Loading...

Monday, December 15, 2008

KOKODA HERO MONUMENT

DAREBIN CITY HEROES
Private Bruce Kingsbury VC - Kokoda WWII



Private Les Farren - Vietnam

KOKODA TRACK HERO --
PROPOSAL FOR KINGSBURY VC MONUMENT

Sasha Uzunov, a Reservoir freelance photo journalist and former Australian soldier who served in East Timor, says he wants to propose to Darebin City Council that they place a statue of one of Australia’s greatest World War II heroes Private Bruce Kingsbury VC at the Reservoir Cenotaph in Edwardes Street, Reservoir, Melbourne, Australia.


Sasha Uzunov spent 15 years campaigning for a memorial plaque for Victoria’s first National Serviceman (conscript) killed in Vietnam, Pte Leslie Farren of the northern Melbourne suburb Reservoir, (within Darebin City). Sasha was eventually successful and a plaque was placed at the Reservoir Cenotaph in 2006 amidst great fanfare by the Darebin Council and the media.


Private Kingsbury lived in the City of Darebin (covering the suburbs of Northcote, Thornbury, Preston, Reservoir, Regent and Kingsbury).


See link: below:


Bruce Kingsbury VC (1918-42)


Bruce Kingsbury was born in Armadale in 1918. After working interstate for a while he joined his fathers real estate business in Northcote. Kingsbury lived in Gilbert Road in West Preston.


When the World War II broke out Kingsbury quickly enlisted. Sent to Palestine Kingsbury saw action in both Egypt and Syria. In 1942, Kingsbury’s unit, the 2/14th Battalion was posted to Port Moresby.

On 29th August 1942, the 2/14 was involved in heavy fighting on the Kokoda trail. Japanese attacks were successful in pushing back the Australians. With the Battalion Headquarters in danger of being overrun it was vital that a counter attack was made. Kingsbury’s unit had been severely handled by the Japanese so Kingsbury joined another platoon assigned to make the counter attack.


Charging the enemy, firing his machine gun from his hip, Kingsbury inflicted heavy causalities upon the Japanese defenders. Taken by surprise by his attack the Japanese defenders scattered and the Australians were able to regain a precious 100 yards of territory.


But the cost was high. Kingsbury was now about 15 yards in front of his colleagues. A Japanese sniper fired a single shot, killing Kingsbury, before fleeing into the jungle.

In sacrificing his life Kingsbury had saved the headquarters and prevented the Japanese from taking a decisive dominance in the battle for the Kokoda trail. Bruce Kingsbury is buried in the Kokoda War Cemetery.


-----------------------------
Mr Pete Crockett - Secretary of The Kingsbury Society is seeking to have created by renowned local sculptor, Peter Corlett, a full-sized bronze statue of Bruce Kingsbury, to cost approximately $100,000 and to be located in Melbourne's City of Darebin.


“Unfortunately we are many years away from reaching that target of funding,” Mr Crockett said.
“Darebin Council had rejected a proposal to place a life-sized statute of Kingsbury VC outside the Preston Town Hall on the corner of High Street and Gower Streets, Preston.”


The Reservoir Cenotaph would be an ideal place for the Kingsbury monument, Sasha Uzunov said. But we would need to get permission from the Reservoir RSL, which administers the site. Hopefully we can get DVA to fund the project.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LINKS:

PETER CROCKETT - Secretary of The Kingsbury Society. To contact him call 0404 560 424
Email: bsk@alphalink.com.au


5RAR - Pte L.T. Farren memorial plaque / ceremony
http://www.5rar.asn.au/tributes/farren_plaque.htm


Leslie Thomas Farren. Killed in Action, 10 June 1966


A First Angry Shot Remembered (The Melbourne Herald Sun, page 20)

by Sasha UzunovAugust 24, 2006 12:00am


Bank teller Les Farren did not live to hear Prime Minister John Howard's apology for the reception his mates received from a disillusioned public when they returned home from Vietnam.

This little-known soldier from the Melbourne suburb of Reservoir was the first Victorian National Serviceman to die in that controversial war.


But he will be remembered when his 86-year-old mother, Lillian Farren, unveils a plaque on Monday at the Reservoir Cenotaph.Forty years after his death, Mrs Farren still grieves for her son.

"It was awful to see Les go and never see him again", said Mrs Farren. "This way he will be remembered."


Les was always in the shadow of another Melbourne suburbs boy when he went to Vietnam. The 1960s Australian pop legend, Normie Rowe, was one of his schoolmates at the Northcote High School before they were called up for Vietnam.

Les, two years older than Normie, was quietly spoken and looking forward to being an accountant in the suburbs.Normie, in the era of Beatlemania, was being mobbed by screaming hysterical teenage girls and had the music world at his feet.

But Vietnam changed their lives. Pte Leslie Thomas Farren was conscripted in 1965 and posted to 10 Platoon, Delta Company, 5th Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, Infantry Corps.

He was also a keen amateur photographer and the only son of Thomas and Lillian Farren.On June 10, 1966, while on patrol in South Vietnam, Pte Farren was severely wounded by Viet Cong mortar fire.

He was 19 days short of his 21st birthday. Cpl Frank Donovan was the army medic who tried to help Les."Les Farren actually died in my arms from massive lower body wounds," said Cpl Donovan. The extent of his wounds and loss of blood made survival impossible.


Trooper Norman J. Rowe got the call up in 1968 and went to Vietnam in 1969 with A Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, Armoured Corps.He survived but it almost ended his musical career.

I took an interest in Les Farren after reading about him in a newspaper more than 15 years ago.

I was surprised no one had acknowledged his service. Les was one of the unsung people who do
their duty without fuss or fanfare.Len Barlow, secretary of the Victorian branch of the Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia helped me to lobby Darebin Council for the commemorative plaque that will be unveiled by his mother.

To its credit, the council quickly approved the proposal. Les Farren has not been forgotten but it has taken too long to acknowledge his service.

Following the Prime Minister's words on Vietnam Veterans Day last Friday, the sacrifice of these veterans might now be better remembered.


Videos and photos of Private Leslie Farren (10 Platoon, D Company, 5 RAR) Memorial Plaque Ceremony First Victorian National Serviceman to be killed in Vietnam War on 10 June 1966. - MONDAY 28 August 2006, Reservoir Cenotaph, Reservoir, City of Darebin, Victoria.


Photographs of the Occasion




Mr Bob Elworthy, President of Australian Vietnam Veterans Association - Victorian Branch, chats to some 5RAR veterans at the Leslie Farren memorial plaque ceremony. VVAA - Vic Branch sponsored the plaque.




Mr Frank Donovan, then an Army Medic with 5RAR, who held Leslie Farren, as he died of his wounds, giving a speech. Next to him is Councillor Stanley Chiang, the Mayor of Darebin City Council, which lent his support behind the memorial.



Cr Stanley Chiang, lays a wreath at the Reservoir cenotaph




The last surviving next of kin, Mrs Lillian Farren, aged 86, unveils the plaque to her son. Cr Chiang is on hand to help.





The memorial plaque, kindly sponsored by the VVAA - Vic Branch, and with technical support from the Darebin City Council. The plaque inscription reads: "

In Memory of 3786921 Leslie Thomas Farren - First Victorian National Serviceman Killed in the Vietnam War, 10 June 1966. Sponsored by: VVAA - Vic Branch 28 August 2006


Sasha Uzunov, freelance photo journalist and East Timor veteran, who proposed the plaque.

2 comments:

Robert Williams said...

Congratulations Mr Uzunov on your gallant fight to have those Australian`s who gave their lives for their belief in duty, mateship and their country both commemorated and remembered. My hat is of to you as a fellow Australian and soldier!
I to have (and still am!) attempted to have deeds of Pte Bruce Kingsbury VC, recognized (as a member of the Kingsbury Society). I must admit that I was somewhat bewildered by the negative attitude of the Darebin City Council, on our approaching them for support in erecting a monument to one of their own residents. Sadly I guess this predominantly due to the fact that almost all Council`s these days are organised and ran more like businesses/corporations than that of the Municipal Services, they were created and only for who`s only reason for existing! Or it could be that they have never worn the uniform, or served in the conditions that the likes of Bruce Kingsbury (and other servicemen!) had to endure! A councillor having to negotiate their way through the terrible peak hour traffic of High Street to get their cafe latte on a windy day, just doesn’t cut the cheese.
I have to also regret to say that the RSL has not been to warming to the idea of using the smallest portion of their vast revenue generated from the Pokies income/revenue to commemorate one of their own fallen comrades!
Through my research and lobbying to have a formal and physical monument of recognition dedicated to Bruce`s actions and sacrifice, is the underlying fact that his death on 29th August 1942, shattered his family so greatly, that there was little if any energy from them to follow up or initiate any form recognition of their son`s/brother`s loss.
At the time of Bruce`s loss, the community spirit of Preston was rallied, the Army paid its respects and thanks by holding a formal ceremony, which included a parade of soldiers and band down the streets of Preston, ending at the Preston Football ground. Money was raised by the people of Preston for just a monument to commemorate one of their sons, a monument we still seek 67-years on. But no monument or statue was ever erected, for the man that many say who`s sacrifice just may have contributed to saving Australia from invasion by the Imperial Japanese Army, Navy and Air Force.

My thoughts, admiration and support of your noble work are with you Mr Uzunov

Regards
Robert Williams

Robert said...

Congratulations Mr Uzunov on your gallant fight to have those Australian`s who gave their lives for their belief in duty, mate-ship and their country both commemorated and remembered. My hat is of to you as a fellow Australian and soldier!
I to have (and still am!) attempted to have deeds of Pte Bruce Kingsbury VC, recognized (as a member of the Kingsbury Society). I must admit that I was somewhat bewildered by the negative attitude of the Darebin City Council, on our approaching them for support in erecting a monument to one of their own residents. Sadly I guess this predominantly due to the fact that almost all Council`s these days are organised and ran more like businesses/corporations than that of the Municipal Services, they were created and only for who`s only reason for existing!
I have to also regret to say that the RSL has not been to warming to the idea of using the smallest portion of their vast revenue generated from the Pokies income/revenue to commemorate one of their own fallen comrades!
Through my research and lobbying to have a formal and physical monument of recognition dedicated to Bruce`s actions and sacrifice, is the underlying fact that his death on 29th August 1942, shattered his family so greatly, that there was little if any energy from them to follow up or initiate any form recognition of their son`s/brother`s loss.
At the time of Bruce`s loss, the community spirit of Preston was rallied, the Army paid its respects and thanks by holding a formal ceremony, which included a parade of soldiers and band down the streets of Preston, ending at the Preston Football ground. Money was raised by the people of Preston for just a monument to commemorate one of their sons, a monument we still seek 67-years on. But no monument or statue was ever erected, for the man that many say who`s sacrifice just may have contributed to saving Australia from invasion by the Imperial Japanese Army, Navy and Air Force.
Again it is ironic and so un-Australian to think that on approaching the Darebin City Council, they made it explicitly clear that they were not overly privy to the idea of a statue in their municipal area, but they had no want or intention to have it in the historic and central recognized point and heart of Preston – The Preston Town Hall, a place that had an intrinsic significant not only for Bruce Kingsbury, but so many more Australian service men and women during the Second World War.
My thoughts, admiration and support of your noble work are with you Mr Uzunov

Regards
Robert Williams