Farewell from Afghanistan to Trusted Sapper and Cherished Mate
23 February 2011
Australian combat engineer, Sapper Jamie Larcombe, was farewelled from Afghanistan by his colleagues and mates during a moving memorial service at Multi-National Base Tarin Kot overnight (Australian time).
Sapper Larcombe was killed in action last Saturday when his patrol was attacked by a group of insurgents in the Mirabad Valley region of Uruzgan province.
During the memorial service, Mentoring Task Force – Two Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Darren Huxley, said Sapper Larcombe was a young soldier who epitomised the core values of an Australian soldier.
“Mateship is what defines the best in an Aussie Digger and Jamie was amongst our best,”Lieutenant Colonel Huxley said.
“Jamie was a volunteer for his country, as we all here are. He knew the risks of his chosen profession and he accepted them. He shared the danger and austerity, 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 gone.”
During the memorial service, Sapper Larcombe’s personality and character was fondly remembered by his close friends and colleagues.
Fellow combat engineer and mate, Sapper Trent Wicker, said ‘Larko’ was a genuine mate who held his family and friends close.
“He was the kind of guy who was always keen to go down to the pub, have a beer with his mates, pick you up when you were feeling down,” Sapper Wicker said.
“He loved Kangaroo Island and would always talk about the places he would go with his family and friends.”
Engineer Commander, Major Nick Bosio, said Sapper Larcombe’s genuine character would be sorely missed.
“When he spoke to you he looked you in the eye; a quality that belongs to a truly genuine individual. That was Jamie; that was our Larko,” Major Bosio said.
Combined Team Uruzgan Commander, US Army Colonel James Creighton, also paid his respects to the fallen Australian and said the loss of Sapper Larcombe was a tragedy.
“Sapper Larcombe was doing an important job and he had a direct impact on the stability of the province,” Colonel Creighton said.
At the conclusion of the memorial service more than 2,000 soldiers from a coalition of six nations stood side-by-side to pay their final respects to Sapper Larcombe.
His casket was loaded on a Royal Australian Air Force C-130 Hercules for the first part of his final journey home.
Imagery is available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archived=5000&search=20111918
Vision will be fed to Parliament House galleries.
Media contact: Defence Media Operations 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664