Association News and Updates

Funeral Arrangements for the late Brigadier Jeffrey James “JJ” Shelton DSO MC  (Time update)

(22 May 2018)

The funeral for the late Brigadier "JJ" Shelton will be held on Mon 4 Jun 2018 at the RMC Chapel commencing at 11.30am.  Following the service there will be a wake at the RMC Bandroom.

Please disseminate this information to those who may not have electronic means.  

2018 AABC Association Reunion - Registration Form

(16 May 2018)

Dear AABCA membership

You will no doubt be (as I am) very excited at the final shape of the AABCA reunion weekend in August in Canberra.  While it is an annual event for the Association, it is a 'once only' affair for the AABC, the 50th Anniversary of our Corps.  That being the case, the committee felt the occasion warranted a venue for the dinner befitting a 50th Anniversary, so after reviewing a number of suggestions in Canberra, settled on the wonderful Anzac Hall housed within the Australian War Memorial.

You have hopefully noticed the AABCA subsidised items on the Registration form to help keep the cost for the weekend to a manageable level .  To further our efforts to defray costs, the Association is also to subsidise the administration / running costs associated with the dinner to ensure that we all get to experience the evening in this splendid venue, while keeping the cost to diners to under $100.00 per head.  Please complete the attached Registration and return to Sue Baxter at your earliest convenience.  I look forward to welcoming you all to Canberra and enjoying a great 'catch up' with you to mark our first 50 years.  Regards,

Gordon Lambie, OAM, CSM



Reunion Registration Form 2018.doc (75k)

Reunion Registration Form 2018.pdf (187k)

Vale Brigadier Jeffrey James “JJ” Shelton DSO MC (29 June 1926–13 May 2018)

(14 May 2018)

Brigadier Jeffrey James “JJ” Shelton DSO MC

James Shelton was born in Melbourne on the 29th of June 1926. He attended Scotch College in Melbourne, and then Bendigo High School, before going on to study engineering at Melbourne University.

Shelton entered Duntroon as a cadet in February 1944. After graduating in December 1946, he was sent to Japan to serve with the British Commonwealth Occupation Force in Japan joining the 66th Battalion. He returned to Australia two years later, having been promoted to acting captain.

He next served as adjutant to a Citizens’ Military Force battalion in Adelaide, which is where he heard about the start of the Korean War.

Shelton was sent to the reinforcement holding unit in Japan in 1951 and joined the 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR) as a reinforcement officer after the battle of Kapyong.

He commanded A Company during the battle of Maryang San, for which he was awarded a Military Cross for his personal bravery and leadership.

After returning to Australia in 1952, Shelton was sent to England for a two year posting with the British Army. Here he attended numerous infantry courses and was attached to a British Battalion based at Luneberg in Germany, as part of the British Army of the Rhine.

On his return to Australia, Shelton served at the School of Infantry at Singleton before being posted as adjutant to Duntroon, where he was reunited with his friend and former commanding officer, Colonel (later General Sir) Frank Hassett. 

Two years later, Shelton was posted to the Defence Force Staff College at Quetta in India. It was a posting he thoroughly enjoyed.

His next posting was to Army Headquarters in Melbourne. During this posting Army HQ transitioned to Canberra. Shelton returned to 3RAR as a company commander, before being promoted to lieutenant colonel.

Another two year posting to England followed, this time as an exchange instructor at the British Army Staff College, then located at Camberley. During this period Shelton met luminaries such as Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery.

On his return to Australia at the start of 1967, Shelton was posted as commanding officer of 3RAR, then based at Woodside, South Australia. He was delighted to command the battalion with which he had already seen so much service and felt it to be the pinnacle of his service career. 3RAR deployed to Vietnam at the end of the year, and was soon on operations in Phuoc Tuy Province.

Shelton and his men took part in numerous operations in Vietnam, most notably the battles of Coral and Balmoral in May of 1968, in which the battalion experienced the most sustained combat experienced by Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War. Shelton was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his leadership during the long month of near-constant fighting.

After returning to Australia, Shelton returned to Army HQ and was promoted to colonel. After further postings to Citizen Military Forces, regular army units, and headquarters, he was promoted to brigadier. In 1972 he was given command of the 3rd Task Force (as it was then known) in Townsville. In 1974 Shelton returned to Army Headquarters in Canberra and took up several more staff appointments.

Following his retirement from the army in 1980, he was made Honorary Colonel of the Royal Australian Army Band Corps, a position he held for 14 years. Shelton also completed a degree in history and geography at the Australian National University, Canberra.

Sunday 13 May 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the first battle of Coral. While watching the ceremony from his hospital bed, Jim Shelton, who had been unwell for some time, closed his eyes and passed away peacefully. He was 92 years old.

Shelton will be remembered by those who knew him and those who served with him as a true gentleman and a soldier’s soldier. Vale Brigadier Jim Shelton... RIP.

Vale - Brigadier Jeffery 'Jim' Shelton DSO, MC

(13 May 2018)

John Franklin reports..... For those of you who may not be aware, it is with an extremely heavy heart that I pass on the sad news of the death of Brigadier Jeffrey James ‘Jim’ Shelton DSO MC who passed away at 3.42pm on Sun 13 May 2018 after watching the Coral / Balmoral ceremony on the internet. Brigadier Shelton went to sleep with wife Caroiline & daughter Wendy by his side.

Brigadier Shelton was a great man who held a very special place in the lives of each and every one of us.

Prior to taking up senior positions within Army, Brigadier Shelton undertook two notable commands within his beloved ‘Old Faithfull’ 3rd Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment. Firstly, as Major Shelton he commanded A Company in Korea during 1951-52, for which he was decorated with the Military Cross and later as Lieutenant Colonel Shelton when he commanded the battalion in Vietnam in 1968, for which he was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order.

Australian Army Band Corps members will of course best remember Brigadier Shelton as our esteemed Honorary Colonel, serving in the position for many years. He made it his business to offer sound advice to the Director of Music and officers of the corps when they needed it and took a keen interest in the Corps’ members and families.

As our beloved Patron of the Australian Army Band Corps Association he provided a steady hand and qualified advice to members of the executive for which our members will be forever grateful.

He was a true gentleman and an excellent ambassador for military music. He loved his saxophone and we loved his outstanding commitment, leadership and guidance.

Presisident Gordon Lambie and members of the AABC Association pass on their heartfelt condolences to Caroline and Wendy. Rest in Peace Sir, job well and truly done. Thank you for a lifetime of service.

No other details are known at this time.

RIP Sir…….you will be sadly missed

2018 AABC Association Reunion - Message from the President

(11 May 2018)

Dear AABCA members,

In addition to my contribution to the upcoming Anzac edition of the AABCA Newsletter, I feel a separate letter to the membership concerning the 2018 reunion is warranted. In my efforts to manage expectations, I would like to keep you apprised of some of the challenges one is confronted with when staging an activity such as this in Canberra. 

Kev Noon and I are fielding enquiries fairly regularly from members requesting information on the weekend.  There has been a draft of the weekend’s activities on the web site since March this year and the same information has been sent via email to the membership list and also posted on facebook on more than one occasion. If in your communications with some of our maybe less than technically proficient membership you gather they may not have yet accessed the relevant information, please help us out by guiding them down the right path; word of mouth is still a pretty strong medium and it may help lessen some of those calls we’re fielding. 

Plans for the weekend are progressing well with a very full agenda in place.  2017’s Reunion in QLD was a success on many fronts, particularly the venue and the costs associated with its use by us.  The Maroochy RSL is an impressive club to be sure, and the support shown to us by way of the costing model applied was greatly appreciated by all in attendance, I’m sure. Similar options available to us in Canberra however are just not possible. Staging events is an industry and generally one that is not in the business of charity. RSLs will endeavour to assist service associations should they have with the capacity to host an event such as ours, Maroochy is a fine example.  Canberra has no such RSL, or any other service club with the capacity to stage an event worthy of the 50th anniversary. For this reason we have had to go to a commercial style events venue, and the Australian War Memorial was considered a fitting choice.   The cost is likely to be $120.00 per head, and this is with us electing to run a cash bar.  Similarly, the meet and greet at the RMC Sergeants Mess will be more than QLD at approximately $45.00 per, also with a cash bar. 

I understand that the costs associated with staging this year’s reunion may prohibit some of you from attending.  The AABCA committee is considering a proposal to keep other costs to a minimum by subsidizing the two BBQs and absorbing the venue hire costs, more to follow on that. 

When the research is completed, you will also be approached by the committee seeking an expression of interest in the purchase of an anniversary polo shirt and potentially a cap.  Again, this is not a compulsory cost for the weekend, but along with selecting the right accommodation for you, may be something you would like to factor in when weighing up your options. 

It is my hope that this letter has put to bed any further speculation on the cost of this year’s reunion, and more importantly highlighted the venue challenges facing event organisers in Canberra. There is no doubt that we were blessed last year in QLD with such a supportive RSL, but staging events is a business, a business that is a service, and a service for which we must be prepared to pay accordingly. 

We are in for a very memorable 2018 reunion. A 50th anniversary only comes around once and I am very much looking forward to sharing this occasion with as many of you as possible. 

Warmest regards,

Gordon Lambie, OAM, CSM
President AABCA

2018 AABC Association Reunion / AABC 50th Anniversary (Thu 2 Aug - Sun 5 Aug 2018) - Update

(15 May 2018)

Due the number of enquiries received regarding the 2018 AABC Association Reunion being held in Canberra during the period Thu 2 Aug – Sun 5 Aug 2018, it was decided to post this draft itinerary for those anxious to book travel and accommodation.

As we’ve previously advised our reunion will work with and support HQ AAB who is responsible for organising the AABC 50th Anniversary celebrations.  All of our association’s activities are confirmed.  We will not please everyone, but that is the nature of these things. 

The draft itinerary for our 2018 Reunion is as follows:

 Thu 2 Aug 18 
4.50pm - Attend the Last Post Ceremony at the AWM honouring A/SGT William Arthur Gullidge. 

6.00pm – Meet & Greet function – RMC SGTs Mess (Drinks at own cost)

Fri 3 Aug 18
AABC Association Golf Trophy (9.00am Tee Off – RMC Golf Club)
Note: Green Fees payable at the Club
Golf Carts available. Those requiring a Cart please book and pay at the Club (02 6265 9620)
BBQ Luncheon following the Golf (BBQ subsidised by the AABCA - partners and members welcome to attend) 

Combined Concert by RMC Band/Swiss Army Band – (Lunchtime at Poppy's Cafe outside area adjacent to the AWM) Actual time TBA

6.30pm - AABC  50th Anniversary Concert - RMC Band (AWM Anzac Hall) 

Sat 4 Aug 19
9.00am - AABC Association AGM – RMC SGTs Mess

11.00am - This year following the AGM the newly named ‘Smokey Dawson Tour’ will include both members & partners.  The tour will include a visit to a local winery, a guided tour of the Anzac Parade Memorials and afternoon tea at Poppy's Cafe (afternoon tea at own cost).  

6.30pm for 7.30pm - AABC Association Dinner (AWM) - Joint dinner with AAB and Association members. 
Venue: Held in the AWM 's Anzac Hall in the ‘G for George’ area.  Pre Dinner Drinks will preceed the Dinner (drinks at own cost).
RMC Band Ensemble will perform during the 50th Anniversary /Reunion Dinner.

Sun 5 Aug 18
10.30am - Mid morning trip down memory lane visit to RMC Bandroom, including a BBQ lunch (subsidised by AABCA)

End of weekend...... 

The Reunion Registration Form will be posted on the website this week. 

Gordon Lambie, OAM, CSM

Newsletter / Database - Personal Address Details - Update

(30 Oct 2017)

Association Database Manager Dave Oakley writes despite requesting association members to confirm their Email addresses he says he still had many emails and Newsletters returned.  He's reminding those who have changed your address, Email details or your phone/mobile number please contact him to advise him of the change/s.  Dave says if you are unsure he is happy to check your details with you. 

Dave's Email address is: or phone: 0438 951 738.

Noteworthy - The Association's Newsletter

(1 Nov 2017)

Due to the rising costs to produce the Associations Newsletter it was decided at the 2016 AGM that the association would send out the next and consequent Newsletters (Anzac & Corps Birthday editions) electronically (via Email) to our members.  We acknowledge that not everyone of our members have access to Email or doesn't even have a computer, and those members will be sent the Newsletter by mail. 

Dave Oakley, our Database Manager has forwarded a 'test' Email to those members who have provided an Email address together with their details to confirm that the members Email address is correct.  Those members without an Email address will be sent the Newsletter by mail.

 Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Sick Parade Page

The Association website's Sick Parade link that are well out of date will be deleted unless the person concerned advises the AABC Secretary that their condition is still current or has changed.  If you're one of the members that are listed in the page or you were the one that notified us, please advise the Secretary of your updated condition or situation.  Thank you.

Noteworthy News
Submissions are due
now for next edition.
Forward to Newsletter


Changes to Details

If members change any of their personal or contact details, please notify the Secretary ( of the change/s ASAP.  Failure to do so will result in those members not receiving newsletters / updates.  We need your details so we can contact you.


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