TOAST TO THE INFANTRYMAN… By Ashley (Pepe) Younie, 8 RAR, 7 RAR & 5/7 RAR
CPL J F ‘Gabby’ Hayes was a section commander in A Company, 7 RAR. He was killed in action in South Vietnam on 6th Aug ’67. He left a sum of money in his will to be used to drink a toast each year on 7 RAR’s birthday. To provide a lasting memorial to Gabby, the Sergeants’ Mess purchased silver in his name with the money. Each year on ‘Gabby Hayes Night’ the corporals of the battalion visit the Sergeants’ Mess and join its members in drinking a toast to the ‘Australian Infantryman’. The toast is funded by the mess in memory of CPL Hayes.
Gabby Hayes also served in Vietnam with 1 RAR 65/66.
I attended several Gabby nights as a corporal. On the last occasion (I think in ’76) I was playing the B coy CSM at darts. After a few too many of the amber fluid, I let go of my arrows before he’d pulled his hand away and nearly impaled his wrist to the board. To say I received extras (Ord Cpl, guard duty, weapons lessons & if he could have given me Dixie bashing duties he would have) is an understatement… Not a good career move I have to say. Bugger, Gabby Hayes.
The only thing more accurate than incoming enemy fire is incoming