Rob,

Thank you for your email. I expect that you have seen the email (appended below your email) I sent this morning providing background for those needing accurate information.

Regards,

Chris Appleton
Brigadier
Commandant
Royal Military College of Australia
Tel: (02) 6265-9430
Fax: (02) 6265-9800
E-mail: chris.appleton@defence.gov.au

Message sent to COMDT RMC by Rob de Haas

-----Original Message--Sent by: "Rob" <admin@ocsportsea.com> on 25/10/04
14:50:33-----

Original sent to: <chris.appleton@defence.gov.au>,

Dear Brigadier Chris,

This morning I was made aware of "rumblings" in the undergrowth about perceptions of the future of the OCS Memorial Wall, and remembered various conversations and correspondences concerning same quite some months back.

In unearthing these notes I remembered being heartened at the time when told of the future plans, but that they would depend on final approvals for Housing plans already submitted for consideration. I also remembered the promise of CA regarding any relocation of the Wall with regard to its final resting place and that such a resting place would be in keeping with the wishes of the families of the members mentioned on the Wall, as well as former graduates of the OCS, and that such a place would also be valued in keeping with the traditions of all our Officer Schools, past and present.

Based on this, the ocsportsea Alumni website did not post any information of the latest "perceived" (and unsubstantiated) circumstances.

I am really pleased to see that promises have been and will be kept, concerning the OCS Memorial Wall.

On behalf of the OCS Portsea Alumni, thank you. You have our trust.

Rob
Rob de Haas
Lieutenant Colonel RAInf
OCS Class of Dec '67
Cell: +61 0413 063 361

Received from COMDT RMC, via...

(Anon)

(Anon),

Thank you for sending me this. I was aware that someone had contacted a Minister of the Government. Whoever wrote this is profoundly ill informed.

The Memorial is being moved from its current site for a singular reason:
early this year this year unnamed OSC Graduates lobbied the CDF and CA to move it, claiming the location was isolated from the day to day life of RMC. CA directed me to move it on this basis. In the absence of an OCS Association, LCAUST has ben engaged throughout the process as has the Duntroon Society, which as you know represents the interests of RMC/OCS/WRAAC and OTU.

Subsequently, the redevelopment of senior officer housing at RMC presents the site of the old 5CH as a site for a Comdt MQ. The site of the proposed COMDT MQ was determined by Chief of Army.

The memorial is not being relocated to "adjacent to commercial premises".
The proposed site is in the North East corner of Starkey Park, facing the MI block. This is where the Corps forms up for parades so the memorial
will constantly be in their view. The relocation plan includes paving and
seating, someting not enjoyed in the current location. The vegetation in
Starkey Park will allow the Memorial to have a backdrop and surround of mature trees.

LCAUST, an OCS Graduate, will visit the site for confirmation on 1 Nov 04.

The Director of Military Art at RMC , COL Jeff Sengelman, DSC, CSC; an OCS Graduate, sees the relocation "as a significant improvement over the current circumstances".

Please share this email with those needing exposure to the facts.

Chris Appleton
Brigadier
Commandant
Royal Military College of Australia
Tel: (02) 6265-9430
Fax: (02) 6265-9800
E-mail: chris.appleton@defence.gov.au

Copies of Emails Concerning Perceived Move of OCS Memorial Wall at RMC Duntroon

Response by OCS Graduate, John Merrick:

Dear Brigadier

I refer to your E-Mail dated 0839 25 October 2004 regarding the Relocation of the Portsea Memorial.  I suppose your inference regarding contact with a Government Minister can be directed to me as I wrote to Senator Garry
Humphries who I have known for some time and with who I attend many Commemorative Services at various  Memorials in Canberra.  He usually represents the Prime Minister and I attend in my capacity as Deputy
President of the ACT Branch of the Returned and Services League, representing the Branch President.  I reacted to an E-Mail from a fellow graduate who outlined the proposal to a past Commandant of OCS seeking
assistance in the matter.  I checked around my class colleagues, who felt just as strongly as myself, before I composed the letter. I did consider approaching the Department of Veterans Affairs or the War Graves Commission even direct to the Prime Minister, however I chose Senator Humphries.

I think that you have answered the question ,"Why the protest by so many Graduates of the relocation of the OCS Memorial?"  in your first paragraph of the referenced E-Mail -"Whoever wrote this is profoundly ill informed".
No, we the Graduates have not been "Ill Informed" we have not had the courtesy of "Being Informed". This Memorial is something we hold as Sacred Ground signifying those Graduates of OCS who died on active service, Peter Badcoe, Victoria Cross, Don Bourne and Rod Milligan to name but a few.

The history of the structure has been somewhat confused- its initial erection in 1966, funded by the residence of the Mornington Peninsular and Cadets from the 1966 Class - the dismantling and relegation to storage after
OCS closed down in 1985 and the re-erection at its present site and Dedication in 2001.  Surely you would agree that the Graduates deserved a full explanation of the current situation.  I am an active member of The
Duntroon Society, Peter Evans will vouch for me on my membership, I know many of my colleagues are also members.  This would have been the ideal forum for open discussion but nothing was mentioned.  I trust that any further changes in the proposal will be made known.

At you request I will share the reference E-Mail with my colleagues exposing what facts are available to us. No doubt you have copies of the many E-Mails that are in the system relating to this subject.

Yours with Loyalty and Service

John Merrick - Graduate No.35