to me.  I don't know why flag MIKE is flying inferior in one photo and superior in the other but I agree with Bruce's explanation.
John Curbishley


VALE PORS Robert Athol (Timber) MILLS R94824.

I was advised earlier today that Timber succumbed to cancer at the Mater Private Hospital in Rockhampton. His daughter, Katie, was at his bedside.

Timber was a very private person and when I became aware of the seriousness of his illness I visited him in Brisbane in late February. He requested that I not make his situation public to others, and although it was difficult, I respected his wishes.

He moved to Rockhampton a few weeks ago to live with Katie and her family and he was happy being there. He indicated to me he did not wish to have a funeral or memorial service, however if that has changed I will advise this forum. He was a great mate and will be missed although he has plenty of catching up to do with Snoopy Hooper and Bryce Diggle.

RIP Timber.

Bones Lehmann
Lest We Forget.

From the Archives:
Robert Athol Mills, R94824, DOB 7.1.1949, Joined RAN 4/4/1965, Postings (up to 1970) LEEUWIN, PARRAMATTA, CERBERUS, ALBATROSS, SYDNEY, MELVILLE.  RO2 January 1968, RO August 1968.

Timber also appears in the Signal School Staff photo of 1977 as a civilian.

From Max Hemmy:
RIP Timber. On Derwent way back. In same intake in '65.

From Dave Sutherland:
RIP Shipmate. The definitive LEADER of the pack on the Deadly D(erwent) up top 1975.

From Geoff Bridger:
RIP “Timber” Mills .. Shared some hilarious and fun times rampaging through SE Asia back in 1975 on the Derwent. A genuinely really nice guy, and will miss the odd email funnies and phone catch ups. Condolences to his family.

From Geoff Worth:
So sorry to hear of Timber's passing. I have many good memories on the Sydney with him.

From Bazza Lehmann:
The family of Timber have asked me if it would be possible to place the attached memorial invitation onto the RANCB website for those that may wish to attend. Sadly I cannot attend as we will be travelling in Europe.
Thanks.  Follow this link for the memorial invitation.


March 2015 Entries

Battle of the Java & Coral Sea Commemoration Service

This Combined Service for both Battles was held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place on Friday 27th March 2015 in what could only be described as a perfect weather day.

The MC was Cmdr Ken Swain AM RAN Rtd with Chaplain Andrew Lewis RAN Officiating, the Cataflaque Party and Flag Orderlies by HMAS WATSON and music by the Sydney Detachment of the RAN Band under the baton of Bandmaster Lieutenant Mathew Klohs RAN..

Guest of Honour, His Excellency, General David Hurley AC DSC Rtd Governor of NSW and accompanied by his wife Linda and the Guest Speaker, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer CSC and Bar RAN.

Among the many Guests were, RADM Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd , Patron of the Java & Coral Sea Service, MajGen Peter Gilmore Commander Foirces Australia, Air Cdre Tim Innes Representing the Air Commander, Mr Willem Cosjin Consul-General Netherlands, Ms Stephanie Bunce Representing Consul General USA Mrs Jennifer Collins Asst Commisioner VETS Affairs, Cdre Powell British Def Advisor and Naval Attache Canberra .

Also Mr Lyle Phillips President & Mr Mike Kay President & Secretary PERTH Assn, Mr. Don Kennedy President MN , Mrs Amy Taylor AM Past President AWAS, Col. Harold Jacobs Netherlands Defence Attache, Commander Rebecca Jeffcoat RAN . Commanding Officer HMAS KUTTABUL, Mrs Rosemary Stockley OAM President WRANS & Naval Womens Assn, Mr Bill Ross & Mr John Withers OAM President & Secretary HMAS HOBART Assn , Mrs Mary Bell Secretary FNSA, Mrs Liz Watts Vice President FNSA, RADM Rothesay Swan AO RAN Rtd, RADM Tony Horton AO RAN Rtd, Mr David Elliot MP Representing the Premier of NSW, Mr Alex Hawkes Representing the Federal Member for Veterans Affairs, Ms Amanda Fazio MLC Representing the Leader of the Opposition NSW. Mrs Christine Bullivant , President of the AUSTRALIA Association, and please take time to read the end of this article Mr & Mrs Bill Strachan, Ms Valentine Flint, Secretary Combined Services Club.

Two of the most important in attendance were the previous coordinators Mrs Jan Cunningham (Coral Sea) and Mrs Didi Von Wiederhold (Java Sea) who have given over 30 years of devoted Service.

There were many more but space is somewhat limited to print all.

After the Commemoration by Chaplain Lewis RAN the Address was given by the Commander Australian Fleet, RADM Stuart Mayer who spoke of both Battles.  This was followed by the Wreath Laying Service , The Last Post, The Naval Ode and One Minutes Silence followed by Reveille.

Following the Naval Hymn and Naval Prayer, the National Anthem's of Australia, Great Britain, United States of America and The Netherlands by AB Musician Leigh Robke, and which I would have to say, had many of the public walking through Martin Place stop and listen.

Then the departure of the Official Party. Here along with Mrs Rosemary Stockley OAM we had previously met the Governor of NSW and his wife when they arrived we now had the honour of accompanyng them and introducing them to various Naval and Ships Association. One in particular the Governor and his wife were impressed with, two WW II Veterans (Mr. Jack Langregg & Mr. Vin Burke) who had served on HMAS AUSTRALIA during the Battle of the Coral Sea, now both aged 93 years old but for one, his father had also served on HMAS AUSTRALIA I and entered Sydney Harbour in 1913 during the First Fleet Review.

On completion of this, we escorted them both back to the Regal car and it brought to and end of this Service
Allan “Shorty” Moffatt OAM
Chairman Battle of the Java & Coral Sea Service

Royal Australian Air Force 94th Birthday Commemoration Service 
On 31st March 2015 this Service was held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place under very threatening skies.

The MC was Rev. Geoffrey Usher , Secretary of the RAAF Assn (NSW) and Officiated by Chaplain (FLT LT) Raphael Abboud, the first Maronite Catholic Chaplain in the ADF 22 Sqdrn RAAF Richmond . Music was by the full Band of the NSW Police, under the Command of Mr John Saunders and the Vocalist, Senior Constable Belinda Parsons. The Cataflaque Party and Flag Orderlies by 22 Sqnd RAAF Richmond and the Command of WO FF1 Ian Wheatley.

The Address was given by His Excellency, The Hon. General David Hurley AC DSC Rtd Governor of NSW . Once again a very good and interesting speech on the beginning of the Air Force and those now on active service but also a good mention for those who have been on rescue and help missions to Vanavatau , the Phillipines last year, help with the horrific bushfires here in Australia

Wreath Laying and other Tributes were then carried out. by many including the Governor, Cmdr Rebecca Jeffcoat RAN Commanding Officer HMAS KUTTABUL, Mrs Jennifer Collins Asst Commissioner DVA, Commissioner Andrew Scipione NSW Police , Mr Luke Foley Leader of the State Opposition , Mr Peter Ashpole NAA (NSW) Mr. Kinsea McDonald ABC but respresenting Parramatta RSL Sub Branch, Mr Chris Bowen Federal Opposition to name a very few .

Wearing my other cap again - I Laid a Wreath on behalf of the Federation of Naval Ships Association;

On completion the Last Post was played and the Ode was Recited and then a Minutes Silence followed by Reveille

The Hymn sung to the Dambusters March was sung followed by Bendiction and the National Anthem.

We just finished in time and a few drops of moisture started to fall so most made a move.

Allan 'Shorty” Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW & President FNSA

The RANCBA-ACT will be marching in Canberra on Anzac Day.

Your march leader will be our Patron, Artie Wyatt.

Members usually meet at the Navy Memorial – form up between 1000-1030 – march commences at 1040 – our position is number 38 this year.

Look for our banner, wear your name badge and please remember to turn your mobile off.

We are holding an after-march function at the Canberra Bowling Club, Hobart Ave, Forrest. Kick off at 1230 approx.

Please pass this email onto other communicators/ex-communicators, they will be very welcome at the after-march function.

Peter Guy

LSCIS Jamie Johnson CSM

Terry Feltham is trying to find LSCIS Jamie Johnson, who was awarded a Conspicuous Service Medal in 2007. This is to do with Ian Pfennigwerth's book on Honours and Awards.

If anyone knows the whereabouts of Jamie could you please pass on the information to Terry Feltham.

Someone out there must have a contact number or email address for Jamie, let's see if the Communicator's grapevine is as good as ever.

(Follow the link above for Terry's email address).

ANZAC Day - Sydney

Now as this is the 100th Anniversary of ANZAC, they are expecting a very big turnout.  Details are as follows for the RANCBA:

WREATH LAYING. The time allocated for the RANCBA to Lay a Wreath at the Cenotaph is 0740 am. If participating, muster at the cnr of Martin Place & Pitt Street by 0730am The coordinator will be our Secretary, LCDR Ray Mundy.

WW II VETERANS NAVY. They will assemble in Pitt Street, halfway up from Hunter Street facing Martin Place.  Form up at 0900 am for a "step off time" of 0915.  March Leader for WW II Veterans will be Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths AO DSO DSC RAN Rtd.

POST WW II VETERANS & CURRENT NAVY. Unlike in previous years it is expected that Post WW II Navy will form up at 0945 for a "step off time " of approx 10.00am Post WWII Veterans will form up in King Street facing George Street with head on Pitt Street tailing into Castlereagh Street. 

CURRENT SHIP'S COMPANIES. They will form up at rear of Post WW II Veterans in Castlereagh Street facing north in Order of Seniority.  RANCBA is Contingent number 23 and RANCBA March Leader is John Short.  March Leader of Post WW II Navy is Rear Admiral Ian Richards AO RAN Rtd.

LANDROVERS. There is only a small limited number of land rovers available for any Veteran unable to March but wishes to participate. Should you require, please advise me ASAP.

REUNION. This year after many years of holding our Reunion on completion of the March at the Royal Exhibition Hotel, the Committee have decided to hold this function at the ZETLAND HOTEL, Green Square . Our needs and those attending had out grown the REH and it was in our best interest to change the venue. On completion of the March, and the order Dismiss, walk to Museum Station, about 2 minutes at a slow pace, take the Airport line and it is one station past Central - a journey of 5 - 7 minutes. On exiting the Station turn right and a slow walk of 2 minutes to the Hotel. Believe me navigation was not my thing and I didn't get lost going out there to do a survey on our new venue.

Note. Dress applicable to this very important day- jacket & tie etc. Medals only those Official Medals issued for Service to be worn on the left hand side. When Passing the Cenotaph please show respect and no taking photos with mobile phone cameras. On the end of March and order Dismiss, please leave the roadway to allow Units following to complete their March.

All have great ANZAC Day and I wish you well. I shall be leaving for Turkey on the 20th April to attend the ANZAC Service at Gallipoli.

Allan 'Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Pension Increase for Veterans - March 2015

Follow the link below to view pension increases effective Friday March 20.  With a bit of luck you might be able to put it towards a cup of coffee and cake of the day!

Pension Increase 20 March 2015.


The Battle of the JAVA SEA & CORAL SEA (73rd Anniversary) Commemoration Service

This Service will be held at the Cenotaph, Martin Place on Friday 27th March 2015 commencing at 11.00 am. All Communicators & partners, friends etc are invited.

The Guest of Honour will be His Excellency, Major-General David Hurley AC DSC Rtd, Governor of NSW and Mrs Hurley.  The Guest Speaker will be the Commander Australian Fleet, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer AM CSC RAN.

Dress is as for ANZAC Day with full Medals where applicable.

If attending it would be advisable to arrive by 10.45 am.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Plaque Dedication and HMAS PERTH Memorial Service

A combined Service for both the Plaque Dedication and the HMAS Perth Service was held at the Chapel, Garden Island on 1st March 2015.  The 1st March 1942 was when HMAS Perth I was sunk by the Japanese in Sunda Strait.  Chaplain Jonathon Cox RAN Officiated with music by a small detachment of the RAN Band - Sydney.

The following Plaques were Dedicated

LCDR William Thorpe
WRAN Joan Qurke (nee Kennedy)
CPO Edward Cole
AB Lawrence Grove
LWRAN Rita Horner

Once again when people are asked to come forward and speak on behalf of a particular person, they are so good and my only regret, no recording is kept.

Then the Service for HMAS Perth was held and it was pleasing to see the current Commanding Officer of HMAS PERTH in attendance. Also when Mr Gordon Steele OAM who had been a survivor of the sinking, came forward and Recited the ODE.

On completion of both Services, all in attendance (approx 110) were invited to make their way to the Historical Bldg for morning tea, which is supplied to all by the FNSA & RANCBA.  Here I would like to take this opportunity to say a BIG THANK YOU to the following who showed their MKR expertise in cooking:

Mrs Mary Bell FNSA, Mrs Sharon Mundy, Mrs Jan Easom, Mrs Helen Moffatt Ms Liz Watts, Mrs Jan Mills all from the RANCBA.

The following Communicators were in attendance , Andy & Jan Mills, Jan Easom, Ray & Sharon Mundy, Shorty & Helen Moffatt, Ken Swain and with their great help, this unique Service is appreciated by all.  Also very pleasing to see Ms Emma Procopis who many had not see for many years.

I do encourage all that if you should know of any departed ex RAN or WRAN regardless of Rank or Rate, this unique Service is available.


Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Scattering of the Ashes of the late Ex LTO Les Church at Sea

I received a phone call from Mrs Faye Church advising that the Ashes of the late Les Church who was a very stalwart Member of the RANCBA would be taken on board HMAS ANZAC on which will be sailing on the 15th March at 1430pm to ANZAC Cove and to be part of the 100th Anniversary of ANZAC and that his Ashes will be scattered on route, as along with having a Plaque Dedicated in the Chapel at Garden Island, this was his final wish

Also invited was Ken Swain who had been a very good friend since they Commissioned HMAS VAMPIRE in 1959 and also were part of the Commissioning crew of the 16th Minesweeping Squadron and HMAS SUPPLY in England in 1962. Ken - HMAS HAWK & Les HMAS SUPPLY

The Australian Fleet Commander, Rear Admiral Stuart Mayer AM CSC RAN gave a great speech regarding the name ANZAC and we should also not forget the Submarine AE2.  He was followed by the Commanding Officer HMAS ANZAC Cmdr Belinda Wood RAN , who acknowledged all in attendance and wished the crew a great voyage and then along with STS YOUNG ENDEAVOUR be at ANZAC Cove on the 25th April 2015 and be representatives of this Nation, Australia.  On completion she said " it is now time to say your good byes, return on board and take your place for leaving harbour":

Dead on 1430hrs, the lines slipped, the ANF came down, the V/S callsign was raised on the port yard and HMAS ANZAC moved away. The RAN Band played some wonderful fully Australian music as she gracefully moved from the wharf.

It was a very moving occasion and a fitting farewell for the Ashes of Les on his final voyage

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Designation of Navy's Flagship

R 130739Z MAR 15







Vale Alan 'Zeke' Mollar R50228 (ex RS)

Sonja Hellier advises:

"Have just received latest copy of Qld RSL News listing under 'Last Post'
Moller, Alan R50228 from Bundaberg Sub Branch RSL. Nickname 'Zeke'."

Shags says he was already at Sig School when he got there in 54. He paid off at Moreton in the 60's?


From the Archives:
Alan Moller R50228 - DOB 06/07/1935.  Joined RAN 23 April 1954.  Postings - CERBERUS, SYDNEY, QUICKMATCH, QUEENBOROUGH, HARMAN, Shore (Engagement Expired) 22 April 1960.  Re-entry 20/11/1961 for 2 years.  CERBERUS, PALUMA, SYDNEY.  Re-engaged for 6 years 90 days from 22 August 1963.  HARMAN, CERBERUS, VAMPIRE, MELBOURNE, WATERHEN, DERWENT, Re-engaged for 5 years 275 days from 20 November 1969 to complete 12 years effective service for DFRB (thus serving 20 years in total).

Rated O/TEL 23.10.1954, TEL 08.03.1956, A/LDG TEL 04.08.1958, Title change to LRO 01.08.1959, Re-entry as LRO 20/11/1961, Disrated RO 11/04/1962, A/LRO 11/05/1963, LRO 11/05/1964, A/RS 04/03/1966, RS 04/03/1967.

From Keghead Weaver:
Re Zeke Mollar. Had quite a lot to do with Zeke whilst in and a terrific bloke. Liked a drink now and then too. Sorry to see another of the 'old school' cross the bar!

Rest well Zeke, I'll look forward to having a 'coldie' with you, when I get there

From Shorty Moffatt:
Along with about 1/2 dozen of us, we were the first Communicators in early 1968 who did a PCT for the new Attack Class Patrol Boats at HMAS CERBERUS.  On completion we all went to HMAS WATERHEN and duly reported to the MSO.

At that stage it was in the old and I mean old building,,and manned by ex Chief Yeoman but now a civilian employee, Fred Hollister and RS Zeke Moller.  Zeke was a good hand !!!!  He organised our accommodation aboard the old River Class Frigate CULGOA and then explained our duties. We would do a 24 hr on, which included at 0930pm close down circuit with HMAS KUTTABUL Main Comm Centre, lock all doors to building, put down the old stretcher on floor and put phone beside and we could crash out till 0545am when LWRAN at KUTTABUL would ring us. Time to open circuit and have traffic run off by 0700am, then at 0800am go to late breakfast and then back to CULGOA and help clean mess. 

Gee he was nice!!!!
Seriously he was good. I left not long after to do sea trials and Cmsd HMAS ARROW and then to same things Cmsd HMAS BARBETTE - Sqdrn Leader for 1st Patrol Boat Sqdn and remained on board for 20 months.  Zeke was always on the wharf to welcome us back and always "how did it go???"

Then later at secure, have an ale with you - aboard the foreward seamans mess on CULGOA which was also the wet canteen - sailors bar etc.

RIP Old mate U Were Great
Shorty Moffatt


Proposed Poppy Park Penrith - ANZAC Day 2015

Follow the link below for a Daily Telegraph article about a proposed poppy park in Penrith for ANZAC Day this year.

Owen and Martin Rogers, as part of the Remember a Soldier organisation, are calling on public and local businesses to purchase poppies that will create a giant memorial in the shape of a poppy in Judges Park.

Owen & Martin are the sons of LCDR Owen Rogers, a noted Communications Officer who, amongst other postings, was OIC of Remington Centre in the early 80's.

The article was passed on by Brian Nichols for the interest of members. The finished project should look quite  spectacular!


James Douglas 'Steve' McQueen R65145

To the Administrator,

I am writing to request any information on Steve MacQueen, that you or your members can share with Steve's family. Steve served in the Navy as an R.O. from 1965 to 1985, some of his drafts were the Anzac, Patrol Boats out of Darwin, Harman and Shoal Bay. Steve died in weird circumstances whilst working for Fisheries Department a few years ago.

His family are doing a search for any information about Steve, personal and service. I have already put up a message on your site but any help you can give the family would be appreciated. Contact details are email: or phone 07 49394455 if no one answers the phone please leave a message.

Thanking you on behalf of the family.

Leigh Dennis
Researcher/ Administration
Yeppoon RSL Military Museum
P.O. Box 312
Yeppoon 4703

If anyone is able to assist please contact Leigh direct.

Vale Kevin William Ireland R52770 (ex RO)

Graham Bence served in QUICKMATCH with Kevin. They lost contact for many years but recently renewed the friendship via email.  Graham had hoped to catch up with Kevin at a future reunion, but has now passed on the email below which was sent by Kevin's wife Christine.

Unfortunately, 5 days after Kevin sent his email, he went in for a blood transfusion, came home and developed a fever, which led to a fungal infection on the lungs and then pneumonia. This was caused from a virus in the blood he received.

He spent 12 days suffering terribly but he had his 3 girls by his side and I did not leave his bedside. I am sorry it has taken so long, but have been having a rough time. Miss him terribly, and feel so lost without my soul mate.

He did want to catch up with you guys, but I hope you have a great reunion.


Lest We Forget

From Archives:
Kevin William Ireland R52770.  DOB 31.01.1939.  Joined 22.02.57.  Postings CERBERUS, QUICKMATCH, ALBATROSS.


February 2015 Entries

Advocacy & Lobbying for the ADC in the 21st century.

The following from Kel Ryan was passed on by Shorty Moffatt:

Some of you will know that I am completing a PhD on the question of 'ways for advocacy and lobbying for the Australian Defence Community (ADC) in the 21st century'.

I am seeking definitive documents or references that I am able to cite in addressing the following:

a. What or who is a veteran in the Australian context? The 'returned man' notion that grew out of WW1 left no doubt that one had to have returned from overseas to be accepted as a veteran. Legislation was drafted around that at the time and it has coloured our views since then This has now blurred as the nature of conflict and deployment on overseas service and service here in Australia has changed as have the definitions that define such service and the entitlements that derive from such service. We do not got to 'war' today we deploy, we go in support of allies and we do humanitarian work.

b. What are the differences between the VEA, MRCA and SRCA? Why are there such differences? What prompted the change from one to the other and what did the various ESO do when the changes occurred i.e. did they support the changes or resist?

c. What is different today in the ADC or ex-service community from the past? This is deliberately vague as I am interested in any views you may have.

d. Why do individuals join a particular ESO and not one of the many others out there?

e. Why are younger members and former members of the ADF not joining ESOs?

I am happy to receive personal anecdotes but not interested in receiving critical tirades against individuals or ESOs - I am in need of documents, references to documents and views that can be cited in a research paper that, hopefully, will provide a direction for the ADC into the future. I will of course double check references, which is normal anyway, as such will generally reinforce what I already have.

Please indicate if you are happy to be cited in the final paper i.e "such and such a comment (Personal reflection Bob Bloggs 2015)"

I am planning to hand in my thesis or Paper Jun/Jul this year so would appreciate any input you may care to provide at the earliest.

Many thanks and take care,

Kel Ryan
Ph: 0418 759 120

Vale Dave "The Wadd" Waddington 13.11.1938 - 10.2.2015

Shorty, Can you please circulate the following, thank you for your time.

Dave was the Civilian Tech at Naval Communications Station (NAVCOMMSTA) Canberra for approximately 24 years - (1980-2004). During that time he provided continuity and stability in an environment of ever changing communications and uniformed personnel.

The celebration of "The Wadd's" life will be held on THURSDAY 19th February 2015,commencing at 12noon in the Chapel of Norwood Park Crematorium, Sandford Street, Mitchell ACT. Please wear purple. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Maritime Search and Rescue Volunteers. Envelopes will be available at the service.
Lyn Jensen

Chief Petty Officer

Engineering Manager, Design Standards

Directorate of Services Lifecycle

Defence Strategic Communications Branch

Department of Defence



Nostalgia and VOYAGER Memorial Service.

I just had a small voyage on a cruise liner, which I might add was the smallest that I have been on, but thoroughly enjoyable.  Whilst in Burnie, Tasmania I caught up with ex Yeoman Bob O'Hara and his wife Jenny. Tasmania turned on great weather!!!!

Then whilst in Melbourne, I took the train to Williamstown and visited the old Corvette 'CASTLEMAINE", who many will remember doing NBCD aboard whilst she was tied up at HMAS CERBERUS. My other reason was to show Helen how big it was and my memories of my first time at sea on her sister ship GLADSTONE. I still cannot believe that 23 in my class after finishing part 1 of Recruit School that 3 months later we were at sea to put into practice what they had tried to teach us and to gain our helmsman ticket, lookout, away sea boats crew etc. All I can remember it was a nightmare, trying to sling your hammock in the after seamans mess in Bass Strait etc.
Then the walk down from Williamstown rail station another memory as the next year was doing that to join HMAS ANZAC carrying kitbag and your hammock and those delightful AGR's slung over your shoulder!!!!.

Now, whilst the liner was making her voyage up the coast of NSW, I wrote a request to the Captain, and advised him that we would be transiting the area, 20nm and on bearing of SE of Jervis Bay that the fatal collision between HMAS VOYAGER and HMAS MELBOURNE took place with the sad loss of 82 sailors and that maybe a Memorial Service could be held.

Well that afternoon, an announcement took place that the Captain and all his Officers not on watch would be holding this Service and all passengers are invited. It would take place at approximately 2010 hrs near the site, and this was close to the time when the collision happened.

He conducted a good Service and as I had been involved last year for the 50th Anniversary Memorial Service and also to go out on HMAS CHOULES, I could still recall and he read most of what I had written and when one of the Officers (all in full whites) placed a Wreath over the portside, I was invited to Recite the Naval Ode.

It was well received and this man who I had never met before came up to me and thanked me, his name was Ross Trautman and his brother Bob was one of the RO's lost onboard VOYAGER that fatal night.

It was a very small but moving Service and I hope I was able to convey to all in attendance the sad loss of so many young RAN sailors that night.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

What a great little story re Voyager from Shorty. I found it quite moving, also the Captain of that cruise ship is surely a man of substance.
Paul Boase


Seeking Raymond George Smith R53352 (ex Communications Yeoman)

We are trying to contact a Raymond George Smith or his family on behalf of a close relative.

Raymond enlisted with the RAN on 26 July 1957 for a 12 year term and re-enlisted for a further 12 months on 26 July 1969. He was discharged on 25 July 1970. He was a Communications Yeoman. His Service Number was R53352. We believe he married a Joan Ellen but her maiden surname is unknown.

Following his discharge Raymond and Joan were living at 15 Paisley Drive, Frankston. In 1980, a Ronald Leslie Smith was also living at that address but he is unknown to our client.

The purpose of this message is to inquire whether the records of the Frankston Sub-Section of the NAA contain any information on Raymond George Smith, Joan Ellen Smith or Ronald Leslie Smith, any other family members or whether any of your members knows where any of them are now and if deceased, when and where that happened.

Any assistance you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

Regards and Season's Greetings to you and your members.

(George Spooner)
Research Officer
Busselton Family History Society

All the above checks out with Ray's Record of Service card in Archives.  His postings in the 60's were GASCOYNE (1960), TOBRUK (1960), HARMAN (1961), MELBOURNE (61-63), HARMAN (64-65), SUPPLY (65-67), DERWENT (67), CERBERUS (67-69). 

He was promoted TO in June 59, LTO in May 63 and CY in December 67.

If anyone remembers Ray and is able to assist with the request above please keep me in the loop.

From 1967 Staff Photo

John Curbishley
Web Manager

Hi John, re Ray Smith, he was a good friend of mine both in and out of the navy. We worked together in the late 70's or early 80's. Ray went to work for Plessey communications as a training officer, and sadly collapsed and passed away at a training seminar in Adelaide. I attended his funeral at Springvale crematorium. I'm not sure of the dates, but believe it would have been the late 1980's. Hope this is helpful to the party making enquiries.
Peter Archibald


Vale Rowan William Paine R50230 (ex TEL)

Was reading thru the local paper from my home town (Mudgee Guardian) this morning 05/02/2015 and found the following funeral notice ..

PAINE - Rowan William .. Ex RAN .. Passed away at Mudgee 01/02/2015. Funeral to be held on Friday 06/02/2015 at 1030 .. Service to be held at St John the Baptist Church, Church St, Mudgee.  The service will be followed by a private interment at the Mudgee Cemetry.

The following service info for above ..

PAINE - Rowan William R50230 - Ex - TEL. Served 22/04/1954 to 31/12/1960.  Joined from Mudgee on 22/04/1954 ... went to comms school .. rated OrdTEL .. completed course 16/04/1957. Served on HMAS Barcoo, HMAS Swan, HMAS Vampire and at HMAS Harman.

Rest In Peace ... Your Service Is Done

Yours Aye

Many thanks Terry, may he RIP.
Lest We Forget

Saddened to see Rowan has passed away. Another good Survey Fleet sparker gone.
RIP Rowan
Bill Aylott


I attended the funeral service for Rowan which was held on 6th February, 2015 at the C of E church in Mudgee. The service contained a number of references to his life in the R.A.N. of which he was immensely proud. His three children, none of whom live in Mudgee, had formed a tag team to ensure that he was never alone during the last weeks of his life. I count myself very lucky to have had him as my friend. I shall miss him very much.
RIP old mate
Max Miller


Thanks Max for your kind words.

I would like to add some more words and highlight the comfort given by yourself and others if that is ok.

Dad knew his time was running out late last year and although not that happy about it was as matter of fact as ever.

I would like to publicly acknowledge on behalf of my siblings and I the great comfort given to Dad by John and Coleen Jenkins and Max Miller during this time.

Jenks and Coleen stayed with Dad in Mudgee over the New Year's Eve period which he enjoyed immensely and I had the absolute privilege to sit with Max at Dads bedside in the last few days and witness the last verbal response Dad gave when Max said hello to Dad. Max I thank you.

Friendships formed in Dads youth were not apparent to me as I grew up and I did not get to know his Navy mates until the last few years. What I do know is that those friendships endured the trials of life and were never more evident when his mates rallied around him when he lost the love of his life, in our Mother.

I will and do miss him immensely but on behalf of my family I thank his Navy Mates for their support and friendship and I hope to keep in contact.

With warmest thanks
Malcolm Paine


January 2015 Entries

RANCBA Cruise 2016

Dear Fellow Communicators, et al 

Following last year’s RANCBA Cruise many who attended have asked for another cruise to be organised.  With that in mind we undertook a survey of who wanted to attend another cruise, where they would like to cruise to, their preferred timeframe, and their preferred cruise line. 

There were many responses to the survey with the majority wanting to go to New Zealand in 2016 on the 14 day cruise.  This is with the Royal Caribbean line and their ideal cruising timeframe for New Zealand is early in the year. 

As part of the survey I reminded everyone that the WRANS and RANCBA Reunions would also be held in 2016, with the WRANS in February and RANCBA in November of 2016.  Hopefully those who responded to the survey took this into account when making their choices. 

Going by what the majority requested we are now in the process of starting the detailed planning for the next RANCBA cruise.   Kath Williams from Helloworld, Rowville ( is currently in negotiations with Royal Caribbean to solicit discounts and deals that may be on offer.  One such offer is shown below and note it closes at the end of January 2015 (2nd guest is 50% off).  Sorry for the short notice but have just found myself.  If you want to avail yourself of at least this offer then contact Kath Williams as soon as possible.  Kath is still waiting for a response from Caribbean Lines on what other discounts or offers will be made. 

Given that the WRANS reunion is scheduled for 26-28 February 2016 and noting that several who have expressed interest in the cruise are also attending the WRANS reunion we are planning on a departure date of 28 January 2016.  The cruise will be a 14 day, 8 port cruise to New Zealand with Royal Caribbean, departing from Sydney (Circular Quay).  This cruise will enable those to attend the WRANS reunion and the cruise. 

Further details about the cruise including discounts and any other offers will be promulgated shortly once the negotiations with Royal Caribbean have been concluded.  GET IN NOW TO GET THE GENERAL DISCOUNT ON OFFER TO ALL POTENTIAL PASSENGERS – PAY FULL PRICE FOR ONE PERSON AND 50% DISCOUNT FOR THE SECOND. 

This particular cruise will be open to anyone who wants to attend as part of our group.  That is any category within the RAN, other services, civilian friends, families etc.  The more the merrier. 

As with the last cruise I will be asking those who wish to attend to advise me so that I can keep you updated of any developments and information throughout the planning period, but to also contact Kath at Jetset Rowville direct to organise your particular requirements and make payments.  Contact details for Helloworld Rowville are: 

Kath Williams
03 9764 8487

Rod Withers
(03) 9772 7775
0421 045 382



Father Kevin Flynn

I am enclosing a photo which may be of interest to communicators who served at Harman in the late 60's and during the 70's. The picture was taken at the Queanbeyan Australia Day celebrations and shows myself with the Reverend Father Kevin Flynn. Kevin had just received an award for his charitable work here in Queanbeyan. He is still very sprightly although a bit deaf. I often run into him and we have some great yarns about the Junior Rates Club and the goings on there. He can still recall a good many names from those years with great fondness.

Bernie Brooks


Plaque Memorial Service 01 March 2015

For QSO -  I think the LS Garry Pyke is a ex LTO. (This has been confirmed by Trevor Pike).

With regard to the plaque memorial service on 01 Mar 15 there are currently 5 plaques scheduled to be dedicated in conjunction with the Perth Association Service. The names are:

LCDR William John Thorpe
(LS Garry George Pyke) - Now removed from list - will be dedicated at a later date.
Supply Assistant Joan Katherine Quirke (nee Kennedy)
CPO Edward Rudolph Cole
Leading Wran Rita Horner

Allan"Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Here Comes the Bride

Here are a couple of photos to put on the website to see if anyone recognises the subject. The first should be the bride, then a few days later the elf!! People can see what old SD officers get up to in their dotage!!!

Dave Jeffrey

I know the subject but have no idea what was going on!



RANCBA (ACT) Australia Day BBQ


As we had to cancel our Christmas BBQ due to the inclement weather, it has been decided to hold an Australia Day BBQ.

Details as follows:

Where: The home of Jan and Greg (Stretch) Beck – 2 Fowler Place, Chisholm ACT – Map 36 E4.

When: Australia Day, Monday 26th January 2015 – 1100 onwards.

The Association will provide sausages, bread, nibbles etc. – BYO drinks.

For catering purposes, please advise me if you are joining us.

Please pay respect to neighbours re parking, driveways, nature strips etc.


Peter Guy
02 6288 0828
0417 462 407

Leeuwin Boys (Sam & Stretch) of July 1961
proudly displaying their AMSA Australia Day award January 1997


Tank Evans seeking John 'Harry' Hunt

Hope you have been keeping as well as possible and been able to enjoy Christmas and the New Year. A bloke in Winjan1 (7th Intake JRTE 1963/64) with me was John Hunt who became a bunting tosser. Have you any idea what happened to him or what was the last you may have heard of him. Keep searching for his name but to no avail.

On Friday the 23rd Jan. I go into the Holy Spirit Hospital in Chermside North of Brisbane to have my right hip replaced for the third time. I have a problem called osteolysis which is where the antibodies are eating the bone away around my present prosthesis. Should be in Hospital for a couple or more weeks and then will be off my feet for 3 months with no weight bearing as I have to have donor bone as a graft. Will try and keep you in touch.

All the very best.

Tank Evans
My memory is not the best these days but I recall that John went SD (was he SCO on TORRENS at some stage?).  I have no idea about his movements after he paid off.  Anyone who can fill in the blanks for Tank please do so.

Tank, all the best for the procedure on Friday, I hope all goes well for you while you are in Sick Bay.

All the very best Tank.
Jim Anderson

I noticed that someone was looking for John Hunt. John Hunt was a Yeoman with me in Hobart during the round the world trip in 1976. The last I heard from him was in the 80's and he was living somewhere in the Blue Mountains NSW. If contact is made, would you please ask him to pass on my regards- he was a good bloke.
Alan Murgatroyd

Can you let Murgs know that we were on the Hobart with John for the around the world trip. What a great trip that was. Remember the 4th of July well. Blimey the street party we went to (pretty sure John was there too).
All the best from me too John, if you see this. Bucket.
Phil Butler

Update from Tank 02 Feb 15:
Been home a couple of days now after getting a better prognosis than he thought earlier. There was not so much rot in the hip joint as he previously thought, therefore less bone was grafted. I am getting around by being able to just weight bear enough to get out of the chair into the wheel chair and bed etc and hopefully full weight will occur in 4 to 6 weeks which is a lot better than the 3 months he first thought. Have cabin fever already so Foxtel is getting a real bashing with my eyes. Phyllis is doing a grand job of looking after me and it is her that is doing all the weight bearing so to speak.
Cheers Tank

From Rod Withers:
John did indeed go SD as Tank suggests and I relieved him as the SCO in HMAS TORRENS in the mid 80’s. Coincidentally both John and I were Ship’s Diving Officers as well so the handover satisfied both jobs in the ship. There are a couple of stories about John that could/were slightly embarrassing to the RAN that I cannot relate in this forum but would be more than happy to relate at a face to face at perhaps a reunion over a beer or two. John also had an interesting incident when supervising his diving team on a hull search one night. My recollection is we threw a thunderflash into the water to call the divers to the surface (reasonably normal practice at the time) but unfortunately the thunderflash went between one of the diver’s cyclinder and his back. Pretty exciting night and a little bit upsetting for the diver in question. This pales into insignificance with the other story I cannot relate publicly. John was a good operator but lost track of him as our careers diverged.


Gravesite - LCDR W.D. Hunter RN/RAN - An Australian Naval Pioneer & First OIC of Signals School.

Those perusing the Sydney Morning Herald on 7 August 1934 would possibly have given scant notice to the Obituary appearing there for Lieutenant-Commander W.D. Hunter RN/RAN, however the recently deceased, aged only in his mid 40s had been a Member of the Royal Australian Navy since its very birth.

Born William David Hunter on 1 December 1887 in Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne, the young William then a schoolboy, volunteered to join the Royal Navy as a Member of the Australian Naval Forces at the age of 16 years and 7 months. His enlistment papers dated 30 July 1904 (HMS Challenger), lists him as "a Boy 2nd Class". As required for those under age, a declaration from his parents or guardian accompanied his enlistment documents.

He further signed on again (HMS Challenger) in April 1907 for 5 years, this time being rated as a "qualified signalman".

On 19 December 1911 (HMS Psyche) he again signed re-engagement papers for another 7 years, now being a "Yeoman of Signals". This time his Service was designated as being in the Royal Australian Navy. At this time also, he had been in the Navy for a total of seven years.

From January to June 1913, he was attached to the London Depot, and on 29 June 1913 he joined the Ships Company of HMAS Australia as Signals Boatswain, the Flagship of the newly formed Royal Australian Navy, sailed to Australia under the Command of RADM George Patey, arriving in Sydney on 4th October 1913, and participating in the first spectacular Fleet Review

In early 1914 Hunter was attached to HMAS Cerberus for duty with the Naval Reserves and then in August 1914, now confirmed as a "Warrant Officer" he sailed on HMAS Berrima with the Australian Naval & Military Expedition Forces bound for German New Guinea.

The Battle of Bita Paka was the first action of WWI. Signal Boatswain Hunter commanded the rear guard on the Kabakaul-Bita-Paka Road, made up of men who had been overtaken by reinforcements coming from the beach and others who had been separated from their sections. During the action, Hunter discovered an unoccupied German lookout station in a tree, after one of his men found a wire that was thought to be attached to a mine.

The Union Jack carried by Hunter that day was raised at Herbertshohe on 11th September 1914 by a party from the AN&MEF , two days before the Official flag raising ceremony at Rabual. A scap of this flag can be found in the Australian War Memorial. Hunter remained in New Guinea until February 1915.

1915 -1916 saw Hunter serving at HMAS Cerberus , then in mid 1916 he took passage once again for England, where he saw service with the Royal Navy in HMS Repulse, Roxburgh, King George V and the Victory. He returned to Australia in April 1919 and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in July of that year. He then took a signals posting to HMAS Cerberus - then located at Williamstown before being transferred once again.

The Signals School, the first school established at the new Flinders Naval Base ( now HMAS Cerberus) opened in 1920 under the Command of Lieutenant (Signals) Hunter with the arrival of the first contingent of naval personnel from Williamstown. In early days in addition to training, the School was responsible for the operation of the Wireless Station. Transmitting and Receiving Stations were built in 1919 and were located at the northern and southern ends of the base. The Station conducted the first direct "fixed service morse code transmission" in 1920/21 to the UK - enabling the linking of the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board with the Admiralty in London . Hunter left the School in December 1921.

Mid 1922 until the beginning of 1924 saw Hunter in England once again with Postings including Badminton HMS Pembroke, Victory, President, and Defiance, and also a stint at the Royal Naval College for promotion courses. He also completed a diving course whilst in England.

Back in Australia Hunter divided his time between HMAS Platypus, Marguerite, Mallow and Penguin - designated for "ships in reserve" He was promoted Lieutenant Commander in July 1927 and was temporarily appointed to Command Ships in Reserve. A short stint at HMAS Brisbane followed in mid 1929 then he was transferred to HMAS Penguin , where he finished his naval career. On July 19131 William Hunter was Retired on Half Pay and transferred to the Emergency List.

At this time, he and his wife Elinor were living in Bellevue Hill, Woolahara, but unfortunately ill health meant he did not enjoy a long retirement. He passed away on 5th August 1934 and was buried on 7th August in the Presbyterian section of Rookwood Cemetery. The burial service was performed by the Chaplain of HMAS Penguin with six Naval Officers as pall-bearers.

Today, the grave of LCDR William David Hunter is found in an unkempt and neglected corner of the Presbyterian Section of the Rookwood Cemetery. I was contacted by Rod Withers and John White from the Victorian Chapter to see if I could organise a working party to restore this gravesite. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rod, and John for bringing this to my attention. Also I believe Rod's daughter organised the photo of the Commanding Officers, Signal School which shows LCDR W.D Hunter as the first OIC.

Today, 17th January I met with Mr Mark Fleming, Coordinator Naval Graves Project and we visited the site and I believe that we can clean it up and once every few months go over and keep this gravesite of the person who did so much, not only for the RAN Communications Branch but the Royal Australian Navy. It will not be a hard job but it will a fitting memorial for those who shall follow us. I will be bringing my ideas to our Committee (NSW) Meeting next month.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA NSW

Update from Shorty 23 January 2015

Just to advise that John Short and self went over this morning as we both live in the Western subs and did the Gravesite of LCDR W D Hunter RAN, 1st OIC of the RAN Signal School.

I went to Bunnings and got a weed-mat which allowed for 2 covers of the site and John brought over beautiful white pebbles.  We dug out all the weeds that I had sprayed last Saturday, and raked up . Also took over whipper snipper and cut all long grass around and raked up (plus a broken glass vase). Scrubbed the headstone with a cleaner and you can now read his name and all details plus his wife. There is still a stain there but a couple of more cleans and should dissolve.

Now looks good and one of the Rookwood staff, he didn't even know it was there and about his Navy time and thought we did a good job.  Just explained if you give a job to 2 ex sparkers, it will be done and done correct. Hard work and grind was our motto!!!

Anyway all done at no cost to the Association, but next time you see us both, a cold ale will go a long way to thanking us!!! It was about 30 degs C but very humid.

Photos will be forthcoming.

Allan "Shorty" Moffatt OAM
President RANCBA & FNSA


First photo - I pulled weeds out and sprayed.
Second photo - Headstone unreadable
Third photo - Finished job today. More to follow
Fourth photo - Shorty & John Short - gravesite cleaners.

A big BZ to Shorty Moffatt and John Short for their excellent restoration work done on the grave of LCDR Hunter. You definitely deserve a cold one or two. Noticed the ELF. He looks good in South's colours.
Cheers Max Hemmy


Update of Contact Details

Happy New Year to you and thank you once again for the RANCBA website. It is great to catch up on the past, especially this New Year photo of R6 of 72 just posted. My sparkers class as well ...

Just wanted to let you know of an email change for me please, having just retired from work and work email address.

New info is Bridger, Geoff Perth, WA,

Best wishes and of course all the best with the health journey ....

Geoff Bridger
Thanks Geoff, I have also updated the relevant contacts page.


Sparker Gathering 1983

Thanks very much for your on-going efforts towards the successful running of the RANCBA website.

The attached photo may be of interest - taken in the Pines, Frankston circa 1983.

Some of the members of R6 of 1972:

Rear left to right: Glenn Stanley, Bob Way, George Wall.

Front left to right: Lynton Michael, Geoff Abnett, Lyndsay Day.

With thanks,
Lynton Michael


Keghead Weaver still in Sick Bay

Just letting you know that Ken is in the Canberra Hospital, in the Cardiology ward, 6A, having tests which we hope will provide answers for his health problems. Tomorrow he under goes another procedure to show if the heart valve is leaking.

Ruth Weaver
Thanks Ruth, let's hope they find the cause and rectify it asap!  Regards to KH.

Ruth would you please relay my best wishes to Keghead for a speedy and successful recovery.
Jim Anderson

Update from Ruth 20/01/15.
Ken has just been released from hospital, where they appear (we hope) to have found the reasons for his last years' illnesses.  He is now on lots of medication, some old, some new, which, we hope are going to bring him back to his old self. Unfortunately, our GP says that this may take a little longer than we hoped.


Vale Ray Elseback (ex LSRO R66839)

Ray passed away from pancreatic cancer on 19th August 2014 aged 65.

Ray was not a member of the RANCBA but is very worthy of a mention on the QSO.

Joined RAN in Sept 1967 completing 9 years service.

Ray's sea postings included HMAS Queenborough, HMAS Melbourne and to HMAS Brunei for a couple of years shortly after it was commissioned. His shore postings were Harman, Coonawarra and Moreton.

After paying off from the Navy, Ray initially tried his hand in the Prawn Trawling industry before joining Aviation Fire Services Aust, serving at Mt Isa, Cairns, Mackay and as the Fire Superintendent at Canberra.

Ray married Helen (nee Biddle) ex WRROM after meeting each other at Coonawarra in 1970. They have two daughters.

Ray was well known to many communicators during the 70's, a great mate and will be sadly missed. RIP my friend.

Advised by Ray Meaker and Wayne Roots.

Lest We Forget

From Bruce Spender:
Saw the posting re Ray Elseback. Ray was an excellent Rugby player when he was at the Communication School and I was fortunate enough to be the organiser (I couldn't call myself the coach) of the Comms School Inter Departmental Rugby team. He played for the Victorian Navy Colts side and was selected for the Victorian Combined Services Colts side. He was one of the best flankers or No. 8's that I saw pass through the Comms School during the 3 years that I was associated with Comms School Rugby. Sorry to hear of his passing. Condolences to his wife and family.

Welcome to the QSO Page for 2015

I trust you have all had a Merry Christmas with family and friends and that 2015 has started well for you.  For those of you who are not in robust health I hope the coming year brings improvement to, or better management of, your condition.  I wish you all well.

Please forward any Comms related articles you may think of interest to others, the caveat being that if these articles or photographs are taken  directly from another website you should also provide the link.  It is important that we recognise other people's good work and avoid plagiarism charges.

For those of you who have enquired about my health I can only say that my Parkinsons has progressed in the past couple of years but I am managing things with lifestyle changes and medication.  Like others with chronic conditions I have good days and bad days, but after a while you push the illness to the background and just get on with life.  I am lucky to have a lovely wife, an excellent GP and specialists looking after me, along with the support of family and friends, so things could be much worse.

Thank you for your concerns, I hope you all have a productive year ahead.


John Curbishley
Web Manager