On Long Tan Day, 18 August, Bayside Branch honored four mothers who lost National Servicemen sons in Vietnam.
They are Mrs. Beryl Gant (left), Mrs.Beatrice Kermode, Mrs. Betty Kingston and Mrs. Ramsay. The Federal Member for Bonner, Mr.Ross Vasta MP, unveiled a memorial plaque to hang in the Manly-Lota RSL Hall on Friday, 18 August. . It was then blessed by the Bayside Branch Padre, Major Bob Wilson.

The plaque bears the names of 1730941 Private Kenneth H. Gant, 1733818 Raymond C Kermode; 1734754 Ian W Kingston and 1733037 Joseph S Ramsay. Private Gant was amongst the 18 Australians – including 11 National Servicemen – killed in the pivotal battle of Long Tan when 108 members of D Coy of the 6th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment held off a battalion of North Vietnamese regulars and Viet Cong until relieved by artillery and reinforcements. The enemy lost an estimated 200-300 dead. They never attacked the Australian force in such strength again. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay are dead, but the family was represented by a friend.
Private Gant is buried at Mt.Gravatt cemetery together with another National Serviceman killed at Long Tan, 1731040 Private Douglas Salveron. Privates Kermode, Kingston and Ramsay are interred at Hemmant Cemetery. Bayside Branch will lay wreaths at the graves on Long Tan Day each year. The State Management Committee will ask all branches to do the same throughout Queensland where there is a National Service casualty.

Mrs. Betty Kingston lays a poppy on the plaque, followed by Laurel Craig, representing her mother, Mrs. Beatrice Kermode, 93, who was in hospital following a fall the day before.

The Federal Member for Bonner, Mr.Ross Vasta MP, said the battle of Long Tan had taken its place with Gallipoli, Tobruk, Kokoda and Kapyong as turning points in which courage and determination against overwhelming odds had shaped the Australian spirit. He said that the 11 Nashos who died at Long Tan had upheld the Digger tradition and created their own. The deaths of the four from Bayside were the fearful price of war in lives and waste.

Members of the families; Bayside Nashos including State President, Colin Bell; the Manly-Lota RSL sub-branch and the public attended the ceremony. The families supplied photographs of the four National Servicemen which the Branch had copied and framed to hang beside the plaque.

Bayside Branch’s decision to honor the mothers attracted the interest of the media with press and television coverage. A morning tea followed to enable participants to meet the two mothers who were present.

Kenneth Gant Raymond Kermode Ian Kingston Joseph Ramsay