AN02 MALAY-THAI BORDER | Compensation and Support Reference Library, Advisory Notes, 2001

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AN02 MALAY-THAI BORDER

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Advisory from Disability Compensation Branch

No 2/2001


This is an advisory note only.  Income Support Branch, Disability Compensation Branch and Legal Services Group have agreed this policy view.  It is not a Repatriation Commission Guideline or a Departmental Instruction.  The advice is not intended to conflict with the proper application of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 or the judgements of the Courts.  It may be subject to change as a result of further interpretation by the Courts of the legislation.  Nevertheless it represents a considered view that should be taken into account by all delegates.

Malay-Thai Border

Purpose

This Advisory is intended to assist delegates in determining claims for qualifying service on the Malay-Thai border. It updates and replaces the advisory on the same subject issued on 19 February 2001.

An instrument for allotment under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (VEA) was signed by the Vice-Chief of the Defence Force on 8 February 2001 listing units that were for allotted for duty in operations on the Malay-Thai border. This area is described by Item 5 of Schedule 2 of the VEA.

103rd Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery

The following two units are listed on the instrument although no reference has been located in the records that indicate that either unit served on the Malay-Thai Border:

A Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment1 Aug 196029 Feb 1964

103rd Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery1 Jul 196231 Oct 1963

The 103rd Field Battery was completely integrated into the British Army's 26th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery as its third firing battery. In July 1963, the 26th Regiment, Royal Artillery was replaced by the 45th Regiment, Royal Artillery. The 103rd Field Battery came under command of Headquarters 45th Regiment on 24 July 1963.

The principal record detailing the 103rd Field Battery's activities in Malaya is the monthly Commander's Diary held at the Australian War Memorial (series AWM95) which provides a daily summary of the Battery's activities and other important events in the unit.  It would be exceptional for the Battery to have served on the Malay-Thai Border and for these operations not to be recorded in the Commander's Diary.

The Official Records indicate that during the whole period of the 103rd Field Battery's tour in Malaya from October 1961 to October 1963 that the Battery was located in Terendak Camp, Malacca where it conducted normal garrison and training exercises.  Short excursions were made from Terendak Camp for field firing exercises at the Asahan Field Firing Range in eastern Malacca State.  Other excursions from Terendak Camp involved the Battery supporting its affiliated infantry battalion, the 1st Battalion, Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (1 KOYLI), on various battalion and 28th Commonwealth Brigade exercises.

The closest the Battery served to the Malay-Thai Border was its attendance at a “change of air” station at Brinchang Camp in the Cameron Highlands from 29 October to 9 November 1962 and again from 31 August to 8 September 1963. During its time at Brinchang Camp the Battery undertook small arms training and engaged in various sporting and other recreational activities.

A Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment did not serve in Malay during this period. Defence is examining whether these two units should remain on the instrument.

Units allotted for duty on the Malay-Thai border

The following units served on the Malay-Thai border at some stage during their tour of duty in Malaya:

101st Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery1 Aug 196030 Sep 1960

1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment1 Aug 196031 Dec 1961

2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment1 Jun 196131 Aug 1963

3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment1 Aug 196316 Aug 1964

3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Signal Troop19 Feb 1964              05 Apr 1964

28th Commonwealth Brigade (Australian Component)1 Aug 1960              16 Aug 1964

Detachment 32nd Dental Unit19 Feb 196405 Apr 1964

Far East Land Force (Australian Component)1 Aug 196016 Aug 1964

Disability pension claims

For DP claims, if records do not indicate the presence on the Malay-Thai border in the period 1960 to 1963, the claim should be considered under s.6D(1)(b) which covers all of Malaya and Singapore including the Malay-Thai border area.

There is therefore no specific requirement to identify the presence in the border area for operational service. However, claims that relate to specific events will still have to be investigated in the normal way.  Section 6D(1)(b) is operational service only, with no qualifying service.

Processing QS claims for Malay-Thai Border

It is expected that Army service records are marked with "SPEC SERV" for service on the Malay-Thai border after 28 May 1963.

For the new period of service, 1960-1963, which came into operation on 1 January 2001, Army service documents are unlikely to reveal service on the Malay-Thai border.  The issue to be addressed after it is revealed that the individual served with a unit that was allotted for duty in Item 5 is whether the person actually served in the Item 5 operational area.

In considering a QS claim the Departmental file should be checked for any earlier mention on the file that the applicant was on operations on the Malay-Thai border. If there is mention on the veteran's file before the announcement of the extension of QS eligibility in February 2000 then this should be given weight.

Proxy measure

The issue of an Australian Active Service Medal (AASM) with Thai-Malay clasp is NOT a requirement of the VEA but it is a useful proxy.  Whether the person was on the Malay-Thai border can be inferred from the fact that Defence has granted the Thai-Malay clasp. Eligibility for the Thai-Malay clasp could reasonably satisfy the legislative requirement of service in the area.  However, person must meet the requirement of having served in a unit listed in the allotment instrument issued by Defence.

In reasons for decision the issue of a medal is not the reason that a delegate is satisfied but rather that “Defence records show the applicant served on the Malay-Thai border in the Item 5 operational area”.

Further investigation

There may still be cases where the applicant's service records do not indicate service on the Malay-Thai Border but the claimant is insistent that such service occurred.

In such cases the use of an historical researcher may be of mutual assistance to the client and the Department. The applicant might be able to provide dates, the name of platoon sergeant/platoon commander and a description of their actual role in the operation.

Duty to the applicant

Applicants should be advised that they have a right to apply to either the Army Medals Office (telephone 1800 065 149) or the Air Force Medals Office (telephone 1800 623 306) for the Thai-Malay clasp.

Heather Parry

Director

Policy, Eligibility and Research

5 June 2002


Instrument for Allotment of Persons under the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986

Malay-Thai Border 1 August 1960 to 16 August 1964

Schedule 2 Item 5

1.This instrument is issued by the Defence Force under subsection 5B(2) of the Veterans' Entitlements Act 1986 (“the Act”) for use by the Repatriation Commission in determining a person's eligibility for entitlements under the Act.

2.The instrument for determining eligibility under the Act that was made by C A Ritchie AM RAN, Rear Admiral, Acting Vice Chief of the Defence Force on 28 December 2000 in relation to units of the Defence Force allotted for duty in the operational area described in Item 5 of column 1 of Schedule 2 of the Act is revoked with effect from 1 January 2001 and is not to be taken to have any legal effect or operation in relation to the making of any decision under the Act on or after 1 January 2001.

3.Each unit or part of a unit of the Defence Force identified in the Schedule below was allotted for duty in the operational area described in Item 5 of column 1 of Schedule 2 of the Act for the period specified in column 2 of the Schedule opposite the unit.

Schedule

Column 1Column 2

Australian ArmyFromTo

A Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment

1 Aug 1960

29 Feb 1964

101st Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery

1 Aug 1960

30 Sep 1960

103rd Field Battery, Royal Australian Artillery

1 Jul 1962

31 Oct 1963

1st Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

1 Aug 1960

31 Dec 1961

2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

1 Jun 1961

31 Aug 1963

3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment

1 Aug 1963

16 Aug 1964

3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Signal Troop

19 Feb 1964

05 Apr 1964

28th Commonwealth Brigade (Australian Component)*

1 Aug 1960

16 Aug 1964

Detachment 32nd Dental Unit

19 Feb 1964

05 Apr 1964

Far East Land Force (Australian Component)*

1 Aug 1960

16 Aug 1964

*This includes all 28 COMWEL BDE and FARELF Units that had an Australian Component

3. This determination commences on 1 January 2001.

Dated this Eighth day of February 2001

DESMOND MAURICE MUELLER, AO

Lieutenant General

Vice Chief of the Defence Force