"However certain our expectation, the moment foreseen may be unexpected when it arrives."
Thomas Stearns Eliot 1888 - 1965

The final performance in this trilogy took place in the Support Company marque. Perhaps a couple of hours had elapsed since the commencement of celebrations, and as a consequence most of us were feeling less hungry and thirsty than we had been for quite some time. the party had lost much of it's sparkle and was gradually nearing its end.

A few of the company officers were present, chatting to those who were still capable of listening; but the number of drinkers and/or diners actively performing were few as the abundance of food and drink had already taken its toll.

Meanwhile, standing just inside the entrance to the warque, a young soldier was carefully nursing a soup-plate full of diced bananas swimming in thick custard. Although a little unsteady on his feet, he appeared as if he was waiting for a friend to accompany him to the Support Company's's tented area; and possibly because of this, no-one had bothered to ask him if he needed a helping hand.

Some moments later, a strident hullabaloo drew our attention to the doorway, where a portly figure was writhing on the ground, screeching with pain. Initially it was difficult to identify the victim as his hair, face, and upper chest area were liberally plastered with blood and yellow custard. But after a careful tidy-up it became evident that the custard-carrier had smashed the plate and it's contents into the face of Major A.F.P.(Daddy) Lukyn, the Officer Commanding Support Company, who had come to wish us all a merry Christmas.

A broken nose, multiple facial lacerations and bruising ensured that the Major would take no further part in the festivities; and the inebriated mugger was taken into custody. Needless to say, this incident proved to be a prime source of social chit-chat within the battalion for some weeks to come.

The following morning a patched-up Major Lukyn, before remanding the soldier to the Commanding Officer, asked him the reason for his behaviour: "What on earth possessed you to attack me lad?" he enquired. The malefactor was highly indignant that his Company Commander could think so ill of him: "Jesus Sir," he confided "I had no intention of causing you any bother. I was waiting for the Minister for the Army!"

I regret that I cannot recall the punishment he was eventually awarded, but it did include a spell in the detention compound in Seoul.

The Australian Minister for the Army visited the Aussie troops in Korea, Xmas 1951. Tim Holt a witness, tells the story, in three "Acts".

Record of the Minister, the subject of the story:
Sir Josiah Francis (1890- 1964)
Enlisted lst AIF - April, 1916;
Was in France in April 1917 as a 2/Lt in 15 Australian Infantry Battalion;
Was wounded in shoulder in March 1918;
Was RTV 15 Battalion, September 1918 and promoted Temp. Captain;
was promoted substantial Captain 1918;
Discharged September 1919 Minister for Army 1949-55
Knighted 1957 Retired from politics 1961
Died February 1964

At the time, Tim was a corporal in Support Company, commanded by "Daddy" Lukyn who features in the climax of his story.

After writing this story, Tim located the above record of Minister Francis and wrote:
"If I'd been aware of his army record, the story would have been less satirical."

Tim joined 3 RAR in February 1951 and found himself, "by chance, " in the famous (and sometimes infamous) A Co. that was subsequently remembered for its particular role in the Battle of Kapyong, April, 1951.

A Co. in 1951 was composed essentially of volunteers for a Special Force ("K. Force") recruited for the Korean War. A requisite for acceptance into K Force was battle experience. A Co. was, consequently, very experienced in every sense of the word: battle-wise and army- wise.

After the Korean War, Tim became a parachute jumping instructor at Parachute Training Wing, Williamtown, NSW.

Leonard Russell ("Tim") Holt:
2/2782, 3 RAR from Feb. 1951 to March 1952
(NX20604 number atr enlistment, 1945; 2/400349
K Force till transferred to Regular Army in 1950)


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