Proud Memories – The Battle of Bribie – Vietnam. 17-18 February 1967

During the Vietnam War there were many bloody battles involving Australian troops. One such battle occurred in Operation Bribie (named after Bribie Island in Qld) during which diggers encountered a well dug enemy of significant strength.


History records that elements of B company were given the order to attack the entrenched enemy. No easy task for exposed infantry under heavy fire yet they did so without hesitation. In one rifle section, the corporal gave the order with a final shout of “I‘ll see you blokes on the other side” The assault failed with heavy loss.

It was an engagement at close quarter against a very determined and aggressive enemy in well prepared defensive positions. In such an engagement the casualties could have been heavier if not for the company’s battle drills combined with sound teamwork and personal bravery of the highest order. 8 soldiers were killed and 28 wounded


The question is “In such circumstances what is it that creates such determination, bravery and discipline?”

I wasn’t there thus I do not know the completer answer. However what I do know is that unit pride, battle discipline, trust in each other and the powerful weapon of camaraderie and not letting your mates down would be essential elements of the answer. These qualities were slowly developed from the very first day each soldier took the oath to serve his country.


Their training gradually became more demanding physically and mentally and each day the confidence and pride grew as did the bonds of brotherhood. Thus in time they were committed to operations as tough disciplined infantry ready to face a brave and determined enemy. Each year, old comrades gather at Bribie Island to honour their fallen mates and those who have gone since…If you happen to be passing by, salute them with a wave or a cooee in recognition. . They surely deserve it.     GM


                      Proud Memories

Was it so long ago when they were sent to war

That final wave to loved ones watching from the shore   

The beginning of a brotherhood forged in blood, sweat and tears

Still so strong to be seen as they assemble each and every year

Aging veterans who had risked all for a nation; theirs, yours and mine

Reliving fond memories never be stolen by the trickling sands of time

Flashing Images of their youth while soldiering in a hostile place

Courage, fear, love, hate, joy and sadness in Mars’ cruel race;

Always was the duty to country no matter heat or rain

Of steamy jungle, swamps and mountainous terrain 

Facing the unknown together each and every day

Sharing, caring and grins despite the pain was always their way

Above all, they recall with bursting pride, the sacred names in gold

Those of their ranks who never did grow old

Who charged into a fiery hell as one, for they were all brothers 

Right to the very end, proud young warriors with trust in each other

For the fallen, gone were their dreams that all young men share

Of being home with loved ones and never again to dare

To love, to laugh and seek normal life again 

To seize each and every day, no matter sun or rain

Yet their spirits are here this very day as the roll is read

You can hear their retorts to authority and the banter said

See once more smiling young faces and hear the laughter  

Such is the brotherhood and its memories, today and forever after 

George Mansford © December 2016


  1. Thanks for remembering us George. It was NOT all beer and skittles there.

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