I'm not too sure about this 'Website' stuff. I have enough trouble with emails. I don't even own a mobile phone, let alone an I pad or other "I" things. And as for 'Facebook' or 'Skype', I haven't a clue. Unfortunately I don't have the benefit of grand-kids to advise me. However Dicko has asked me for something for our new website noticeboard. So here goes!
My heartfelt congratulations to Dicko and his whanau and other cohorts for resurrecting our previous website that Graeme Beattie started many years ago. Following our successful book launch, it is important that we keep in contact. We do have our Coy Reunions, but, for various reasons, not able to attend those. Hopefully this website will provide the vehicle to maintain that contact.
However for it to succeed, it is important that we do make use of it. As the saying goes; 'USE IT OR LOSE IT'.
Maybe for my initial contribution, I can refer back to my 'Foreword' to our book, where I recalled a song from my days at Christchurch Boys' High School back in the fifties, "Forty years on, when afar and asunder." Here is my V4 Coy version;
V4 COY SONG (To tune of Harrow School Song)
It's forty years and more since we were together,
Serving our country as part of Victor Four.
When we look back and forgetfully wonder,
What we got up to in our part of the war.
Visions of 'Actions' float there before us,
Memories of mates at the 'Never Inn Bar'.
Then we remember those no longer with us
Their numbers are already too many by far.
Leap On! Leap On! Leap On! Leap On! Leap On!
With these thoughts going round in our brain,
We recall being "Larry's Leapers" once again.
'The Mighty' Quin.(V4)
I also would like to offer my congratulations to the team responsible for instigating the V4 Website. A marvellous communication tool. All the very best to everyone, especially with the festive season looming.
Bruce (Cookie) Drysdale (V4)
I would also like to thank all who have worked to set up this site. It is a great idea to help maintain a distance connection to keep our members involved with each other.
Well done the V4 Family.
Regards Bones (V4)
My Dad was Rakei Fraser and he served in Vietnam in the late 1960s. Thank you for emailing my sister and I about this website- it's Awesome! I've just had a quick read through and I am already getting an understanding of what my Dad was involved in during that time. Your website is easy to navigate too.
Just wanted to pass on our thanks for getting the Victor 4 story out there!
(Daughter of the late Pte Rakei Fraser V4)
On my way home from a Victor Company Reunion at Auckland on the 2nd March, 2014, I had mechanical issues on the Southern Motorway and requested AA assistance. At the completion of the repairs, the mechanic noticed the Vietnam sticker on the back window. I explained where I had been. He said that during his entire schooling at all levels of his education, the Vietnam War was never on the curriculum.
He then removed his glove and asked if he could shake my hand. He then said to me; "Thanks to all of you veterans who served in Vietnam".
For me, this was the first time where a non-military person had ever said thanks.
I was left with a damn good feeling.
Jim Stokes (V4)
Hi Geoff, good site; well done.
Regards Baden Ewart (NZ Component)
Excellent job!! A great book which could be any company's story easily related to and a gripping read.
George Preston (161 Bty and W3)
Veterans' Affairs New Zealand (VANZ) & Your Rights
Kia Ora everyone, if you have any issues regarding VANZ, please let me know. We may be able to help.
Kia Kaha & Onwards
Wally Te Ua ( Victor Coy, V2 and Whiskey Coy)
My name is Danielle, my grandfather was Pte B. F. (Joe) Berridge. I live in Australia and would like to know how I can purchase this book.
I also wanted to make mention that the photos' and information on this website are incredible. All of the photos that were handed down, were destroyed in a house fire this year and when I came across photos of my grandfather, it was most heart warming.
Webmasters note; Danielle has received her books.
I'm Jack Williams twin sister Jill. My brother Wayne forwarded this website for me to check out. Congratulations to all those who put it together. Thankyou for including the special event held in Waipukurau to unveil the memorial plaque in honour of the Terrace School's past pupil, Jack.
Many of our family were there and it was a very moving experience. It was amazing how many of Jack's company turned up and very special to meet some of them. I now have a wonderful book put together by Patrick Bronte called OUR BOY JACK. It's a history of his life.
Hello Victor 4,
Hello to you all. Finally got on this website as my wife pressured me to it. Thank you Dicko for sending the Book, DVD and the Scarf. The book is well done. As you know, I'm new in this kind of thing but it will get better from the help that I get from my wife and son.
Love to you all
John Dickson (V4 Assault Pioneer)
I'm Beau's (Robert Heke) daughter. I am the second youngest of 6. I loved looking through all the photos and reading all about the Vietnam War. Although it really tugged at the heart strings, I liked the fact I was able to see part of what my dad went through with all the other soldiers in the Vietnam War.
If there is anything else on my dad and his time in the Army, I'd love to know.
Webmaster's note; Any photos/stories on Beau, please send via the Contact Us Section and they will be forwarded on.
To my fellow soldiers,
Today, ANZAC DAY 2015 as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the landing at Gallipoli, I would like to wish you all good health.
John Dickson V4
Kia ora all,
Firstly, a wee reminder to everyone on the significance of todays’ date.
8th May, 2015.
It was 46 years ago that the main body of Victor 4 arrived in Vung Tau, Vietnam and 45 years ago that the main body of Victor 4 departed Vietnam from the same location.
Enjoy the day.
Prior to ANZAC Day, I was approached by Teresa Nepia, representing Huria Marae at Tauranga seeking permission to use our website photos as part of their ANZAC Day commemorations.
This is Beau Heke’s marae and it was the first request by anyone wanting to use our V4 Website photos. Permission was granted. Our book and a Tribute 08 DVD were given to her on Victor Four’s behalf.
Gordon and Eliza Benfell attended and his account is as follows;
I so enjoyed the Huria Marae experience and congratulate Teresa and all of the committee for doing a fabulous job. The V4 photos were prominent, brilliantly displayed. As I went past I took the opportunity to answer a voiced question for a Kuia who was very emotionally describing Beau. When she asked how I knew and said I was V4 I was overwhelmed by a large group who eventually took Eliza and I to breakfast etc.
A lovely time, magnificent people. So much pride.
I know where I'm going to spend time next ANZAC Day.
Teresa sent this email;
Kia ora Geoff & Gordon,
I just want to take this time to thank you for your contributions to the Huria Marae ANZAC ceremony. We had the DVD you gave playing continuously throughout the day as well as the photos on a display board and the book available for people to read. These taonga were greatly received by the many that came into the gallery so once again thank you. And apologies I didn't get to say hello again Gordon, it was such a busy day with so many people that I never got a chance to find you say hi to you and your family, but I hope you enjoyed the service and your time here at Huria Marae. I was fortunate enough to catch up quickly with my cousin Lani (Beau's daughter) and she was very happy (quite tearful-in a good way J) which is understandable. Once again thank you for all your support and awhi.
There has been big interest by many families seeking medal information, service and medical records of their dad, grandfather, uncle, etc.
Whilst I’m no expert on these matters and will happily be corrected, I have suggested a direction that anyone may wish to follow in obtaining these.
Some families have already begun the process.
The information provided here is for all viewers to this Victor 4 Website.
As a general rule, all NZ Vietnam Veterans who served at least 6 months in Vietnam should have received two medals on their RTNZ. They were;
A. The Vietnam Medal
B. The Republic of South Vietnam Medal.
Recipient details are engraved on these two medals. If they are lost and you want replacements, you need to apply and make a statutory declaration.
Since then, 3 more medals have been awarded by the NZ Government, to which veterans are entitled to. However, you need to apply for them.
C. The NZ Operational Service Medal.
D. The NZ General Service Medal (1992 Medal clasp Vietnam).
E. The NZ Defence Service Medal (Regular)
Alternatively, replicas can be purchased online for all of them if you wish. I would strongly recommend that they be professionally mounted (court mounted is the most preferred), as they must be put in order of seniority.
For family members, medals are worn on the right breast. Veterans wear theirs on the left breast.
Check out www.nzmilitarymedals.com
When applying, many details are required. I can provide his Regimental Number, Rank, Initials, Name and Corps.
There is an excellent website with a section on Archives and Records which tell you how to obtain these and also applying for medals.
Many families have obtained copies of their brother, dad or grandfather’s service records and medical records.
It is; www.nzdef.mil.nz
Units and Dates
His overseas units and dates were;
1st Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1 RNZIR), Malaysia, November 1968 to May 1969.
Victor Four Company, 6 RAR/NZ (ANZAC) Battalion, South Vietnam May 1969 to May 1970 (Active Service)
1. For those veterans who were replacements to V4, their details will differ.
2. With the increased interest this year, there will be inevitable delays. Big delays, expect months.
It is very satisfying that we are still able to pass on photos, information and experiences of our guys to the families of those who served with Victor 4 and anyone else that visits our website.
Feel free to contact me with any questions via Contact Us on this website.
Best wishes, take care and good luck everyone.
Geoff (Dicko) Dixon V4-Webmaster
v4coy © 2014 All rights reserved.