The History of the Formation of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment (Viet Nam) Association Inc

      

              

 

Founding Presidents Comments and the formation of the association:

 

Let us all reflect.........................The genesis of our Association was Welcome Home, instigated by Peter Ray and subsequently brought to fruition in 1991 at Muswellbrook when a small gathering challenged Gary Jolliffe and I to create a firm structure, names were gathered, tie and banner designed, Sitrep created, working account and Constitution established, ultimately our autocratic governance was given over to a democratic election of an annual President.

I hold, close to my heart ,the Esprit de Corp of our Regiment, the memory of mateship, emotions shared, exploits of mates, successful and dangerous operations and the intangible threads that create the fabric of the �lan of our unit that is admired within the Army and by all Vietnam Veterans during our and their Tours.

I am cognisant of our family tree..... 1 Troop A Squadron, 4th/19th Prince of Wales's Light Horse. 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Troop. 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Squadron, A & B Squadron's, of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment,....the lineage from Cavalry to armour but adopting an entirely different role to any previous armoured/cavalry unit and as we now know different to the post Vietnam roles played by the new units.

Just today (01:07:2005) a check revealed that 26 (Twenty Six!) separate Associations exist for various units ...1st/15th Royal NSW Lancers, 3rd/9th Light Horse (SAMR), 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers, 2nd/14th Light Horse Regiment (QMI), 10LH, 2nd Divisional Cavalry Regiment, 2nd/6th Armoured Regiment, et al!! None of these Associations have encouraged nor harangued others to join them, my point being these august bodies enjoy their own company and esprit, they have a common experience!

Let the new generation of lads of B Squadron, 3rd/4th Cavalry Regiment and 2nd Cavalry Regiment savour their experiences, the common thread of Black is acknowledged and honoured by all but particularly as Cavalrymen.

I accept that time is creating breaches in our ranks but surely this is more reason that those who remain will strive to preserve the unique identity of our Regiment and more particularly the memory of mates now and then, I urge all to read our Constitution, particularly Cl. 2 & 3. Many WW11 units still unite with barely a "crew/section/boats and I am yet to experience a reunion of RAR wherein all battalions attend as one (God forbid!), haven't seen 1FD and 21 Const joined nor the Batteries..........esprit de corp, at Unit level eh.

As Jolliffe once said "Last one standing, have a drink for our mates, then turn off the lights."

Stand together, foster and enjoy our own company, there is not a long time left to enrich, repair and cultivate that special elan that is so special to our 3rd CAVALRY REGIMENT (Vietnam) ASSOCIATION.  

I  Remain Resolute,

John Flood, Foundation President & Life Member

 

The formation

At a "mini reunion" of former members held in the backyard of John Floods residence at Muswellbrook, N.S.W., it was decided by those present to start an Association on the weekend of the 27th/28th April, 1991. This get together coincided with a "Freedom of the City" march that was being held for the 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers, whose C.O. at that time was Chris Donovan. From there a list of names and contact addresses were supplied by those present to commence getting together a list of former members to invite to join. John Flood was proclaimed the President, and Gary Jolliffe was placed as Secretary/Treasurer, and were ably assisted by Peter Ray, Greg Smith and Craig Haydock, who canvassed lists of names for possible membership.

The Association tie and banner, together with a Constitution was assumed through the efforts of Flood and Jolliffe at that time. These Association banners were of A3 size, and made to be mounted on walls in frames. It was later, at the 1997 Reunion, that the banner we now have today was remade and distributed around the Country. At about that time, the banner with the list of fallen comrades was also produced and distributed. The 3 Cav Unit flag was reproduced by Dallas Burrage, through his own funding, and is still now in use.

The response to this  original effort by Flood and Jolliffe was overwhelming, and the first newsletter, "Sitrep" was produced by Gary Jolliffe, who at that time was living in Newcastle, NSW. The cost of printing and the postage was paid for by John Flood. Included in that original Sitrep the newsletter, was an invitation to join, and for those who received it, an invitation to copy the application, and to give it to all those whom they knew of to join.

The membership expanded, and really got a kick along, when the opening of the Vietnam War Memorial was held in Canberra in October, 1992. Similarly, the membership received substantial numbers when the original reunion was held on the Gold Coast in 1997, and also the Reunion held in Fremantle in 2001, as more people became aware of the Association.

 
At the end of 1996, Gary Jolliffe handed over the Editors duties to Dallas Burrage, who remains the Editor and Treasurer of the Association to this date. The President, since the inception of the Association, has been selected alternatively from around Australia in each State. This page has the current Office Bearers. In 1998 Gavan M. Vigar was set a challenge by John Pritchard to build a webpage for the Association, so more former member would become aware of the Association and its existence. This has been achieved and the webpage titled, SITREP is a active webpage and know around the world, as over 300 other Association and Military websites are to linked to SITREP, including our own Department of Defence, Army.  
 
The overall number of members of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment (which includes the 4th/19th PWLH, 1 APC Troop and Squadron, LAD attachment, Medics and Cooks) is estimated to be 1200 to 1300 who served in Vietnam for the years of the War. Presently, this Association has a total membership of 560 active members, with 834 names on the database, including the widows of members that have pass on. The association continues to receive new members each year, as veterans become aware of the Association. Of the original 1200/1300 members of the Regiment who served in Vietnam, quite a lot have since passed away, and it can be justly said, with the membership we now enjoy, that we have the vast majority of former Cavalrymen and support unit members in it.
 
Best Regards, Dallas Burrage.