Farewell to Private Robert Poate
12 September 2012
More than 700 people farewelled Private Robert Poate in Canberra today. Family, friends and fellow soldiers gathered for a moving funeral held at Canberra Grammar School.
Twenty-three year-old Private Poate, from the 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, was killed in an insider attack at patrol Base Wahab in the Baluchi Valley region of Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan on the evening of 29 August, 2012.
Private Poate’s family, friends and colleagues filled the chapel and spilled into the school grounds as they came together to commemorate his life and to reflect on the memories of a loving and loyal son, brother, friend and comrade.
Commanding Officer, 6th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Mark Jennings paid his respects in a moving eulogy reflecting on Private Poate’s determination, commitment and mischievous sense of humour.
"His reputation as a red-headed larrikin among his mates and his dependability was known to all around him," Lieutenant Colonel Jennings said.
"Despite being a junior soldier, he was a hard worker with solid potential and enthusiasm.
"We will never forget Robert Poate for his service, mateship and courage as a warrior in the best traditions of the Royal Australian Regiment and the Australian Army," he said.
In a solemn tribute, students from Canberra Grammar School lined the driveway to farewell Private Poate, a former student of the school, as his coffin left the school grounds atop a gun carriage.
Private Poate is survived by his parents Hugh and Janny, and his sister, Nicola.
The Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin AO and Deputy Chief of Army, Major General Angus Campbell DSC, AM attended the funeral.
Images of the service will be available from the Defence Imagery Gallery at: http://images.defence.gov.au/12130938
Additional images supplied by the Poate family are available at: http://images.defence.gov.au/12130818
Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999