1 RAR Christmas party DPR/TV/332

Accession Number F03701
Collection type Film
Measurement 4 min 19 sec
Object type Actuality footage, Television news footage
Physical description 16mm/b&w/silent
Maker Defence Public Relations (DPR)
Place made Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Holsworthy
Date made December 1965
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC

More than 400 children of soldiers serving in Vietnam attended a Christmas Party at Gallipoli Barracks, Holsworthy, on December 18. The children, accompanied by their mothers, grandparents and other relatives came from centres throughout New South Wales. The roll-up included more 25 babies born after their fathers left for Vietnam. The M113 armoured personnel carrier covered dozens of miles as it lumbered around the grounds with load after load of laughing shouting children. One girl refused to budge from the carrier and logged about 25 trips. The carrier was driven by Lieutenant Patrick Poulsom, of A Squadron, 4/19 Prince of Wales Light Horse. After the excitement of a drive in a M113 armoured personnel carrier - "just like the one Dad uses in Vietnam" - came a zooming trip in a jeep borne moon express. The 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment's, former Commanding Officer in Vietnam, Lieutenant Colonel Brumfield, whose wife led the party's organising committee, greeted many of the children. Lieutenant Colonel Brumfield chatted with Mrs Margaret Stevens and her three and one half month old daughter, Tracey, of Cabramatta; Mrs Graeme Ellis and eight month old Joanne Ellis, of Abbotsford; Mrs William Hall and six weeks old Rodney Hall, of North Turramurra; and Mrs Trevor Adams and seven months old Sharlene. Private Maurice Knill, of the 5th Battalion Band found an apt pupil for drum practice in four year old Jennifer Ross of Sydney. For Gregory Welsh three and a half of Newcastle, the fairy floss machine was the number one attraction..... while under a tree six young children rounded off a day's fun with a plentiful supply of soft drinks, ice cream and lollies. Sydney's mixed up pre-Christmas weather was bleak and showery but the smiles of the young guests were radiant as they lined up for merry-go-round and pony rides; clustered around the fairy floss, soft drink and ice-cream stalls and awaited the arrival of Santa Claus. Throughout the afternoon boys surged onto a jeep to come to grips with a 106mm recoilless anti tank rifle. Among the admirers of the weapon was 12 year old Chad Leggett of Sydney. The jacket with the Vietnam motif was sent to Chad from Saigon by his soldier brother. Inside Gallipoli Barracks MacKay Club hall, Father Christmas was enthroned and the party was really underway. It took Santa two hours to distribute the presents, and he promised to deliver gifts to another the party. It was all too much for 12 month old Jenny Grant (crying). Perhaps she was upset by the parade ground tones of Santa Regimental Sergeant Major with the 5th Battalion Glen Armstrong. For Dean Schmidt two of Derna Road Anzac Village Santa's gift meant a make believe phone call to Daddy. Outside the pony enclosure Mrs Raymond Mitchell holds her six month old daughter Michelle. Also in the group is Mrs John Schmidt of Anzac Village with baby daughter Tammy, Mrs David Vealey of Ingleburn, holding 11 month old Cheryl Goulden. Next to Cheryl is her twin sister Charmaine in the arms of their mother Mrs Robert Goulden. On the right is Mrs Alan Burt of Yagoona with her one year old daughter Cherie. The party took four months to organise and judging from the smiles of these children the effort and time was well spent.

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  • Video of 1 RAR Christmas party DPR/TV/332 (video)