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15 November 2023
About 400 people visited ‘Open Gate at the 128’, an army open day at Horsham’s 128 Transport Depot in Baillie Street at the weekend.
The 128th Transport Troop and other Australian Defence Force personnel hosted the Remembrance Day event on Saturday, supported by cadets including Stawell’s 303 Army Cadet Unit.
Lieutenant David Herbert, who is the platoon commander of the 128 troop in Horsham, said the day was ‘fantastic’, bringing together military personnel, the public and veterans.
“There were people from the local community, family and friends of current serving members, veterans of the 128 troop and other veterans who did National Service in the ’60s, right through until recently,” he said.
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“Other people were interested in joining the cadets, which are starting up before the end of November, with a full recruiting program in 2024.
“Some were interested in joining the Army Reserve, including the 128th Transport Troop and the 8/7 Royal Victorian Regiment Charlie Coy, which are both based out of Horsham.”
Lt Herbert said there was a wide range of activities offered to visitors.
“We were able to share and appreciate the story of a service member from the fourth light horse, colonel James Lawson, who the depot is named after,” he said.
“He was the commanding officer during the charge at Beersheba, which is a really interesting connection between Horsham and military history.
“People were also able to walk through the depot, look at old uniforms, exhibitions of vehicles, the trucks that we use, infantry body armour and other equipment, including a ration pack.
“There was an opportunity to meet active serving members and for people interested in joining to hear from them.
“For older veterans from 128 troop or other units, it was a chance to meet and reconnect. It was really interesting to participate and listen to those conversations.
“We also had some people travel from other parts of our squadron, such as Bendigo and Melbourne, and so it was recognition that 128 troop is part of larger unit.
“We had some good feedback from them about some of our new equipment.”
Lt Herbert said after the success of Saturday’s open day, plans were already underway for another event around the same time next year.
He said 128 troop parades on Wednesday nights from 7pm, with people welcome to drop in and learn more about joining, while Horsham cadets are expected to parade at 7pm on Tuesdays.
The open day followed Remembrance Day services across the region, including Horsham.
– Sean O’Connell
The entire November 15, 2023 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!