November 2005
Home Back





Volume 17 Number 4

          November 2005

President's Report

We are all saddened by the passing of Brigadier John Springhall MBE OAM KStJ RFD ED PhD MVSc MACVSc recently.  Many of us who were privileged to serve in the reserves with Brigadier John were indeed lucky.  Personally I was greatly influenced by him through his strong leadership and compassion for his men.  He will be sadly missed.  As per requests by the family the Association passed to St Johns Ambulance a donation in lieu of flowers.  Brigadier Springhall commanded QUR from 1962 to 1965 and served as the Honorary Colonel from 1980 to 1984.  The eulogy delivered by the current Honorary Colonel Major General John Pearn is included in this newsletter.

The Annual General Meeting was again held at the United Service Club.  It was very well attended.  It is pleasing to note that we are steadily increasing in numbers each year.  Paul Deighton, an ex member of QUR who joined the RAAF, presented the after dinner speech.  Paul spoke about his time in IRAQ.  Many guest speakers previously have demonstrated that service in QUR had a strong influence on their careers.  Paul spoke about those skills he used in his career.  The previous management committee were re-elected to carry on the duties for the 2005/2006 year.  The contact details for all members can be seen in this newsletter.

It is very pleasing to report that the number of ex members who are contributing to the history project is increasing.  We are receiving photos, newspaper clippings and written memories.  I would encourage all who read this report to consider writing of their time with QUR.  It does not have to be a literary masterpiece but all contributions help to fit more pieces into the history jig saw puzzle.

Recently I visited the regiment and collected many of the items of historical interest from storage.  These items are currently being catalogued and preserved.  These items will be displayed when we can get some furniture.  You will recall that I made an appeal to all to consider contributing towards the purchase of some display cases.  I suggested that members might band together and make a single contribution, such as the doctors, dentists, the lawyers etc.  I again appeal to all to assist.  Every contribution, no matter how small will help.  Ruth Kassulke has willingly volunteered to act as the Association’s history officer and she will be looking to receive your contributions.

A supply of the new ties and the woven gold coat badges have now arrived.  I am acting as the retail sales officer so please contact me.  With revenue from our membership fees reducing we are working hard to raise finance through the small profit made on our retail items.  The woven gold coat badges are spectacular.  Even if you don’t intend wearing one on your coat (they are fixed to the pocket with clips and therefore easily removable without damage to the pocket) they make an excellent badge for a plaque.  You can order on line through the internet or contact me by phone or mail.

We have set the dates for the Xmas 2005 functions and all functions in 2006.  They can be seen later in this newsletter.  I would invite you all to attend the Xmas function.  It is only as couple of drinks and a few nibbles after work on Friday 2 December 2005 at the Victory Hotel in Brisbane.  It is a great chance to “associate” with members of the QURA.

I wish you all the best of the festive season.

Trevor Luttrell



CO's Report

Commanding Officer’s Report to the Annual General Meeting of the Queensland University Regiment Association

9 September 2005

QUR remains a very busy Unit in 2005.  Posted strength is currently 123 staff and 80 Staff Cadets and we are located at St Lucia, Indooroopilly and Townsville.

Recent changes to the charter for the Unit from RMC-A have resulted in a reduction of the number of courses run by the Regiment, but an increase in the training liability picked up by QUR for each of the courses we will continue to run.  The Part Time First Appointment Course for initial officer training is still our bread and butter program and we have become the national specialists for key field modules in that training.  Our Staff Cadets and staff will travel to other University Regiments for the conduct of other training in the program suite.  QUR is also responsible for some full time soldiers under the Officer Tertiary Recruitment Scheme, some full time soldiers studying for year 12, and a range of Officer of Cadet courses.

We are very proud of the training program delivered by QUR and for the third year our Staff Cadets have excelled in the capstone continuous training at RMC.  QUR graduates took out the top four of five national prizes.  Of course, we are hoping for another excellent achievement standard for the next graduating class.

Aside from conducting high quality courses, some important events in the year to date have been: the Back to Regiment Function in March; Unit Parade on ANZAC Day with Toowong RSL; Band contribution to 1 JSU Dawn Service and the City Parade for ANZAC Day; the Regimental Dinner attended by Queensland’s Governor Ms Quentin Bryce, AC, in May; and, Band Contribution to VP 60 in August.

Unit development projects have attracted a lot of time and effort in the past few months. General maintenance, refurbishment, refurnishing and reorganising has hit almost every corner of the St Lucia site. Our next target is the appropriate organisation and display of Unit historical items. We are working closely with the QURA to come up with a plan that displays the materials to best effect for the establishment of a sense of place for the unit and to educate the Staff Cadets and staff about the historical significance of QUR, RURQ and Gatton.  As recently reported in the QURA newsletter our intention is to place display cases in strategic places around the unit and to gather historical materials from each of the component units that have become QUR and establish a “RURQ” room, and an “OCTU” room.

This year has seen the end of tenure for Major General Denis Luttrell, AO RFD ED as Honorary Colonel and the installation of Major General John Pearn as our new Honorary Colonel.  This has been a significant event for the Unit. Major General Dennis Luttrell has been a wonderful role model and support for past CO’s and I know that he will be sorely missed in the role.  Major General Pearn AM RFD KStJ, comes in as an energetic and committed Honorary Colonel who I’m sure will continue the excellent precedent set.

Since the last AGM there have been some painful losses to the Unit family.  Colonel Garry Chandler, RFD a past CO late last year and just last week Shane Slipais a young officer of the Regiment in the 80’s have both died seemingly well before their time.  Although I didn’t know Shane personally I have found his mark on several things around the unit in the past few days and know that he has made an indelible impression.  Colonel Garry Chandler, who I count as a personal friend, supported me every step of the way to assuming Command with QUR, and I can certainly see why he was so insistent.  This is a fantastically enjoyable job for me, and a privilege, for which I am grateful.

Thank you.

Nan Bahr
Lieutenant Colonel
Commanding Officer
Queensland University Regiment



QURA 2005 AGM held on 9 September

Over 30 members attended the Annual General Meeting held at United Service Club,

Wickham Terrace, Brisbane on the evening of Friday 9 September 2005.  Members were treated to a sumptuous meal and a very interesting talk from our speaker, Flight Lieutenant Paul Deighton.


Paul served in QUR as a Lance-Corporal to about 1991.   Some time later, he resigned from his job as a Primary School Teacher and joined the RAAF full time as an Education Officer.  His presentation highlighted how he found skills learnt at QUR were extremely useful in later life. 


Some photos of his time in IRAQ appear below.


Prime Minister with C130 Contingent

Accommodation in IRAQ

Ammo Dump

C130H at Sunset

C130H at Baghdad International Airport

Crew on Deck of C130H


Loading C130H with Med Supplies

Loadmaster Organising Med Supplies for Baghdad

Med Supplies at Baghdad

National Guard C5 at Kuwait


FUNCTIONS IN 2005/20066

  • Christmas Function                 2 December 2005 (Victory Hotel)

  • Back to the Regiment            10 March 2006

  • Anzac Day                               25 April 2006

  • Regimental Dinner                  6 May 2006 (Invitation from QUR)

  • AGM                                         15 September 2006  - (To be confirmed)

  • Christmas Function                  1 December 2005 (To be confirmed)


A Tribute Eulogy

A Commemoration of the Life
Brigadier John Anthony Springhall

On the Occasion of his Funeral Service
St John’s Cathedral
Friday 7th October, 2005

Delivered by
Major General John Pearn AM RFD
October 2005


John Anthony Springhall has served both as a servant and a leader in three distinct and disparate professions.  He has been a close friend and confidant, a mentor and a counsellor to many hundreds who have been privileged to know him, to have worked with him and to have been taught by him.  He has been one who brought to every aspect of his personal and professional life the personal qualities which made the name of John Springhall synonymous with the highest ideals of community service and of complete integrity.

At his Funeral Service in St John’s Cathedral in Brisbane, several hundred have gathered together as a witness and expression of this close personal friendship - for indeed few have been blessed with more good personal friends than this exceptional man. Many have come together in collective tribute, symbolising the most important public themes of volunteer community service which characterised John Springhall’s life.

The academic gowns of the University of Queensland are a witness of our esteem of his primary profession of veterinary science and animal husbandry, in a field to which he contributed so much to the developing world.  The distinctive bottle green berets of our colleagues of the Queensland Commando Association are an affirmation of his courage and service as a frontline commando during the Second World War.  The military uniforms of the Australian Defence Force are a tribute to his leadership not only in the Royal Australian Infantry but in those other proud Arms and Service Regiments which he commanded with such distinction.

The uniforms of St John Ambulance Australia and the mantles of the Order of St John, together with the emblems of the Sovereign Military Order of St John and those of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and of the Order of Australia (including the OBE Association which he helped establish) are also witness to his creativity and service.  His loyal role in so many associations, including his proactive membership of both the Queensland Club and the United Service Club, has contributed to both those bodies to which he brought his inimitable stamp of pride in shared heritage and the preservation of collegiate ties.

As a boy, John Springhall grew up in Bellevue Hill in Sydney and attended The Scots College. He was an enthusiastic participatory sportsman, and a senior oarsman at the School. He attended Scots as a day boy, successfully completing his matriculation year in 1940.

A Veterinary Surgeon
Many knew Dr John Springhall primarily as a veterinary surgeon. After his schooling at The Scots College in Bellevue Hill in Sydney, he matriculated to the University of Sydney and graduated with his veterinary degree therefrom in 1949. He was appointed a Lecturer in Veterinary Surgery at the University of Sydney in 1950. His 32 years as a practising vet encompassed a special blend of academia, of private practice and of his work within the commercial industry of animal husbandry. He established in his own veterinary practice in Orange in Western New South Wales and it was there that he met and married Janette Hood, who with their loving and extended family have been the datum of the extensive group of friends, professional colleagues and associates who have come together to pay their last respects.

For four years, John worked as the Senior Veterinary Officer firstly with the Development Division of Drug Houses of Australia and then as the Manager and Research Director of Crago Stock Feeds, based in Sydney. Following his work in both private practice as a veterinary surgeon and his work in the commercial aspects of veterinary science, he brought his practical and experienced background of clinical veterinary practice and commercial employment to his work as an academic at the University of Queensland.

He served as a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry at the University of Queensland for 23 years until his retirement in 1982. It was during this period that he successfully completed his Master of Veterinary Science Degree; and subsequently in 1972 was awarded one of the first Doctor of Philosophy Degrees within the Faculty of Veterinary Science at this University. John’s special interests were in the development of food stocks to promote animal husbandry in the developing world. Over a period of 15 years he was a leader in the development of self-sustaining food stocks for poultry and pig production in the nations of the south-west Pacific. He had been a Guest Speaker at the 1962 World Poultry Science Convention in Sydney, a forum which sparked his interest in the importance of research and practical teaching in the establishment of commercial poultry, pig and fish farms, initially in the (then) Territory of Papua New Guinea; and later in the Cook Islands and in American Samoa.

His research and the training of local farmers’ co-operatives and collective groups involved many visits to Papua New Guinea, particularly to the Torricelli Mountains in the Sepik District and to Lae and Finchafen in the Morobe District; and in the Eastern Highlands based in Goroka. This important work helped establish the principles and practice of self-sustainability in small communities in several nations of the western Pacific. He was a consultant to many of the Missions in the Territory of Papua New Guinea and his advice and counsel led to the establishment of many self-sustaining systems of pig, poultry and freshwater fish production on those Mission Stations. This in turn led, in no small measure, to their independence and profitability. Such in turn served as models for a number of the civilian co-operative communities throughout the Territory, an influence which persisted well beyond 1976 when Papua New Guinea became independent and our nearest Sovereign neighbour.

In 1976 he conducted training courses in Tropical Pig Production and Porcine Nutrition in the Cook Islands for the South Pacific Commission. Again, in 1982, as a representative of the University of Queensland, he worked for the South Pacific Commission in the development of self-sustaining nutrition, from local sources, for both pig and poultry production. From 1976 to 1978, in addition to his teaching and research duties based in Brisbane at the University of Queensland, he was appointed Director of Studies for the Australian Development Assistance Agency, within the Department of External and Foreign Affairs, providing lectures on tropical veterinary nutrition to students from Africa, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Korea, the Philippines and another six nations of the Pacific region. Besides his technical knowledge and practical experience, his personal qualities of leadership led to his being elected President of the Queensland Branch of the World Poultry Science Association; and for six years he was the representative of the Queensland Egg Marketing Board on various government bodies responsible for overseeing poultry research and egg supply. In this context he was elected Chairman of the Queensland Chicken Meat Council, in an era which saw the rapid change and huge increase in chicken consumption on Australian tables.

In a letter that John wrote to me, following our meeting together in Goroka in Papua New Guinea where we both worked, in 1969, he said and I quote:

“My research in tropical nutrition of pigs, poultry and fresh water fish has been directed towards assisting the development of intensive industries in the Pacific Nations. In this context I have endeavoured to identify and use local materials, otherwise unsuitable for human consumption, for the establishment of sustainable poultry, pig, fish and other livestock nutrition, thus helping to eliminate the competition for often scarce food materials between man and domestic livestock; and to decrease the dependency of importation of prepared animal feeds into developing nations”.

In all, he published some 24 research papers on this crucial work of animal husbandry. These topics ranged from such erudite subjects as the use of “Ferrous sulphate as a detoxifying agent for mimosine for chickens”, through to a major paper (co-authored with Dr I.S. Burgess) entitled “Feeding Pigs in New Guinea”, to a significant paper on the husbandry of catfish and other freshwater fish in a paper entitled “Management and Production of Freshwater Fish” published in the Australian Veterinary Journal in 1972. He worked on the exploitation of otherwise noxious weeds and on the recycling of what would otherwise have been waste products as alternative feeds for poultry. In this context he published in 1974 another significant paper entitled “Grapeseed and Water Hyacinth as alternative feed ingredients for poultry”.

His most proud work was a small book on horseshoeing, which was published through three editions. It is believed by veterinary colleagues “still to be the most authoritative work on horseshoeing in the English language”.

A University Academic
One estimates that more than 40,000 graduating students of the University of Queensland, knew John Springhall as the University Marshall, through his role within the University Department of Ceremonies and Protocol. His meticulous personality and attention to detail, his military training, and his innate sense of the importance of occasion, made him the perfect choice as the University Marshall within the University of Queensland. In this role, from 1963 until 1975 and again from 1979 until 1982, he was responsible for the preparation and conduct of all University Ceremonials ? not only of all Graduation Ceremonies, but at the interface between the University of Queensland and its Vice Regal, National and International visitors; and its hosting and representations to politicians, diplomats and visiting senior dignitaries. He brought to this role a feeling of certainty and security that everything would always be conducted “just right and with due decorum”.

Everyone who knew Dr Springhall understood that he held, as a fundamental belief, the importance of maintaining priceless traditions which might otherwise thoughtlessly be cast aside and thus lost forever. I remember his telling me on one occasion that however many hundreds, even thousands that there might be at a graduation ceremony, each individual graduate remembered and identified personally with the traditions that were being followed; and that such applied to them as an individual and had meaning for them as an individual, irrespective of the crowds which were present.

A Commando
Private Springhall enlisted in the Second A.I.F. in 1941. He had been an outstanding schoolboy sportsman, and a keen participant as a rugby and tennis player, an athlete and rower and as a keen skier. It was with this background, and with his personality features of forthrightness, duty and courage, that he was to wear for four years on active service, the unique and proud bottle green beret of that elite brand of brothers, the Australian Commando.

He served as a commando for four years in the 2/6 Independent Company at Balikpapan and elsewhere in Borneo “behind the lines”. Very occasionally he would describe some of his experiences, in those times, operating perhaps in the most dangerous environment in which in which any soldier can fight. With his colleagues, he was active in demolition work, the cutting of supply lines, the destroying of enemy communications and in numerous ambushes.

In his retirement, Brigadier Springhall served in more recent times for more than 10 years on the Committee of Management of the Queensland Commando Association, together with colleagues who had also served in the Independent Companies, with the Coastwatchers and with those survivors who had served in the “Z Force” special units. In 2003, he was elected Life Patron of the Queensland Commando Association, a role to which he brought his forthright and vigorous personality and a total loyalty to his old comrades in arms.

His persona, as a fit and vigorous former commando, extended to many cognate themes that characterise that unique and proud group of soldiers. As a trained commando diver, John continued his interest in scuba diving, and was elected as the Medical Officer for the University of Queensland Underwater Club. He once wrote to me that “If you know Boyle’s and Charles’ Laws and CPR, nothing else matters!” In the great tradition of “derring-do”, exemplified by Australian Commandos, he also was a skilled
Tiger Moth pilot. In his proud wearing of his green commando beret, with its Coastwatchers’ and “Z Force” badge entwined, he exemplified that spirit of adventure which not only fought behind the lines but knew well both the undersea world and the domain of the sky.

A Military Leader
After the conclusion of the Second World War, John Springhall continued his voluntary service in the Citizen Military Forces. He was decorated with a military MBE in 1956. On promotion to Lieutenant Colonel he was appointed as the Commanding Officer of the Queensland University Regiment and served for a triennium from 1962. In that era the Regiment trained every Sunday, and as the momentum for Australia’s deployment to Vietnam grew (from 1964), the Regiment grew in size to become eventually that of a full infantry battalion, albeit modified in its structure and training for its specialised Officer Training role.

After various senior staff postings he was promoted to Brigadier and appointed as Commander of 7 Task Force, based at Kelvin Grove in Brisbane. In this role he was also the Assistant Commander of the First Division; and as such was the Senior Army Reserve Officer in Queensland for the triennium from 1975. All of us who were privileged to serve under him remember his meticulous attention to detail and his fine leadership skills. He brought to that senior command position in the Australian Defence Force not only the experience and reputation of a former commando, and not only his service as a most successful Commanding Officer of our University Regiment, but the confidence and respect of one who had achieved at highest levels in his civilian professional career.

His role as a senior academic, his active service during the Second World War as a commando, and his manifest success in commanding the Army Reserve Brigade here in Brisbane in the difficult post-Vietnam era, led to his appointment as Honorary Colonel of the Queensland University Regiment in 1980. He served with distinction in that role for five years; and thereafter has been one of our most esteemed “Old Soldiers of the Regiment”. His consummate professionalism, his bonhomie, his loyalty and his preservation of tradition has made him a role model for many.

St John Ambulance Australia
One of Brigadier Springhall’s most proud roles was that of his service within St John Ambulance Australia. It was to St John that he brought a special enthusiasm and vigour, binding the drills and skills, volunteerism and leadership from his military career, to this esteemed civilian charitable body.

In the spirit of the Good Samaritan, but with his unique persona of up-front muscular Christianity, he has been a dominant presence in St John, both in Queensland and Nationally, for the past 35 years.

He was appointed District Superintendent in Queensland in 1969; and led St John’s uniformed Branch, then called the St John Ambulance Brigade, for a triennium from 1978. During his period as Commissioner to the St John Ambulance Brigade, he established the St John Recruiting Unit, the Direct Entry Officers Programme and the After-Hours Oxygen Delivery Service. This latter, a co-operative enterprise with Commonwealth Industrial Gases based at South Brisbane, provided an emergency “after-hours” oxygen delivery service for sufferers of breathing disorders throughout the Brisbane region. This innovation also contributed some important resources for the volunteer and teaching programmes of St John in Queensland.

One of his most important legacies was his foundation of the Community Care Branch of St John in Australia, in Queensland. He served as its first Chairman. In addition to this charitable work, he was the Ceremonies Officer for St John in Queensland (and for a period also Nationally) for some 20 years. In this capacity, he maintained the proud traditions of St John, with its ethos of voluntary service to the community in the context of acute illness and injury. The Order of St John - the secular Royal Order of Chivalry, which was established by Queen Victoria - occupied a special place in the last three decades of his life. He was decorated by Her Majesty as a Knight within this Royal Order in 1984; and he remained a fierce guardian of its traditions until his death.

Standards and Service
Each of us brings to this Tribute, our personal and individual knowledge of a person of outstanding and exemplary service. Each of us has our own memories of Dr John Springhall. His students, many now themselves leaders in the professions of veterinary science and animal husbandry in Australia and internationally, remember his special skills as a University teacher. They recall the “extra and personal” time that he spent with individual students, his personal encouragement and counsel, and the humour with which he coloured his lectures and tutorials. The former soldiers whom he commanded, at least eight of whom have gone on to Brigadier or General rank, remember him as a forthright leader in the tradition of the “soldier’s soldier”. All remember his life of exceptional and public volunteer and charitable service, that our society might be enriched.

What all of us remember is that in matters of principle, of tradition and of integrity, Brigadier John Springhall was always there, unflinchingly “up-front”. He has always been one of the first to draw a “line in the sand” if we strayed from tradition; and yet so often was the first to give praise and to encourage a junior or a colleague and say “well done”.

At his Tribute Service of farewell, we have come together as a collective witness to a unique Australian. We extend our sympathy to his wife, Mrs Janette Springhall and to his brother, the retired Sydney Surgeon, Dr Bill Springhall; and especially to his children - to Jane and Alan Nash and their sons; to George and Kim Springhall and their children; and to Katrina and Bruce Ferguson and their sons. We extend our closest thoughts and our sympathy to their husband, their brother, their father and grandfather. In addition to the love and affection held in their hearts and memories, John Springhall’s record is in the annals of the many bodies in which he served and to which he gave such exemplary service.

Esteem to his memory

Front Row Left to Right
Brigadier Trevor Luttrell, Brigadier Tom Parslow, Major General Steve Golding, Major General The Hon Jack Kelly, Major General Dennis Luttrell, Brigadier John Springhall, Brigadier Sam Harrison, Lieutenant Colonel Garry Chandler

Back Row Left to Right
Colonel Rod Hamilton, Colonel Pat Shanahan, Colonel John Pearn, Colonel John Taske, Colonel Vlas Efstathis, Colonel George Kearney, Colonel Gary McLeod, Colonel Peter Rule, Colonel Peter Nicol, Colonel The Hon John Greenwood

Photo taken 1 July 1994, (Ranks and titles as of the date of the picture)



As stated in the previous newsletter, the Commanding Officer QUR wishes to purchase cabinets to safely and securely display items of history that are in trust to the Association.  The items will not be restricted to QUR but will also include OCTU and QAC Training Unit/RURQ.

QURA has been actively collecting items of historical value.  Now let us display them.

Recently the CO was delighted to receive two display cases from the University of Queensland.  The executive would like to express our gratitude to Mary Lyons, Acting University Librarian, University of Queensland for her work in assisting us with these cases.

We are still looking to acquire a couple more so I continue to appeal to you for donations towards the setting up of the displays.

You can help in three ways:

  •  Donation of Money

  •  Donation of any suitable display furniture

  •  You may like to get your comrades to group together to purchase a cabinet. 

All donors will be acknowledged by a sign/plaque placed inside in the cabinet.


Please send all offers of money or assistance to

Trevor Luttrell
Mail : PO Box 1045 Sunnybank Hills Q 4109
Phone: 0437 442 964



QUR Association 2005 Christmas Drinks


The 2005 Christmas Drinks for the QUR Association will be held at the Victory Hotel,

Cnr Edward and Charlotte Sts, Brisbane on the evening of Friday 2 December 2005 starting at  1730 hours.  The Association has reserved a section at the right front of the beer garden.


Due to limited resources , the executive has decided to charge a fee of $10.00 per person to help defray some of the costs of the evening.  To reduce the admin overheads, we'll collect the money on the night.


Attendance Reply Form – RSVP 28 Nov 05

EMAIL to Peter Morton at

Name: ________________________________________________________________

  • I will be attending the Association’s Annual Christmas Party to be held at the Victory Hotel, Edward St, Brisbane on the evening of Friday 2 Dec 2005 starting at 1730 hours.

  •  I regret that I am unable to attend.  Please tender my apology.



Following a decision of the Executive, anyone requiring a printed copy of the newsletter will now have to contribute $2.50 per year towards the postage costs of the newsletter.

If you wish to receive this newsletter electronically, please email the Membership Registrar (Peter Morton) at peteramorton@bigpond.com.

To continue to receive the newsletter by post, please forward your cheque to:-

The Treasurer

QURA Association Inc

24 Walcott St

St Lucia, 4067

For those members with internet banking, payments may be made direct to the QURA Bank Account.

Details are BSB 064 129, Account 0090 4500, Account Name QUR Association Inc

Please ensure your name is supplied in the payment details.

Please note that the posted newsletter is a condensed version of the edition that appears on the QURA website (www.qura.bigpondhosting.com).  Due to size limitations, some articles and photos may be removed to enable the posted version to be sent at normal letter rates.

The QURA website to  has the following contents:

  •       Current and Past Newsletters

  •       Original Constitution

  •        Items of History for Sale (photos and history)

  •        Photos



We intend continuing the collection of any pieces of history.  We encourage members to take the time to write of their time in the Regiment.  Either send it in hard copy of email it to any Executive member.

Don’t worry about the formatting – just produce the words.  We will format it for the history collection.


In the last newsletter, we presented some of the emails from BJ Price re his trip visiting WW1 Battlefields. 


The rest of BJ's emails are included for your appreciation:-




World Battlefield Tour - May 2005 (Contd)    



Sitrep 4: Where Jacka Stood His Ground


From the heights of the Nek it was just a 50m gentle stroll to Walker's Ridge past rows and rows of slowly decaying support trenches. The self same trenches from whence our blokes had gathered to launch that fatal charge where their only gain was to put forever beyond doubt the quality of their mettle.  And so did they join the ranks of the immortals.

Walker's ridge was part of the right flank behind the Nek that gave a commanding view right from this portion of the Second Ridge southwards to Russel's Top and the Sphinx and Northwards to Suvla.


View from Walker’s Ridge


Probably the most awe inspiring single natural feature in all of ANZAC is the Sphinx, jutting out towards the beach like a crumbling sand coloured bayonet.  The sheer impossibility of the terrain is plainly seen from this cliff face, because up on  Walker's Ridge…. one slip and you'd be dead.  We swung around Walker's and up onto Russel's Top which is actually on the back of the Sphinx and from their you could see back up the ridge and across to Monash Valley topped by the legendary Quinn's Post. 


It was said that Diggers would pause at the bottom of Monash and look up the Quinn’s as a young child might at a haunted house.  The terrifying din of the constant close quarter battle rarely relented day or night with the trenches separated by only 20 odd feet.  If we ever lost Quinn’s we would have lost ANZAC and thus was it so fiercely and dearly contested.  In a similar way the whole line of Posts along the 'front' were of extreme strategic import.  Steel's, Pope's and Courtney's are legendary names that we visited that cool clear morning.  We saw the trenches there of both sides, now just a jumble of zig zagging depressions and amongst it was still visible the entrance of a Turkish tunnel.


 Turkish Tunnel opposite Quinn’s Post


"I managed to get the buggers Sir".


A typically laconic use of the vernacular to describe his cool headed action at Courtney's Post on the night of May 18\19.
After reading so much over the years about the Digger whom CEW Bean described as "Australia's finest fighting soldier" finally here we stood.


The cool sea breeze began to pick up and wheeze through the pines; everywhere the song of nightingales reinforced the incongruity of Gallipoli.  How could a place where such horror unfolded be so completely beautiful. I could feel the tears begin to well up, I choked them back and stood their silently and whispered my respects to those who once endured that part of the line.  They too heard the nightingales sing and would remark on the irony.

Courtney’s Post, now a neatly clipped lawn and a simple white marble monument to mark the spot where Australias' first Victoria Cross of WW1 was won by one of Anzac’s greats, our Bert Jacka.

On that fateful night in May when the Turks massed to push the Anzacs back into the sea, Courtney's Post was overrun and occupied by the Turks.  Not for long though it turned out.

Jacka retook it by charging over the top and straight in amongst the Turks.  He shot two, bayoneted five and sent the rest running for their lives.  Such fearless, determined action would mark his long and illustrious war service in the 1st AIF that saw him finish with the VC, MC and bar. According to Bean he should have received the VC thrice but, well our Bert had a way of pissing off his 'superiors'....like all good Diggers.

God bless Bert, lest we forget cobber.

More to follow.





Sitrep 5 : The Pine

Lone Pine Cemetery

"It was no easy thing to see which way they had come, so thick was the ground sown with their dead and dying".


So did Lionel Baylebridge describe the terrible sight at Lone Pine when the Aussies were loosed from the trenches that had so long confined them and the August Offensive was in full swing.  We paid a hellishly dear price for the feint that turned into a full scale attack; some 2000+ dead and  the most VC's ever won for an Australian action....seven.

But not all the VC's in the world was worth the loss of the least of one of our boys.
We walked to Lone Pine, and stood there in the shadow of that imposing,  solemn Australian monument juxtaposed with that solitary pine tree and boys it wasn't an easy thing to see which way they had come.


The 'way they had come'.

So many young blokes gone forever.
The killer for me was wandering through the cemetery and reading the epitaphs to those fine brave lads........


Lone Pine Memorial


We lingered a while, shed a few more private tears and then somewhat reluctantly left them to their eternal vigil and headed down off the Second Ridge straight through the guts of ANZAC, past the lonely 4th Bn Cemetery, all trim and clean....and sad. We followed a faint goat track at its rear through the scrub along the ridge of Braund's Hill and traced our way, immersed in the ANZAC terrain, between Monash and Shrapnel Gully. As we walked unperturbed by the hell endured here by our blokes again I must make mention of the serene, evocative beauty of the battlefield. If the desire took you, a man could walk not twenty paces and collect a posy of some dozen or more different blooms. Each one a study in nature's magnificence, collectively a dazzlingly bunch of floral beauty. A cuckoo chimed and as the gentle sea breeze started to pick up it pushed the patchwork foliage in those gullies like waves of texture change. The whole place shimmered and the heady scent of crushed thyme from our rugged progress through the scrub added to the sensory experience.  


The Guts of ANZAC

You almost felt as if you had to pinch yourself lest you got too bloody introspective but the hairs were standing up on the back of my neck and I seemed to have a perpetual lump in my throat. I mean here we were bush bashing through the back blocks of ANZAC where blokes like Billy Sing 'the murderer' plied his trade as an untested sniper, where the selfless Simmo and his donkey Murphy trudged, where our men lived fought and died hell West and crooked. It was both sobering and intoxicating.

                                                                              Simmo’s Grave

Of course to have walked that self same ridge during the Campaign would have been both foolish and most likely fatal but today amongst the indentations of eroded dugouts we walked with impunity, our only wounds were those of the thorny camel bush which again in this place of contrast was ablaze with bright yellow flowers. As we winded our way ever lower down those slopes we could see the Shrapnel Gully Cemetery down below us, another immaculate lawn of verdant green set neatly with row upon row of military gravestones and in it's midst a huge flowering tree stood and shed it's petals which gathered in drifts of spent pink against the graves.

Shrapnel Gully Cemetery

We stopped here for lunch, not saying much, just lying back where our boys lay, taking in the scenery trying to make it indelible. After a short break we followed another small track off from the Cemetery and climbed a steep track up to Russell's Top which looks directly over ANZAC Cove and out over the Aegean.


View Nor-east from Plugge’s Plateau

I was glad to see that from this high vantage all signs of the roadworks were invisible, again I was struck with how small the cove was, probably about 650 metres of shore where so much of significance to Australia took place 90 years ago.  We took a few snaps and then headed down to the Cove proper where Sparty did a Birdy and went for a swim in the clear chilly waters. A took a few snaps of him waving his slouchie as he swam imitating General Birdwoods' much publicised skinny-dip all those years ago. The media are still tarts.
We paused to souvenir a few pretty pebbles from that sacred beachhead and then said our goodbyes. I won’t ever return. It was my Diggers' pilgrimage and I have fulfilled that deeply personal oath. God bless you men of ANZAC.
We are your sons, we honour you and we will never forget your sacrifice.

BJ out.



Sitrep 6: The Western Front

I now know why our Diggers were so enamoured of France when they first arrived there in the Spring of 1916. Nearly ninety years on the French Countryside has lost none of its enchantment. It is the most beautiful place I have ever seen. The most beautiful scenery in Oz can't hold a candle to it. I'll go even further. The French were the most hospitable, genuinely nice people you could ever hope to meet, and their sheilas......boy our dearth of barge arsed birds do not compare well I'll give you the drum. I think maybe only 5% of the population were seriously overweight and everyone, bar us, dresses as if they off to a Ball. In a nutshell, stylish, beautiful friendly people in a Country so aesthetically gorgeous it just bowls you. So bang goes all the stereotypes about the French and France I ever held. I was ill-informed and just plain wrong.
We picked up out flash brand new Citroen C4 (and yes it went off like a bomb) in Paris and I somewhat apprehensively took the wheel whilst Sparty played navigator. Good Gawd...an Officer with a map!! It was one hell of a freaky thing going around corners and roundabouts the wrong way, heading up streets the wrong way and having the gear stick on the right but somehow we got to Villiers Bretonneux without mishap.
I might mention that the slow lane on the highway was 130km/per hour and we sat on 150km. The roads were exceptional and the drivers the most courteous you could ever imagine. Three lanes and the slow lane is where the trucks are required to travel. Drivers who overtake only stay in the overtaking lane for the shortest time required to complete the manoeuvre and then they pop back into the middle lane. Consequently the traffic flows like quicksilver and I don't think they know the meaning of road rage. Struth but we could learn a few things from this mob. Too many to mention in fact here.
Anyway, it was mid afternoon and the sexton was trimming the expansive lawn at the Australian Cemetery when we arrived.


Villiers Brettoneaux Cemetery

Again being on our own we had the place to ourselves.  No huge mob of noisy idjits being shepherded around to disturb the poignancy.  Just the drone of the mower and the larks singing like they were fit to burst under clear blue skies and with the breeze stiffening the flags.


Age Shall Not Weary Them

Probably the largest of the Western Front Aussie Memorials Villiers Bretonneux was an extraordinary experience. Just to stand there at the entrance and look down the avenues of graves to the huge ramparted memorial
wall with the Australian and French Flags flying proudly side by side just ripped your guts out.  You could just feel the emotion sweep over you. I was powerless to fight that bloody lump in the throat again and so we each
just wandered about alone trying to keep our tears hidden.  Could have done with some rain that day.

Rest in Peace Cobbers

I guess we spent a good hour wandering that sacred high ground, torturing ourselves by reading those epitaphs.
Those heartfelt words just nail you through the heart. The very first gravestone I stopped at was a Digger from 51st Battalion so it was tough from the word go.
We finished up at the register and signed our names and again paused to look out of that magnificent countryside. It's mainly agricultural land as green as green with various pastures and crops contrasting beautifully.
Set here and there in that rich rolling land are copses of trees, an acre here, there ten, all foreign to me but simply breathtaking.  So our men now rest in heaven.


Ecole (School) Victoria

We headed down to the School Victoria and visited the museum attached to it. It had a terrific collection of Australian War memorabilia and from the window you could see that famous banner in their schoolyard.


To see it there so prominent so bold and so proud was simply wonderful and a fitting end to an extraordinarily emotional day. 


Do Not Forget Australia’


BJ out.




Sitrep 7: Menin Gate at Midnight

For the first couple of days in Northern France we based ourselves at Amiens which is a large bustling city and well placed for day trips in the mighty C4 Citroen to many of the battlefields synonymous with our First World War Diggers.


 "No battlefield has been more densely sown with the Australian blood than Pozieres" so wrote CEW Bean of that "ash heap upon ash heap", that place where Jacka undertook "the single most audacious act in the history of the AIF" and yet was denied a bar to his VC.


Pozieres, where the sustained cannon fire was considered the worst of any First World War battlefield, where it rolled like the Devil's timpani, his own hell's bells.  The morning we visited Pozieres, the weather had turned bleak.  There was a light misty rain falling and the wind factor made a bloke wished he'd packed a pair of  gloves.  The old town is not much more than a main street with a few shops surrounded by rolling agricultural land.... and a pub..... Tommy's Inn, ironically with Australian flags adorning the shopfront.


That was good enough for us and as we stepped into its  warm interior we were greeted by a wall to wall display of WW1 memorabilia with the Aussies well and truly over-represented...for a Pommy pub that is! 


But better than that was what lay out the back. An old trench system had been carefully excavated and painstakingly reconstructed with an amazing degree of detail.  It was without doubt the best and most realistic display we saw anywhere.  The attention to detail was mind boggling.


Pozieres Trench Reconstruction

We kept stopping and saying "What the hell is that?" I videotaped the system in it's entirety from one end to the other.  That afternoon we also visited Mouquet Farm (Moo Cow Farm our boys called it) which is still a working diary farm.  It has a plaque set outside with a few lonely looking grave stones and an overview of the costly battles fought here by men such as Harry Murray VC, our most decorated WW1 soldier.  We visited Hamel and trod the heights above the famous village where General John Monash rewrote the Pam on WW1 Battlefield Tactics on that red letter day on July 4 1918.  A beautiful curved black tiled monument, embraces the heights there, replete with exquisite reliefs of Monash and his men and the actions that day that brought the end of the war so tangibly closer.


Hamel Trenches

There was no one there but Sparty and myself.  No noisy mobs spilling from tour buses, not even a groundsman, just us and our blokes.  The whole area was fenced off due to renovations but with no one there to stop us in we went and trod the trenches proper.  I collected a small piece of rock from Hamel to give to my old Digger mate John Farrell, whose Lieutenant Colonel Grandfather won the DSO there and whose citation  reads “for the capture of the village of Hamel".  Now that's some accolade.


From Hamel we drove down to the beautiful old village Albert and as the clouds began to break and the sun began to shine in patches, from a great distance we could see her; the golden statue of the Virgin Mary with child high atop the Albert Cathedral.  The famous statue which had hung at a precarious angle due to shell fire during the war and whose demise it was said would foretell the loss of the war.  Well the statue did not fall and after years of pain we had our victory and today she stands restored in all her majesty, unbowed and gloriously visible for miles.


Ypres or Wipers as the Australians called it was our next base camp.  Here in Belgium were fought battles such as Passchendale, Polygon Wood, Menin , Messines, Hooge Crater and Armentieres.  And here perhaps most famously of all in that ancient city lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; the Menin Gate.


Menin Gate Ypres Belgium

Every evening at 8 o'clock, which is still bright daylight in Springtime, the Flemish buglers in full military regalia perform the Last Post in chorus under the arches of that most imposing monument and at every performance there is a crowd of several hundred there to pay their respects.  It is a most inspiring sight and a spine tingling event.



Menin Gate Inscription

Ypres is also famous for the myriad of beers brewed there.  Virtually every cafe has its own personal compliment of boutique brews.  Damn shame.  So on our last evening we decided to venture out with a few bottles of beer into the chill night air and visit the Menin gate at midnight.  An oil painting by Will Dyson with  that same title depicts the multitudinous ranks of ghostly soldiers from horizon to horizon parading at midnight before the Menin Gate.  And so we headed there and had a quiet ale with some of the 11000 Diggers who have no known grave but are remembered here still.


Only the echoes of our footfalls and the occasional passing vehicle punctuated our quiet talk with those men, our young and not so young who gave of their very lives so that our Country and its' people could live and prosper. 


We will never forget them and their sacrifice.  Lest we forget.


Lest we Forget

It was an incredible experience our world trip and this last night on the Western Front, at Menin Gate was truly a highlight.


BJ out 

Thanks BJ Price for allowing us to share in your wonderful experience




If you pay your membership fees on a year by year basis payment is now due for 2006. 

For those members with internet access, please check the members page to ensure that your membership is current.

For those members receiving this newsletter by post, a code showing your membership status is printed on the address label..

The codes are:

  • SMEMB - Special Member (no fees)

  • LMEMB - Life Member (no fees)

  • PUOM - Paid Up Ordinary member (no fees but can transfer to 10 year membership for $50)

  • NEW - New member (no membership fees received as yet)

  • 2005 – 201? membership fees paid to year indicated

  • 199? - 2004 membership fees due for 2005


Annual dues are $10 and a 10 year paid-up membership can be had for $70.  

Postage of newsletter $2.50 per year

Cheques should be forwarded to:

The Treasurer

QUR Association

24 Walcott Street,

St Lucia 4067

For those members with internet banking, payments may be made direct to the QURA Bank Account.

Details are BSB 064 129, Account 0090 4500, Account Name QUR Association Inc

Please ensure your name is supplied in the payment details.




The Executive Committee encourages all members to provide an email address to allow quick and easy communication of important notifications and reminders of upcoming events. 

By moving to electronic notifications and access to our website for newsletters, it is hoped to substantially defray our administration costs.  Producing the newsletter in an electronic form we can provide colour photographs and can, in fact, include more pictures and articles.

We will still maintain a postal service for those members without email accounts but an extra charge of $2.50 per annum will be required to assist in the postage and handling costs.

For members wishing to provide a new email address, please send an email to Peter Morton at peteramorton@bigpond.com  so he can ensure your address is received and entered onto our contact list.




Have you considered purchasing a copy of the History of QUR magnificently complied and edited by Paul Smith?

It contains 128 pages of stories, photographs and has a coloured badged cover.

COST :            $15 per copy.

What about a CD containing over 100 images of the history of the Regiment.

COST :            $10 per copy.

Why not treat yourself to a copy or buy copies for your friends.  These are collectors items so don’t miss out.

How to purchase copies:

Ring                        Trevor Luttrell      0437 442 964

Email                    trevor.luttrell@qed.qld.gov.au

Send your payment to:

The Treasurer, QUR Association, 24 Walcott Street, St Lucia Q 4067.

For those members with internet banking, payments may be made direct to the QURA Bank Account.

Details are BSB 064 129, Account 0090 4500, Account Name QUR Association Inc

Please ensure your name is supplied in the payment details.



Association Office Bearers


Position Name Bus Hrs A/Hrs Email
President Trevor Luttrell 3420 2576 0437 442 964 trevor.luttrell@qed.qld.gov.au
Vice President Paul Smith 3221 1275 0417 629 885 psmith@qldbar.asn.au
Secretary Bruce Davis 3622 1777 3878 2920 bdavi63@eq.edu.au
Assistant Secretary (2IC) Ron Cox     roncox@bigpond.net.au
Treasurer Andrew Luttrell 3225 8349 3217 7424 andrew.luttrell@nrm.qld.gov.au
Membership Secretary Peter Morton 3406 6820 3425 3060 peteramorton@bigpond.com
Newsletter Editor        
Committee Members Greg Adams 3264 5544 0422 849 659 g.adams@bigpond.com
  Col Ahern 3896 9510 3278 1862 col.ahern@nrm.qld.gov.au
  Chris Backstrom 3863 9238 3359 6262 christopherback@aol.com
  Garry Collins   3359 5993 gazco@powerup.com.au
  Ruth Kassulke 3119 9789 3314 6818 ruthkassulke@optusnet.com.au
  Peter Nolan 3236 2765   nolan@qldbar.asn.au
  David Ross 3227 6974 0402 904 204 dar@uq.net.au
  Mal Try   3278 3393  


End of Newsletter