Certified Legendary Thread Remembering fallen mates - Peter Chant '6th Anniversary'

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Thread starter Moderator #1
Our new poster Lockhart Road has asked to commemorate former Port Adelaide player Peter Chant as part of our ANZAC Day build up.

Peter Chant played 10 league games for Port Adelaide during 1961-62 and was killed in action in the Vietnam War in 1969. Peter was an army mate of Lockhart's and a C-Company colleague.

I am pleased that this board is able to provide an outlet for our supporters to celebrate their club from far away and that they can bring these events to our attention. I for one had never heard of Peter Chant and now I feel privileged to be included in the commemoration of his life.

More information about Peter will be added to this post and thread as we lead up to ANZAC Day, both as a player and from former army mates.

Out of respect to Lockhart Road please allow him to post the first response to this thread.
 

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#2
My gratitude goes to Ford, and to the BigFooty Board for their assistance to me in getting something off my chest. It's been there for a long time.

I first saw Peter Chant from the non-competitor side of the pickets when he was wearing prison bars for the Magpies in the early 1960s. I next saw him in the flesh when I arrived at Woodside after my infantry corps training as a conscript in the eastern states. Ahead of me were six months of further training before the bulk of 9th Battalion (9RAR) left Outer Harbour aboard HMAS Sydney for Vietnam in November 1968.
The blokes who made that training work were the NCO's. Peter was one of them. We were in C (Charlie) Company together. We were mates, not great mates, but mates. I actually played a game with him, a scratch match on a paddock at Woodside during a break from training.

Peter was a quiet bloke, softly spoken, softly smiling and impossible to dislike. Perhaps he was too quiet to make it big in league footy, but he was a solid performer man-on-man and considering that we operated in ten-man rifle sections where Peter was, up-close people skills were paramount; some of his blokes could be hard to deal with.

It was St Valentine's Day 1969 when Peter Chant was killed during an enemy action in South Vietnam. He was one of three diggers from Charlie Company who did not make it thru 9RAR's tour of duty in 1968-1969. The battalion itself lost 35 of its members.

I've never forgotten those three mates, and of course never will. I especially remember Peter because of our love for Port Adelaide FC and, to a lesser degree, that meaningless game we played together at Woodside. Meaningless at the time, I mean, not any more.

I know that Peter would be wearing a smile over our Club's revival this season. I'll be seeing that smile, as will all my / our mates on Anzac Day when we get together and talk about old times. Some of those guys I won't have seen since 1969.

I'll be at the Showdown, first time ever. I'll also be at the West Coast game on Anzac Day weekend. I wish you all the greatest season in living memory.
Win, lose, or draw those matches, it doesn't really matter. It's the living memories that count.
 

Rexie J

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#5
I imagine a tribute from a mate to a mate with such depth of feeling can be done only by those who have been together in the conflict arena.

Kudos to all.
 

tribey

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#6
I must say, that amongst the outpouring of grief for J-Mac and the McCarthy family it has made me spare an extra thought for those who fell during or after their service to Port Adelaide, for whatever reason.

Your Anthony Williamses and, as it happens, your Peter Chants.

Forever Port Adelaide. <3
 
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#8
Thank you to those who have read this thread.
A special thank you to those who have posted a reply.
These thanks come not just from me, they come from the approx. 150 mates who served with Peter Chant in Charlie Company, 9RAR in 1968-1969…

Charlie Company invented its own badge during training for Vietnam: an American Indian head with a bent feather and the acronym WTFRW. It means “WE’RE THE F@#<-R-WE”. It’s our tribal name, derived from ‘Where The F@#< Are We?’ - our legacy from getting hopelessly lost on a two-week exercise near Whyalla during training for Vietnam. It was winter and we were rugged up like eskimos, lugging bedding and groundsheets around… training for a tropical war zone. That was the Army. They made up for it by telling us we didn’t have to pack mosquito nets.

But I digress.

As well as Peter Chant, I’ve been thinking (as have we all) of John McCarthy. He was at the same age that I, and those of my mates who were also conscripts, were when we went to Vietnam. I’ve known in my heart since the Club’s pre-season training began that J-Mac’s comrades had looked each other in the eye, and sworn a private oath. No words needed. The look in their eyes would’ve said it all.

I saw that look in the eyes of Justin Westhoff on Saturday night. He played an inspirational game. The same look was in the eyes of all the others, every one of them, marvellously led by Travis Boak and Brad Ebert as they channelled their emotions into shaking off a distracted start. They made a statement on behalf of the mate they lost. And that is what this thread is about.

Guys, you were tribal. I salute you.
 

Asgardian

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#9
This bloke was just before my time of following Port, it's still nice to read about former players so thanks Lockhart Road

I was too young for Vietnam, but have empathy for your army days, my Father was one of our troops in New Guinea in WW2, prior to that he was in the Merchant Marine. He finally succumbed to what happened to him in 1971.
 

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#12
Great posts Lockhart Road. After reading these posts I'll definitely remember the name, Peter Chant and Charlie Company, come April 25th.

And I'm sure the WTFRW acronym will also pop into my head:thumbsu:
Cheers, portfan !

The men from C / Charlie Company will be marching intermingled with the other companies en bloc behind the 9RAR / 9th Battalion banner.

You'll be able to single us out by our signature lost expression, and our tie: black background, covered with feathers and yellow shields painted with an American Indian head.
 
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#13
Thank you to Lockhart Road for bringing the story of Peter Chant to my attention and some of your activities with Charlie Company. Also thanks to Asgardian for the photo's of his dad in PNG.

I remember about 10 years ago sitting with mates and chatting about war and we all came to the conclusion that but for the grace of god, we were lucky to be born at a time where we were able to dodge the horrors of either volunteering, having to volunteer or being conscripted to have to go to war.

LR this is a post I wrote after the ANZAC eve game against St Kilda in 2006.

"I was in town for the Showdown in August 2002 and Port did a special ceremony for the Vietnam veterans to commemorate the anniversary of the battle of Long Tan. They did a bloody good job. I congratulated Bucky on a job well done back at the club. It was very interesting watching a few faces of guys in the crowd who were of the Vietnam vintage as John Schumann sang, "I was only 19"."

I have written elsewhere that the two most emotional days I have been at the footy where 1st the Ted Whitten State of Origin game at the MCG in 1995, mates flew in from SA, NSW and met up with those living in Victoria. We all knew the game was over the moment he did his lap around the groud. The 2nd was the above game in 2002. The pre match activities about commemorating Long Tan were very moving.

I have thought that the club should do a Long Tan game every year that we have a home game close to the anniversary. We have done it a couple of times since 2002 but I reckon we have missed a couple of opportunities as well.

Port award the Peter Badcoe VC, medal, for the ANZAC round. Which is a nice tradition the club has started since 2004.

There was some shit fight last year about giving it away in rd 3 in the home game against the Swand because the crows had the home showdown around ANZAC day and wanted to award the showdown medal after the game. Cornsey went off about it and on his hobby horse of the Col v Ess ANZAC day clash in general.

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport...d-heroics-lost/story-fn83zjcx-1226327451847in


Anyway LR, if you are coming to the showdown and anzac day game, and are in the outer let us bigfootites know as there are a few different parts of the ground, big footy people either watch the game together or meet up at half time.
 
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#14
LR, if you are coming to the showdown and anzac day game, and are in the outer let us bigfootites know as there are a few different parts of the ground, big footy people either watch the game together or meet up at half time.
Many thanks for the Port-style hospitality, REH.
I'll be at both games and will see if I can link up, though the West Coast game appears to present greater possibility.

This will be my last post (no pun intended) from Hong Kong for now; flying in a couple of hours.
See you, guys.
 

Spadge

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#17
Only just read this thread and a big thanks to you Lockhart Road

I too am way too young (born in 1974) but i have a keen interest in our history and especially in how our heroes of the past went into battle for the freedom and life we enjoy today.

This is one thing i feel has been lost on the younger generations as most probably couldnt even tell you what Anzac day is all about.

I for one am looking forward to watching a Port victory on Anzac weekend and will spare a thought for all the fallen heroes of our country, and the diggers that are still with us today
 
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#18
A Brief Update -

On Monday, three members of Peter Chant's unit - Charlie Company, 9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR) - including myself, were received at Alberton and shown around the Club.

We were Joined by 'Rexie J' who, it transpires, in addition to being a schoolmate of mine at Norwood High, knew one of my ex-Army colleagues from their time together in the MG Car Club, long ago.

We were all treated like Royalty... We lunched on excellent seafood, watched the open training session, discussed PAFC past, present and future, and shook the hand of a legend, Russell Ebert.

Quite a few lines could be drawn through the entries on my bucket list after those few hours.

We made suggestions to Club officials as to how PAFC's revival could be accelerated, how training methods could be improved, how West Coast could be beaten... All suggestions were greeted with due respect, dutifully taken note of and, after a polite interval, filed in a different bucket labelled 'Nonsensical Ideas From the Minds of Club Guests - For Recycling Only.'
My two Army mates on Monday, it should be pointed out, are not Port people.

On a serious note: the Club's reaction to becoming aware of Peter Chant's contribution both to the Club in 1961 and 1962, and to his country in 1968 and 1969, has been as impressive as it gets. We were all seriously moved by what we heard and were shown, and left Alberton as a very satisfied trio of mates of a fallen mate.

Rest assured, your Club is doing Peter proud - as everybody will see over the coming ANZAC period,

Our gratitude goes to Matthew Richardson and Andrew Rutter for the quality time they donated to us, and for the energy and obvious enthusiasm with which they went about their tasks on Monday. They, and all their colleagues, are superb servants of the Club.
Thank you again, guys. And girls (!)

My departure from the Club was preceded by a visit to the Megastore. As a result, the date '1870' and the moniker 'Port Adelaide Football Club' will henceforth be more visible on the streets of Hong Kong and, no doubt, in and about a few establishments whose identity must remain classified.

Last stop was the Membership Desk. There, the girls signed up four members of my immediate family (three resident in Hong Kong, one in Sydney) and another Army mate who couldn't join us but insisted that I get him aboard the Club during our tour. As I did so, word came that the 38,000 mark had been passed that afternoon.

Peter, this was... and is... for you, mate.
And, may we add: "Our work has just begun."

Cheers, all.
Many thanks for reading this far.
 

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#19
A Brief Update -

On Monday, three members of Peter Chant's unit - Charlie Company, 9th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (9RAR) - including myself, were received at Alberton and shown around the Club.

We were Joined by 'Rexie J' who, it transpires, in addition to being a schoolmate of mine at Norwood High, knew one of my ex-Army colleagues from their time together in the MG Car Club, long ago.

We were all treated like Royalty... We lunched on excellent seafood, watched the open training session, discussed PAFC past, present and future, and shook the hand of a legend, Russell Ebert.

Quite a few lines could be drawn through the entries on my bucket list after those few hours.

We made suggestions to Club officials as to how PAFC's revival could be accelerated, how training methods could be improved, how West Coast could be beaten... All suggestions were greeted with due respect, dutifully taken note of and, after a polite interval, filed in a different bucket labelled 'Nonsensical Ideas From the Minds of Club Guests - For Recycling Only.'
My two Army mates on Monday, it should be pointed out, are not Port people.

On a serious note: the Club's reaction to becoming aware of Peter Chant's contribution both to the Club in 1961 and 1962, and to his country in 1968 and 1969, has been as impressive as it gets. We were all seriously moved by what we heard and were shown, and left Alberton as a very satisfied trio of mates of a fallen mate.

Rest assured, your Club is doing Peter proud - as everybody will see over the coming ANZAC period,

Our gratitude goes to Matthew Richardson and Andrew Rutter for the quality time they donated to us, and for the energy and obvious enthusiasm with which they went about their tasks on Monday. They, and all their colleagues, are superb servants of the Club.
Thank you again, guys. And girls (!)

My departure from the Club was preceded by a visit to the Megastore. As a result, the date '1870' and the moniker 'Port Adelaide Football Club' will henceforth be more visible on the streets of Hong Kong and, no doubt, in and about a few establishments whose identity must remain classified.

Last stop was the Membership Desk. There, the girls signed up four members of my immediate family (three resident in Hong Kong, one in Sydney) and another Army mate who couldn't join us but insisted that I get him aboard the Club during our tour. As I did so, word came that the 38,000 mark had been passed that afternoon.

Peter, this was... and is... for you, mate.
And, may we add: "Our work has just begun."

Cheers, all.
Many thanks for reading this far.
You sound like a champion bloke. Glad to hear the club looked after you so well.
 
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Thread starter Moderator #23
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.
Lest We Forget

 
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#25
Eric Bogle's immigrated from Scotland in 1969 has written a couple of excellent songs about the futility of war.

Turkish Leader Atatürk said

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives.You are now lying in the soil of friendly country.Therefore rest in peace.There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets to us where they lie sidebyside now here in this country of ours... you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as well.

Gallipoli memorial at ANZAC Cove




And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda



No Man's Land - (Green Fields of France) - also known as Willie McBride

"It's a song that was written about the military cemeteries in Flanders and Northern France. In 1976, my wife and I went to three or four of these military cemeteries and saw all the young soldiers buried there."


There have many versions of this including Irish band The Furey's

 
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