Sapper Jamie Larcombe farewelled
4 March 2011
Hundreds of family, friends and fellow diggers gathered today on Kangaroo Island to honour the life of Sapper Jamie Larcombe, who was killed in action in Afghanistan on 19 February 2011.
The funeral service was held at Flagstaff Hill, Kingscote, in recognition of Jamie’s childhood on the Kangaroo Island coast.
Brigadier Gus McLachlan, Commander of the Army’s 1st Brigade, delivered the eulogy on behalf of the Army, and described Jamie, 21, as a reliable soldier who fought from the front under the harshest of pressures.
“He never took a backward step and he was trusted and relied upon by over one hundred other soldiers,” Brigadier McLachlan said.
Jamie was also remembered as being a community minded person who maintained a strong enthusiasm for his home of Kangaroo Island.
“Despite loving the Army and his Regiment, Jamie’s mates tell me he never stopped talking about Kangaroo Island – the adventures he had growing up and the people who nurtured him here. It seems you can take the boy out of the Island but you can’t take the Island out of the boy,” Brigadier McLachlan said.
“Jamie you honour us all with your sacrifice, your courage, your love of your country, your love of your community and your love for your family. You lived the values and character we have been privileged to observe in your wonderful family. You died to make us safer. It is an honour to have served with you.”
Jamie’s mates from the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment formed an honour guard as a bearer party placed his coffin on a gun carriage to be carried to Kingscote cemetery. He was laid to rest as a firing party fired a volley of three shots and the Last Post was played.
The funeral was attended by the Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP; the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Tony Abbott MP; Minister for Defence, The Hon Stephen Smith MP; the Shadow Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston; the Premier of South Australia, the Hon Mike Rann MP; the Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston; the Secretary of Defence, Dr Ian Watt; the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie; and Commander 1st Brigade, Brigadier Gus McLachlan.
Jamie was killed during an engagement with insurgents in the Mirabad Valley of Afghanistan’s Uruzgan Province. He was awarded the Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp- International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Australian Defence Medal and the Army Combat Badge. Jamie also served in Indonesia on Operation Padang Assist, a disaster relief mission.
Media Note: Still imagery will be available from the Defence website at: www.defence.gov.au. Defence vision will be pooled to all networks by Chanel Ten onsite in Kangaroo Island.
Media contact: Defence Media Liaison: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664