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FAMILY and friends have said their
goodbyes to SASR's Sgt Blaine
Flower Diddams at a military funer-
al at Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth.
Mourners watched Sgt Diddams'
life through a slideshow presentation to
Eddie Vedder's Hard Sun as part of the
ceremony on July 14.
CO SASR Lt-Col J spoke at the
service about Sgt Diddams' two great-
est passions: his family and being an
SASR patrol commander.
"Didds died whilst pursuing one of
his greatest passions, being a member
of the Special Air Service Regiment
deployed on operations," Lt-Col J said.
"Didds was the epitome of the
SASR soldier, he lived and breathed
the ethos of the regiment. His pursuit
of professional excellence, his devo-
tion to his family, his dedication to his
mates and to his country will always be
remembered by an eternally grateful
regiment, Defence Force and nation.
DEFENCE has completed an inquiry
into the circumstances surrounding
the death of Pte Matthew Lambert in
Afghanistan on August 22 last year.
Pte Lambert, of 2RAR, was deployed
to Afghanistan with MTF 3.
He was killed by an IED while on
a mentored patrol with elements of the
ANA and other coalition forces in the
Khas Uruzgan region north-east of Tarin
Kot.Pte Lambert received immediate first
aid from his patrol mates before an aero-
medical team transferred him to the Role
2 Medical Facility in Tarin Kot, where
he received further medical treatment.
He died from his wounds shortly after
his arrival at the Role 2 facility.
The Inquiry Officer made eight rec-
ommendations, which were all accepted.
The recommendations are in the process
of being implemented.
Seven of the recommendations relate
to refining and strengthening the ADF's
counter IED capabilities in recognition
of the fact the IED threat in Afghanistan
is enduring and adaptive.
Details of the recommendations will
not be publicly released for operational
The Inquiry Officer's remaining rec-
ommendation was that a Commission of
Inquiry into the incident was not war-
Defence has briefed Pte Lambert's
family on the findings of the inquiry
and provided them with a copy of the
Inquiry Officer's Report into the circum-
stances surrounding his death.
After consutation with CDF Gen
David Hurley, Defence Minister Stephen
Smith decided not to publicly release the
report into Pte Lambert's death.
Inquiry complete: Pte Matthew
Lambert was killed by an IED in
Afghanistan in August, 2011.
Photo by Lauren Black
Farewell to a
Family and friends mourn the death of SASR's Sgt Blaine Diddams
Sad goodbye: A bearer party made up of SASR members escorts the coffin of Sgt Blaine
Diddams through Karrakatta Cemetery in Perth. Inset top, the bearer party carries the
coffin through the cemetery. Inset bottom, troopers fire volleys in honour of Sgt Diddams at
Photos by Cpl Chris Moore
"For Sgt Blaine Diddams and his
family, you are forever etched into
the fabric of this fine unit and you are
an enduring reminder to those of us
that serve that we do so in honour and
memory of the fallen."
Special Operations Commander
Australia Maj-Gen Gus Gilmore paid
tribute to a distinguished member of
the Australian Army.
"The scale of our loss of Sgt
Diddams is perhaps only surpassed
by our recognition of his contribu-
tion to Australia over so many years
in so many places and at such a con-
sistently high standard," Maj-Gen
"He was an elite soldier, a genu-
ine individual of the highest person-
al and professional standing, who
held his family and friends close and
will be sorely missed by so many.
"Blaine is forever engraved
into the history of our nation and
the proud history of the Special Air
Service Regiment, and his leader-
ship, courage and dedication to his
mates will inspire generations of
Australian soldiers to come.
"My deepest sympathies are
extended to Blaine's immediate
family, but also to those in the wider
Army family who came to know
this remarkable, selfless and dedi-
Sgt Diddams was on his seventh
deployment to Afghanistan when
he was killed in action by enemy
small arms fire during an opera-
tion to capture an insurgent leader
responsible for improvised explo-
sive device attacks in the Chora
Valley region. He had also previous-
ly deployed to Somalia, East Timor
and Solomon Islands.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard,
Defence Minister Stephen Smith,
CDF Gen David Hurley and CA
Lt-Gen David Morrison were
among the attendees at the service.
A private ceremony was held
on the morning of the funeral at
Guildford Grammar School, where
mourners heard a touching eulogy
from Sgt Diddams' father Peter, a
reading from his mother Cate and
words of remembrance from his son
Sgt Diddams is survived by his
wife, Toni-Ann, his daughter, Elle-
Lou and son, Henry.
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