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Remembering ALL Our Fallen

2015 Reunion project to collect photos of all
our deceased veterans headstones

- see examples 

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

link to more news beginning July 2017 - news archive

W3 Reunion 2018 - next reunion Dunedin November 2018

NOTICAS FATAL 43655 Sig John W Revell RNZSigs 1Pl - webmaster [15 June 2017]  [updated 25 June]
Veterans are advised that John Revell (W3 and V5) passed away on 14 June 2017 at Taumarunui.  John's son Bart advises that John's ashes will be interred at Taita cemetery Kowhai Street Naenae noon Friday 23 June 2017. 

Post tributes for the W3 website here.

Evan Torrance - Zilla and I attended the internment of John Revell's ashes in the Taita Cemetery.  Bart, his only son, interred John's ashes at the foot of John's fathers headstone.  There was a small gathering of family and ex Vietnam and ex RNZSigs folk along with the Stokes Valley RSA representative who recited the Ode and arranged for a recording of the Last Post to be played.  Bart did his father proud in the arrangements he made for the ceremony of farewell for one of our own.

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.

Death of Veteran Checklist - webmaster 22 May 2017
Barry Pont and Nelson RSA have compiled a checklist of actions and options for spouse or family when a veteran passes.  This link is to the PDF Checklist, this link to the End of TOD page.
PUBLINTICAS Pte Roy Reddy 3Pl - webmaster [19 May 2017]
Roy's daughter Megan has advised that Roy has been admitted into a rest home with a brain bleed after a stroke a year or so ago and is unable to look after himself.  He is currently in the North island at Athenree Lifecare (07 863 4169) Marina Way Anthenree 3177 south of Waihi Beach.  Family are trying to fund raise to bring him south closer to family but are unable to use a car or plane (a house bus has been suggested) but the travel costs are in the $000's.  Megan advises that Roy is in constant pain and ongoing bleeding and can only handle short conversations.
NOTICAS FATAL 729539 Pte John PM Mullen RNZIR 2Pl - webmaster [18 May 2017][updated 29 May]
Veterans are advised that John (Gannett) Mullen passe d away at 3.50PM today in Picton.

The memorial service will be held at the Picton RSA at 11 AM Thursday 25 May 2017.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Debbie and son Robert at this time.

Post tributes for the W3 website here.

John and Debbie at the
2010 Christchurch reunion

Brief report on Gannett's service - Picton RSA 25 May 2017 - Bill Blair

Well attended, almost standing room only! Preceded by a small gathering the night before. Wally Goodman,
Ngatoko Kupe, Danny Campbell, John Nicolle, Graham Ryalls, Dave (George) McLeod, Nigel Clifford, Don Wolf.  Jim Oliver had been and gone…from Invercargill by motorbike!  Jake Wharewera, plus quite a few from V3... Burgess et al.

Good speeches, very sincere but funny and a tad rough but that’s how they were.  Plenty of tales of yore…getting better all the time.  Bob Upton's words were read out by Debbie to much acclaim and a few tears.  Nicolle spoke, I had forgotten how close they were as mates.  Right from '68 for the next 50yrs. Ryalls spoke and although he found it difficult he received good natured applause. Bob Upton's name came up and of course the Boss and Bwana. Some secrets… apparently Clifford used to feed small select groups in the wee small hours when the booze wore off.  Nigel was possibly one of the few soldiers who deployed with all three platoons from time to time.  Wally has made up a good pictorial book.  All the right things were done…last post, some songs and Robert sang a song made especially for his Dad.

Duke Henry (abridged)  As a young private soldier I had more than a passing acquaintance with Gannet Mullen's and Peter Harris, for they epitomized how the proverbial Kiwi non conformist can easily adapt to the military system and serve their countries with complete candour and enthusiasm.  The universe has lost another top Kiwi man and bloody tragic, my heart goes out to Debbie and the whanau.
George Preston (abridged)  I often thought about Gannet and Harris, their personalities being the opposite of what a disciplined service demanded, then they are faced with an operational experience and turn instantly into exactly what is needed, a skilled, alert and most of all a team player willing to get stuck in.  The right people when required. These two guys will be sorely missed in our W3 world but rest assured they will make Heaven Hell.
Peter Brown
I saw Gannet at his home on Wednesday. Obviously he was very sick, although dressed and walking around, not in bed.  He was concerned that his 'holding on' was inconveniencing everybody, but I asked him what other better things had his friends to do?
Paul Bracegirdle (abridged) Sad to hear of our good friend Gannet passing on. I imagine he was strong to the end.  Will never forget the good times.
Cass Brooker  Very sad news. Such a shame he wasn't able to see in his wedding anniversary.
Peter Anderson (abridged)
Please pass on to Debbie and Robbie our sympathy and condolences at the passing of the Gannett.  May the spirit of Basic 66 and Whiskey 3 be with him.  I hope St. Peter is prepared for a Titty Harris and Gannett Mullen reunion. 
Mark Binning  (abridged)  With sadness, I have been thinking about the passing of Gannett.  Before I joined the regular Army I worked for a firm of Cartage Contractors and Customs Agents.  In about 1967/68 John joined the company as a truck driver so I knew John before he enlisted.  John liked to tell everyone he hadn't seen me round the business for a while so he asked the boss what had happened to me.  As I've heard John tell it, on hearing I had left to join the Army John decided that since he had some "difficulties" perhaps the Army wasn't a bad career change for him.  You know the rest of the story.  John was always a lovable scallywag with an infectious laugh and smile.  In recent years I have only caught up with John at reunions and have always been glad to have a laugh with him.  What Duke and George have said about Gannett and others of his ilk is a fitting epitaph.  Gannett may not have stayed in the Army, but he was, while not always conventional, a soldier.  We will remember him.

Original Documents - webmaster [8 May 2017]
Courtesy of John Fisher the original Orders for Nui Dat and Standing Orders for the Horseshoe base.  The pages were originally printed on a Gestetner Cyclograph on 'legal' length paper which is longer than standard A4 paper today so it is suggested the documents are downloaded or saved and then rotated for best reading.
PUBLINTICAS Pte John Mullen 2Pl - webmaster [7 May 2017] [updated 9 May]
John Nicolle advises that Gannett is in Nelson Hospital suffering from throat cancer - he may be transferred to either Wellington or Christchurch.  Prognosis not good.  Local veterans are assisting Debbie and Robert.  Picture shows John [on right] with Wally Joe in Nui Dat recently.

Updated:  John has advised that Gannett is returning to Picton without further treatment having been advised to put his affairs in order.  It is thought he has 8-weeks.

Grahame Edwards
I saw Gannett tonight.  He appears in good spirits and has a positive outlook.  He has some exploratory stuff scheduled for tomorrow and decisions will be made from that.  He seems to think that if he is transferred, it will be to Wellington."
Peter Brown "please pass on my best regards and wish that he recovers.  My father had throat cancer and after an operation and radium treatment he was able to learn to speak through a stoma (hole) in his throat) and lived on another 15 years.

Our Veterans in the Papers - webmaster [24/25 April 2017]
Mike Morrison Coy HQ has described to the Taranaki Daily News about how he was wounded on Long Son Island - see this link.  NB: Mike is at pains to point out that the author of the article screwed up by mixing in his piece bits from the other two veterans.  The correct story of how Mike was wounded is here.

Derek Marsh Mor Sect has given an interview to The Press (Stuff) from his bed in Rannerdale Veterans Home - see this link

Mihi ki ka Hoia Tribute to our Soldiers - webmaster [21 April 2017]

link to W3 remembrance pageHaere mai, haere mai, haere mai rā...  

The Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu Mihi ki ka Hoia Tribute to our Soldiers is published for the first time today, see this link.

For many years Vietnam veterans strived for acceptance in New Zealand society.  Parade 98 and Tribute 08 alongside apologies by Parliament and more acceptance by RSA’s has in many people’s eyes drawn to a close the period when veterans were shunned and abused.  But while Maori were involved in these official ceremonies there was only limited respect for the cultural way Maori farewell and welcome home Maori soldiers - 28 Maori Battalion were fare welled from their communities, and later the survivors were welcomed back to their marae with respect for their efforts, sorrow for their losses, returning to the nurture of their communities and families.

The lack of cultural respect shown W3 Maori soldiers in a broader sense was discussed with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu and Fern Whitau a tē reo tutor set her advanced language class the challenge to write the W3 Mihi ki ka Hoai – their Tribute to Our Soldiers (hoia).  The class took some months to develop the W3 mihi from their different perspectives and were appreciative of the opportunity to better understand the trials which Maori endured during and after their service in the Vietnam War.

Nau mai, tauti mai, hoki mai rā.

link to W3 remembrance pageLest We Forget - Visiting Dave Wright:  Kendall Langston [21 April 2017]
LtCol Langston CO 2/4RNZIR and his nephews visited Dave Wrights grave on 16 April 2017. 

Kendall Langston was raised as a boy in the Esk Valley area and has researched David's headstone for his blog the Southern Bloke - read Who is David Wright? 

Lest we Forget.!

PUBLINTICAS Pte Ian Herd 3Pl - webmaster [updated 26 March 2017]
Gail Herd is reporting that Ian Herd is still in a ward at Logan Hospital Meadowbrook Queensland, following admission to A&E around 16 March.  Ian has had a small stroke and will require some rehab.
NOTICAS FATAL 573486 Pte GL (Les) Nissen 1Pl RNZIR - webmaster [26 March 2017]
Veterans are advising that Les Nissen passed away on 15 March 2017 at Wairoa.  No details concerning a funeral but it is understood family are returning from South Africa.

Post tributes for the W3 website hereEvan Torrance Les was in the Assessment and Rehabilitation Unit of Palmerston North Hospital for a number of weeks and I was able to visit him occasionally. He was in a wheelchair so I got to take him out of the unit for fresh air and afternoon tea in the Medical Museum. He enjoyed these outings and was keen to chat about our time together in W3.
Jim Cutler:  Very sad to hear that Les Nissen, ex 1 Platoon, W3 Coy, has marched off his last parade. I think all members of 1 Platoon, indeed of the Company, would agree that Les was an outstanding soldier. To me, as his Platoon Commander (on both Corps Training at Burnham and in Vietnam), Les stood out for his stature (a tall, strong chap - probably why he carried the GPMG), his all-round great soldier skills, his infectious smile, and, above all, his good character and discipline. I would not be surprised if his "conduct sheet" was blank. That is not to say that he couldn't have a good time; he did. Thank you for your service Les, and Rest in Peace.

link to W3 remembrance pageCommemorating David Wright 2Pl - died of wounds 19 March 1970
Pte David Wright [left] succumbed to secondary infections [likely renal failure] from his earlier wounds in January and died in Concord Repatriation Hospital Sydney on 19 March 1970.  Dave had been well enough by early March 1970 to be writing from Concord to friends in W3 and his death was sudden and unexpected, so sudden that a last letter was received in SVN after news of his death.  Dave is buried in Esk Valley South Canterbury; his grave was visited during the W3 2015 Reunion in Timaru.

Army News February 2017 - webmaster [14 March 2017]
NZ Army routinely produce a very well written news update known as 'Army News'.  The February 2017 edition is at this link.  Plenty of detail concerning deployments, training accidents, new equipment and weaponry, senior appointments and sport.
NOTICAS FATAL 481068 Pte MC Rich Mortar Section RNZIR  - webmaster [6 March 2017]
The Vets Net advises that Craig Rich passed away peacefully at Glengarry Rest Home Wairoa on 5 March 2017 aged 69.  Craig served with the W3 mortar section during our initial six months with 6RAR.  Craig stayed in service for many years afterwards, including as WO2 Chief Clerk 1RNZIR.  Craig's service was at Mahia near where Jim Brown's widow Huia lives.  Craig is survived by his wife Dixie Lee Rich and many mokopuna.

Post tributes for the W3 website here.  Mark Binning:  on behalf of the W3 Mortar Section family, rest in peace, and our condolences to his family.

PUBLINTICAS LCpl Craig Cocker 1Pl - webmaster [1 March 2017]
Craig's wife Marion has advised the following:  "
Craig was diagnosed with advanced Mantle Cell Lymphoma last June.  He has completed 6 months of chemotherapy and now is facing a stem cell transplant.  He is going into hospital today (28 February) in preparation for the transplant on 8 March.  He has coped very well so far and we are hoping it will continue."  Craig and Marion live in Melbourne.
NOTICAS FATAL 30789 Ch Cl3 RJ Stachurski RNZChD - webmaster [10 February 2017]
Father Stac was ANZAC Bn chaplain during the W3 tour of duty, a photo of him with 2Pl veterans is here.  He died at the Home of Compassion Silverstream on 8 February 2017.  A requiem mass and funeral is to be held at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Hill Street Wellington at 1100 Hours Saturday 11 February 2017 followed by internment at Karori cemetery.  Messages to the Stachurski family may be sent to PO Box 14-366 Kilbirnie Wellington.

Post tributes for the W3 website here

Army News December 2016 - webmaster [18 January 2017]
NZ Army routinely produce a very well written news update known as 'Army News'.  The December 2016 edition is at this link.  Plenty of detail concerning deployments, training accidents, new equipment and weaponry, senior appointments and sport.
NOTICAS FATAL  33404 WO1 (Maj) RA Manning - webmaster [7 January 2017]
Roly Manning died 5 January 2017, his military funeral will be at the Westpark Chapel, 467 Wairakei Road Christchurch 2PM 13 January 2017.  This news has already been widely disseminated on the Red Diamond Facebook page.

Roly did not serve with W3 RNZIR but as SWI 1Bn Depot and later SWI 1RNZIR was responsible for much of our preparation for active service and later worked with the W3 team that trained Malay army officers in Terendak in 1971.  Roly will be remembered as an engaging character and positive role model in the development of many soldiers and SNCO's.  Post tributes for the W3 website here.

Eligibility for NZDF Financial Services - webmaster [2 January 2017]
Veterans, as part of the Defence community, are able to join the NZDF FlexiSaver and KiwiSaver schemes, as well as access financial advice and mortgage broker services.  Find further details at the NZDF Financial Hub - www.nzdf.mil.nz/financial-hub
Website Statistics - webmaster [2 January 2017] 
In February 2016 the W3 website readership slightly peaked with 1623 unique visitors, with an annual total of 17,812 unique visitors.

The first 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 and read each month.

The second table illustrates the wide range of countries finding the website; in the past the US was consistently the largest source of visitors.  While New Zealand access is in third place the bandwidth for local hits at 893.35Mb is three time higher that of the US:

link to more news from before January 2016 - news archive