Kwinana to host ceremony to mark 50 years since the battle of Long Tan


RSL member Don Buchanan, Kwinana RSL president Dave Spillman and fellow members Morris Danks, Peter Short and Dennis Humphrys.
RSL member Don Buchanan, Kwinana RSL president Dave Spillman and fellow members Morris Danks, Peter Short and Dennis Humphrys.

AUGUST 18 will mark 50 years since the Battle of Long Tan, a monumental day for Australian soldiers in Vietnam.

While 18 Australians died, the battle was hailed a success with more than 240 Viet Cong soldiers killed.

On Thursday, Kwinana RSL will pay its respects with a ceremony at the Town of Kwinana War Memorial from 11am.

RSL member and Vietnam veteran Morris Danks said remembering Vietnam had come a long way since he arrived home.

“It was never talked about for the first 15 years; it was 18 years before we actually went to the first welcome home march,” Mr Danks said.

“You remember the good bits of it, who I was with, we have a reunion every two or three years and you get together with 30 or 40 blokes… you remember the good times, the fun times. It’s what we’ve done and what we did.”

Vietnam was largely an unpopular war in Australia, with returned servicemen turned away, even from places like the RSL.

However, there has been progress with RSL WA recently appointing former Vietnam veteran Peter Aspinall as president.

Dennis Humphrys said the anniversary of the Battle was a time for all people affected to come together, commemorate and mourn.