Vale: Warren Hind (1/69)
By Bruce Cameron
Warren was born on 12 April 194 in Fairfield, Victoria. He completed his Secondary education at Box Hill High School and before entering the Army was employed as a Clerk with the Victoria’s Country Roads Board. He commenced OUT with Class 4/68, graduating with Class 1/69 on 17 July 1969, Graduate Number 873. He was posted to the Armoured Centre for Corps training before being posted to A Squadron, 1st Armoured Regiment (1AR) on 2 December 1969. On 21 January 1971, as Australia’s commitment to the war in Vietnam was drawing to a close, Warren found himself with C Squadron 1AR in Vietnam. He returned to Australia on 9 September 1971. Post-Vietnam Warren remained in the Army and having joined the Australian Staff Corps was promoted to Captain on 2 February 1977.
3138385 Warren Maxwell Hind was never a number. Forty four years ago at the Officer Cadet Training Unit at Scheyville, he was known as someone who was always ready to help others, a mischievous character who didn’t take himself too seriously.
Later, while learning the ropes as an officer in the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, he was known as someone with genuine care and concern for others; someone with a real sense of ‘fun’ who was always willing to show those from interstate the highlights of Melbourne.
Training with his tank troop at Puckapunyal, he was known as an easy-going friendly officer who was one of the troops, yet always had everyone’s respect.
In Vietnam, Second Lieutenant Hind’s troop sergeant, who is here today, considered him to be one of the finest officers he had ever served with; someone who had a way about him that gave confidence to his men and a lot of laughs to all who knew him. His soldiers, many of whom are with us, regarded him as approachable, affable and concerned for their welfare; someone who was always cool under pressure and feared nothing. It was no surprise to them when he was awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. The thing that impressed the Squadron Sergeant Major, who is also here today, was how obliging Warren was … nothing was too much trouble; if he could help you, he would.
Those who knew him on return to Puckapunyal, remember an extremely professional ‘subbie’ who found a real soul mate in the late Gordon Barwell. It was not by chance that Warren was selected to be the Leopard tank troop leader with the Medium Tank Trials Unit, thereby leaving his mark on the Australian Army’s biggest equipment procurement project up to that time.
Captain Hind’s armoured experience was broadened when he was posted to Townsville as an APC troop leader with the 3rd/4th Cavalry Regiment. One of his soldiers from that time, who flew from Perth to be here today, recently sent Warren a gift that he had made for him — the wooden case containing Warren’s medals is on top of the casket.
Warren and Marg were an instant hit with both the unit and the community when they moved into the Adjutant’s cottage at 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers barracks in Tamworth. His first Commanding Officer remembers him as a thoroughly good bloke; someone who was respected by everyone in the Regiment and who was well supported by Marg. Warren’s second CO recalls a man of many talents, including being goal keeper with the Tamworth soccer team.
The call of Puckapunyal sounded again in 1979. One of his fellow officers remembers when Major Warren Hind was told that he was to command a Leopard tank squadron. This was an extremely competitive appointment and he was overwhelmed and quite emotional with the honour. His CO at 1st Armoured Regiment recalls a leader of men who was one of nature’s gentlemen. The next CO remembers Warren and Marg as a great couple, a team who contributed immensely to the life of the Regiment.
They were thought of in similar terms by those they met during Warren’s next posting to the Middle East with the United Nations. They made close friends with Americans, Canadians and Norwegians, forming bonds that remain to this day. His UN colleagues knew Warren as a born leader, one who was always fair and stood up against injustice and bad behaviour at all times; one who never forgot his friends.
The mystique of the Middle East was to be replaced by the somewhat more mundane environment of Canberra. Driving a desk was a mandatory career move and Warren took full advantage of a more ordered family life in which he could enjoy the blossoming of Jennifer and Megan, of whom he was immeasurably proud.
The Army capitalized on his regimental experience with his next posting to 2/14th Queensland Mounted Infantry here in Brisbane. His CO, who is here today, reflected that he could not have had a better Operations Officer. Warren’s competence, leadership and perennial good humour came to the fore again—nothing was too much trouble. The CO added that every Mess should be lucky enough to count someone like Warren among its members.
This was a military career which was outstanding by any measure.
Later work with the RSL was a continuation of Warren’s commitment to his fellow man. During this period, his abiding interest in military history was no more evident than in his ANZAC Day TV commentaries.
Inspirational at all times, he touched the lives of many and was admired by all. I speak on their behalf when I say that Warren Maxwell Hind was one of the best friends anyone could have and it was a privilege to have known him.
Warren’s funeral was attended by about 150 people, around two thirds of whom were ex-service. It was held at Pinnaroo Crematorium (Brisbane) on 26 July 2013. An RSL Poppy Service was conducted by Vic Reading, District President and Board Member, Queensland RSL. (Vic is ex-RAEME; Warren was Brisbane North District Secretary when Vic was President). A Guard of Honour was formed for the casket as it left the chapel. Warren would have approved of the gathering for refreshments afterwards and the stories that were told. Warren passed away at home last night after waging the bravest of battles against the twin scourges of cancer and neuropathy.