The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3790530) Private Lindsay Noel Brown, 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Vietnam War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2018.1.1.146
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 26 May 2018
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on (3790530) Private Lindsay Noel Brown, 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Vietnam War.

Speech transcript

3790530 Private Lindsay Noel Brown, 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment
KIA 26 May 1968
Story delivered 26 May 2018

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Lindsay Noel Brown.

Lindsay Brown was born on 25 December 1945 in Bendigo, Victoria, to Norman and Elizabeth Brown.

When Lindsay was still quite young, his family moved to a farming property called “Glen-Alvie” at Upper Lurg near Benalla.

Here he attended the local primary school before going on to Benalla Technical College. He left school after gaining his intermediate technical certificate in 1961 and the following year went to work for BV Reynold Chains as an apprentice fitter and turner.

As part of his apprenticeship, he returned to Benalla Technical College for the study component of his trade. He gained his qualification in 1964 and continued his apprenticeship until January 1967, when he qualified as a fitter and turner. Just before finishing his trade certificate, Brown met his future wife, Lorraine, and the pair began a relationship. He was an earnest young man and was keen to get married and settle down. He remained working with his employer and, being mechanically minded, enjoyed working on his own car in his spare time.

The Australian government had introduced national service in 1964, and with the decision to commit ground troops to Vietnam in 1965, the Australian Army began expanding. Brown attended a pre-enlistment medical screening in late October 1966 and was passed fit.

On the 1st of February 1967 Brown was called up for two years’ National Service. His enlistment papers were stamped “potential officer” and he was noted as being “a polite, well dressed lad [and a] decent type”.

After basic training at the 2nd Recruit Training Battalion at Puckapunyal, he was posted to the School of Infantry at Singleton. Completing his infantry training in June, he was posted to the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment which was based at Woodside in South Australia, and joined D Company. As the battalion was readying for deployment to Vietnam, the training was intense.

During his last period of leave home to Benalla, on the 11th of November, Lindsay and Lorraine were married. He was 21 years old, Lorraine was 18.

Brown celebrated his 22nd birthday and Christmas before flying out of Adelaide for Vietnam. Landing at Vung Tau, Brown and the other members of 3RAR’s rear party joined the main battalion and were taken by trucks to Nui Dat.

3RAR conducted its first operation in early January 1968 and over the next four months was involved in operations including mine clearing and reconnaissance-in-force.

Brown returned to Australia and spent a week in Sydney on leave at the beginning of April, but was soon back in the field on operations.

On 12 May, 3RAR, along with 1RAR, 102 Field Battery and other supporting units, was flown to a position 25 kilometres north of Bien Hoa, where they set up Fire Support Base Coral, tasked with disrupting enemy troops withdrawing from Saigon after a major offensive. FSB Coral was attacked the same night, and the Australians suffered nine killed and 28 wounded.

3RAR left Coral and set up FSB Coogee nearby before being sent to establish FSB Balmoral on 24 May. Defences were still in the process of being completed when two North Vietnamese Army main force regiments launched an attack, attempt to overrun the base in the early hours of 26 May.

D Company took the brunt of the initial assault. During the fierce fighting Brown was struck in the head by shrapnel and was killed instantly.

The soldiers of 3RAR and the Centurion tanks of 1 Armoured Regiment fired canister rounds and machine-guns, forcing the enemy to break and withdraw. Four men from 3RAR had been killed and a further 14 wounded. Two nights later 3RAR held off a second ground assault and suffered a further man killed and six wounded.

Brown’s remains were returned home and were laid to rest on the 11th of June in the Benalla Lawn and Memorial Cemetery. His wife Lorraine had the following epitaph added to his headstone;

Dearly loved and ever missed
By your loving wife Lorraine

Lindsay Brown was 22 years old.

His name is listed on the Roll of Honour on your right, along with more than 500 others from the Vietnam War.

We now remember Private Lindsay Noel Brown, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Michael Kelly
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (3790530) Private Lindsay Noel Brown, 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, Vietnam War. (video)