Home    History index

161 Battery and the Town of Raglan

In 1965, 161 Battery RNZA deployed to Vietnam amid political controversy and huge public opposition. Service personnel and their families were subjected to abuse from acquantainces and strangers. When rotations returned to NZ after 12 month tours of duty, it was common for the plane to land at a military airbase in the dead of night with no civic reception. Servicemen were discouraged from appearing in public in uniform. In 19?? the Battery paraded down Queen Street (the main road of the largest city) and were spat on by members of the public; others threw blood.

Click image for enlargementThrough all this, the people of the small seaside town of Raglan in the Waikato supported the Battery and their families. Encouraged by Mr Doug Arter, they sent letters, food parcels and other small comforts to every member of the Battery on active service in Vietnam. In 1972, the Battery formally adopted part of Lord Raglan's coat of arms as their Battery Emblem. (Read the story about the 161 Battery Panther). The relationship endures today and members of the Battery parade at Anzac services at Raglan each year.

Click image for enlargement
Catafalque Party, Anzac Day 1972
Click image for enlargement
Anzac Day 1986
Click image for enlargement

Return to top

161 Battery    |    History Index    |    Home