PART 7  – Linking 2RAR and 4 RAR

The Battalion returned to Australia to take over the rear lines in Lavarack Barracks, currently occupied by 2 RAR today and went on a much earned rest. After returning to work, the Battalion continued training on exercises around Mount Spec, Tropical Trials Establishment at Cowley Beach and High Range Training Area. It was during this period that the Battalion was looked after by Maj E.H. Stevenson, (Administering Command) from 6 Apr 72 until 7 Jul 72, who in turn handed over to the new Commanding Officer Lt Col L.D. Johnson on 8 Jul 72, holding that position until the linking with 2 RAR on 15 Aug 73 to become 2/4 RAR.

Reorganisation of the Australian Army 

Due to the cessation of National Service the Army underwent a major reorganisation. 2 RAR and 4 RAR were linked on the 15 August 1973 to form 2nd / 4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (2/4 RAR).   

The Battalion was formed up on the 4 RAR parade ground by the RSM WO1 W.T.C. (Wally) Thompson.  Members leaving the Battalion for other postings fell out and marched off the parade.  WO1 Thompson marched the remaining soldiers to 2 RAR’s parade ground and handed them over to WO1 Hall, RSM 2 RAR.  Whilst they were away from the old 4 RAR lines the unit signs were changed to 2 / 4 RAR.  The combined soldiers from 2 Battalion and 4 Battalion were marched back to their new lines where 4 RAR had previously resided under the direction of WO1 Ken Hall the new 2/4 RAR RSM.

 

2 RAR and 4 RAR on Parade for the first time as 2/4 RAR in Townsville (Samichon Lines)

 

 

 

 

 

 

The new 2nd / 4th Battalion was lead off the parade ground by the Pipe Major WO2 Doug Thorenson to the 4 RAR tune of “Inverbrackie” and “Ringo” 2 RAR Battalion quick march. 

Through the next twenty years of history the Battalion enjoyed training in a peacetime army and achieved many successes on the sporting field and in competitions, such as, Duke of Gloucester Cup and South East Asia Sniper Team competitions. 

The new Battalion was charged with the task of preserving the traditions, associations, museums and proprietorship of the two original battalions from which it was formed until such time as the linking was annulled.  Because of this, all ranks of 2/4 RAR were aware of the history of both 2 RAR and 4 RAR and jealously preserved these traditions, whilst working hard to establish a distinctive image for their Battalion. 

Between 1977 and 1979 the Battalion concentrated on conventional warfare including night and mounted operations. 

On 1 July 1980 the unit was reorganised on light scales and trained as part of the Army’s Operational Deployment Force (ODF) in close country and conventional warfare operations. 

On 1 February 1982, with the official replacement of the title Task Force with the original term Brigade, 2/4 RAR became a unit of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division. 

The Battalion was placed on operational readiness in 1987 and 1990.  On each occasion the Battalion was prepared to evacuate Australian citizens from Pacific regional countries experiencing civil disturbance.

The 2/4 RAR Nominal Roll detailed below is freely available in magazines that were printed in Townsville between 1978-1994.

Due to the size of the Nominal Roll, for ease of viewing simply right click on the "2/4 RAR Nominal Roll" below to browse the names.  The file can be saved to your computer when opened.

2/4 RAR Nominal Roll