RICHARD WILLIAM RIDGWELL
25 JAN 1918 – 29 NOV 2017
Today, 29th November 2017 we sadly advise members and families of 2/4th of the death of Dick Ridgwell aged 99 years. One of three surviving Battalion veterans Dick was to celebrate his 100th birthday on 25th January.
To Jim, Harvey and families we extend our sincere condolences. In particular to Jim who has been beside Dick most of the past 12 months or so during his final battle.
The Committee will miss Dick’s contribution and company during meetings and events. He brought with him his unique humour and words of wisdom for which we thank him.
When Dick reaches the pearly gates he will have to nonchalantly admit he has left at home his glasses and hearing aid! He will say in his ‘subtle’ loud voice so all can hear, “Who are you?”
You will be once again with your beloved wife Alma.
We have all loved you. You will be greatly missed.
We bid you farewell Dick, and salute a brave 2/4th man. The Boys will be pleased to see you!
INDIGENOUS VETERANS COMMEMORATION SERVICE
held WA State War Memorial, Kings Park,
Wednesday 31 May 2017
Master of Ceremonies was Aunty Di Ryder, President of the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Veterans and Services Association (WA) which is celebrating a 100 years.
A very large number of persons attended this wonderful service to recognise the contribution by men and women from indigenous communities across Australia and Torres Straits who served in the two World Wars, Boer War, Korea and recent conflicts.
Mr Ron Bradfield was guest speaker. Ron has served the last 10 years in the Australian Forces, both in the Army and more recently the Navy.
There were many schools in attendance and those who participated in the Service included Mount Lawley Senior High School Junior Concert Band and Chamber Choir, Bagpipes and Drum from Trinity College and Huntingdale Primary School.
Traditional dancers from Whadjak Northside Balga SHS Dance Group.
Those marching included 2/4th Veteran John Gilmour who with Sylvia Norton placed a wreath during the service.
ANZAC DA7 2017
The weather in Perth was a typical glorious day in April.
61 family members marched behind the 2/4th MG flag this year.
With veteran John Gilmour heading up the Battalion, he was followed by flag bearers Troy Ridgwell (grandson of veteran Dick Ridgwell WX19417) and Stuart Badock (grandson of the late Ron Badock WX8729). John Gilmour WX8622 kept up a cracking pace. John will celebrate his 98th birthday 3rd May 2017.
Following the Anzac March and Service, members gathered at the Wentworth Hotel for our AGM. This was followed by our Anzac luncheon.
Within two weeks the Wentworth Hotel will finally close, the property due to be demolished. We are very sad as 2/4th has enjoyed a long and traditional relationship, holding annual AGMs and Anzac day lunches for more than 20 years. Initially the Wentworth was the gathering place for ‘The Boys’ get-together holding their AGM beforehand. It was no women at that time. (I can remember collecting my father from the Wentworth many years ago)
In later years, as the numbers of veterans diminished, the late Mavis Elliott, wife of then President Jim Elliott, organised ‘Ladies Anzac Day Luncheon” at the Wentworth. This luncheon soon became the main social event!
We express our thanks to the staff at the Wentworth, some of whom have been looking after us for as long as 18 years. We wish them well in the future. Our thanks to the Brockwell family who have generously provided their rooms without charge throughout these years.
Website Dedication and Launch – March 18th 2017
Our thanks to the many people, standing room only, who attended the very successful launch of our ‘virtual memorial’, the 2/4th website. There were over 170 replies by people who were to attend and many more wishing the 2/4th all the very best.
Led by Jan Stewart, daughter of Jim Elliot WX8619 the scene was set for the ceremony with a quote from Les Cody’s book Ghosts in Khaki written in 1990.
‘It was a late spring day as they gathered in the forecourt of the Concert Hall.
Each carried the mark of time, the weathered face, the thinning hair turned grey…
This was their special day – a day to remember
The first bars of a familiar march, a ‘by your left’ and they swung onto the Terrace.
Shoulders straightened, heads high… They were young again, fit and bronzed and as they marched, their ranks were swelled by the silent presence of those ‘Ghosts in Khaki”, their companions of so many other marches.
No longer 100 aged veterans in the evening of their lives marching to a memorial service, but a thousand young men going off to war.’
‘To the ever present memory of those who did not return and those gone since’ – those Ghosts in Khaki who in spirit are with us today.’
Bernie Dorizzi, nephew of Tom WX12884, Gordon WX9274 and Bert Dorizzi WX7997, then talked of the background of the 2/4th Machine Gun Battalion Ex Members Association and then introduced invited guest Hon Graham Edwards AM to officially launch the site.
A more fitting speech or person could not be asked for. Graham spoke of his journey to both Sandakan and Thailand where he had reflected on the grief and tragedy of the past but more importantly on the mateship and love that had been shown and was continuing to be shown by all of the audience in attendance. Many thanks Graham for a very befitting address.
Harry Tysoe, grandson of Harry Tysoe WX9226 demonstrated the website showing the audience a brief sample of what can be found on it.
The dedication was made by Father Braden Short, grandson of William (Bill) Short WX8693, who once again we thank for his continued support of the 2/4th family.
Volunteers of the Fremantle War Museum, resplendent in their period uniforms, some with colours of the 2/4th Presented Arms , whilst bugler L/Cpl David Smith played the Last Post and Rouse. John Gilmour WX8622 , without need of microphone, said The Ode.
Congratulations to all who have been involved, a job well done.
Website Committee being acknowledged
Murray Ewen , 2nd left, with the Pilmoor family.
An Order of Service can be read here.
Sunday 12th February 2017 – POW Memorial, Kings Park. More than 60 family and friends attend the 75th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore. Attendees included veteran Dick Ridgwell WX14197 aged 99 years. The service was presided over by Father Braden Short, grandson of William (Bill) Short WX8693 who, as usual, ensured the service was not rained upon!
We were delighted to have Caitlyn and Coby, two students from the Premier’s Anzac Student Tour, soon to visit Singapore. Coby laid a wreath on behalf of the group. They were accompanied by Samantha Boswell, Education Officer and tour leader for the group and Coby’s parents.
Above – Veteran Dick Ridgwell lays the wreath on behalf of the 2/4th. With him is L-R son Jim Ridgwell & Vice-President Bernie Dorizzi.
Above: Bugler Dave Scott & Father Braden Short (grandson of Bll Short WX8693.
Below: Son of Hector John Bishop WX8650 lays wreath in memory of his father who died of wounds 75 years ago on the 12th February 1942 during the battle for Singapore. The late Hector (Blue) Bishop was 29 years old. He never met his son Dennis.
Vale Ron Badock WX8729 who passed away Dec 1 2016