Events of the Last Few Weeks

My last few weeks have been busy wih activities that, on their own aren’t significant, although they have had an impact on me.

Liberation of Villers Brettoneux Memorial Service

Some years ago, along with my good friend Ken, I joined a commemorative organisation called ‘The Friends of the 15th Brigade’. This was the Brigade in which my grandfather (Walter Wilson) served in WW1. By strange coincidence, I first met Ken on the bus to Puckapunyal Army Base after reporting for our National Service duty in 1969. We later found out that both our grandfathers had served in this same military unit.  Ken and I have now been mates for fifty five years.

The 15th Brigade was led by Brigadier General Harold (Pompey) Elliot, one of Australia’s most noted military commanders. On April 24 1918, he led his Brigade in a signature pincer movement to liberate the German occupied village of Villers Brettoneux near the Somme River in France. The British had tried to achieve this goal but failed. This was one of the actions by Australians that changed the tide of WW1. His success in this battle resulted in Australia having more influence on world history than ever before, or since. Pompey, a solicitor, suffered from depressiion (PTSD) after the war and took his own life in the 1930’s. He was unable to bear the pain and anguish that his men were forced to suffer under his command in battle.

It is always good to reflect on the bravery of the men involved along with our family’s part in this historical event.

Laying wreaths under the memorioal tree in the Shrine of Remembrance Gadrens (Me on the left nd Ken omn the Right)

Anzac Day

Anzac Day on April 25 is one of the most revered days in Australia’s annual calendar. On this day, we commemorate all Australians who have served and died on active service.

Ths year I was up at 4.00 am to pick up my mate Ken (who I had only seen thre day before) and attend the dawn service at Box Hill. This RSL branch conducts a very good service and we were back to pre-covid levels with around 3000 people gathering in the dark around the memorial. The RSL did a wonderful job catering for around 1400 people who stayed on for a ‘gunfire breakfast’.

Dawn service at Box Hill

From Box Hill, we caught a bus into the city and participated in the Anzac Day march to the Shrine. As we assembled, I caught up with seven or eight people with whom I had serverd in Vietnam. The weather forecast was for showers and although it didn’t rain, the number of people marching was smaller than in previous years. On the other hand, I think that the size of the crowd was larger.The number of marchers could have also been impacted by the fact that we were first to go with a very early 9.00 am march start. There wasn’t much of the normal ‘hurry up and wait’ this year. (Any one who has served in the armed services knows all about that.)

My unit banner that we march behind in the Anzac Parade March

After the march, we returned to Box Hill where I, with three other veteran mates and our familes, had a nice lunch. I am proud of my service and grateful that my family think enough of it to join us for lunch every Anzac Day.


Last Friday, I underwent surgery for an Abdominal Hernia. I was only in hosptal for one night and have only a little pain and discomfort. I remember being transfered to the operating table with the medical team all around me. They were all men. I said to the anaethsatist that I was disappointed that there wasn’t an attractive lady who could kiss me goodnight. The last thing I remember was him saying “That’s enough of you, You’re out of here”.  With that I was sound asleep!

I cannot lift more than 5 kilograms for the next six weeks and I have to be careful not to do anything too strenuous. At my post surgical consultation yesterday I found out all was well so I am set up for a good recovery.

Stupid Governement Decisions.

The very leftist council of the ‘Socialist Republic’ of the City of Yarra has announced a decision to limit  the speed of vehicles (including trams) to 30 kph (18 mph) in streets within its city limits. It’s a ridiculous move that even the Police Commisioner doesn’t support.

I can see that the next step in driving to our daughters house is to go back in tme when we will need a man carrying a red flag in front of the car – like they did in the early days.

Perhaps a pool of these flag carriers will be stationed on major intersections for hire. Will they they charge by the hour, or by distance, perhaps? What about the poor people? Maybe service organisations like Rotary or Lions can provide volunteers for pensioners or those who are unemployed.

The only positive thing that I can see about this reduced limit, is that it may slow the feral inner city bike riders down to a reasonable speed. They are real danger as they speed past silently without a care for anyone else and get angry at you for following the road rules. Thre are no such things for them as a red light, sop sign or give way sign. I suspect that they really won’t care and they will just ignore this speed limit as they do for every oher road rule.

Anyway, here’s to a quiet few weeks and some time over the next few weeks to contemplate the meaning of life.

One thought on “Events of the Last Few Weeks”

  1. Glad you are recovering well from the hernia job. And that you are behaving yourself re weights etc.
    Seems that you are a bit grumpy about the City of Yarra! It is hard to see what going less than 40 can achieve, other than interfere with the concentration of drivers.

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