WO1 Ivan Paul MAHER passed away 19 September 2019, age 91

V514565 VX146185 11177 WO1 Ivan Paul Maher

27 March 1928 - 19 September 2019

Ivan Paul Maher was born in Dubbo, New South Wales on 27 March 1928. On leaving school he worked on a cattle station Nanylco in the corner country of outback South Australia. Joining the CMF on Full Time Duty on 7 October 1943 at the tender age of 15 years, 195 days (utilising his older brother’s birth certificate); he then transferred to the 2nd AIF on 16 November 1943. In the following 12 months he served in various Infantry units including the 18th Infantry Battalion. In November 1944 he was posted to the 2/1st Australian Tank Attack Regiment and served with them in New Guinea. Prior to his discharge in January 1947, he was posted to the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp.

The outback beckoned him again and he returned to the corner country of South Australia this time to Mt Margaret Station. After two years and tiring of the lonely existence of a stockman, Ivan volunteered for service in the newly raised Australian Regular Army and was enlisted on 27 October 1949.

Over a career spanning another 28 years, Ivan served the RAAC in a variety of roles. Included in this period were five postings to 1st Armoured Regiment, 12 National Service Training Battalion, Holsworthy, 2nd/14th Queensland Mounted Infantry, Gatton, 10 Light Horse Regiment, and 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers. He also served on detachment with 13th/18th Royal Hussars (QMO) in Malaya in 1960.

Ivan experienced further overseas service with A Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment as SSM in South Vietnam in 1968. On return to Australia in January 1969, he was posted as RSM at 1st Armoured Regiment and then moved over the hill to the same appointment at the Armoured Centre in July 1971. Two years later he took up his final appointment as RSM, District Support Unit Puckapunyal.

Following discharge in February 1977, Ivan who had completed a Health Surveyors course, worked in that capacity for the Moorabbin City Council until retirement in 1993.

Ivan Maher epitomised the soldier that many of us would like to be; he was honest, forthright, approachable, set the highest standards in dress, bearing and personal conduct but at the same time was thoroughly caring of his soldiers.

He is survived by his wife Anne, children Chris, Monika, Ronald and Teresa, grandchildren Anna and Halina and great granddaughter Anneliese.

Our thanks to Peter Branagan, OAM for compiling this Vale to Ivan Maher.

The Royal Australian Armoured Corps and the School of Armour were represented by Lieutenant Colonel Luke Brady and Warrant Officer Class 1 Peter Swinfield. The following is a list of ‘black hats’ and wives (in alphabetical order) that attended the funeral to pay their respects to this man of the Corps.

Peter Axton, John Baines, Ron and Mary Bell, Alan Bennett, John Blackwell, Peter Branagan, John Brooker, David Catterall, Barry Chambers, Fred Coucher, Peter Coutts, Dal Crocker, Brian Dunn, John Forrester, Werner Golla, Herman Harberts, Rex and Meredith Harris, John Hawton and daughter, Jo Rodgers, Kevin Hunter, Russ James, Ian Laurie, Chris McLeod, Dave Menz, John Ockwell, Bruce Richards, John and Jenny Sheehan, George Skell, Ian (Icky) Smith, Gary Spencer, Allen Tanner, David Thompson, Ian Tregenza, Paul Zac Schilling, Andy Zsolt