The RSL

 From: Ron King

Sent: Wednesday, May 02, 2012 11:25 AM

Subject: RSL HAS DONE IT AGAIN

The whole organisation is rotten at the top I’m afraid. Most sub-branches seem to follow the ideas of the founding members although the more their hierarchy gets involved in the politics of the organisation the further they lead the members from the basic ideals.

Subject: RSL HAS DONE IT AGAIN

Natasha Boddy, The West AustralianApril 26, 2012, 5:46 am         

 The new plaque at Kings Park. Picture: Ben Crabtree/The West Australian.

The names of fallen Special Air Service Regiment soldiers have finally been inscribed on the State War Memorial – but some of their widows and relatives say they have been snubbed because the Returned Services League refused to allow them to participate in the official Anzac ceremony.

WA widows of SAS soldiers who lost their lives serving their country successfully battled the RSL executive for more than a year to get the names of their husbands added to the memorial’s crypt.

The names of Sgt Matthew Locke, Sgt Andrew Russell, Signaller Sean McCarthy, Trooper Jason Brown and Sgt Todd Langley, who served in Afghanistan, and Warrant Officer David Nary, who served in Iraq, were added to the memorial ahead of yesterday’s Anzac commemorations.

The move came after the RSL in November overturned an 80-year-old protocol that allowed the inscription only of the names of fallen servicemen and women born or enlisted in WA.

Sgt Russell’s widow Kylie choked back tears as she told _The West Australian _yesterday that the RSL had not told her of the plaque and she had learnt of it from a friend.

“It would have been nice to know considering the RSL is supposed to look after families and to not even give us a phone call to let us know that our husbands are there on a day like today, I just find it completely disgraceful and I’ve just lost all faith in the RSL,” she said.

As relatives of some of the other fallen soldiers visited the memorial to pay tribute yesterday, their disappointment was palpable as they confirmed they also had not been told about the plaque by WA RSL or invited to participate in the official ceremony.

It came after SAS Association chairman David Lewis revealed to 6PR radio that some of the widows did not attend the official Anzac ceremony after they were denied the chance to lay a wreath by the RSL at the dawn service.

“The widows asked if they’d be able to go lay a wreath or be invited to attend and the answer was no, there was going to be no special time allocated to them and if they wanted to lay a wreath they would have to do so with the general public,” he said.

“I think it’s a disgrace, certainly from the executive of the RSL.”

WA RSL president Bill Gaynor was contacted for comment.

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