For anyone visiting Cleveland who is interested in war memorabilia, the Redlands RSL Library and Museum is well worth a look (even if you have just lost all your money at their ‘pokies’ across the road).
There are several new exhibits if you haven’t called in recently:
Just inside the entrance, is a cabinet that contains the memorabilia of Kevin George Conway, Sergeant Temporary Warrant Officer Class 2, 13097 – Australian Army Training Team (RAINF), who was killed in action 6 July 1964. Kevin was the first Australian killed in the Vietnam War. 52 years after his death he was returned to the Redlands and buried in an official service at the Cleveland Cemetery in front of family, friends, Federal and State Government, Redland City Council, Redlands RSL, and Vietnam Veterans representatives.
It was the fourth and final resting place for Warrant Officer Conway whose body was previously exhumed in Vietnam and then twice in Singapore.
Warrant Officer Conway was the only Australian serviceman attached to a United States Special Forces team A-726 at Camp McBride in Nam Dong.
The contents of the cabinet have now been donated by his niece Kathy Woodford
The museum also now contains a dedicated WWI room. Its newest exhibits are devoted to animals who served in the war:
The mask shown here is only one of two still remaining in the world.
The Russians had trained their dogs, which were fitted with explosives, to hide under the enemy’s tanks whereupon they would be detonated. They had trained the dogs on their tanks which were diesel driven. However, the German tanks were petrol driven, and the dogs preferred the smell of diesel to petrol. The experiment literally backfired!