With close family and friends present, the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, paid their respects to Private Nathan Bewes who was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan as part of Mentoring Task Force One in July 2010.
A small service was held at Gallipoli Barracks, Brisbane, to remember a soldier who was not only a professional infantryman, but a cherished mate at the battalion.
Private Bewes joined the Army in 2005 at 19 and served his career at 6 RAR. By the time he was deployed to Afghanistan in early 2010, he had already served in East Timor and completed a previous tour to Afghanistan.
In his first five years, he had experienced more than many do in a lifetime of service.
At the service, Commander of 7th Combat Brigade Brigadier Jason Blain provided some insight into Private Bewes’ character.
As the commanding officer in Afghanistan at the time, Brigadier Blain recalled that tragic day in 2010.
“I remember speaking with Nathan and my recollection is always one of a squared away, purposeful and committed soldier,” Brigadier Blain said.
“Nathan was a good soldier, actually, he was a great soldier.
“In contact with the enemy, Nathan was fearless, he never took a step backward and was always one of the first to go outside the wire.
“The respect his peers and superiors had for him was not just based on his courage and skills as an infantryman, Nathan was also a loyal friend and would do anything for his mates, expecting nothing in return.
“His selfless attitude and willingness to put himself in harm's way to protect them, made Nathan a respected and beloved member of his team.”
Brigadier Blain also highlighted the positive effect Private Bewes had on the people around him, with personal traits seen on and off the battlefield, especially among his family.
“Remarkable experience and courage and these traits didn’t stop, we see them here today, we see them in those who served alongside Nathan and we especially see it today in Gary, Kaye and Stephanie,” Brigadier Blain said.
“I can’t express how proud I am to have served alongside Nathan and the men and women of the Mentoring Task Force One.”