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September 27, 2012
LCPL Mer vyn
FIVE Australian soldiers killed in
Afghanistan in late August have been
laid to rest in Australia across the
Friends, families, colleagues, ADF
senior officers and politicians paid
homage at each service.
SPR James Martin, LCPL Stjepan
"Rick" Milosevic and PTE Robert
Poate were serving with the 3RAR
Task Group when they were killed
in an insider attack at Patrol Base
Wahab in the Baluchi Valley region of
Uruzgan province on August 29.
Commandos PTE Nathanael
Galagher and LCPL Mervyn
McDonald were killed in a helicopter
crash in Helmand province in the early
hours of August 30 while serving with
the Special Operations Task Group.
Two services were held on
September 12: LCPL Milosevic was
farewelled at Marist College in
Ashgrove, Brisbane, and PTE Poate
was farewelled at Canberra Grammar
School in the ACT.
PTE Galagher's funeral was held at
St John's Anglican Church in Pilliga in
north-west NSW on September 13.
LCPL McDonald's funeral service
was held at St Benedict's Catholic
Church in Perth on September 17.
SPR Martin's farewell was at
Perth's Karrakatta Cemetery on
There were moving eulogies at the
LCPL Milosevic's CO, LTCOL
Mark Welburn, spoke at his service
Five soldiers farewelled
and pledged to the fallen soldier's two
young daughters to honour his memory.
"Today, the regiment grieves the
loss of a highly respected and much
loved soldier," LTCOL Welburn said.
PTE Poate's CO, LTCOL Mark
Jennings, reflected on the soldier's
determination, commitment and mis-
chievous sense of humour.
"PTE Poate's reputation as a red-
headed larrikin among his mates and
his dependability was known to all
around him," LTCOL Jennings said.
"We will never forget Robert Poate for
his service, mateship and courage as
a warrior in the best traditions of the
Royal Australian Regiment and the
Australian Army," he said.
PTE Galagher's CO, LTCOL B,
spoke of the commando's drive, pro-
fessionalism and commitment to his
mates at the regiment.
"Nate died at the top of his game
and in the company of men who knew
what it was to strive valiantly for a just
and noble cause," LTCOL B said.
At LCPL McDonald's service,
LTCOL B spoke of the energy and enthu-
siasm LCPL McDonald brought to the
unit and the high sense of duty with
which he served on multiple deployments
during his 13-year Army career.
"Merv would have wanted to be
remembered as a quiet, hardwork-
ing, likeable bloke who got the job
done no matter what it was. This was
an understatement," LTCOL B said.
SPR Martin's CO, LTCOL Paul Foura,
delivered the soldier's eulogy.
"James was incredibly well suited
to be a sapper from day one," LTCOL
"His intelligence and ability to rap-
idly acquire new skills, his willingness
to participate and contribute to the team
and his infectious personality made him
the perfect fit into Army as a soldier
and, in particular, as a combat engineer."
Photo: Lauren Black
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