The Main-Normal carried out all assigned duties – and a few that weren’t
In February 1951 he was posted to the UK for specialised artillery coaching adopted by a stint with the British Military on the Rhine in Germany. He had good relations with the senior officers. His affable nature in all probability led him to keep away from harsh self-discipline for misdemeanors.
In Germany, as an artillery demonstration was about to begin early within the morning, Begg, a safety officer, was just a few yards from high-ranking British and NATO officers. Determined, his German driver appeared with bacon and eggs and a steaming cup of espresso for him. Begg braced himself for a critical rebuke because the formidable Drive Commander approached. Listening to Begg converse, the overall merely whispered “Perhaps I might have recognized you have been Australian” and ordered him to have breakfast earlier than it cooled down.
Begg spent 1960 finding out on the Indian Protection Forces Employees School in Wellington, within the Blue Mountains area of southern India. An off-the-cuff dialog with an Indian common led him to ask Don to go fishing with him in Kashmir, to the disbelief of the Australian Excessive Fee in Delhi, on condition that India had closed Kashmir to foreigners. Clearance was granted and the Australian navy attaché accompanied Begg on a coveted VIP go to.
In the course of the descent into Kashmir, they encountered a landslide. As soon as the highway was cleared and repaired, they have been informed to move for the pinnacle of the queue – their diplomatic automotive gave them precedence. They fastidiously walked via the broken part amid the cheers of the employees and later found that the cheers have been on account of the truth that they’d demonstrated that the repairs have been ok to help the burden of a car.
The go to gave them an summary of the political and navy state of affairs, however sadly Begg was solely taken out fishing for trout as soon as. His excessive rating information caught two fish however he didn’t catch any. He thought, nevertheless, that this was a passable consequence, preserving the right relationship between a colonel and a significant.
After India, Begg, now a lieutenant colonel, labored within the management of the navy coaching military at Military HQ in Canberra till he was posted in 1963 to Cambodia as as a navy attaché on the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh. The battle in Vietnam was escalating and, other than routine workplace work, Begg undertook reconnaissance journeys to Cambodian navy installations and plantations within the Cambodia-Vietnam border areas to assist find a suspected provide route. of North Vietnam (the Ho Chi Minh path).
He at all times carried just a few bottles of one-star brandy, to assist with communication. The Corsican director of a French rubber plantation mentioned he knew nothing concerning the tracks used to produce weapons to the North Vietnamese, regardless of the noise of distant gunfire. Invited to dinner, Begg produced his brandy and voila, after some time a few of his questions have been answered with out being requested.
Sounds of gunfire didn’t at all times point out battle. Throughout a go to to an easy-going Cambodian battalion about 1 kilometer from the unmarked border, Begg realized that the quick burst of machine gun fireplace he had heard hours earlier was liable for the lunch of deer he had loved with the officers, accompanied in fact. by the “cognac” he introduced.
On the behest of Normal Westmoreland, the American chief of the Vietnam Navy Assist Fee, Begg traveled to a selected area of a hill tribe to seek out out why the tribes had refused the American weapons supplied to them to struggle the Viet Cong. A tribal chief vehemently mentioned they did not wish to struggle anybody besides possibly the People who have been bothering them.
In the direction of the top of 1966, Begg was promptly dispatched to Vietnam to take over as commander of the first Area Regiment at Nui Dat. He instantly oversaw the swap to US weapons and artillery programs, with their present weapons unreliable within the tropics. The change occurred whereas concurrently offering fireplace help to the duty power. The remaining durations have been largely dedicated to coaching workouts. In Begg’s phrases, “a tough time”.
After his posting, he took over Nationwide Service Coaching at Singleton for 2 years, then turned Director of Tools Coverage in Canberra. In his final publish, and now Main-Normal, he headed Logistics Command in Melbourne and liaised with Main-Normal Alan Stretton who led the aid operation after Cyclone Tracy devastated Darwin in December 1974 .
In 1975, Begg resigned from the navy and he and Helen moved to the Tweed Heads hinterland the place he turned an avid lawyer. After Helen died in 1989, he moved to close by Terranora, the place he turned to rising orchids.
Begg was a courteous and sociable man and an exquisite host. His time in India left him with a love and prowess in cooking, Indian delicacies and he was delighted to have associates over for curry events.
He’s survived by his second spouse Margaret Matthews, whom he married in 1996, sons Alan and John from his first marriage, their companions and three grandchildren.
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