5RAR Tiger Logo The men of the 5RAR Battalion

colin Illman and Graham Warburton of 5RAR

Private. Colin Illman (left) & Private. Graham Warburton (right)

Just two ordinary Diggers it seems, but one of them will pass into legend.

Many thousands of Australians who served in Phuoc Tuy Province will remember the Nui Dinh Hills some 10 kilometres west of Nui Dat. They were the scene of many operations by different battalions and were known to all as the "Warburtons" or "The Warbies." How did this come about?

In early 1966 when 5RAR (then at Holsworthy) was warned for active service, the Intelligence Section constructed a mud map of Phuoc Tuy Province and the Nui Dinh’s were by far, the dominant feature. At the time there was a song “Wolverton Mountain” being played on the hit parade and in its first verse said,


"They say don't go on Wolverton Mountain
If you're looking for a wife,
Cause Clifton Clowers has a pretty young daughter
He's mighty handy with a gun and a knife."

A popular member of 10 platoon, D Company, Private Graham "Nugget" Warburton was, for no real reason, teased with the lines, "they say don’t go on Warburton Mountain." When 10 platoon was being briefed another member, Colin Illman piped up "that’s Warburton Mountain." During the night a small flag bearing that name was placed on the mud map and the name stuck. D Company 5RAR took the name to Vietnam, little knowing the extent to which it would be used and remembered.

A poignant postscript to this story is that Graham Warburton was killed in action on 1st October, 1966.

Information provided by Dennis Rainer and Paul Greenhalgh.