2789026, Captain Christopher Leyland Humphreys, enlisted into the Australian Regular Army, under National Service Scheme on the 7th of February 1968 at the age of 21. I was privileged to read through Chris’s military papers and was enlightened to see that he was paid on enlistment $5.26 per day, with a net fortnightly pay packet of $35.45. I could hear Chris’s retort to this being “And I earnt every cent of it”
Chris was enlisted and volunteered to undertake his initial training at the Officer Training Unit, Scheyville, located about 50 kilometres north-west of Sydney near Windsor.
It is very worthy to note that the Scheyville was no normal training unit.
It was established on 1 April 1965 to meet Army’s need for officers arising from the National Service Scheme that had begun in 1964 to meet the requirements for the Vietnam War. It had taken a mere eight months from the concept to the first intake at Scheyville camp. The unit received some of the best and brightest conscripts, put them through a demanding and in some respects ruthless 21 week course, and turned out highly capable second lieutenants.
During the National Service Scheme of 1965-73, some 64,000 young Australians were selected by ballot based on their 20th birthday date and called up for two years’ service. Of these 64,000 national servicemen, 2700 (4%) were selected for this 21 week make or break course at Scheyville and only 1880 finally graduated as Second Lieutenants around their 21st birthday.
Statistically they are a unique group of men. Whilst at Scheyville Chris was appointed to the rank of Corporal during his training. Chris was to succeed and graduated as part of the 1st Intake of 1968 on the 18th of July 1968 securing his place as part of this unique group.
Upon graduation Chris was allocated to the Royal Australian Army Service Corps (RAASC) and posted to 4 Supply Depot in Adelaide.
Subsequent postings were to the 2nd Supply Depot, 7 Supply Platoon and the 8 Company.
With the disbandment of the Army Service Corps, Chris was reallocated to the newly formed Royal Australian Corps of Transport (RACT) on 1 June 1973.
Chris served in the Regular Army until 6 February 1970 whereupon he transferred to the Active CMF from 7 February 1970 to 1 July 1975.
Upon discharge Chris had attained the rank of Temporary Captain.
“Chris served his country with pride, dignity and honour and will be sadly missed by his Mates, Family, Loved Ones and Friends.”