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Army September 12, 2013
A LIFE TO BE REMEMBERED
RACT officer Capt Peter McCarthy,
31, was killed instantly on January
12, 1988, when the jeep he was trav-
elling in hit a land mine in southern
Earlier that day Canadian Maj
Gilbert Cote, the patrol senior, had
decided to show Capt McCarthy
the gullies and wadis used by the
different parties as infiltration routes.
As they rounded a blind curve
they were met by an APC that ran
them off the road.
Maj Cote made the decision to
drive into the ditch on the side of the
road to avoid being crushed.
The patrol vehicle was recovered
with assistance from the offending
APC before they continued patrol-
ling, thanking their luck for a narrow
After midday the pair patrolled
up a winding road to a vantage point
that allowed excellent observation in
As the vehicle turned back
and crossed another track it hit
an anti-tank mine.
The mine was not meant for
them but nonetheless it killed Capt
McCarthy and severely wounded a
Capt McCarthy was at the end of
his tour with the United Nations Truce
Supervision Organisation (UNTSO)
preparing to return home.
His wife Susan and young
daughter Sarah resided in Nahariya
with the other Observer Group
Lebanon (OGL) families.
The funeral service, held in
Naquora Camp, was attended by the
McCarthys, the Australian UNMOs
and their families.
Full military honours were ren-
dered by OGL Observers and rep-
resentative groups from all UNIFIL
During the time that UNTSO has
been operating, 27 UNMOs have
died on active service.
A LASTING LEGACY FOR SOLOMON ISLANDS
THE darkest day of the Australian
Army’s RAMSI mission occurred
when infantrymen were searching for
possible weapons caches in the hills of
Mount Austen, just south of the capital
Honiara, on March 10, 2005.
Among the soldiers scouring the
treacherous landscape, pockmarked
with unseen mine shafts and
sinkholes, was 3RAR paratrooper Pte
Jamie Clark, a veteran of Operation
Citadel in East Timor in 2002.
During the patrol Pte Clark fell into
an unseen mine shaft and died of his
He was popular with the local
children and enjoyed studying
Solomon Islands culture in his spare
He had been noted for his bravery
during the deployment when he was
threatened by a knife-wielding woman
during the arrest of a wanted criminal.
Despite the imminent danger, Pte
Clark was able to convince the woman
to put the weapon down.
Pte Clark’s body was given an
emotional farewell from Solomon
Islands by his 3RAR brothers and he
was returned to his home city of Perth,
where he was farewelled with military
But that was not the end of his
legacy in Solomon Islands. Many of the
photos Pte Clark sent home to family
featured the paratrooper surrounded
by smiling and laughing children,
which inspired his parents, Peter and
Avril, to establish a kindergarten near
where their son died.
The Barana community is located
behind Mount Austen, and while it
has a primary school, there were no
kindergarten facilities until the Clarks
provided much of the resources
necessary to build the Pte Jamie Clark
Memorial Kindergarten, which was
opened in 2011.
Mrs Clark was also a driving force
behind the national petition to have
the names of 48 Australians killed in
post-World War II peacekeeping and
humanitarian operations added to
the Honour Roll on the walls of the
Australian War Memorial.
Previously, those who died while
on non-warlike operations were
recognised in a book at the AWM, but
were not added to the Honour Roll.
Capt Peter McCarthy
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