Regimental Sergeant Major Lofty Wendt, OAM, BEM

 There will be a large gathering in a country town called Biggenden to farewell one of Australia’s best, a professional soldier by the name of Lofty Wendt. Many mourners will be veterans who served with him and in varying circumstances testing courage and endurance.

Also present will be a guard of today’s young warriors from his old regiment which will farewell him with a final salute of three volleys of rifle fire.  How the memories will fly for those present at the burial service and others grieving from distant places. There will be so many proud and fond visions from the very first screaming order he received as a raw recruit to the last command he gave as the Regimental Sergeant Major of the Australian Army. Between the beginning and end of a remarkable career will be countless memories of soldiers who recall his leadership, guidance and the Wisdom of Solomon in his reprimands and punishment to erring soldiers.

The number of soldiers he trained is not known, nor was how many rebels he converted from aimless indifference and potential failure to a religion where purpose, pride, drive and battle discipline was the order of each and every day. However, be rest assured it would be a seemingly endless column with heads held high, shoulders squared and all in step, marching through the decades of his soldiering days.

He has left a strong legacy of soldiering for all who wear the proud nation thread which includes devotion to duty, leadership, immense respect and love of country.

 In the stillness of the night when ghosts of RSMs prowl, listen carefully and you will hear his faint echoing call reminding all; “Duty First”

George Mansford FEBRUARY 2020

         Be Careful, He is Still Watching You 

In a country town not far from here

Our old comrade sleeps mid peaceful surrounds so dear

His bed etched with words, of who he was and when in mortal times

A soldier who was part of us and shared our lives, yours and mine

Hear again his voice commanding columns of marching booted feet

Be it on the dreaded field of Mars or along a cheery friendly street

A mentor of countless youth, sparking fire of discipline, purpose and pride

Always his powerful symbol of polished wood and brass by his side**

When necessary, sternness or wit with a message for all, so very clear

As our master, he guided column after column through doubt and fear

Be it danger, thirst, hunger and a growing question of “Why?”

There was often his comforting smile and cheery voice that lifted spirits high

As he sleeps, a new generation wearing national cloth passes by 

He stirs in his bed of earth and utters a muffled cry 

I swear if the recruits were listening, would be heard a message from afar

“Heads up, march in step, you idle lot, and never forget who you are” 

George Mansford © February 2020

*** A traditional wooden pace stick carried by all RSMs


  1. John Parker, RAAMC. says

    Thank you Sir. REST Easy.

  2. Klaus Felsche says

    Just a comment for those who might not realise this (all serving and ex-serving soldiers of all ranks would, so apologies for wasting a bit of your time.) As RSM, he guided many enlisted men and women but also present and future officers. No more so than during his time as RSM at the Officer Cadet School. We are very thankful for this and I know that he was very proud of the graduates and the way they carried his message on by these men and women.