Driving Aussie soldiers since 1916
RACQ will support the state’s service men and women at the 2019 ANZAC Day Parade.
On April 25, RACQ volunteers will once again get behind the wheel to transport veterans through the streets of Brisbane. The Club’s involvement continues a legacy of RACQ support for the Queensland military that began more than 100 years ago during World War I.
Before His Majesty King George V awarded RACQ the use of “Royal” in 1921, the club was simply known as ACQ. The ACQ was awarded the royal prefix for their part in transporting wounded soldiers from stations and ports to the Kangaroo Point Military Hospital using member vehicles.
This initiative resulted in the Returned Soldiers Transport Corps (RSTC), as the hard work of more than 180 club members meant a separate offshoot of the effort became necessary.
The work of the RSTC was so successful that they continued throughout World War I, dedicating their time and vehicles to help wounded and convalescing soldiers.
“By 1918 the RSTC was born, and over the course of the Great War thousands of soldiers were transported in members’ cars,” RACQ CEO Assistance Glenn Toms said.
Recognising the mental and physical toll of war, many RSTC members would take recuperating soldiers on trips through the countryside to aid in their recovery. By July 1916, it is estimated that more than 1300 soldiers were assisted by ACQ members.
It was this spirit of service and dedication to the community that prompted King George V to recognise the ACQ and in 1921, the RACQ was born.
This duty has not been forgotten in the club’s long history, with RACQ volunteers continuing to take up the mantle and help Australian veterans be a part of the ANZAC Day Parade.
Thirty RACQ volunteers upheld the founder’s legacy at last year’s ANZAC Day Parade by driving veteran service people along the march route.
“We’re commemorating more than 100 years of history here and, thankfully, instead of taking these brave Australians to hospital we’re honoured to be taking them through the streets of Brisbane,” said Mr Toms.
This year marks the 103rd anniversary of the ANZAC Day Parade, during which 32 RACQ volunteers will support Queensland’s military veterans.