A Conversation - Colonel Ian Hutchison


A Conversation will be held at the Australian War Memorial on 17 February, at 10.30 am, on the subject of Colonel Ian Hutchison, one of the best Australian battalion commanders we have ever had. He served through the Second World War, winning an MC at Bardia in 1941 as a company commander, and then, as CO of the 2/3 Battalion, he went on to knock the socks off the Japanese on the Kokoda Trail in October 1942 at Eora Creek. For his role in the Aitape Wewak campaign he was awarded a DSO. He served in New Guinea until 1945, and stayed on in the Regular Army after the war. He served in Japan, and then in Korea – still a battalion commander. This time it was 1 RAR, 1952-53, that he led. He did an amazing job against strong Chinese forces, especially Operation Blaze, where David Thomson won his MC.

The Conversation principals will be Colonel Hutchison's daughter Susan Ramage and Professor Bob O'Neill.

Bob O’Neill graduated from RMC into RASigs in 1958 and became the Australian Army’s first Rhodes Scholar in 1960. He was Mentioned in Despatches for his Vietnam service as the Intelligence Officer in 5 RAR, 1966-67. Entering the academic world, he became the Official Historian for Australia in the Korean War and later, Professor of the History of War at Oxford University. He addressed the ACT Branch of the Duntroon Society in 2010.

David Thomson graduated from Duntroon in 1943 and later, as Brigadier the Honourable David Thomson, was Minister for Science in the Federal Government, 1979-83.

Susan Ramage has written an excellent biography of her father, Kokoda Secret, which was launched by Lt Gen Ken Gillespie in 2014. The Australian War Memorial has invited her to speak on her book, in an extended interview which Bob will conduct.

Members of the Duntroon Society are warmly invited to participate. Attendees are invited to come from 10.00 am onwards. Morning tea will be served during the event.