34629 WO Class Two George Wallace Brown, MID
George Brown was born on 24th June 1924, in Bendigo, Victoria. At the age of 17 years and 3 months he enlisted in the 2nd AIF at Royal Park Victoria on 15th September 1941 and was discharged as a corporal in 1947.
He re-enlisted for the Korean War and served there for 493 days with 3 RAR from 26th December 1950 to 1st May 1952. He was with the battalion for the Battles of Kapyong and Maryang Sang. He was wounded in action on one occasion.
It is not certain if his service was continuous service or that he re-enlisted, but Wally was serving in 3 RAR at Ingleburn in 1957 and proceeded to Malaya on the troop ship MV New Australia, which collided with an oil tanker Francis Stove in the Torres Strait. All passengers were ordered to boat stations but then stood down. On the eve of Kapyong anniversary in 1958, 3 RAR recorded its first kills. 34629 Corporal G. W. “Wally” Brown, as a C Company section commander, ambushed and killed two communist terrorists and was Mentioned in Despatches.
It is still not certain that “Wally” served continuously in 3 RAR from Ingleburn, Malaya, Enoggera and Malaysia, nor that he served in Borneo, but as he was posted from 3 RAR to 7 RAR in 1965/66, there is little doubt he did.
Wally was posted to the newly-formed 7 RAR during 1965/66. He may have been a sergeant but Wally’s rank at any particular point in time was debatable. He provided the sort of experience essential at that time and proceeded to Vietnam as the Staff Sergeant CQMS, A Company. This service, including resupply of his company at the Battle of Suoi Chau Pha, earned him another Mention in Despatches.
As a sign of his dedication to A Company and to the battalion, Wal took advantage of the company location at Nui Dat straddling Route 2 by ensuring that any transiting vehicle received a free spray paint ‘golden pig’ logo .
WO2 George Wallace Brown served his country mightily. He took part in every conflict from the Second World War through Korea, Malaya, Indonesian Confrontation and Vietnam, a total of 9 or 10 years active service. He was a larger-than-life digger who was generally recognisable in any unit lucky enough to have his service. He was an accomplished leader and a good mate in a tight corner.
He was humorous, gregarious, a teller of tall stories, loud, looked after his mates, liked a beer and did his duty. He was never firmly attached to his rank and was an RSM’s nightmare. He was particularly critical of ‘Brown Paybook soldiers’ and gave them the impression he was only dealing with them under duress. But these incidents were a small price to pay for such a character. Despite all this he was well respected and admired throughout the unit. He died on 6th April 1995.