Gone but not forgotten
20 March 2018
United Nations Truce Supervision (UNTSO) Organisation Military Observers from the Australian Contingent in Lebanon commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the death of Captain Peter James McCarthy.
On a cool but sunny day under a lone tree near the village of Shama in Southern Lebanon, four Australian Military Observers gathered with their United Nations colleagues to commemorate the 30th Anniversary of the death of Captain McCarthy from the Royal Australian Corps of Transport (RACT).
Captain McCarthy was working with the UNTSO when, on the 12 January 1988, the vehicle he was driving struck a landmine and he was killed instantly. During the short service, Major Sally Williamson paid tribute to the promising RACT Officer stating, “Captain McCarthy was taken from us suddenly with just two months left to serve on the mission.”
‘Captain McCarthy was a promising and well regarded officer, affectionately known as ‘Bags’”, Major Williamson said.
The ADF deploys twelve unarmed Military Observers to UNTSO, whose role is to support the implementation of the ceasefire between Israel and its neighbouring countries, and to observe and report on the implementation of various United Nations Security Council Resolutions.
“The pursuit of peace in the Middle East can come at huge cost, and Captain McCarthy paid the ultimate price in the pursuit of that peace,” Major Williamson said.
The gathering commemorated the sacrifice made by the Australian officer at the site of the incident, marked by a distinctly Australian memorial.
The service concluded with the laying of a wreath on behalf of the ADF and RACT Officers and Soldiers, a minutes’ silence and the playing of the Australian National Anthem.
“It is a privilege and honour to be here and to remember Captain McCarthy, whose sacrifice is not forgotten even after thirty years,” Major Williamson concluded.