Farewell to Sergeant Blaine Diddams, Special Air Service Regiment
14 July 2012
Hundreds of family, friends and fellow soldiers have commemorated the life of Sergeant Blaine Diddams in a moving military funeral service held today at Karrakatta, Perth.
Forty year-old Sergeant Diddams was killed during an engagement with insurgents on operations in southern Afghanistan on 2 July, 2012.
Local residents, dignitaries and Defence Force members stood shoulder to shoulder to pay respects to Sergeant Diddams as his coffin was marched into the cemetery by his Regimental mates.
Commanding Officer of the Special Air Service Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel J paid homage to Sergeant Blaine Diddams.
“Didds was at the top of his game in terms of command, leadership and tactical acumen, yet he was humble, loyal to the end and respectful of all who contributed to the delivery of operational capability,” Lieutenant Colonel J said.
“His pursuit of professional excellence, his devotion 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.”
Sergeant Diddams is survived by his wife Toni-Ann, his two children, Elle-Lou and Henry, his parents Peter and Cate, and four brothers and sisters.
The Hon Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister; the Hon Stephen Smith MP, Minister for Defence; the Hon Warren Truss MP, representing the Leader of the Opposition; the Hon Dr Kim Hames MLA, Acting Premier of Western Australia; General David Hurley AC DSC, Chief of the Defence Force; Lieutenant General David Morrison AO, Chief of Army; Major General Gus Gilmore AM DSC, Special Operations Commander Australia; and local dignitaries attended the funeral.
Further details on Sergeant Diddams are available on the Defence website at: http://www.defence.gov.au/vale/sgt_diddams/sgt_diddams.htm
High resolution images of the funeral will be available on Saturday evening on the Defence Image Gallery at: http://images.defence.gov.au/12130153
Pool vision will be provided to Channel Ten Perth for distribution to metropolitan television stations from 3:30pm (WA Time)
Defence Media Operations – (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664