MHHV Seminar series in military history

The series of insightful and in-depth military history seminars by Military History & Heritage Victoria Inc. (MHHV) continue in 2018 The presentations are held at the Pompey Elliott Memorial Hall in Camberwell. The RSL doors are open from 6.30PM for a 7PM start.Speaker banner

The Speaker series 2019.

15 May – Michael Madden – “The Victoria Cross”

17 JulJan McLeod – “‘Dead, mangled bodies, blood, guts and mud*’: The Medical War in Papua 1942”

18 Sep – TBA.


Doors open at 6.30PM

The ‘Pompey Elliott Memorial Hall’ is located at the Camberwell RSL Sub-Branch at 403 Camberwell Road, named in honour of Major General Harold Edward ‘Pompey’ Elliott CB, CMG, DSO, DCM, VD. Elliott was a senior officer in the Australian Army during the First World War and served as a Senator in the Australian parliament. He was also the second President of the Camberwell RSL Sub-Branch in 1919.

Seminar Speaker Program Logistics. The MHHV seminar speaker series will run between 7.00 – 8.00 pm.

Entry & Catering. The seminar speaker series will attract an entry fee $5 for MHHV members, veterans, concession card holders and students while all other guests will be $10 to cover the costs of providing food, tea & coffee or beverage and hall use. Drinks at RSL prices.


For more information on the MHHV Speaker series please contact:

MHHV Secretary: Jason McGregor on 0419 256 681 or email [email protected]

Speaker Series Coordinator: Brent Taylor on email [email protected]


Previous presentations include-

20 Feb – Mark Johnston – “An Australian Band of Brothers” – Dr Johnston’s discussion followed a small group of front-line soldiers from their enlistment in the dark days of 1940 to the end of World War II. His principle focus was on three young South Australians who enlisted as privates at the start of the war.

“The Savige Legacy” Roland Perry

“The fight to recover and honour the Australian dead at Fromelles” presentation by Lambis Englezos
This is the story of how, against the odds, Lambis and his team uncovered the largest non-genocide mass burial in Western Europe since WW1 – right where the team of “amateurs” had said it would be.

“Stealth Raiders: A Few Daring Men in 1918” presentation by Dr Lucas Jordan

“The Finest Thing Yet Done in the War”: Pompey Elliott and Villers-Bretonneux presentation by Dr Ross McMullin

“Monash & Chauvel: How Australia’s two greatest generals changed the course of world history” with Roland Perry.
The Pompey Elliott Memorial Hall was filled to capacity on Wednesday October 25 2017 as Professor Perry addressed a rapt audience of 80.
Perry told the story of the emergence and dominance of these brilliant Australian soldiers and how Australia’s two greatest generals changed the course of the Great War. Monash and Chauval commanded the two most effective armies in defeating the Germans and the Turks in the Great War in the critical and deciding year of 1918.

“Oswald Watt: a legend of the Australian Flying Corps” with Dr Chris Clark.
Oswald Watt ended the First World War as the senior officer of the Australian Flying Corps, commanding the AFC’s largest single formation: No 1 Training Wing based in England. A greatly admired and respected figure, his chance to make a lasting impression on Australia’s post-war history was cut short by a drowning accident in May 1921. Even so, his reputation has lingered ever since, yet there remains a great deal of misinformation and half truths about Watt’s life and career which borders on mythology.

Myths of Australia’s Vietnam War with Professor Peter EdwardsThe Vietnam War, Australia’s most controversial conflict of the twentieth century, gave rise to an extraordinary number of myths. Even 50 years later, many half-truths are asserted as if they were unchallengeable. This talk looks at some assertions about the military, strategic, political, and social aspects of Australia’s war that deserve to be challenged or questioned.

FAIR DINKUM (def.): honesty, guts, directness, fortitude, courage, truth with Glen McFarlane.  You had to be fair dinkum to enlist after the hell of Gallipoli hit home. A new breed of warrior and patriot stepped up as Anzac’s second wave. Among them were 152 men of the 7th Battalion – fruit pickers and farmers, bootmakers and blacksmiths, miners and mailmen. They fought under the colours of ‘mud and blood’ in the searing sands of Egypt, on Gallipoli’s fatal shore, across killing fields in France and beyond. Born in the right place at the wrong time, the bravery and ingenuity of these young Australian men forged a legendary band of brothers: ‘The Fair Dinkums’.

Vietnam – Their War, Their Stories’.  A select group of Vietnam veterans gave their personal reflections, memories and stories of that long war.  The panel format allowed engagement with a decorated member of the Australian Army Training Team who worked closely with Vietnamese soldiers over three tours, a military policeman who won a Military Medal while working with the Americans, a navy signaller working in the escorts for the fast troopship HMAS Sydney and a veteran airman with context and insights from the Vietnam official historian and MHHV vice-patron, Dr Peter Edwards, AM.

Australia’s Worst 24 Hours: The Centenary of Fromelles with Dr Ross McMullin. The battle of Fromelles remains the worst 24 hours in Australian history. Historian Ross McMullin will analyse how the disaster eventuated in July 1916, explain how it became for decades Australia’s little-known battle, and discuss the developments that have transformed perceptions of Fromelles in recent years. 

First drafts of History: Rediscovering Victoria’s war correspondents. From the Boer War to Vietnam and beyond, Australians have long relied on war correspondents to bring home reports from the front lines of conflict. This session delivered on June 8, 2016 at the Pompey Elliot RSL as part of the MHHV’s monthly speaker program gave a lively round up of some of Victoria’s most colourful war correspondents.

Soldier On: WWI Soldier Settler Stories with Kate Luciano. Between 1918 and 1934, the Soldier Settlement Scheme helped settle some 11,000 returned soldiers on farming land across the state through government leases. Through original records, as well as first-hand videos and photographs, the exhibition shows how the Scheme shaped the Victorian landscape as we know it today.  Kate Luciano will talk about the establishment of the Soldier Settlement Scheme in Victoria, and the harsh realities of life on a soldier settlement farm. –

A noble son fall’n to Earth – The Short Life of Lt. Lyle Buntine MC with Dr Daryl Moran. – Lyle’s story is a forgotten one, perhaps because he was not an Anzac, nor a member of the AIF, nor indeed the Australian Flying Corps, although over 100 of his fellow countrymen also died whilst serving with the RFC or RNAS.

A wasted Effort? – The RAAF and the Battle for Tarakan 1945 with Mr Tony Hastings. Tony is completing his PhD in military history with the University of NSW at the Australian Defence Force Academy. His presentation will examine the often criticised efforts of the RAAF during the invasion of the island of Tarakan, located off the coast of Borneo, and place the campaign the wider context of the RAAF’s role in Pacific War in 1945.

The Ottoman Defence against the Anzac Landing 25th April 1915 with Professor Mesut Uyar. The presentation commenced at 6.30pm, after welcome drinks and finger food. The President of MHHV, Col Marcus Fielding, introduced the Professor to an enthusiastic audience of Military Historians.

The Fighter with Paul Warren. One month after he arrived in Afghanistan as a soldier in the ADF, an IED exploded, tearing off his right leg. The same explosion instantly killed his mate, Private Ben Ranaudo.

MHHV Members
Previous MHHV events