“This site does not attempt to write the history of the 1st Battalion Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) but does hope to give an insight to the history and traditions earned by the service of those who have gone before.”

I would like to thank the many people / families who have contributed to this site with photos and articles. My thanks to the Australian War Memorial, the National Archives and the state archives of New South Wales and Queensland for their permission to use some of their material.

Mike Waldron

The Association’s objectives are:

  • To preserve the comradeship of members.
  • To keep green the memory of fallen comrades.
  • To preserve the traditions of the First Infantry Battalions.
  • To watch over the interest of members and dependants of deceased members and to help those requiring assistance.
  • To promote and provide facilities for re-unions and social events for members and their families, dependants and descendants of deceased members.
  • To raise monies by ways and means lawful to a Registered Charitable Organisation, and to receive gifts of any nature and/or bequests in furtherance of these objects.
  • To make donations to registered public charities and other worthy causes.

As a non-profit organisation, the assets and income of the Association shall be applied solely in furtherance of its objectives and no portion shall be distributed directly or indirectly to the members of the organisation except as bona fide compensation for services rendered or expenses incurred on behalf of the organization.

Para 3 Constitution of the First Battalion Association

The association wishes to acknowledge the generous assistance of Col and Jann Adamson in contributing their excellent web site, “First Battalion”, to assist in the development of this site. Col served in many positions during his army career including Officer Commanding A Company 1 RAR in Vietnam 1968 in the Battle of Coral.

Where have all the Soldiers gone……..

Our national day of celebration is Australia Day followed by Anzac Day. These are times when the nation parades itself and remembers who we are and looks at our heritage and history. It is a “coming together” of cultures, religions, ideas amd memories into one big “happy family”.

On Anzac Day we celebrate our nation being born in the fire and flame of war and we remember those who perished in that conflagration and the conflicts that followed. We stand and watch the parade pass by and cheer and applaud and some shed a tear. It is a time where men and women who have put aside their involvement in wars to try and live a normal life, step up and show the country how proud they are to belong to such a select band of people.

I served in South Viet Nam (SVN) as an infantry soldier, carried a rifle and was very involved in the war. Men in my section were killed and wounded and I remember them every day of my life. Some of us march on Anzac Day and reunions and laugh at old stories and share our lives with each other. We were sent to SVN by the government and with the blessing of the Australian people to do a job and we did that job as best we could. We were hampered by out-dated equipment, weapons and politicians who only wanted to “look good” but in spite of this we did what was asked of us and did it well. We were not short on courage, of fighting spirit or the will to win. We were proud of who we were and still are to this day.

In 1987, after years of keeping a low profile, we were welcomed home in a parade in Sydney. This was organized by ex-soldiers for ex-soldiers.

But there has always been something missing from these parades. An element from the past. A stain. A bad smell.

Where are the protesters? Where are the people who abused us when we came home from that war? Where is the woman who threw paint over soldiers in 1966 when 1 RAR marched through Sydney?

Where are the people who met the diggers at the airport with abuse and screams of “ rapist – murderer”?

Where are the union leaders who incited their members not to send the mail to soldiers in the war and who refused to load stores for these troops? (Punch a Postie – Wallop a Warfie) Warfies have done this in every war.

Where are the bastards that spat in the faces of diggers in uniform?
Where are the women who called us “baby killers”?

Where are the letter writers who sent HATE mail to the families of men killed in action?

Where are the mongrels who attended the funerals of soldiers with their placards and accused the dead of murder?

Where are the cretins who went to the home of the parents of a soldier killed in the war and stated, ”He deserved what he got,” and then threw blood red paint over their home?

Where are the people who collected money for the enemy and sent this money to North Viet Nam? This was in effect Australians paying the enemy to kill Australian soldiers. How proud they must of felt when casualties were announced.

Where are the gutless politicians who let us down in all ways and still are?

Where is the Monash Mob, The Students for Democratic Society, the Save Our Sons mob, the Communist Party mob, the Vietnam Action mob and all the other big time, big mouth groups that took their hatred out on soldiers that had done what their country had ordered them to do?


We are proud to show our faces as we march through the towns and cities of this nation. We hold our heads high and look people in the eye and know that we have nothing to be ashamed of. The names of our fallen are remembered on monuments all over this country. They will live forever.

Soldiers still march into the distance to the beat of the drum.

Gone to graveyards everyone……..

Mike Waldron

  • Duty First by Horner and Bou, (History of the RAR)
    Allen & Unwin 2008
  • First to Fight, Bob Breen – Allen & Unwin 1988
  • The Fighting First, Lex McAulay – Allen & Unwin 1991
  • The Battle of Coral, Lex McAulay – 1988
  • When the Scorpion Stings, Paul Anderson – Allen & Unwin 2002
  • Operation Lorosae, 1st Battalion Regimental Institute – 2001
  • A Little Bit of Hope, Bob Breen – Allen & Unwin 1998
  • The Australian History of Defence Vol 1 The Australian Army – Jeffery Grey


  • Dinkum Diggers by Dale Blair, Melbourne University Press 2001
  • The History of the First Battalion AIF 1914-1919, The Historical
    Committee 1st Battalion, Sydney – James J Lee 1931
  • The Broken Years, Bill Gammage – Aust National Uni Press 1974
  • Official History of Australia in the War of 1914 – 1918, CEW Bean
  • The First at War (2/1st Battalion AIF 1939-1945) E C Givney,
    Macarthur Press Pty Ltd 1987
  • To Kokoda and Beyond, the 39th Battalion, Victor Austin – 1988
  • The Battle History of the Royal New South Wales Regiment –
    Vol 1 and Vol 2, Major General Maitland – Simon & Schuster Australia 2001
  • Australia in the War of 1939 – 1945, Vol 1 to 7