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Beware The Amateur

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, here’s #233. We had a request to remount a set of medals today that had been ‘expertly’ put together by another backyarder, this time in Darwin. Unlike the usual bad practices of using superglue and hot glue guns to tack back riband and medals (which in this case had been done with loads of hot glue), this miscreant ‘expert’ had also saved himself the expense of adding purpose-built fixings – by hot-glueing [...]

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First G-G Arrives

15 DEC 1900: Australia’s first Governor General arrives. HMS Royal Arthur, bringing the first Governor General of Australia, the Earl of Hopetoun, arrives in Sydney. John Adrian Louis Hope, 1st Marquess of Linlithgow KT, GCMG, GCVO, PC, also known as Viscount Aithrie before 1873 and as The 7th Earl of Hopetoun between 1873 and 1902, was a Scottish aristocrat, politician and colonial administrator. He is best known for his brief and controversial tenure as the first Governor-General of Australia. [...]

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Japan Invades Malaya

14 DEC 1941: Japanese forces land at Penang, Malaya. Penang’s military importance lay in the island’s port facilities and its stocks of ammunition and stores. When the allies were unable to stop the Japanese advance on the mainland it became clear that the island would have to be evacuated. Penang is now a state in Malaysia and the name of its constituent island, located on the northwest coast of Peninsular Malaysia by the Strait of Malacca. It is bordered by [...]

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ALH at Umm el Rakam

13 DEC 1915: World War I and the Australian Light Horse fights at Umm el Rakam. The Light Horse was deployed against the Senussi, in Egypt’s western desert. In response to the growing threat from a pro-Turkish Islamic Arab sect known as the Senussi, a composite British force — the “Western Frontier Force” — under the command of the British Indian Army officer Major General Alexander Wallace, was sent into the Libyan Desert to Mersa Matruh in late-November 1915. This [...]

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Christmas Support for Troops

Deliveries of care packages from individuals in time for Christmas has now closed (last week), however you can still show your support – the most effective way for you to show your support is to send an e-mail message to the troops. These messages of support are circulated widely to Australian personnel. The RSL Australian Forces Overseas Fund prepares care packages that are dispatched twice yearly to Defence personnel deployed on operations. These care packs contain various non-perishable items, a [...]

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HMAS Australia Damaged

12 DEC 1917: Today, the battle cruiser HMAS Australia was damaged in a collision with the British battle cruiser HMS Repulse. On 22 April 1916 Australia collided with New Zealand in heavy fog and the damage kept her in dockyard hands until 9 June 1916. She thus missed the Battle of Jutland, her place as flagship of the 2nd Battle Cruiser Squadron being taken by New Zealand. On her return to service in June 1916, Australia continued North Sea patrols [...]

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OP Fauna, Korea

11 DEC 1952: The Korean War and the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment begins Operation Fauna, its objective is to capture prisoners and destroy enemy defences. Operation Fauna was a major trench raid on Chinese positions near Hill 355 to snatch a prisoner. Although no prisoners were taken, Chinese dispositions near Hill 355 were seriously disrupted. At 2400 hrs 10th December 1952, 4 Platoon, “B” Company Headquarters, one section of the Assault Pioneers Platoon and 6 Platoon moved off [...]

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Italy Declares War

11 DEC 1941: World War II and both Germany and Italy declare war on the United State. Though they had no need to do so, the declaration of waragainst the United States aligned the world’s greatest economic andmilitary power against them and virtually ensured their eventual defeat. Three days ago, US President Franklin Roosevelt announced America was at war with Japan, the third Axis power, following the surprise attack on its naval base at Pearl Harbor. Today Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, [...]

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Repulse and Prince of Wales Sunk

10 DEC 1941: World War II and HM Ships Repulse and Prince of Wales are sunk. The sinking of these powerful warships by Japanese torpedo bombers off Malaya came as a shock to those who had under-estimated Japan’s military ability and had relied on the imagined impregnable Singapore naval base. The sinkings heralded the significance of air power in the Pacific war. HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse (Force Z under the command of Admiral Tom Phillips) were [...]

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Australians at Gona

9 DEC 1942: World War II and Australians occupy Gona, New Guinea. The Japanese withdrawal from the Kokoda Trail enabled the allies to plan the encirclement of important Japanese positions in the Buna, Sanananda and Gona beachhead. Gona was the first of the three to fall to the allies after weeks of heavy fighting. On 19 November 1942, a patrol from the 2/33rd Battalion made the first contact at Gona. The 2/31st Battalion, which led the 25th Brigade, helped [...]

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