W3 Company - News  Pūrongo


Remembering ALL Our Fallen

on-going project to collect photos of all
our deceased veterans headstones

displayed against their name on the Company roll
- see examples 

scan and email the photo here 
[do close-up photos for best detail]

link to more news beginning July 2014  -  news archive  -  tipline for news about W3 people and their families



W3 Reunion 2015 - webmaster [5 June 2014]
Planning is underway for a W3 Coy 45th reunion in November 2015 - based in the South Island
[more details later...]

NOTICAS FATAL 727936 Pte William Richard [Pancho] KENYON 3Pl [18 June 2014]
Pancho passed away peacefully around 7AM 17 June 2014 after a long tenacious fight against cancer.  Bill had treatment for a brain tumour back in May 2013 and was given little chance of surviving but he set himself a number of goals and to the surprise of many [but not wife Merie] reached each one.

The funeral will be held at 1030 hrs Friday 20 June 2014 at the Sugar Loaf Chapel cnr Lee Road and Gloucester Street Taradale Napier followed by a private cremation.  Tributes here or to Merie here.  Gather at the Taradale RSA afterwards.

Merie Kenyon yesterday we had Bills Service, it was the most Beautiful of services, for a man that was respected, adored and loved, I will not remember this as a sad day but a great day... he was remembered and honoured.  Thank you to everyone that helped organised and supported us at this time, thank you to the friends that have sent messages and condolences xxxxx

Disabilities presumed to be attributable to service - webmaster [11 June 2014]
If you served in Vietnam between 29 May 1964 and 31 December 1972, with 41 Squadron between 1 January 1973 and 21 April 1975, or were a member of the civilian surgical team at the Qui Nhon Provincial State Hospital Vietnam from December 1963 until March 1975, the following disabilities are presumed to be attributable to service:  [reference]

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (including hairy-cell leukaemia and other chronic B –Cell leukaemia’s)
Soft tissue sarcoma
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Hodgkin’s disease
Porphyria cutanea tarda
Multiple myeloma
Respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, larynx, trachea)
Prostate cancer
Acute and subacute peripheral neuropathy
Type 2 diabetes
AL-type primary amyloidosis
Parkinson’s disease
Ischaemic heart disease
Veterans Support Bill Background - webmaster [29 May 2014]
Parliament debated the Veterans Support Bill in committee stage today, sponsored by Hon Michael Woodhouse Minister of Defence.  Here are three links to Parliamentary records for the Bill, the 2nd reading, and the Digest [outline of the Bill].  Evan Torrance's submission in support of Ross Millers submission is at this link.
Commemorating John Gurnick 3Pl - died of wounds 29 May 1970

John was cover scout for 3Pl on 29 May 1970 when a booby trap was missed and he and Chris Kennedy were wounded, John dying of his wounds within a short period.  Chris recovered after a period in 1AFH and returned to 3Pl for the remainder of the tour.

A brief description of the event is here, the after-action report here, and the timeline here.

Hospitalisation Derek Marsh 1Pl/Mortars - Denny King [20 May 2014]
Derek has left Westport and been admitted to Rannerdale Hospital in Christchurch for the last couple of weeks for medical assessment for lung and bowel problems.  He requires a walker/wheelchair to get around so is basically bed-bound.  Derek would appreciate visitors.
Veterans Pension Policy Impact Analysis - webmaster [15 May 2014]
A policy impact assessment is broadly a process aimed at structuring and supporting the development of policies.  It identifies and assesses the problem at stake and the objectives pursued.  It identifies the main options for achieving the objective and analyses their likely impacts in the economic, environmental and social fields.  It outlines advantages and disadvantages of each option and examines possible synergies and trade-offs.  Government is currently considering the Veterans Pension bill and the Veterans Pension Policy Impact Analysis for the bill is here.  Note the intention of providing for spouses of veterans.
45-years ago: Malaysian Riots 13 May 1969 - webmaster [13 May 2014]
Malaysia held a general election on 10 May 1969 amid serious racial tension between the indigent Malay and Chinese populations.  There were no incidents during the day but the Alliance Party only won nationally by a reduced vote while in Selangor it gained control only by the vote of the sole independent candidate, drawing with the Opposition for control of the state legislature.  Both parties held victory parades which ignited rioting in Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding area of Selangor, spreading rapidly across the city in just 45 minutes.  Many people in Kuala Lumpur were caught in the racial violence – dozens were injured and some killed, houses and cars were burnt and wrecked, but except for minor disturbances in Malacca, Perak, Penang and Singapore, where the populations of Chinese people were similarly larger, the rest of the country remained calm.  Violence concentrated at urban areas where infuriated Malays lashed out and murdered eight Chinese.  According to police figures which are disputed, 196 people died and 149 were wounded, 753 cases of arson were logged and 211 vehicles were destroyed or severely damaged.

Declaration of emergency The government ordered an immediate curfew throughout the state of Selangor.  Security forces comprising some 2000 Royal Malay Regiment soldiers and 3600 police officers were deployed and took control of the situation.  Over 300 Chinese families were moved to refugee centres at the Merdeka Stadium and Tiong Nam Settlement.  On 14 and 16 May, a state of emergency and accompanying curfew were declared throughout the country, but the curfew was relaxed in most parts of the country for two hours on 18 May and not enforced even in Kuala Lumpur within a week.  On 16 May the National Operations Council (NOC) was established by proclamation of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King of Malaysia) Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, headed by Tun Abdul Razak.  With Parliament suspended, the NOC became the supreme decision-making body for the next 18 months.  State and District Operations Councils took over state and local governments.  The NOC implemented security measures to restore law and order in the country, including the establishment of an unarmed Vigilante Corps, a territorial army, and police field force battalions.  The restoration of order in the country was gradually achieved.  Curfews continued in most parts of the country, but were gradually scaled back.  Peace was restored in the affected areas within two months.  In February 1971 parliamentary rule was re-established.  In a report from the NOC, the riots was attributed in part to both the Malayan Communist Party and secret societies:

The eruption of violence on 13 May was the result of an interplay of forces... These include a generation gap and differences in interpretation of the constitutional structure by the different races in the country...; the incitement, intemperate statements and provocative behaviours of certain racialist party members and supporters during the recent General Election; the part played by the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) and secret societies in inciting racial feelings and suspicion; and the anxious, and later desperate, mood of the Malays with a background of Sino-Malay distrust, and recently, just after the General Elections, as a result of racial insults and threat to their future survival in their own country'

Both Sunray and Peter Anderson referred to the riots in their recollections and most veterans will recall the period, especially where we had to drink in the rather sterile environment of the camp messes rather than with the bargirls down The Strip.  There is more to the story here.

6RAR Reunion November 2015 - Webmaster [12 May 2014]
6RAR Association is planning a unit reunion in Brisbane November 2015 [not June as earlier intended].  It will be the Battalion's 50th birthday and all indications are that the weekend events will be integrated with the active battalion and may include a march through Brisbane. 

More details when known, if you are interested in attending the website is available to notify others of your plans, drop me a note.

News Round-up - webmaster [9 May 2014]
2 RAR Reunion Adelaide - Neil Ure has forwarded the Reunion Post-action Report for the reunion.

Mark Binning and Peter Brown on Waiheke Island - Mark and Fran Binning [bride side] and Peter and Belinda Brown [groom side] caught up at a wedding on Waiheke Island last weekend, photo taken during the reception.  Mark and Fran have relocated to Thames for business reasons.

Pancho Kenyon soldiers on - Merie thanks the veterans who rang or contacted Bill for ANZAC Day, he enjoyed a toast with the small group of veterans able to fit into his room at the hospice, is now starting a new list of goals..!

Website Statistics Show Strong Improvement - webmaster [1 May 2014]
The highest 2013 monthly visitor total was 1921 unique visitors in April - 2014 statistics are showing a much stronger growth curve with April 2014 having 700 more unique visitors than a year ago and the trend climbing since January.  The time spent on the website [duration] figures show more people reading more pages with a huge increase in numbers lingering for more than 30-minutes.  The top 10 countries for readership is as diverse as ever.

ANZAC Day 2014 Dave Wright - Dick Bennett [27 April 2014]
Peter Anderson and Dick Bennett continued their custom of visiting Dave Wrights grave in the Esk Valley church near Timaru for a personal dawn service each ANZAC Day. 

From right is Kevin Collins 2/4 RNZIR, Dick Bennett, Peter Anderson.  Others in attendance were Max Hunter and Terry Farrell [both 161 Bty], Les Glendenning [bugler] and Paul Edwards [British Army].

David is buried next to his father who was the local vicar.  The cricket wickets and half dozen beer was a nice touch, considering Dave enjoyed both..!

We Remember - webmaster [22 April 2014]
While 25 April ANZAC Day is about remembering those who are not with us now, it is also about the story of two nations military working together for a common cause, illustrated by the creation of ANZAC battalions in 1ATF but also practically represented in the field when fighting as one force.  This ANZAC Day we acknowledge the support provided by the Australian FOO party from HQ Bty 4 Fd Regt RAA as illustrated by Bdr Mick Simms FOO party and Pte Len Tallentire W3 Coy HQ [O'Brien].  The poem 'MEDEVAC' was written by Peter Anderson 1Pl and published on this website.

Bdr Mick Simms FOO party & Pte Len Tallentire Coy HQ [O'Brien]

PUBLINTICAS Pancho Kenyon 3Pl - Merie Kenyon [11 April 2015]
Merie writes of her pride in Pancho for defying the odds for so long.  It is hoped that Bill will make ANZAC Day but it isn't planned that he will be at the RSA or other service, rather there will be a small service at the hospice with Pancho wearing his medals. The picture is of the ashes casket made by friends for Bill, it was presented and blessed last Friday and Merie describes it as Bill's 'waka' and is very happy that Bill was able to see where he will be resting afterwards.  The carvings describe his time in the military and up to the present day.

Merie says that she sometimes thinks Bill won't be around in the morning because he will have had a couple of bad days then he wakes up and is all smiles.  But the bad days are getting more, he is not good with too many people around him and gets confused and tired, but spends most of the day with Merie or their daughter Tracey [the coffee provider most mornings].

You can email Merie here

EVSA (Neville Wallace Memorial) Children's and Grandchildren's Trust - Ross Miller [9 April 2014]
Colleagues .... to report. The Board met on Sunday and approved a further 14 bursaries and, in doing so, achieved a milestone with the total value of grants made having now passed the $200,000 mark.  We’ve come a long way in the last 20 years since we approved our first grant of just $159 (allowing the recipient to sail on the Spirit of Adventure).  Some stats from the latest funding round .... we approved 82% of the applications received; this time all applicants were resident in New Zealand; 29% of the successful applicants were children of VVets, 71% were grandchildren; 36% were male and 64% female; 64% were aged< 20, 7% were between 20-30 while 30% were 30>.  Brian Cudby has retired from the Board after nine years of dedicated service.  His replacement is George Mathew.  George will be known to many of you, currently he is Colonel Commandant of RNZ Signals.  The closing date for the next funding round is Friday 12 September.  All the information on how to apply can be found on our website at www.evsayouthtrust.org.nz 
Noticas Fatal - 350483 Pte Philip [Barry] HOPKINS RNZIR Coy HQ - webmaster [2 April 2014]
It was advised today that Philip Sydney [Barry] Hopkins passed away at Auckland on 30 March 2014, aged 74.  A farewell service will be held in the Onehunga RSA 57 Princess Street Onehunga Auckland Thursday 3 April 2014 at 1000 hours.  Further details unknown.  Tributes here
Little Known Fact About Proxy Marriage - webmaster [1 April 2014]
and no this is not an April Fools story..!  In New Zealand, marriage by proxy is permitted where one party is a serviceman unable to return to NZ.  "
Marriage Act 1955  S34 (2) - A Family Court Judge may, on application in that behalf, authorise the marriage in New Zealand of any person who is resident in New Zealand to any person who is outside New Zealand if the Judge is satisfied that the person who is outside New Zealand is unable to come to New Zealand by reason of the existence of a state of war or armed conflict or by reason of the conditions of his or her service as a member of the armed forces of any Commonwealth country, or of any country for the time being allied with any Commonwealth country".  Correct me if I'm wrong but I understand this is how Jack Williams in Singapore married his pregnant girlfriend before his posting to V4 Coy and subsequent demise, I was told a padre was each with Jack and the bride in New Zealand listening by phone to confirm the vows.
Insightful Article: Heroic Allies - webmaster [26 March 2014]
This article on the SVN forces might challenge our individual view of the effectiveness of the SVN government forces.
VANZ Veterans Support Act - webmaster [25 March 2014]
The VANZ public consultation paper dated 12 March on regulations to give effect to the new Veterans' Support Act is at this link.  The document seeks feedback on proposals for regulations under the Bill to implement changes to veterans and family entitlements that better meet the needs of both older veterans and veterans of modern-day deployments.
Seeking Gannett's new email address - webmaster [18 March 2014]  send it here please
Commemorating Dave Wright 2Pl - Died Of Wounds 19 March 1970

Dave was wounded with others on 30 January 1970 when in pursuit of a fleeing VC party, a youth stayed hidden in scrub and engaged the patrol unexpectedly.  He was evacuated up the casualty chain until he arrived at Concord Hospital Sydney where he unexpectedly died on 19 March 1970 from kidney failure.

Also wounded were George McLeod and Rex Ryan, McLeod being evacuated back to New Zealand, Ryan returning to 2Pl for the remainder of the tour.

Addition to 3Pl Accident Research - Bruce Young [3 March 2014]
A new panel has been added to the 3Pl accident detail.  During my research a lot of effort was made to understand where different people were during the accident, and in a number of recollections Roy Reddy the usual gunner in 2Sect was involved.   While Roy's [misspelt] name was mentioned in early research drafts as being thought present in a group of soldiers it was never stated in any version of the research who the 2Sect gunner was until late in the research Chris Kennedy identified himself and had his recollections added to the official record.  At this time it was confirmed that during early October Pte Reddy was in custody at the 1ATF detention centre in Vung Tau, his name then being dropped from the record.

It is an unintended consequence that my early research drafts were used as authoritative when they were only intended as a means of collecting and correcting details, and my not naming anyone as gunner until late in the research meant in conversations among veterans Roy's name was [and might still be] used incorrectly.  I have added the new panel to set the record straight and apologised to Roy for any concerns caused by this omission.

The detail of the 3Pl accident as published on this website is the only authoritative record of the accident and any earlier version of the research which was on limited distribution to W3 and other veterans needs to be destroyed.  If a written copy of the research is desired the version finalised in time for the rededication of Tom Cooper's headstone in January 2008 is available here.  However the website record is still an active research project and updated when further details are discovered.

New V4 Company website - webmaster [25 February 2014]
Geoff Dixon V4 has advised that he has launched a new V4 website - the old one had stagnated for some time.  The new site has an easy to follow format and the presentation of many of the photos is very startling.  V4 people who moved across to W3 are among the photos and nominal rolls.
RAR History 'A duty Done' - webmaster [11 February 2014]
At this link is 'a summary of operations by the Royal Australian Regiment in the Vietnam War 1965 - 1972'.  The author was the Intelligence Officer 6RAR/NZ(ANZAC) and the history is published by  the Royal Australian Regiment Association SA Inc. to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Regiment on 31 March 1949.  It is a major précis of the RAR battles in Vietnam and concentrates on Australian involvement although New Zealand company's get mentioned - one error quickly spotted is the wrong company commander for W3 on Page 106.  Enjoy, and let me know your views for publication.
PUBLINTICAS Pancho Kenyon - Merie Kenyon [27 January 2014]
Pancho has kicked on from his birthday [15 January] and his next goal is Valentine's Day [14 February].  Merie probably let him have a drink at the family birthday party, she does report that he enjoyed having the family around.  His physical condition continues to deteriorate with the odd fall and he is likely to be in respite for a few days to give Merie a break.  Bill's chuffed he won his appeal against veterans affairs.  I hadn't realised that Merie has MS so I think her determination to look after Bill is admirable, as is Bill's determination to enjoy the attention.

PUBLINTICAS Death of Ann McKelvie - webmaster [25 January 2014] updated
Dave Gundersen advises that his partner of 11 years Ann McKelvie passed away 15 January 2014.  Ann was diagnosed with terminal cancer in September 2013 but put up a brave fight.  Ann was with Dave at
Tribute08  and the Christchurch reunion November 2010.

The funeral is on Tuesday 21 January - request details from Donna here

Evan Torrance - I attended Ann's funeral at the Salvation Army Chapel in Feilding last Tuesday.  There was a very large gathering of family and friends and Dave Gundersen gave a very warm and heartfelt tribute to Ann.  Of particular interest to me was the circumstance that led them to meet and spend 11 years together.  Dave at the time hosted a Country and Western programme on the local radio station and Ann was an avid listener and had made a number of requests for tunes to be broadcast.  Dave was not aware that Ann was keen to meet him and it was only through a third party that a date was finally arranged and as they say the rest is history.  They were particularly fond of the Country and Western singers Daniel O'Donnell and Dennis Marsh and as a result their songs were played at the funeral service.

W3 Company Accounts - webmaster [11 January 2014]
W3 Coy accounts stand at $1568.39 less $344.88 for website hosting in 2013 and 2014 = $1223.51
The account reflects surplus funds following the 2010 reunion and is retained as seed money for the next Company reunion, and to meet the annual cost of hosting this website.  Once the 2010 reunion expenses were paid there have been no withdrawals other than for the website.

Website Statistics 2013 - webmaster [2 January 2014]
The W3 website attracted 3700 more unique visitors in 2013 [19537] compared to 2012 [15834].  The table illustrates different statistics for visitors:  unique visitors is based on different IP addresses [same computer multiple visits equals one] - No of visits is a computer who has not linked to the site in the previous hour - pages is the total of times a HTML [web] page has been viewed [but does not count PDF or other files or images], while hits show total of everything viewed or downloaded [page plus all images on page are counted] and bandwidth is the amount of data downloaded each month.

The second table shows the top ten countries for readership in December 2013 and how much each downloaded.  While the US is consistently the largest group [1.12Gb in December 2012] New Zealand downloads has significantly improved [212.39Mb] from December 2012 [57.14Mb]:

Visits duration figures shows 85-90% of visitors leave within 30-seconds [2698 in December 2013] which means Google typically displays the website as a top option during queries, but 230 stayed for longer [in December] with 159 reading on for greater than 15-minutes to over an hour [28]. 

While figures differ month to month I have chosen December figures as illustrative.

link to more news from before December 2013 - news archive