More than 200 former Australian soldiers from 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR), descended on Coral Lines, Lavarack Barracks, Townsville, earlier this month to celebrate the unit’s 70th birthday.
ABOVE: Soldiers from 1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, pose with a few of their predecessors during the unit’s 70th birthday celebrations at Lavarack Barracks, Townsville, on 12 October 2015.
For some former soldiers, it’d been nearly 30 years since they had seen their former comrades, but the day kicked off in familiar style with orders being conducted around a mud model, before everybody was invited to form up and march onto the parade ground in step with the battalion’s contemporary soldiers.
Throughout the day, contemporary 1RAR soldiers showed their forbearers the latest skills and equipment with various demonstrations, culminating in a simulated urban assault.
1RAR is a regular light-infantry battalion of the Australian Army.
The unit is currently based at Lavarack Barracks in Townsville, north Queensland, where it is part of the 3rd Brigade.
1RAR was first formed as the 65th Australian Infantry Battalion in 1945.
It has deployed to some of Australia’s most significant engagements including the Occupation of Japan, Korean War, Malayan Emergency and the Vietnam War.
In more recent times, 1RAR participated in operations in Somalia, East Timor, Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan.
In 2006, 1RAR was one of the Australian Army’s most heavily deployed units with simultaneous detachments in Iraq, Tonga, the Solomon Islands and East Timor.
Photos by Lance Corporal Matthew Scheimer