Sapper Jamie Larcombe returns to Australia
27 February 2011
Sapper Jamie Larcombe, killed in action in Afghanistan on 19 February 2011, was today formally returned to his family in a dignified Ramp Ceremony at RAAF Base Edinburgh.
Jamie’s mates from the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment (1CER) formed a bearer party and honour guard to carry and receive his casket as a final mark of respect from his military family.
Jamie’s parents, Steve and Tricia, his three sisters and partner Rhiannon, were joined at the ceremony by the Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston; the Chief of Army, Lieutenant General Ken Gillespie; Commander 1st Brigade, Brigadier Gus McLachlan; and Commanding Officer 1CER, Lieutenant Colonel Matt Pearse.
Lieutenant General Gillespie said Jamie’s death, coming so soon after that of Corporal Richard Atkinson, is especially hard for the 1st Combat Engineer Regiment.
“Sapper Larcombe epitomised the combat engineer –selfless, brave and dependable in tough situations,” Lieutenant General Gillespie said.
“But Jamie was more than a good soldier; he was a true mate, a loving son and an adored brother.
“Today we honour Jamie’s sacrifice and return him to his family. From this point on, our focus is to wholeheartedly support them as they prepare for their last goodbye.
“Jamie’s mates will be back at their posts now, pressing on with the mission he was so proud to be a part of. His death will strengthen their resolve and they will never forget him.”
The Ramp Ceremony was followed by a short service, where Lieutenant Colonel Pearse said Jamie was a respected unit member, known for his strong values and love for Kangaroo Island.
“In the space of just three years, Jamie’s Army career took him all around Australia, to Padang and ultimately halfway across the world to Afghanistan. (As a soldier) He never lost his identity, he never lost his values, he never lost his spirit - we simply gained an awesome mate,”Lieutenant Colonel Pearse said.
A funeral for Jamie will be held on Kangaroo Island later this week.
Media Note: Imagery will be available from the Defence website later this evening at: http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5000&search=20111896
Media contact: Defence Media Operations: 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664