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Friday, 29 March 1946

Mr FORDE (Capricornia) (Minister for the Army) . - by. leave. - As Acting Minister for Defence, I wish to announce that Major-General K. W. Eather, C.B.E., D.S.O., E.D., has been selected by the Government as leader of' the Australian contingent to participate in the Victory Parade that is to take place in London on the 8th June, 1946.

Major-'General ' Eather has had a distinguished military career, and is one of the most outstanding Citizen Military Force .commanders in this war. I am confident that his selection will be popularly received by all sections of the Australian fighting services. It is interesting to note that Major-General Eather is NX3. That means that he was the third man to enlist in New South Wales on the outbreak of the recent war. He was twice mentioned in despatches - once for service in the Middle East and once for service in New Guinea. He saw service in the campaigns of the Middle East with the 6th Division. He served during the Western Desert campaign in Libya and Cyrenaica, during' which he was mentioned in despatches and was awarded the D.S.O. for conspicuous gallantry and leadership during the Bardia action. He temporarily commanded the 16th Infantry Brigade from the 18th June to the 13th August, 1941, and- was finally appointed commander of the 25th Infantry Brigade in the 7th Division. He was promoted to brigadier on the 27th January, 1941, and returned to Australia with his unit, disembarking in Adelaide on the 10th March, 1942. After being in Australia for a short period for re-organization, the 25th Brigade, of which he was the commander, embarked from Sydney on the 31st August, 1942, and participated under his command in the Owen Stanley Range campaign. In January, 1943, he was awarded the American Distinguished Service Cross for his outstanding services in the field, and received the C.B.E. for distinguished service .during the period up to December, 1944. For a time he was .attached to Head-quarters, 7th Australian Division. In June, 1945, his brigade was concentrated at Morotai, and took part in the landing at Balikpapan in Borneo. Oh the 26th July, 1945, he relinquished command of the 25th Infantry Brigade, and was appointed Commander of the 11th Australian Division, being promoted to the rank of major-general. Eoi- conspicuous service in the South-West Pacific area from April to September, 1945, he was again mentioned in despatches.

Major-General Eather is 45 years of age.

On the 4th March, 1946, Cabinet approved that a force of 250 should be sent from Australia to participate in the Victory Parade. It was decided that the force should be representative of the three services, including the nursing services and women's services, and should be composed on a basis of representation proportional to the relative war strength of the three services, being selected as far as possible from personnel with distinguished service.

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