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The Lonely Forward Scout

Rupert McCall & The Lonely Forward Scout.htm

The Lonely Forward Scout


Bugler Daniel Hosking




Rupert McCall's article from the Brisbane Sunday Mail of 17th July 2011 in different formats.
Rupert McCall & "The Lonely Forward Scout" - JPG
Rupert McCall & "The Lonely Forward Scout" - PDF


Background on how Rupert McCall became aware of the poem "The Lonely forward Scout" and his families' involvements in Australia's military.


Although we are a generation apart both Rupert McCall and myself played for Brothers Rugby Union club in Brisbane. From a former front rower Rupert, as a former winger, is not a bad bloke.


After Brothers 2010 AGM I showed Rupert a copy of "The Lonely Forward Scout" which I had on my mobile phone.

As we talked Rupert mentioned that his grandfather was a "Rat Of Tobruk". I mentioned that my Dad was also a "Rat". Then Rupert mentioned that his late father in law was a Vietnam Veteran. His name was Ashley Greenway. He was in my intake (9th Intake 12 July 1967). Ashley went to 4 RAR and I went to 9 RAR. We've been holding reunions for our intake for some years now and most of our people went to 4 RAR. When I circulated this to our group they sent back old photos of Ashley.


So that's the connection and maybe explains some of Rupert's interest in Australia's veterans.


My old college of Saint Columban's (now located at Caboolture) invited us back for their Anzac Day Commemoration. When I showed Deputy Principal Frank McCullagh the poem he "volunteered" Ben Schumach to read the poem. So that's how Ben got into Rupert's story.


Rupert is certainly a master of his craft.


I arranged for Derek Nixon-Smith to have lunch with Rupert and I and another Vietnam Veteran, Gerard Loth. Like Ben I "volunteered" to read the poem at the 2010 9 RAR Memorial Service. By way of background I had a chat to Derek before the ceremony. Derek is a most unassuming person who thinks there are many people much worse off than himself. He spent several years in and out of military hospitals recovering from serious head wounds and even today has no peripheral vision.


Rupert has captured all the essential detail from that lunch as well as from the photo I sent him of Ben reading the poem.


Rupert's original hopes were to publish the article on Easter Sunday which was the day before Anzac Day this year. That not being possible he asked me for some suggestions as to alternative dates. Yesterday's date is close to the anniversary of both the "contact" and the first moon landing. There is a copy of extracts from 9 RAR's "Tour Book" concerning the incident. Use the Hyperlink "The Lonely Forward Scout" to the left of this article.


Well done Rupert and thanks.


Hyperlink to Rupert's website is:


Terry Fogarty

18 July 2011.


Below is one message from a "veterans' grapevine"


From: Bernie []
Sent: Sunday, 17 July 2011 9:38 PM
To: Recipient list suppressed:
Subject: The Forward Scout


Goodey Bernie
This was in the Sunday mail today. I think it is quite good, well written and a tribute to our diggers as the way we once went to war and probably never will again.
Mick Rodger



From: Rodney & Julianne Slater

Sent: Monday, 18 July 2011 8:16 PM
To: Brice; '9 RAR Qld Webmaster'; Terry Fogarty
Subject: Re: The Lonely Forward Scout


Hello Dan, Terry & Brice


Well done Terry.  Old WW2 Vet (2/25 Bn, PNG Theatre), who I do physio with  2 x days per week mentioned it this morning and remarked that it was a ripper poem saying "How very true that poem is ... the forward scout is out there all the time by himself, and not too many lived to tell their story"  After he said that I was very proud to tell him it was my Battalion - the MIGHTY NINTH - and the circumstance of the contact/action etc.  Also that Terry F was the person who geed up Rupert Mc via their Brothers Rugby (Bne Club) connection, Terry Foggs Old School connection etc & that just this past weekend Foggs 9th Intake had their reunion at Rainbow Beach.  Malcom (2/25 Bn now aged 92 & still driving himself) was mightly impressed with the whole story of the poem.  Also updated him re Derek N-S.   


Anyway, I'm sure Terry will have given you more info and he should be congratulated for his efforts eh!


Kind Regards




From: 9 RAR Qld Webmaster []
Sent: Monday, 18 July 2011 6:50 PM
To: Terry Fogarty
Cc: 9 RAR Qld Sec.; Gow, Don; Kelly, Jim; Kennedy, Bill; Lynch, Kev; Stalder, Barry; Woodcroft, Wayne
Subject: Re: The Lonely Forward Scout


Hi Terry,

Thanks for the email.  I was given a copy today and I think the article is just great.   I think your words on your website are also very appropriate.   I will be doing a 9 RAR  Email News Update next week and will include this as one of the items. I will talk to you before as to how much of your words I will use.  I think it is already being well accepted.


Well done in keeping the memories alive.

cheers Dan


From: Peter McCarthy []
Sent: Wednesday, 20 July 2011 9:11 AM
To: Terry Fogarty
Cc: Neil Coleman
Subject: The Forward Scout


Hi Terry,


Neil sent me the email that you sent to him on the forward scout as he thought I might have been interested.


I am very pleased that he did onforward it to me as I read it with great interest together with your background piece. Thank you for that and congratulations to you on putting it together.


I have taken the liberty of sending it to our former company clerk who now compiles an email newsletter to the surviving members of our company and I have asked him to include it in one of the upcoming issues. I seek your blessing on this and trust it will be acceptable and will not breach any copyright.


Thanks again.


Kind Regards,


Peter McCarthy


p.s. - Wingers always were show ponies - the only difference between wingers now and wingers then is their size - they are all 6 ft 6 ins and weigh 125 kgs. At 5 ft 11 ins and 90 kgs, I am not even big enough to be a water boy!!!