Home' Army News : March 3rd 2011 Contents 2 NEWS
Army March 3, 2011
The Soldiers' Newspaper
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By Sgt Andrew Hetherington
SPR Jamie Ronald Larcombe
was known in 1CER as "a truly
His mate, Spr Robert Armand,
1CER, used these words and more
during his reading of a heartfelt
tribute at an emotional memorial
service at Robertson Barracks on
Spr Larcombe, 21, was killed
in action on February 19 when his
Mentoring Task Force 2 (MTF 2)
patrol was attacked by a group of
insurgents in the Mirabad Valley
region of Uruzgan province.
He was the 23rd Australian sol-
dier and the second from 1CER
this year to die in Afghanistan
since Operation Slipper began.
More than 1000 of 1 Bde's sol-
diers attended the Darwin service
where they heard about a man and
professional soldier who never
wavered in his faithfulness to his
mates no matter what the situation.
"You never shied away from
a difficult situation and pushed
through the hard times with that
renowned Aussie attitude," Spr
"You are an immortal Anzac
now mate, up there with Akka
[Cpl Richard Atkinson] looking
over us and especially our mates
"Your trademark smile or love
for AC/DC will not be forgotten.
Rarely do you meet a bloke who
wakes up every morning to AC/
DC on his alarm clock."
Spr Armand also recounted
stories and comments from Spr
Larcombe's fellow engineers.
"One of Cpl [William]
Newell's fondest memories of
Larcs was during times out bush
in the carrier together -- 'worst
stick driver ever, no ground appre-
ciation, but I couldn't stay angry
at him. He was a great mate who
never complained, an exception-
ally hard worker'."
Spr Larcombe began his jour-
ney home from Afghanistan on
He was farewelled by his fel-
low combat engineers, MTF 2 and
coalition soldiers who paid tribute
to his sacrifice at a moving memo-
rial service at Tarin Kot.
Combat engineer and friend
Spr Trent Wicker said Spr
Larcombe was a genuine mate
who held his family and friends
"He was the kind of guy who
was always keen to go down to
the pub, have a beer with his
mates and pick you up when you
were feeling down," Spr Wicker
said. "He loved Kangaroo Island
and would always talk about the
places he would go with his fam-
ily and friends."
CO MTF 2 Lt-Col Darren
Huxley said Spr Larcombe was a
young engineer who epitomised
the core values of an Australian
"Mateship is what defines the
best in an Aussie digger and Jamie
was among our best," Lt-Col
"Jamie was a volunteer for his
country, as we all here are, and
he knew the risks of his chosen
profession and he accepted them.
"He shared the danger and aus-
terity, but mostly, I am sure, he
was driven by his desire to protect
and support his mates.
"Jamie Larcombe is now
part of our nation's history and
his name will echo in Anzac Day
toasts long after all of us have
More than 2000 coalition sol-
diers from six nations formed a
guard of honour along both sides
of the base runway at the end of
They paid their final respects
to Spr Larcombe by saluting him
as the ASLAV transporting his
casket drove slowly to the wait-
ing RAAF C-130 Hercules, which
took him on the first leg of his
final journey home to Australia.
A faithful mate,
a valued soldier
SPR Jamie Ronald Larcombe
was born on September 14,
1989, at Kingscote Hospital
on Kangaroo Island, South
He was a community-minded
person who was a CFS volun-
teer and played sport for his
local football club, Western
He joined the Army in 2008
and successfully completed his
recruit and combat engineer
basic training before being post-
ed to 1CER in Darwin.
The 21-year-old was
described by his army mates as
dependable and genuine, whose
country upbringing instilled a
wisdom that was respected.
Spr Larcombe leaves his
partner, Rhiannon, parents,
Steven and Tricia and three
younger sisters, Ann-Marie,
Emily and April.
Spr Larcombe was awarded
the Australian Active Service
Medal with Clasp: International
Coalition Against Terrorism
(ICAT), Afghanistan Campaign
Medal and the Army Combat
Badge. During Spr Larcombe's
service he deployed on the fol-
Operation Padang Assist
(Afghanistan) with MTF 2 --
October 2010 to February 2011.
FAMILY, friends and fellow diggers gathered
in Launceston on February 14 to honour the
life of Cpl Richard Atkinson, killed in action in
Afghanistan on February 2.
An honour guard and bearer party were formed
by Cpl Atkinson's mates from 1CER, who carried his
service medals, slouch hat and an Australian flag into
St John's Anglican Church.
A catafalque party stood vigil over the accoutre-
ments during the service and they were presented to
Cpl Atkinson's family by his CO, Lt-Col Matt Pearse.
Commander 1 Bde Brig Gus McLachlan deliv-
ered the eulogy on behalf of the Army, and described
Cpl Atkinson, 22, as a soldier who led with maturity
beyond his years.
"He knew the dangers he faced but he went and
faced those dangers alongside his mates and as a
leader of his team," Brig McLachlan said.
"Whenever the scouts sensed the terrain was push-
ing them onto a predictable path, Akka, often with his
mate and search partner, Spr Rose, moved to the front.
"They knew this was marching towards the danger.
They trusted each other implicitly, knowing the other
would always cover their back.
"Cpl Richard Atkinson died while leading from
the front, fighting alongside one of his best mates on
behalf of all of us."
A SOLDIER has returned to duty after being treat-
ed at the International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF) medical facility at Tarin Kot for wounds
received in action on January 4.
The soldier, from Mentoring Task Force 2, was
participating in an Afghan National Army-partnered
patrol in the Chorah Valley region of Uruzgan prov-
ince when the patrol was attacked with small-arms
fire.The Australian was wounded in the upper left arm
in the ensuing contact and an Afghan man, believed
to be an insurgent, was wounded in the leg. Both were
treated by the patrol before being medically evacuated
to Tarin Kot.
After being treated at the ISAF medical facility,
the Afghan man was transferred to the initial screen-
ing area as a detainee, but was subsequently released
as there was not sufficient evidence to continue to
returns to duty
Farewelled: The catafalque party stands vigil
during Cpl Richard Atkinson's memorial service.
Photo by Sgt William Guthrie
Spr Jamie Ronald Larcombe
Saying goodbye: Friends of Spr Jamie Larcombe console each other during his memorial service
at Tarin Kot. Spr Robert Armand (inset) delivers a heartfelt eulogy at the 1CER memorial service at
Photos by Cpl Christopher Dickson and LS Helen Frank
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