Lt. Col. Tom Cotton.

Now that the war is ended, it is only just and right that the battalion should cease to exist as a fighting unit. But is it right that the comradeship built up over so many years should stop too? Many ex-members have already decided that this should not be so and efforts are being made with varying degrees of success to get associations going in the different States.

If these are successful and the greater bulk of the unit join them, I, personally, will feel that the toil and sweat, blood and tears will not have been in vain. Quite apart from being an excuse for a pleasant evening recalling old times and memories, one must remember that there is a greater duty than that in these associations.

The point that one must remember is that some members of the battalion are more fortunate than others in many respects. They have jobs to go to, they own their own properties or they have had experience of the art of making a living in Civvy Street. Many, especially the younger members, have none of these advantages and will be an easy prey to the variety of sharks who make their living by taking down the discharged soldier.

If any of us can assist another at any time, then in the tradition of the unit it is up to us to do so. Never at any time in the unit has the Jack System been in vogue.

There are too many sacrifices on record to disprove anyone who cares to assert that it has. To anyone who thinks that the Jack System is all right I recommend that he consider events since the cessation of hostilities and remember how he has suffered as a result of others applying that principle.

One great lesson service with the battalion should have taught everyone is that one does not live or think or act for self only. When people have tried this, someone else has always suffered even if only in the way of extra duties and fatigues.

If this principle of considering others applies in the army, why should it not apply when we are all back in Civvy Street. For many years, in fact since the battalion was formed, it has been my great pride and pleasure to serve in it, first as a company officer and later as its commander.

During those years we have been to many places, seen many strange sights and endured some pretty terrific conditions. And during all those years I have received such friendship and loyalty which is seldom the luck of any man to get. I do not regret the coming of peace, but I do regret the demobilisation of the battalion which brings to an end the happiest years of my life.

I shall always remember with gratitude my term with the battalion. To all those who for so long and so unfailingly have worked with and for the battalion to its greater glory I tender my very sincerest thanks. Due entirely to your efforts and discipline the reputation of the battalion stands where it is today.

To every man I wish the very best of luck in the great adventure of Civvy Street and hope that each of you achieve the same results as in the Army.

Good-bye, Good Luck and Thank You.

Published in The Griffin, December 1945.