SADDLED UP: A troop that re-enacts the routines and exploits of the famed Light Horse waits at ease at the parade.
SADDLED UP: A troop that re-enacts the routines and exploits of the famed Light Horse waits at ease at the parade. Sarah Harvey

Ipswich salute for nation's military reserve

IT'S been decades since Corporal Nigel Sutton and Private Ron Ward used to line up at the now defunct army barracks at Wacol.

The two former CMF (Citizen Military Forces - later Army Reserve) members are now regulars at parades recognising the significance of the reserve forces in Australian military history. They, and dozens of others, marched through the centre of Ipswich on Saturday as part of Reserve Forces Day.

They stood at attention during the ceremony outside the Ipswich RSL Memorial Gardens after the parade took them along Ellenborough, Brisbane, East, Limestone and Nicholas Sts.

Led by the Pipes and Drums of RAAF Base Amberley, groups of army, air force and navy reservists and a horse-mounted group, marched along the parade route before gathering at the RSL Gardens. There were also troops from New Caledonia.

Pte Ward said Reserve Forces Day had significance for him and other former members.

"The day does mean a lot to us," he said. "It's an important day for anyone who served in reserve forces, and that's a lot of people."

Pte Ward served at the Wacol base in 1958 while Cpl Sutton served in 1956 at the same base.

Speaking at the event, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale said he was proud to be part of a city with such rich ties to the defence force.

"As a city we love our defence, we are a defence city and we have a responsibility to say thank you," he said. "Any time this city's ever needed any help our defence and our reservists have come to our aid."

Reserve Forces Day south-east Queensland committee member Captain Bob Hume spoke about the history of the reserve forces including its formation out of pre-Federation militias of Australia's colonies.



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