More Memories

Three photos just added to the Gallery – thanks to John Elphinston. One on the 1969 page (Fourth Class Boxing at ) and two on the 1972 page (both at Grad at

And another milestone – Bill Houston was farewelled from the Army History Unit today, ending his 50+ year career (uniformed and public service) with Army – although he’ll continue in a voluntary role at the Army Tank Museum in Puckapunyal (who would have thought?). Best wishes, Bill and Marina.

Note how times have changed. A whole table of food that has neither been consumed nor contaminated!




Subtended is the text of an email from John Elph (with addresses omitted) that you may have received, but just in case….

I hope you don’t mind me sending you another note regarding DFRDB commutation, but If you do, please just let me know and I won’t bother you again and I won’t be offended.

In case you didn’t keep a copy of the info sent to you by DFRDB  ‘back in the day’, I’ve attached a copy of the only bit of paperwork that I held on to. Note that it is completely silent on the amount of time we would take a reduced pension to pay off our commutation.

You may want to use it for replying to the Ombudsman’s questionnaire.

Please also send to as many others who you think may have commuted and encourage them to submit an answer to the questionnaire. From what I have seen there are a few organisations/ well intentioned individuals who are pushing the same barrow but like many things do with ex-military, it does not seem to be well co-ordinated and also perhaps, seems to be split down officer vs OR lines which is a great shame. Seems to me that it is a topic worthy of our attention.



From: Herb
Sent: Tuesday, 21 May 2019 8:57 PM
Subject: Commonwealth Ombudsman’s Inquiry into the administration of the DFRDB scheme

Dear John

The Commonwealth Ombudsman, has decided to commence an investigation into the administration of the DFRDB scheme with respect to commutation.  Please refer to the Ombudsman’s Letter (click to open).

The scope of this investigation is limited to the accuracy of information provided by scheme administrators and relevant departments to DFRDB scheme members, in relation to commutation.

The Ombudsman has provided a Questionnaire (click to open).  I encourage you to complete and email it to

The Ombudsman doesn’t give a time-line but I’ll endeavour to establish what it is.  I suggest you get your submission in sooner rather than later.

The new (or perhaps the same) Minister will undoubtedly pass this off as the Inquiry he announced, making a nonsense of his statement:

“The Government recognises the importance of open and transparent discussion around veteran concerns and we will consult with the ex-service community about the terms of reference for the inquiry, as well as panel membership.”

Kind regards,


DFRDB Retirement Pay Form D20,21 p1

DFRDB Retirement Pay Form D20,21 p2

We grieve with you

As the events in Christchurch unfold, we stand with our mates in NZ grieving this despicable, awful event and hoping and praying for a better world. A few words from our leaders:

Jacinda Ardern has said:

this “ and will be one of New Zealand’s darkest days.

This is not who we are,

This is an unprecedented act of violence.

There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence.”

The PM of Australia has said:

“Australia and New Zealand, we are not just allies, we are not just partners, we are family. As family members with our New Zealand cousins today we grieve, we are shocked, we are appalled, we are outraged, and we stand here and condemn absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist that has taken the lives, stolen the lives, in a vicious, murderous attack, that has claimed so many New Zealanders.

Australians stand with all New Zealanders today during this dark time where hate and violence has stolen their peace and innocence. Kia kaha (stay strong).”

Amen to both.