ASBURY, Paul Desmond
public servant, army officer, potential and actual retiree 1947-

Paul Asbury on the morning of discharge from the Army at Enoggera – 15 Jan 1993

Born in Albury, NSW on 17 April 1947, he attended Christian Brothers College in Albury and then CBC St Kilda and its cadet unit until 1963.  He worked for the Australian Tax Office in Melbourne for the next three years, studied accountancy at night school and was an officer cadet of 3 Div OCTU.  This experience in both the Public Service and OCTU confirmed his interest in the Regular Army as a career.

He enlisted in the ARA in 1967 and in December was commissioned from OCS Portsea into RAASC until transferred to RACT in 1973.  OCS and a six-month young officers course in Puckapunyal were followed by two years as 2IC 3 Tpt Pl at Brisbane then Townsville. In October 1969, while honeymooning in South Australia, he was suddenly posted as 2IC of 85 Tpt Pl at Nui Dat, South Vietnam.  Promoted to captain in December 1970 on his return to Australia, he became an instructor at the RAASC Centre Transport Wing Puckapunyal. This was followed 1972-73 as Adjutant at the Tropical Trials Establishment, Innisfail where he was involved with the Medium Tank Trials (M60/Leopard) as well other fascinating trials involving armies from other countries, wjth the side benefits of Army life at Cowley Beach.

Guard Commander – CAPT Paul Asbury
CO – LTCOL Kevin MacPherson

From January 1973 until December 1974, he was the SO3 Coord at DST and then DTpt in AHQ Canberra. He in DTpt when it relocated to Melbourne as part of the newly formed HQ Log Comd.

In 1974 Asbury was posted as exchange instructor at the Army School of Transport at Longmoor UK, then SO3 Tpt on HQ 1 (BR) Corps in Germany until return to Australia in 1977.  All this, and also being paid to play tennis all over the UK for the RCT, made him wonder when the dream would stop: that dream burst on return to Canberra as SO3 then SO2 Org, at DMovT, Army Office until December 1979.  In January 1980 he became 2IC 1 Div Tpt Regt Enoggera, in 1982 attended the Army Command and Staff College Queenscliff, then two years as SO2 Ops/Plans HQ Log Comd. On promotion to lieutenant colonel in 1985 he became SO1 Pers HQ Log Comd.

Posted as CO 1 ATSR RAAF Richmond in 1986, he discovered he had signed for a very new but very flat Unimog truck after it had un-hooked itself from a CH47 Chinook.  He remained there until January 1989 and was sorry to leave the people who had made his job much easier than he deserved.  After a short sojourn in the Blue Mountains as CO 1 GL Group, Air Headquarters RAAF Glenbrook, when 1 ATSR had no complaints on the number of air hours allotted to it, he spent 1990-92 as CTMO 1 MD, with a three month break as Admin Comd of NQ Area in Townsville, and finally until early 1993 was SO1 Brisbane Log Group Bulimba.

Paul Asbury with grandson Harry – Dec 2009

Apart from SVN and UK/Germany, he considers his best postings were with 1 ATSR, 1 GL Group and 1 Div Tpt Regt. His early accountancy training was well hidden and not once did he end up as a mess treasurer in 26 years service.

Paul married Anne in October 1969, their children Robyn and Daniel. He is a happily retired grandfather living at Noosa who likes to fish in his spare time from his hobbies – boating, computing and maintaining contact by email with many old soldiers with whom he enjoyed serving. He is also web assistant for and an active member of the Noosa Men’s Shed. He also often fondly remembers all his postings to field units and those other units with real soldiers in them.

BASSAM, Warren Francis
army officer and professional association executive 1935-

Warren Bassam

Warren Bassam was born at Auburn NSW into a large family, the youngest of seven. He left high school at 14 to become a retail trainee, while also managing tennis courts as a sideline and playing pennant tennis.

He entered the army through OCS Portsea, graduating in 1954 into the Australian Staff Corps and being allocated to RAASC. Following the usual five month post graduate course at the RAASC Centre Puckapunyal he spent two years as a platoon commander at 20 NS Trg Bn, followed by 107 Sup Dep Pl Darwin, and Instructor with 2 Div Colm RAASC Sydney. During this early service he matriculated in Victoria and commenced part time studies at University of Queensland.

Briefing unit during Exercise Bersatu Padu Malaysia

On promotion to captain Warren became OC 121 Sup Dep Pl Singleton, then 2ic 107 Coy RAASC Townsville 1962-64. After this he began two years in Malaysia with 3 Coy RASC, including a secondment to Labuan as OC of a UK Supply Depot and attachment to and Air Dispatch unit during Confrontation. After a brief attachment to AAFV and service with US Army advisers in the Mekong Delta, he was promoted to major and through 1967-70 commanded 2 Sup Dep Randwick, the principal support depot for Australian Force Vietnam.

At Puckapunyal

Two postings followed in rapid succession: as OC HQ 37 Sup Coy which was deployed for five months to Malaysia commanding a UK, NZ and Australian Logistic Support Unit supporting 1 RAR and 9 Royal Malay Regiment; and DADST in HQ Eastern Command. He was then selected to attend the Staff College Quetta – the first RAASC officer to do so.

On return to Australia in 1972 he was posted DAQMG DAW AHQ Canberra, then on promotion to lieutenant colonel as CTMO 3 Mov & Tpt Gp Melbourne, following the Corps change to RACT. In 1975 he became Deputy Commander 6 MD Hobart, coordinating the Jubilee Royal Visit of the Queen and also the Edinburgh Military Tattoo. His last two years were as SO1 Projects in Materiel Branch and a final posting as SO1 Coord to the Chief of Logistics.

Warren left the Regular Army after 25 years service to take up appointment as National Executive Director of the Australian Veterinary Association, which extended to 12 years, and was given a Meritorious Service Award as well as honorary membership. He then spent three years as CEO of the Nursery Industry Association of Australia.

He also spent 12 years with Rotary and was President of one of Sydney’s largest clubs. He remains a member of the RAASC and RACT associations as well as the Air Dispatch Association and the Duntroon Society. Warren has had the pleasure of serving with many fine soldiers both within and outside the Corps and never regretted his decision to enter OCS Portsea and continue through army service. He was awarded the Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct 1971.

Always an avid sportsman from his high school days of cricket, rugby and athletics, he continued on to inter-service tennis, cricket and rugby, and captained the UK cricket team in the 28 Brigade competition in Malaysia.

In 1959 he married Patricia (Trish) whom he had known from her teens: they had four sons, all now with professional vocations.

GILLESPIE, Kenneth James
professional soldier 1952-

Lieutenant General K.J. Gillespie, AO, DSC, CSM

Born in Brisbane, he was educated at Inala State High School, then enlisted in the army as an apprentice in 1968. He graduated from the Officer Cadet School Portsea in 1972, was commissioned into the the Australian Staff Corps and allotted to Royal Australian Engineers.

He held a range of regimental and staff appointments, including: instructor appointments at the School of Military Engineering and 1st Recruit Training Battalion; regimental appointments as a captain and major in the 2nd, 5th, and 2nd/3rd Field Engineer Regiments and the 1st Construction Regiment; company commander at the Army Apprentices School; and Senior Instructor at the School of Military Engineering.

During 1986 and 1987 he was the Australian Exchange Instructor at the Royal School of Military Engineering in the United Kingdom. In 1989 he was 2IC and operations officer 2nd Australian Contingent to the UN Transition Assistance Group in Namibia.

Visiting troops

In 1985 he attended the Australian Command and Staff College, Queenscliff; in 1991 the Australian Joint Services Staff College; and 1998 the Royal College of Defence Studies.

Senior appointments have included: CO 3 Combat Engr Regt, Staff Officer Operations to CDF, commander Australian Theatre Joint Intelligence Centre, and the Principal Staff Officer-Intelligence, HQ Australian Theatre. Promoted to brigadier as Chief of Staff Training Command, he then commanded the UN Sector West Multinational Brigade in East Timor, and National Commander of Australia’s contribution to Operation Enduring Freedom.

Australian Army 109th birthday address

Appointed Land Commander Australia in January 2004, he was then promoted to lieutenant general as Vice Chief of the Defence Force in 2005, and assumed the appointment of Chief of Army in 2008.

He is married to Carmel and they have a student daughter. He has two grown children from a previous marriage. He is well travelled, enjoys most sports, particularly golf, and is a keen reader.

HICKLING, Francis John
professional soldier 1941-

Lt Gen F.J. Hickling

Frank Hickling was born at Gosford and educated at Monaro High School, Cooma. He graduated from the Officer Cadet School Portsea in 1961 into the Australian Staff Corps and was allotted to Royal Australian Engineers. His early postings included 1 Fd Sqn 1963-64, 20 Fd Pk Sqn 1964-65, HQ 6 Const Gp 1965-66, SME 1966-67. Then came command of 1 Fd Tp in FARELF 1967-69, 23 Const Sqn 1969-70 and 1 Fd Sqn 1970- 71.

After a staff posting as DAQMG in DAW Canberra, he attended the Royal Military College of Science in UK and the Army Staff College Queenscliff, he served in staff appointments in Department of Defence (Army Office) DLD 1976-78 and DAW 197x-7x, then commanding 2/3 Fd Engr Regt and Xxxxx 1 Div.

After attending the Joint Services Staff College in 1983 he remained on the staff of the College until appointed Director of Plans Army Office. In 1988 he attended the National Defence College India then commanded 1st Brigade 1989-90, then moving to Commander Northern Command. On promotion to maajor general in 1972 he became GOC Training Command, then Commandant Australian Defence Force Academy in 1995. After appointment as Land Commander in 1996, he moved to Chief of Army in 1998, retiring in 2000.

He is married to Janice and they have two children. He was interested in a number of team sports, leading the Australian Army Ski Team, still plays tennis and cricket at a social level and is a keen angler; he enjoys reading and bridge.

McLACHLAN, David John
army officer, comporate advisor and voluntary worker 1937-

David was born at Harden. He attended the Officer Cadet School Portsea in 1959 and was commissioned into the Australian Staff Corps and allotted to RAASC.

David McLachlan was born in Harden NSW on 13 March 1937. He graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea in December 1959 and was allotted to the Royal Australian Army Service Corps.

  • Attend RAASC Basic Officer courses’ at RAASC Centre Puckapunyal / Jan 60 – June 60
  • OC; 90 TPT Pl / RAASC Perth, WA / Jul 60 – Apr 62
  • SupO; 52 Sup Pl / RAASC WACOL QLD / Apr 62 – Mar 64
  • SupO; 1 Sup Dep / RAASC
  • Malacca – Malaysia incl. det to 15 AD Regt / RAASC in Butterworth and Labuan / Mar 64 – Mar 66
  • Staff Captain S&T (Supply and Transport) ; Army Headquarters Canberra / Mar 66 – Mar 68 –
  • Staff Capt Q ; / HQ AFV – South Vietnam / Mar 68 – Mar 69
  • Inst Ops Wing; / RAASC Centre Puckapunyal. VIC / Apr 69 – Apr 70
  • ADJT ; / RAASC Centre / Apr 70 – May 71

The early years of his service saw regimental and staff appointments in Australia. Malaysia during Confrontation with Indonesia, and in South Vietnam. He underwent training in the United Kingdom, attending the University of Reading in 1970 and 1971 and followed with a series of attachments to British and United States Army units in Germany.

On return to Australia in 1972 he was promoted to Major and appointed Officer Commanding of a logistic unit in NSW.

In 1973 he attended the Army Command and Staff College at Fort Queenscliff and was then posted to Headquarters Logistic Command as a staff officer until the end of 1977. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in December 1976.

Posted as Commanding Officer of the Logistic Battalion in Western Australia in January 1978, he remained there until attending the Joint Services Staff College in Canberra during the first half of 1980. Staff Officer Grade One appointments followed in Army Headquarters for the next three years when he was promoted to Colonel and appointed Director of Logistic Operations.

In January 1986, David McLachlan was promoted to Brigadier and assumed the appointment of Chief of Staff, Headquarters Logistic Command, an appointment he held for three and a half years. Further overseas study occurred during this time with attendance at an International Course at the US Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. In July 1989 he moved to Sydney as Commander 2nd Military District where he stayed until the end of 1990.

Returning to Melbourne in January 1991 he was promoted to Major General and assumed the appointment of General Officer Commanding Logistic Command. Logistic Command was a national Command with 10,000 military and civilian personnel, an annual budget, excluding salaries in excess of $600m and assets valued at over $2.5billion located in 67 different locations throughout Australia.

David McLachlan retired from the Regular Army in March 1994. He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 1989 and promoted to Officer in the Order in the Queen’s Birthday list in 1993.

Today he is the Chairman of Industry Capability Network Ltd, acts as a Corporate Advisor to a number of listed companies and is a Director of the Royal Humane Society of Australasia, and was elected State President of the Victorian Branch of the Returned and Services League in June 2002. He is also, proudly, the Honorary Colonel of the 4th/19th PWLH. Patron VSPA.

David is married to Louise; they have three children and presently live in Melbourne.

MULHALL, David Thomas
professional soldier 1964-


Brigadier D. Mulhall

David Mulhall was born in Brisbane and educated at Marist College Ashgrove. He graduated from the Officer Cadet School Portsea into the Royal Australian Corps of Transport in 1984.

His regimental experience was gained in 18 Tpt Sqn Randwick, 6 RAR Enoggera, Perth Tpt Unit Karrakatta and 3 Bde Admin Spt Bn Townsville. This experience as a junior officer was rounded out with a staff appointment on Headquarters Northern Command Darwin and as aide-de-camp to the GOC Log Comd Melbourne.

Promoted to major in 1995 he attended the British Army School of Logistics to study advanced operational logistics, returning to Australia to take up sub-unit command in 1 Cbt Svc Spt Bn Holsworthy. Following attendance at the Army Command & Staff College Queenscliff in 1998 he was posted to the Directorate of Officer Career Management-Army Canberra as a career advisor.

In 2000 he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and returned to C&SC as an instructor. On the establishment of the Australian Command and Staff College Canberra the following year, he was posted to the Directing Staff and subsequently appointed as inaugural Chief Instructor. Then followed command of 1 Combat Service Support Battalion Darwin in 2002-03. On return to DOCM-A Canberra in 2004 as career advisor for ARA lieutenant colonels, he was also for a period Acting Director.

Head of Corps RACT at Anglesea Barracks Hobart 2010

Promoted to colonel in 2005 he became Director Personnel Operations-Army before moving to Iraq as the Chief of Plans (Logistics) Multi-National Force-Iraq, for which he earned the US Bronze Star. On return in 2006 he was posted as Director Logistics-Army, then attended the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in 2008. David was subsequently promoted to brigadier and appointed as the inaugural Chief of Staff Army Headquarters Canberra.

Brig Mulhall is also appointed Head of Corps of RACT. His next posting is Commander 17 Combat Service Support Brigade Randwick in December 2010.
David is married to Michelle who is a serving RAAF wing commander: they are proud parents of Sarah, who was born in 2007. Michelle is very kind to indulge David’s passion for rugby and to console him following each terrible round of golf.

POWER Leslie Alexander
professional soldier and rouseabout  1932-2010

Les was born in Sydney into an Army family: his father Kevin a professional soldier – AASC driver of GS wagons then mechanical transport and tanks, subsequently a distinguished AIF Infantry officer awarded an immediate MC in New Guinea. Les’ grandfather, Colonel Alec Christie KStJ OBE MBE was also a professional soldier serving in the Australian Light Horse and Infantry before and during WW1, and in the AAMC/RAAMC in WW2 and after.
He attended a variety of NSW and Victorian primary schools before his family settled back in Sydney where he attended Sydney Technical High School. Following a period of short term jobs ranging from rabbit trapper, process worker and grease monkey to vehicle ferry driver, in 1949 he joined his father’s business as an interstate semi-trailer driver.
Les enlisted in the AASC CMF in 1948, exaggerating his age by a year to be accepted. Promoted Corporal in 1950, he transferred to the ARA Infantry in 1 RAR as Lcpl section 2ic; 1 Rec Trg Coy as Cpl Instructor; and 1 Rec Trg Bn as platoon sergeant. 1952 saw him at Ingleburn as platoon sergeant/instructor with B Coy 4RAR, the reinforcement training unit for Korea Force.
He attended the Officer Cadet School Portsea in 1953 and on graduation into the Australian Staff Corps was allotted to RAASC and posted to 19 NS Bn, then the ARA cadre of his original CMF unit 2 Div Coln. Following a series of postings to supplies and transport units he was promoted Captain as Adjt 18 NS Bn Hobart.
The next posting as 2IC 15 Coy RAASC (AD) was precursor to training with the US Army in 1961 in aerial delivery procedures for the new Hercules, Iroquois and Caribou aircraft. On return he was Instructor Air Supply and Project Officer, Air Mov Trg Flt RAAF, in 1965 returning to the US for training with US AD R&D units and agencies. Then followed promotion to Major and command of the newly-formed AMTDU (Army Component) at Richmond.
He attended the Australian Staff College in 1968 and, after commanding 18 Tpt Coy, served as DADST HQ AFV, actively involved in dovetailing the Australian combat supplies and transport system into the US logistics system. After return to Australia on the logistics staff of HQ 1 MD, he was seconded in 1973 to the SEATO Exercise Planning Group. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in 1976 as Asst Comd 1 FF Gp (7 TF) Brisbane, and in 1977 became the first CO of the newly-formed 1 ATSR RACT at RAAF Richmond. In June 1977 he transferred to the Army Reserve in Brisbane until retirement in 1982 after 34 years service.

Enjoying farm life

A foundation member of the Army Transport Association in Queensland, he has remained active in either committee or ex-officio matters in both the ATA and Air Dispatch Association. Les’ interests include maintaining a small property, fishing from his small tinnie in the nearby estuaries and seaside, and keeping up with old comrades and Associations through computer channels.
Les has been married to Patricia for fifty seven years: they have two sons (both RACT ARES officers) and five grandchildren. They enjoyed a rural retirement environment in Pine Rivers Shire north of Brisbane; Les passed away in 2010.

STEWART Ian Thomas
army officer and businessman 1933-

Lt Col I.T. Stewart mid jssc psc

Jock Stewart was born in Scotand and came to Australia in 1951. He entered OCS in June 1955, graduating as a second lieutenant into the Australian Staff Corps, allotted to RA Inf. His first posting was as a platoon commander, then assistant quartermaster in 15 NS Trg Bn Puckapunyal.

Then followed 1st Battalion Pacific Islands Regiment 1958-61, including six month tours at Vanimo and Manus Island. Patrolling with his platoon from Vanimo, he came across villages not previously been visited by a white man. A particularly interesting patrol was mounted from Port Moresby with the aim of finding an alternative overland route through the Owen Stanleys to Kokoda.

Before taking up his PIR posting Jock  went back to Scotland to see his parents and while there became engaged to Grace his childhood sweetheart. In 1959 he took leave and went to Perth to marry Grace, returning to Port Moresby to start their married life.

Briefing his company at Nui Dat for their first operation

Then came a year as platoon commander with 1 RAR Holsworthy, after which Jock was promoted to captain as an infantry instructor at OCS, followed by two years as staff saptain on the Australian Army Staff London. In 1967 he returned to PNG as major commanding Administration Company  2 PIR Wewak, and a year later the family moved to Townsville where he commanded D Coy 6 RAR. A year later the battalion (6 RAR/NZ Anzac) saw service in Vietnam, where he was Mentioned in Despatches.

After attending the 1970 course at the Australian Staff College Queenscliff he became Senior Instructor (Tactics) at the School of Infantry Holsworthy, followed by Secretary ABCA Primary Standardisation Office Washington. Returning to Australia in 1975 on promotion to lieutenant colonel, he was Staff Officer (Coordination) Reserve Branch, Army Office Canberra. He attended the Joint Services Staff College in 1977, then posted to the Directorate of Infantry as SO1 (Personnel).

Jock left the Army at the end of 1979 with no regrets and many fond memories of his service life. Each posting presented different challenges, new experiences and renewed and new friendships. He is delighted that the youngest of their three sons Malcolm – the others being Ronald and Donald – followed him into the Army.

Revisiting the site of the original 1969 Long Tan memorial SVN in 2009

On leaving the Army he used his military experience to develop and market a package for the insurance of defence force messes, clubs, regimental funds and other non-public monies accounts. The  package, called NAAFPAK (Navy Army Air Force Insurance Package), was underwritten by CGU Insurance and was a going concern when Jock sold the business in 2000.

He is an Elder of the Presbyterian Church and with Grace an active member of St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church  in Canberra. Jock maintains his military connections as a member of Canberra Legacy and of the Canberra Branch of RAR Association.




Loyalty and Service Copyright © 1995 by Neville Lindsay. All Rights Reserved.

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