Home' Army News : August 5th 2010 Contents By Capt Peter Martinelli
NATHAN Bewes loved his mates
and put himself in harm's way to
save their lives.
Sacred Heart Church last week
heard the forward scout with
Mentoring Task Force 1 was killed
in Afghanistan on July 9 protecting
those he loved.
Family, friends, soldiers of
his battalion, 6RAR, cadets from
225 Cadet Unit and representa-
tives from the RSL gathered in the
Murwillumbah church to celebrate
the life of the Gold Coast soldier.
Comd 7 Bde Brig Paul
McLachlan said Pte Bewes, a gift-
ed mentor and junior leader, "held
the welfare and safety of his mates
more dearly than he held his own
life and he revelled in this respon-
"In a society that has a tendency
to overuse the concept of a hero,
here is an example to us all," Brig
"A knockabout bloke who, day
in and day out, clearly understand-
ing the consequences, chose to put
his life on the line to do his job and
protect his mates."
He said the 23-year-old had been
identified for promotion.
Brig McLachlan told mourners
that Pte Bewes was occupying an
overwatch position during a patrol
in the Baluchi Valley when he was
killed by the blast of an IED.
Partner Alice Walsh said Pte
Bewes was her "hero in cams".
"Nate means many things to
many people here -- a loving son
and brother, a best mate -- but to me
he has always been the world, my
only true love, my best friend," she
said. "Nate is the sweetest, kindest
and most loving person I know.
"I can stand here and talk about
all the dreams we had, but I feel like
we've packed a lifetime into the last
few years. I have many memories
that make me smile and have abso-
lutely no regrets."
Led by members of the RSL,
selected attendees representing past
ADF operations laid poppies on Pte
6RAR soldiers lined the
road from the church through
Murwillumbah to salute their mate
as his hearse slowly carried him
through the town to a private burial.
Pte Bewes joined the Army in
2005 and in the same year suc-
cessfully completed his recruit and
infantry basic training, before being
posted to 6RAR.
This was his second deployment
to Afghanistan. Pte Bewes had also
deployed to East Timor in 2006.
He was qualified in direct-fire
support weapons, combat first aid
and as a driver of the Protected
Pte Bewes was awarded the
Australian Active Service Medal
with clasp International Coalition
Against Terrorism (ICAT), Australian
Service Medal with clasp Timor
Leste, the Australian Defence Medal,
the Afghanistan Campaign Medal,
NATO medal with clasp ISAF and
the East Timor Solidarity Medal.
Pte Bewes was also awarded
the Infantry Combat Badge and,
for previous deployments, he
was awarded the Returned Active
Army August 5, 2010
Rod Horan: (02) 6265 4650
Graham McBean: (02) 62667609
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Chief of Staff
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The Soldiers' Newspaper
Lest we forget: The parents of Pte
Nathan Bewes, Gary and Kay, place
a cross and Bible on his coffin (above)
while a photograph of Pte Bewes, a
slouch hat and a F88 Steyer is placed
in memory near a sea of floral tributes
at the 6RAR memorial service held at
Gallipoli Barracks, Enogerra, on July 16.
Photos by LAC Leigh Cameron
and LAC Kylie Gibson.
Hero in cams hailed
Soldier protection remains a priority: CA
On ops: Pte Cooper Edwards,
8/9RAR takes part in a training
exercise in East Timor.
Photo by Cpl Chris Moore
CA LT-GEN Gillespie has
rejected recent media reporting
on soldier protection systems,
refuting speculation that Army
had delayed a research project
intended to improve soldier sur-
"The project, conducted by
the Defence Materials Technology
Centre, is still being seriously
considered for further develop-
ment and had not been the sub-
ject of any Army or ministe-
rial decision to date," Lt-Gen
"Soldier protection devel-
opments are being well funded
and have the highest priority for
"Our protection systems and
safety of Australian soldiers serv-
ing in Australia and abroad have
always been, and will continue to
remain, my highest priority.
"Army, with other Defence
development organisations are
rapidly progressing force pro-
tection improvements for our
soldiers serving on operations
"In particular, Army will soon
field new protection measures
such as enhanced body armour
and systems that counter the
threats from rockets and IEDs.
"Army continues to work in
conjunction with the Defence
Capability Development Group
and the Defence Material
Organisation with the goal of pro-
viding the best protection systems
for its soldiers."
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