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2/6 Cavalry Commando Regiment2nd. Cavalry Regiment

  The following is  taken from the last issue of “Cavalry Capers” published by Trevor Limb in November 1971 about the handing over of the Battle Honours at Holdsworthy N.S.W. attended by members of the Regiment association who had travelled from all States.

The day, Saturday October 9, started in the Officers' Mess of the 2nd Cavalry Regt, where members were entertained as they arrived. At 1100 hours everyone boarded the transports for the firing range, where members of 2 Cav. Regt. demonstrated the firepower of their latest equipment. This demonstration was both interesting and awe- inspiring, as the progress which has taken place in the development of firearms in general, made all those in attendance sit up and take notice; particularly members of our Regt. who would have been very happy to have had this equipment during the '39-'45 war. It certainly made the old Hotchkiss, Lewis and Bren guns etc. look very antiquated.

After this display, all present returned to the General Mess Hall for lunch. This turned out to be a wonderful smorgas­bord. Full marks to the catering staff of the Regiment; it was a terrific effort. They not only had the visitors from our Regt., but also their own families, as this was the first time their Regt. had held an open day.

After the luncheon the transports rolled up once again, scheduled to depart at 1400hrs, and it was all aboard for an Amphibious Display held on the George River. Once again the mobility of these Armoured Personnel Carriers was demonstrated. These are fantastic machines. They race down the slope and hit the water at about 20 to 25 m. p. h. and then just manouvre themselves about in the water con­trolled by their tracks. After this display, which lasted about half an hour, every­body went back to the regimental lines for afternoon tea; once again handled by an efficient catering staff. This consisted of coffee, tea, scones, fruitcake etc.

The time was now nearing 4 p. m, the scheduled time set down for the Presentation Parade, so all in attendance made their way to the general parade ground. Seating arrangements were set up facing the parade, at the northern end.Three squadrons of 2 Cav. Regt., marched onto the parade ground, forming a hollow square, with 'Trooper Courage' the regimental mascot (which incidentally turned out to be a wedgetailed eagle). This bird really stole the show in the manner in which it sat on it's perch; with the handler, Trooper Peter Masters of Box Hill, standing at attention along­side, The bird sat up so erect and still, that if you did not know better, you would think it was a stuffed bird.

The parade ground was now prepared for the arrival of the senior officers. The C. O, of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment, Lt. Col.J. D, Keldie M. C, arrived and took up his position and, after receiving his two senior officers, a Colonel and Brigadier, awaited the arrival of our former Commanding Officer, Brigadier M, A. Fergusson D, S, O, M. C, E. D. As the car containing him and his wife arrived at the dais, all those in attendance stood and gave this grand old veteran a wonderfully moving ovation. Some of this could have been due to the fact that he had been ordered to bed, suffering from acute pains with stones in the kidneys and come hell or high water he was determined to be on that parade.

The scene was now set and Lt. Col. John Keldie prepared to present his address to Brigadier Fergusson and the 2/6th Cavalry Commando Regiment. In his address, he stated how proud he was on behalf of his Officers, NC0s and men, in being allowed the privilege of accepting the Battle Honours of the Senior Regiment of the 2nd A. I. F, who had acquitted themselves so admirably during the 2nd World War. Brigadier Fergusson in reply said how proud he and the members of his Regiment were to  hand over their Battle Honours to a young Regiment, which had such a good background and they must never forget the three main features of their Regiment - Pride in their country - Pride in their Regiment - and finally Pride in their military bearing. After the dedication of the Bronze Plaque and Illuminated Address, which was conducted by Padre Frank Hulme-Moir, assisted by Padre N. Rook, the two Association Presidents (Frank Harley from N. S. W, and Stan Poppins from Victoria) presented them to Lt. Col. Keldie who in turn called the escort party to march them off the parade ground, where they were placed in an A. P. C, and driven to the Officers Mess for safe keeping. 
As an aside, in June 2010 we received the following e-mail from Roger Sandilands:

 Hello Susan,
 I was a trooper in 2Cav at the time of the handover parade
 from 2/6 Cav and took part in the amphibious display at the
Georges River. If you are interested I have a photo of our
section entering the river at high speed. There was a
newspaper photographer there who provided us with a copy of
the photo. The photo shows three APC's entering the river
and the huge spray of water that they created.
The closest APC is commanded by Pommy Adams. I dont know who the driver was.
My APC- you can just see the top of the turret- was commanded by Sgt Doug Lennox
and I do not remember who was in the third. I hope you can get a print off this.
Roger Sandilands
 Service No 140651
Thanks Roger.

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