2020 marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War. To commemorate this important year, the NSW Government interviewed WWII veterans about their experiences. Read our 75th Anniversary Stories.
This a fully restored Matilda Tank called 'ACE'. ACE was the first tank off the landing craft on 1 July 1945 at Australia's largest ever armoured assault at Balikpapan, on the island of Borneo. The assault was mounted by the 1st Australian Armoured Regiment (A.I.F.)(Royal NSW Lancers), now known as the 1st/15th Royal NSW Lancers.
There are only three Balikpapan Matildas left in the world today, the other two will never be restored to full mobility. However, after six years work, spending $100,000 and 60,000 volunteer hours, Lancers Regimental Museum volunteers have done what was once considered impossible. ACE made its first public appearance in 70 years when it returned 'home' under its own power to its wartime Regiment at Lancer Barracks, Parramatta in 2017. The restoration has been awarded a coveted National Trust Conservation award and has been described by a leading expert as 'world leading work'. ACE is probabaly the only British or Commonwealth armoured fighting vehicle to have seen action in the Second World War to have been fully restored and returned to its Second World War fighting regiment, let alone restored by retired members of that same regiment.
ACE is now on permanent display as part of the Regimental Museum's heritage listed collection at Lancer Barracks and, as part of the Museum's mobile display, available to appear at military and community events throughout the Sydney metropoloitan area. It provides the only chance for the public to experience an Australian Second World War tank with battle experience in exactly the same condition as its wartime Lancer crew would have fought in.
This Matilda Tank Mark 111 called "ACE" is dedicated in memory of those members of the Regiment who died in training and active service during WWII. ACE srved with 1 Troop, A Squadron, 1st Australian Armoured Regiment (AIF) (Royal New South Wales Lancers) and landed at Balikpapan, Borneo on 1st July 1945 in amphibious operations against the Japanese.
The crew memebers of ACE in the Balikpapan operations were:
Sergeant H. G. J. Britten (Crew Commander), Trooper L. K. Betts (Driver), Trooper D. Mc. Breadmore (Loader), Trooper W. R. Lewis (Gunner).
It was one of the few Matilda Tanks that was returned to Australia after the war, it was located in 2011 in NSW and restored by members of the Regimental Museum and Lancer Association.
This plaque was unveiled by
Lt. Col. J. B. Arnott RFD ED on 5th November 2017 on behalf of the Linden House Memorial Museum and Lancers Association.
|Rank||Given Name||Family Name||Conflict/s||Fate||Service No.||Service||Campaign||Link|
|Trooper/Driver||L K||Betts||World War 2||AIF Royal NSW Lancers||Balikpapan in Borneo July 1945||view|
|Trooper/Loader||D Mc||Breadmore||World War 2||AIF Royal NSW Lancers||Balikpapan in Borneo July 1945||view|
|Sergeant/Crew Commander||H G J||Britton||World War 2||AIF Royal NSW Lancers||Balikpapan in Borneo July 1945||view|
|Trooper/Gunner||W R||Lewis||World War 2||AIF Royal NSW Lancers||Balikpapan in Borneo July 1945||view|
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