Saturday, January 22, 2011


The Veteran is currently working with 'just the ticket' Productions which is owned by Ross Jennings, one of New Zealands foremost documentary producers, on a new documentary covering the events of 22 June 1968 which saw a nine man patrol from Victor 3 Company, 4 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Battalion take on 60-70 VC in a two hour battle that saw them inflict a comprehensive defeat on the enemy at a cost of one dead and four wounded.

One third of the patrol were decorated for their gallantry including Lieutenant Maurice Dodson MC (later Major General MF Dodson CBE, MC, Chief of Army); Lance Corporal David Ropeta (Ransfield) DCM and Sapper Wiki Kahika m.i.d. It was one of the most intense small unit actions of the Vietnam war involving ANZAC troops. We are bringing the seven surviving members of the patrol together to tell their story. The documentary will screen on ANZAC Day.

Yesterday at our first production meeting Ross J mentioned that earlier in the week he had been fortunate enough to preview the film 'The Kings Speech'. He said it was compelling viewing. The film focuses on the efforts of the Duke of York (later George V1) to cure his horrific stammer with the help of an Australian speech therapist (Lionel Logue) and covers the events leading up to the death of George V; the ascension of Edward V111 and the abdication crisis; George's coronation and concludes with the King's speech on the outbreak of WW2 which was generally considered to be a masterpiece.

'Mems' was of the same mind and, while the Veteran is not a great film buff, I agreed to her suggestion that we should take a trip over to Kerikeri to watch it.

I'm glad we went. It was compelling viewing in spades and compulsory for anyone with an interest in English history . I recommend it unreservedly (and that from me is a BIG call).


alex Masterley said...

Yup, I'm off to see it as well.
Haven't darkened the door of a cinema for over a decade so looking forward to it.

Anonymous said...

Exclude a comment about a great Mate - John Winton Your right

The Veteran said...

Anon 7.02 pm ... you've got me there with that post. John Winton was V5 Coy and not V3.

A leader of men who gave his life doing what he loved best.

Anonymous said...

Who cares about Vietnam? I am ashamed my country killed people fighting to liberate their own land, and the soldiers who went there should also carry some even greater measure of shame.

The Veteran said...

Fuck off Anon 8.17. Make another comment like that and you will never post on MY blog again.

They were all better men than you will ever be doing what the duly elected Government sent them to do ... and they did it to the best of their ability.

Hindsight is great and not particularly clever. You might also say the same thing about the 8,000 NZrs who fought in the Boer War.

But keep it up. Keith Locke will be proud of you. Dorks both.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 0817.

They were not fighting to liberate their own land, they were fighting to impose a totalitarian pestilence upon the Vietnamese people. The misery and murder of communism is probably a bit much for your comprehension, but 'your country' did what it could to forestall it. In Korea, Malaya, and South Vietnam.

You are the sort NZ should be ashamed of.


KG said...

What George said. Exactly.

Anonymous said...

Vet, what was your part in the Vietnam war? Ian

The Veteran said...

Ian ... I was privileged to command a fine body of young New Zealanders (we were all young) in Vietnam.

Anonymous said...

Veteran, my brother served in 161 Battery. I well remember going to Whenuapai air base along with my parents when he and others returned. I will never forget the joy when servicemen saw their families after long absences. One tough looking character toting a sub machine gun embraced his wife who was holding a sleeping child. The child woke up and with a surprised exclamation of "Daddy" hugged him. Ian

Anonymous said...

Yes, John Winton. he is always remembered at Nelson College Old Boy's reunions. And I remember LT Stan Kidd in the Officers Mess the day before he and his unit went VN. Wonderful singer.
Looked him up here to remind myself:
A great guy just like John; both just doing their job.
Vet: I dream of the day when, if there is a threat to this country, the VN malcontents ask for help from the defense forces. Not sure how I would react. Perhaps tell them of the sacrifice of John and Stan? - and whether they would be prepared to do the same?

The Veteran said...

Anon 4.03 .... your final para. They could never ever understand nor do they want to and that is why I hold 'them' in complete contempt.

Duty and honour does not appear in their lexicon.

The sacrifice of Stan Kidd is remembered in the Stan Kidd Memorial Bursary.

A similar offer was made to the Winton family but for reasons that I respect completely they declined.