5RAR Historical Archive

 The Six Degrees of Separation

The world is getting smaller through internet and more accessible international travel and we would all have experienced bumping into someone in London, Lismore or Latvia but the experience of our Treasurer Mike Bevan and his small tour group that he quoted to me upon his return that rates a special mention which is quoted below.

"On June 9, two of our party started our walking tour of the Anzac area at Gallipoli. Whilst walking from Ari Burnu to Hell's Spit along the beach (Anzac Cove), I noticed a photo of Norm Womal set in the sea wall. It was around seventy or eighty metres from Ari Burnu. As you can see, it is hardly weathered so had not been there long. It was the only such item I saw along the beach walk. I knew you would be interested in it. After we had visited Beach Cemetery, we went up to Plugge's Plateau via Shrapnel Gully. You can see down to Ari Burnu and towards North Beach. Anzac Cove is just out of sight." 

Photograph of Norm Womal KIA aside a path at Gallipoli

I was simply blown away emotionally when I saw the photograph which indeed was one of Norm Womal, one of my section commanders who I sadly lost in Vietnam on 17th October 1966. Michael took a photograph of Norm’s photo placed on the wall which would be of interest to the 5RAR first tour guys, many who knew Norm who was a very popular individual in the Battalion. Some of the readers may remember that Jock Letford and I secured some replica medals and had them framed for Norm’s sister, brother in law and niece and we had The Fox Michael Dennis present them at a ceremony in Bowen Queensland, during one of his and Anne’s northern sojourns.

Life has some mysterious turns for all of us and this experience some thousands of miles from Bowen where Norm is buried, where a photograph of Norm was left by someone and noticed by Mike Bevan also 5RAR second tour is more than a coincidence. If you join all the dots through first and second tour 5RAR this is almost two degrees of separation or something far more spiritual? They mission now is to try and determine who left the photograph?

Michael 'Deaky' von Berg

Michael 'Deaky' von Berg MC
Anti-Tank and Reconnaissance Platoon Commander
Republic of South Vietnam 1966 - 1967

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