Warrant Officer Class 1 Leslie Edward (Paddy) Brennan MBE
A tribute, extracted from an article by Roger Wickham
4 RAR Associations of Australia
Once again we are indebted to the author of 'A good Army . . . except for the Aussies', submitted by Roger Wickham
This is his recollection of 'Paddy' Brennan.
Warrant Officer Class I Leslie Edward (Paddy) Brennan MBE was my RSM at the Officer Cadet School, Portsea (OCS) and when I marched into 4 RAR early in February 1964, I did the only thing that a new, intelligent, career minded, young 2Lt would do when I discovered that my new RSM was the same Paddy Brennan, I hid !
A South Korean general was due at Terendak and it was decided to have a combined ANZAC Guard to welcome him. I carried the Regimental Colour of 4 RAR and Lt Jim Brown MC, carried the 1 RNZIR Regimental Colour.
Paddy trained the guard of about 60 all ranks. Initially Paddy shunned and unshunned and turned us left, right and about until the Kiwis got the grasp of his method of giving orders. We were left at attention when suddenly Paddy smartly marched off to the end of the parade ground, some 100 metres away. Not surprisingly, we could only just see him but we could hear him well enough. He then gave us some orders which left us back at attention.
He then bent forward as if to get a better look at us. He then yelled, “Sometin’s not right with you girls!” Two more orders, then, “Nah! The whole t’ings out of balance. One of you sheilas is screwin’ up ma guard.” Then he leaned forward again, “I t’ink it’s one of you Kiwis! Prove da girl whose stuffin’ up ma guard!” Naturally there was much murmuring among the Kiwis. “Hey, boy. Who is this lunatic talking about?” “Quiet back there!!” said Jim Brown, no less puzzled than the rest of us.
Finally Paddy yells, “Number 2 in the rear rank, prove!” and a Maori snaps out his left hand. “Sir!!” “One pace left front march!” Bang, bang!! “Number 3 in the rear rank!” “Sir !” “Check out Number 2, he’s lopsided!” (Man, what is this boy talking about?) “Well??” yells Paddy. “He seems OK to me sir!” “Nah, nah! Dere’s sometin’ wrong! Check his puttees and pockets!” This was done with much low-key mumbling. “Well??” yells Paddy. “Yes sir. He’s got a back pocket button undone, sir!”
“I tort so!!!” screams Paddy. “Messing up ma guard! Do it up girlie! And Mr Brown, sir?” “RSM!” answers Jim. “I’d appreciate it if you would dress your guard before you bring ‘em over here in the morning!”
“I certainly will RSM. My sincere apologies.”
Needless to say, the Kiwis were floored and so were the Diggers. How on earth did this mad Irishmen see an undone BACK pocket button from 100 metres away?
There was only one Paddy Brennan.
God Rest His Soul.
the motto of the Royal Australian Regiment
WO 1 L E (Paddy) Brennan MBE