This Page Lists Deceased Members
REQUEST FOR COMMITTAL OF ASHES TO THE SEA
TO: Defence Community Organisation – Sydney
Locked Bag 18 DARLINGHURST NSW 2010
I (Title) _______________________________________________________ (Name of Next of Kin)
(State)_________(Post Code) __________(Contact No and email)____________________________
Hereby request that the ashes of my late ____________________________________(Relationship of deceased) be committed to the sea.
DETAILS OF THE DECEASED
Name of the deceased ______________________________________________________________
(First Names) (Surname)
Personal Number________________________Rank and Category___________________________
Date Joined RAN________________________Date discharged from RAN____________________
Date of Birth____________________________Date of Death_______________________________
Brief Personal and Service History (Attach additional pages if necessary) not mandatory as information will be obtained from the National Archives and Defence records
Return to LCDR Mark Burton via Post at above address,
Scan and Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org (preferred method)
Fax 9393 3344
Tel: 9393 3314
Eulogy Requests: Service & Personnel Records : Department of Defence
www.defence.gov.au › Service & Personnel Records
Australian Government, Department of Defence Personnel and Service Records.
Access to records
For former serving members
If you are a former serving member, or their next of kin, you can obtain a copy of the record of postwar RAN service from the Defence Archives Centre, phone 1800 333 362 or email: ADF.Records@defence.gov.au.
From the National Archives
The National Archives can provide access to post-1970 Navy service records.
Please be aware that under our legislation, Archives Act 1983, the National Archives may only release records which are in the open access period.
Post-1970 Naval Personnel Establishment and Management System (NPEMS) records are held by the Department of Defence in Canberra. We request records from Defence to answer your inquiry.
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Once a record has been received by our Canberra office, you may choose to purchase a copy. Copying charges will apply. Alternatively, you may view the record in the Canberra reading room of the National Archives at no cost.
To request a post-1970 Navy service record, please use our general reference inquiry form.
Lest We Forget
Godfrey Errol (Checkers) Aldridge 15 Sep 2017 *
Reg (Wayne) Blakemore 22 Dec 10
Gary Blyton *
Wayne (Skull) Boden 31 Dec 09*
Wayne Chapman 18 Jun 17
Bodhan 'Chuckles' Cucculowski
(Butch) Peter Cousins 20 March 2015*
Bruce Cullen 2014 or 2015
Peter Dalstrom *
Jim Dansey *
Bill De Munct
Gary Devlin *
James Donsworth *
Ken Fielding 29 Jan 2019 *
Paul Gallagher 1 Jan 2010
Dick Geverding *
Mick 'Tinfoyle' Gilfoyle 15 May 2016
Kevin (Dizzy) Gillespie 2019
Eric Haggart *
Mike Haining 5 March 2018 *
Garry Hardman *
Arthur 'Twitch' Hawkins 3 Apr 09
Greg (Hyphen) Henderson-Smith 2 Aug 18*
Bill Irwin 1973
Ian Gordon James* Aug 2011
Malcolm Johnson *
George Kerr *
Noel Kropp 1 Jan 2018
Rodney Lamont 30 May 10
David (Pommie) Laundon 7 Aug 12
Trevor Lally 2014
Bernard Lawson *
Dick Lewin Aug 2017 *
Don (Blue) Mann 4 Mar 10
Chris Mansbridge 2018
Athol Marsh 15 May 2011
Bryan McInnes 9 April 2008
Pete McVee *
Don Muller 16 Feb 2019
Peter Pagett . 24 June 2018
Roger Pearson 15 July 2013
Greg Peers 12 Sep 2018
Kim Stanley Potaczala 26 April 2016
Garry George Pyke 15 May 2013*
Dave Quinlan *
Peter Renwick 6 Dec 2016
Robin Russell *
Merv Semfel 15 Aug 2016
Eddie Sheavils 24 Jan 2015*
Karl Slotboom 20 Jun 2018 8
Trevor Taylor* 10 Dec 2013
Mumbles Aldenhoven *
Bill Vass (Staff) *
Alex Vujic 21 Nov 2012
Pete Walsh *
Peter Walton reported in September 2015 Reville
Gavan Whitney 22 Nov 2011
Allan (Tug) Wilson 7 May 2012
Hielke (Dutchy) Wieringa . 7 Dec 2015
Ted Worcester 17 April 2012
* indicates a dedication plaque is in place at the GI Chapel.
Ken Fielding passed away on 29 January due to a massive stroke. His burial service was held at Mt Thompson Crematorium, Holland Park QLD. This is a pic of those who turned up. Apologise if I have left anybody out. Please remind me if I have forgotten anybody.
Ken Fielding's funeral service at Mt Thompson Crematorium Holland Park QLD. Pic of those that attended who we knew. From L-R UK, Doug Wilson, Kevin Uttley, Jim Harris, Ron Giveen, Dave Hanlon, Sandy Wilson, Knocker Whyte, Russ Loane, Scruffy, Kevin (Smouch) Smith, Mal Chatfield and John Hatchman. Hatch, spoke about Ken's life, amongst other topics, giving an excellent account of 'runs' they had shared since he met him on 7 Jan 1963.
John Hatchman's Eulogy for Ken Fielding:
Kenneth Ian Fielding, known as “KI”, Fieldrat” or “Ding”
Born in Townsville in 1947.
I first met him on a train out of South Brisbane in 1963, heading for Perth to begin the journey of life and experiences, … He certainly did that.
In for a penny or a pound, anything that was going around. ….and we were 15 at the time ….
At 16 we were involved in one of the worst maritime disasters in Australian history …. HMAS Melbourne collided with the Voyager with the loss of 84 Sailors.
When you have known a person for so long, there are many stories to tell, but I’ll stick to the straight ones.
As there are others here today who would have plenty to tell of this larger than life character, who has touched the hearts of so many during his stay on the planet.
His nickname for me was “Norm”, or “Suitcase”, for obvious reasons …… Whenever we were out his duty was to carry me home, I woke up once on the Tattoo Parlour table about to have a pair of suitcase handles tattooed on my back. I never managed to square the ledger on that one.
Ken had a distinguished career serving in the Royal Australian Navy for 20 years, attaining the rank of “Warrant Officer”.
He spent most of his time alternating between HMAS Melbourne and the naval air station at Nowra.
He met his wife Marrilyn there and bought up 4 children there …. Nicole, Alison, Amanda and Christopher.
On completion of his time he moved to Brisbane and settled into running a business specialising in Electronic Test Equipment.
On retiring he covered this great land as a “Grey Nomad” fitting for the colour of his hair …. At least he had some.
It was during this time that they lost there running mate “Eric”, one can only imagine what that must have been like.
I know there are some young sailors and civilians out there, probably not so young anymore who have benefited from his ethics … “Work hard, play hard and treat others how you would like to be treated.
One person comes to mind, he went on to become General Manager Engineering at Jetstar.
He has been thru bad times but hung in there emerging from the other side. These are the things that you remember that maketh the man.
So today I not only speak for myself, but for the classes of 63 who have summed up Ken this way,
“Life is so fragile and precious, hale and hearty one day, gone the next … Tragic.
Our sincere condolences to Marrilyn and family, we all wish her the very best in these difficult times, what a loss.
RIP Shipmate, you were a great bloke, great sportsman, Personality and a Runner. We will all miss you.
The TAB may go into liquidation, also spare a thought for Ken’s family and friends in Townsville.
Dedication Ceremony for
Godfrey Errol Aldridge
Number: R 93958 Joined: 4th July 1963
Retired: 13th September 1988
Rank: Leading Radio Operator
Cerberus Kuttabul FHQ
I first met Godfrey (affectionately known as Checkers), in Brisbane in July 1963, when all the Queensland contingent met to sign on the dotted line, and travel to HMAS Leeuwin in Perth, Western Australia.
The journey was to be by train and would take 7 days to get there. What an adventure it was to be travelling so far, for most of us at only 16 years of age, our first trip anywhere from our homes.
Once we got to Leeuwin it didn’t take long to get acquainted with Navy training, and all that went with it. As time progressed, we started to form mateships in our new environment of over 300 men. Some of these mateships have lasted a lifetime, and still continue today.
Checkers was my mate for the rest of his days on this planet.
The training at Leeuwin was both physical and mental, and we lapped it up… eventually! The big focus was on sport and physical fitness, which helped everything else that followed.
Checkers got into rugby and he was a formidable opponent on the field. You knew it, if you ever ran into him, because it was like hitting a brick wall. He was tough and determined and stubborn.
After Leeuwin we moved on to join the fleet and we served together in HMAS Sydney in 1964, and later, Yarra, in 1973. During the following years in our careers we progressed to sharing our lives with someone special and a new family life was born apart from the Navy. Checkers special lady was Phyllis.
Checkers and I kept in touch all through our lives and met up as opportunity allowed. Sam Semfel and I visited him on numerous occasions at Lee Place and in hospital.
Unfortunately, his reluctance to seek medical attention cost him dearly and he eventually lost his leg. From then on, he was a bit of a terrorist in a wheel chair and, don’t get in his way! The staff at Lee Place where he resided were well aware of his capabilities, so much so that on his passing they wrote on his card “we hope he is not in heaven when we get there”.
For me, I can picture him telling St Peter he is playing in the front row of God’s rugby team and there is no way he will play as lock forward. End of story! This was Checkers.
In summing up I would like to say that, Checkers was a good mate. He tried his best in most things he undertook in his life – sometimes in the wrong direction - but that was his path and he was, often, unwilling to make a change. I hope he is now in a pain free place and at peace.
To those of us that remain I would like to share this little passage with you because I think it sums up Checkers to a tee. And it goes like this:
Remember me as you pass by,
For as you are so was I,
For as I am you will be,
Prepare yourselves to follow me.
My thanks to everyone, especially to Phyllis and her family for allowing me to say farewell to Checkers. Also, to Ron Giveen for making these dedication events possible for us all.
Thank you everyone and happy days.
And in this house as they say in the classics:
The Glory goes to God.
Rob Cavanagh Eulogy for Richard James Lewin
Garden Island Chapel
25 February 2018
On behalf of Mrs. Diana Lewin, her family and fellow members of the Royal Australian Navy, January 1963 Junior Recruit Intake and also Dick's fellow submariners, would like to express our feelings of loss, when Dick passed over the bar.
Dick and I first met each other when employed in Woolworths at Caringbah NSW in 1962. We worked behind different counters in the store and did not know that each of us had applied to enlist in the navy as junior recruits. We met again at HMAS Leeuwin, Fremantle WA when 180 lads assembled to begin our naval training.
Near the completion of basic training, when asked what category we would like to nominate for, unknown to each other, we both choose the radar branch. From memory only 3 lads opted to become part of the operations room personnel.
Dick was posted to HMAS Vampire and I was posted to HMAS Melbourne.
Around 1966/1967, Dick decided to become/join the submariners team, he departed Australia on the P & O liner "Oronsay". I believe that Dick was one of twenty eight single men onboard, man 'o' man, that must have been a long long time at sea without having to partake in any watch keeping duties.
A tale from one of the boat men that had time with Dick-
Rodney Peters served with Slug ( his moniker on Otway), Dick was the boats coxswain, doctor and grocer, (what a tri-fector), the Otway was returning to its base in Sydney from time in SE Asia.
Otway arrived early at Sydney heads and had to anchor overnight in Watson's Bay. Somewhere on the return trip home a truck load of oysters had been procured, so Dick, as the chief coxswain, decided the night was a good time to have an oyster and beer supper. Unfortunately no-one on board had an oyster knife, we only could find a 12 inch chef's knife to open the oysters with. Now it came to be Rod's turn to use the knife to open his share of the supper, somehow the knife slipped out of his hands, went straight thru the oyster and thru his hand that was gripping the oyster, somehow missing anything important, like tendons and such. Anyway Slug, being the ships medico rushed him off to the coxswain's office and getting out the medical kit, commenced to put stitches into the wound. Which required stitches put into either side of his hand, close it up and applied bandages to the wound.
The following morning Otway berths at its home base, HMAS Platypus , Rod goes ashore to greet his wife and children (last night's efforts are totally forgotten), his wife upon sighting the bandaged hand which had blood seeping thru and was the size of a boxing glove, nearly faints. She immediately thought Rod had lost a hand.
Rod ends off his tale, by saying Dick "was a true gentleman and will be missed by all who knew him".
Dick also participated in a fellow submariners "Walk for Kids with Cancer, starting from Coolangatta finishing in Canberra in 2008, this walk was in memory of Robert (Tug) Wilson who went over the bar in 2008, Dick was best man at Bob & Carols wedding in 1966.
Honours and Awards:
Australian Active Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasp 'MALAYSIA'
General Service Medal 1962 with Clasp 'MALAY PENINSULA'
Australian Service Medal 1945-75 with Clasp 'FESR'
Defence Force Service Medal with First Clasp
Australian Defence Medal
Pingat Jasa Malaya
Returned from Active Service.
Di tells me that Dick joined the Gatton SES group in 1996 and took on the role of deputy local controller in 2000 and the responsibility of local controller in 2009, he was involved in large scale floods in 2011. We all know what value we place on the men and women in SES in times of great need. Dick was also involved with the local cub group early in time as a resident of Gatton.
I am saddened to report that Merv Semfel passed away in Liverpool hospital last night after a very long and brave battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Bev who rang me this morning with the news.
Funeral arrangements are to be a private family arrangement in Coffs Harbour . Merv served proudly in the Hobart in its first deployment to Vietnam and was a strong advocate for wider recognition to operations such as "Sea Dragon" and how such battles were portrayed in the Australian War Memorial.
A good mate who will be sadly missed.
Stan Church and John Hume forwarded info on Mick 'Tinfoyle's' Gilfoyle's death. There is a pic of him dressed in the rig ready for Shore Patrol when he was serving in MELBOURNE on our Facebook page.
In the Queensland RSL News Edition 1 2015 received today, under Last Post is:
CULLEN Bruce R93810 Sub Branch: Tweed Heads and Coolangatta. It doesn’t say when he passed away and I can’t find a funeral notice doing a google search.
He’s one of ours. Bruce Arnold CULLEN R93810 MOKARE.
Australian Government Archives have him discharged 9MAR67 from KUTTABUL as an EMWE.
I will drop a note to Trevor Taylor's family as we were both in Mokare 2.
Very sad news indeed Sqizzy & I had quite a few runs ashore when on Melbourne & were both in Mokare 2.
We lost touch after Melbourne as he was TAS & myself a Signalman.
Another one of us gone to early.
RIP Trevor "Sqizzy" Taylor.
With much regret Ron, I have to report the passing of Trevor Taylor, R93939, ex Mokare 2, JRTE 6th intake, a 12 year man who served his full term and Killick, ex HMAS Melbourne.
Late of Oak Ave, Clovelly Park, SA, Trevor passed away on the 16 December 2013 in Adelaide, SA. He was a member of the Marion RSL sub-branch in South Australia and although not a frequent visitor to our club rooms, he was remembered by the members at dusk on the following Friday. Sub-branch President, Mr Trevor Chapman represented the RSL at Trevor’s funeral. He was sent off with his medals and white ensign displayed, and the ‘Naval Ode’ was read by Trevor. Following the funeral, the family and friends reverted to the Marion RSL for a consolation wake. The family noted Trevor’s first sea draft was HMAS Melbourne and he was on board at the time of the collision with HMAS Voyager as a young lad with half a ‘dog-watch’ of sea time under his belt. His awful experience left a deep wound in such a young and impressionable mind. It was reported by the family to have had lasting adverse effects on his health and family and the years that followed were tough. His need was never completely recognized or addressed by the authorities as it should have been, especially in the early years following that tragic event. It is the sort of experience the RSL is committed through advocacy to ensuring never happens again.
Messages of condolence from former ship-mates may be forwarded to Trevor Taylor’s family via the Secretary, Marion RSL sub-branch, 31-39 Norfolk Rd, Marion, SA, 5043.
May I suggest Ron that if possible, a plaque commemorating Trevor’s service should be commissioned for inclusion in the Naval Chapel, Garden Island. Can you take the lead on that?
Nifty (Nev) Thomas
Tributes to Alex Vujic
Ted Worcester passed away in a nursing home in Mandurah in April 2012.
Thanks to Spike (Ron) Jones for the following:
Was I one of Ted’s mates, well I guess that was for him to determine. I am very sorry that I missed his funeral, particularly as I live in Perth, but I don’t read that section of the paper, in case I see my name there.
I have a couple of funny stories about Ted as I spent 12 months with him (other than being a JR2 with him when he was a 1), on the Vampire in 75/76 in the real navy when non native personnel lived on board.
Ted, another West Australia, Trevor Atkins, and me would go ashore together and venture up town and journey back via the Cross at all hours of the morning after consuming a ‘few’ drinks.
One night Ted played a joke that his shoe was stuck to the footpath and he couldn’t continue walking. He would pull his foot out of the shoe and then put on an act that he couldn’t move. Trevor and I got tired of this joke so we walked on. When we realised that Ted was no longer behind us we went back to find him. We couldn’t see him anywhere and assumed that he had taken a different route back to the ship in GI.
The next morning Ted turned up to tell us both that the police had picked him up for loitering and he had spent the night in the cells.
On another occasion the 3 of us were in the same mess deck 2D STBD Vampire and had arrived back on board at approximately 1.00am. At 5.00am while sound asleep in our bunks the Bosun’s mate passed by piping all hands to emergency stations. Ted yells ‘what’s happening?” The Bosun’s mate shouts back ‘bomb scare”. In unison our answer was “who cares.”
Next minute the Bosun’s mate again pipes all hands to emergency stations and shouts “the floating dock has broken loose and is about to hit the ship. Then we see action man Ted saying “let’s get the boat down and throw a rope onto the dock and keep it away from the ship, which by change it did.
Great times with Ted and Trevor on the Vampire.
Spike Jones Intake 7 (94048)
Boong Franklin writes about Ted
from Boong. Ted and I where the first guys in Leeuwin before the mob came. I was put up in the PO's mess overnight. Next day we had WA NEWS come down for a 'photo session'. Photos there, I miss all the ones not here.
Barry Quigley has confirmed Ted completed 20 years service and added this 'Sad news about Ted,I tried hard to get him to come to the 45 reunion but to no avail,at the time he didn,t seem to be with it so to speak,it just goes to show we get tied up in every day things and in the end don.t look up people whom we should touch base with every now and again.
I remember Ted driving me home after I put the piss on for my buttons and his passenger side window would not open hence one enormous chunder in his car ,I went back to the car the next day to clean it and as a consequence had a few more chunders.Ted was also in partnership with our first car[big Ford side valve v8]in Sydney with Dolly Gray and Bryan Stapley,Ted left the partnership after the first weekend,he reckons we were all mad,by the way none of us had a license'.
Garry Pyke, ex LTO, R94102, passed away Wednesday 15/5/13, in the Box Hospital Melbourne, after a long battle with cancer.
Garry served in H.M.A.S. YARRA & SYDNEY, Vietnam, Borneo Malay Peninsular and also with ANZUK Force, 9 Sig Regt, Singapore
The funeral will be held 10am, Thursday 23rd May 2013, at the Heritage Funerals Chapel, 733 Boronia Road, Wantirna, close to the East link off ramp.
Medals to be worn please.
David (Speed) Dwyer
H.M.A.S. SYDNEY & VLSV Association (Vic)
(03) 9720 8183,
I joined JRTE with Alex and my Mum & dad sponsored him.
Great guy. I lost contact when we left LEEUWIN. Another Magnificent 7th intake gone. RIP Alex
So sorry to get this news. Alex was in Nakina with Peter Pagett and myself.
He was on Supply with me in 67/68 and his wife was having an operation for ovarian cancer
and he was being flown home from Manila just after we had completed a SEATO ex,
anyway a cyclone closed Manila airport while we were waiting to see him off and Qantas put him up
in a posh hotel. The boats were all cancelled so all those on the landing waiting to get back onboard
were in for a miserable time. But Alex and I had it made.
Strange thing but true, we decided to do a run through some of the bars to kill some time and were being
pestered to go upstairs as it was “very nice, upstairs”. Well we finally did and found just about all the wardroom
save the CO,XO and OOD all enjoying themselves “upstairs”.
Alex had a funny sense of humour
Q: If you were sitting on a river bank and a canoe floated past full of ice cream cones, how would you tell how many
ice cream cones were in the canoe?
A: I don’t know either because motor bikes don’t have windows.
Q: If the definition of a brassier is
1. an over the shoulder boulder holder or
2. an upper decker flipper flopper stopper, and
if the definition of a jock strap is
1. an under the butt nut hut or
2. a lower decker knicker knacker checker
what is the definition of a punch drunk chinaman whose father has dysentery?
A: a slap happy chappy with a crap happy pappy.
It is amazing the little things you retain in your grey matter that links you to a person, place or time.
Alex was a cook extrordanaire. As a kellick he was on the Admirals staff on the Melbourne for RIMPAC 71 or 72.
He was a wizz at doing margarine and ice sculptures to wow the yanks at inter ship head honchos dinners.
Sad to get this news. Moot Sutton
Some Pics of Tug Wilson
Received this from Tug's wife Margaret
Hello Ron,Just letting you know that Tug passed away on Monday morning 7/5/2012 at 10.15 am,funeral to-morrow 10 May 2012 at 10/30 am. Can be watched on the net at the some time,www.Northwest funeral.com.au pass word,1408.He is at peace now with all his navy friends,and having a few beer's
Reg Blakemore passed away on 22 Dec 10. He was cremated on 24 Dec and his ashes were spread in Swansea Channel with his parents. He had a Naval burial service.
Received this from Mick Gallagher.
Sad to hear about the passing of our JR mate Gavia Whitney.
He was in my division at HMAS Leeuwin in 1963 but can't remember if it was Nakina 2 as a JR2 or Kaiber 1 as a JR 1.
We had a good friendship at HMAS Leeuwin when we were in the same division.
From memory he was from Barwon Heads in Victoria and a Geelong Aussie Rules supporter.
I think he joined up with a mate Neil Turner also from Victoria.
Gavin was a cheerful chap and I never saw him lose his temper once while I was at Leeuwin..
Gavin was taller than me and had a longer reach which helped him when we had the Leeuwin boxing tournament with LCDR Bill Storrie as referee.
After our 12 mths of Junior Recruit training at Leeuwin he joined his first ship HMAS Melbourne2 and I, HMAS Vampire2.
We lost touch after that but I did visit him once when he was at HMAS Lonsdale in Melbourne. At the time (mid 1968) I think I was on HMAS Yarra (DE 45) in refit at Williamstown Naval Dockyard (also known as 'Dogtown') in Victoria . Yarra was built in Dogtown in 1961.
I had hope to catch up with Gavin in Victoria in recent years but like many good times and friends from our past they become memories that we hold for life.
Can anyone add to my memories of Gavin.
Farewell Gavin. You are now at peace.
Mick Gallagher ex QMG / Schoolie / JR HMAS Leeuwin Jan-Dec 1963 O/N R93833.
C/O PO Mt Colah Sydney NSW 2079. Mob: 0418 112 675.
Kaiber 1 graduation Dec 63
Click here to download this file
Gavan and Mick Gallagher
Click here to download this file
Gavin, Mick Gallagher and Barry Andrew
Gavin, Alan Sams Greg Henderson-Smith
Hi Ron, just got a phonecall from his wife Wendy to say that Ian James had passed away from throat cancer and his funeral is at 12 today 18 August 2011 in Hobart Allan pike 94094
Received advice through Diplomatic channels that Bryan McInnes (ex communicator RO/TO?)passed away 9 April 2008 following a long battle with cancer. Bryan paid off in '75 and joined Foreign Affairs as a communications supervisor. He had served in Ottawa, Tokyo, London & Washington. He left the Department in 94 and had been living in the UK in recent years.
I am writing on behalf of my father Mr Athol Henry Marsh and as he was keeping in contact with you i thought that you should know that my father passed away on Sunday 15th May 2011. My contact details are Natasha Ramsay 0410461975 email@example.com
Paul's funeral will be held at 1430 Thursday 7th January HMAS Cerberus Chapel
Informed by Terry Dack, Paul Gallagher passed away on 1 January 2010.
Received news from Alan Rogers JR's reunion Skull passed away on 31 Dec 09. No details were given.
It is with sadness that I advise of the passing of EMWR Arthur William "Twitch" Hawkins - R94034 from mesothelioma this morning.
Twitch travelled to Vietnam on Vendetta in May 1966, Brisbane from March 69 to October 69 and Sydney in November 1972.
Funeral details will be forwarded later.
Graham B Dunn lives down the road from Bills place in Toogoolawah and has been there for Bill during his illness with Mesothelioma and recently the onset of bone cancer
From: Grahame B. Dunn
(Sound on, Please)
Bill served for twenty years in the Royal Australian Navy, and served in Viet Nam.
While in the Navy, Bill came in daily contact with Asbestos. Years later, he was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, an asbestos related cancer. You could say that Bill gave his life for his (our) country, way of life, and freedoms, like so many before him. That makes him a 'Hero', to me.
He wasn’t a ‘Great’ man, but he was a ‘Good’ man who thought more about others and what he could do for them before he thought of himself. Australia would benefit from having more men like him.
Picture supplied by Kev Uttley at Twitch's funeral