New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory . . . Northern Territory . . . Queensland . . . South Australia . . . Tasmania . . . Victoria . . . Western Australia 4 RARASSOCIATIONS OF AUSTRALIA THE FIGHTING FOURTH
MALAYSIA/BORNEO - SOUTH VIETNAM - EAST TIMOR/TIMOR LESTE - IRAQ - AFGHANISTAN
4 RAR Colours
RAR Cap Badge
Commemorative Service for Corporal Peter 'Bluey' Dawson Killed In Action 7 March 1969
On Sunday 13 May 2018, we were honoured by so many people who gathered to remember Corporal Peter "Bluey" Dawson KIA in Vietnam on 07 March 1969 at the Royal Australian Regiment National Memorial Walk in Brisbane. They included Bluey's wife Jenny, Geoff "Mucka" Walters and his wife Val, Bluey's son Dwayne and his sister Pauline all having flown up from Melbourne.
From Sydney came John Love who Bluey relieved at Dat Do and his wife Pam, Jim Wrigley who was with Bluey in that contact and who attempted to save his life after he was hit and his wife Quy. John Leggatt, Jim's nephew and his wife Erin were also with us from Logan Village, Qld.
Especially welcomed was Lieutenant Colonel Brian Avery (Retired), the Patron of the 4 RAR Assoc, Qld Inc and his wife Evelyn. Brian in earlier days, was Bluey's platoon commander in and later days was the Officer Commanding the Mortar Platoon that supported Bluey at the time of his contact.
Maureen Price, our treasurer, and her cousin 4 RAR Associate Member Lyn Nicholls were also present as were former D Company members Brian Brooker, Ron McGahan and his wife Gail.
the motto of the Royal Australian Regiment
Alan Price the 4 RAR Assoc, Qld Inc president, conducted the service in three parts, the welcome and introduction to the Royal Australian Regiment National Memorial Walk, its description and purpose; followed by a commemorative service at the actual plaque dedicated to Bluey, followed then by a lunch at the Newmarket Hotel, Bluey and Mucka's favoured watering hole in Brisbane when they were both posted there after service in Malaysia and Borneo and whilst waiting to sail for South Vietnam.
At Bluey's plaque, Alan delivered a commemorative service and laid a wreath from the members of the Association. He spoke of the service that Bluey had given to 4 RAR:
" I first met Bluey at Woodside in 1964. I was a corporal in 12 Platoon and Blue was a private in 10 Platoon. We did not see much of each other during the following times what with preparation, exercises and then operational service in Malaysia and Borneo. At times, platoons did not see each other for weeks on end both in the barracks and in the wild. It did not matter so much because in that time we became a family of professional soldiers adept in the jungle but perhaps not so adept at home and ladies, we apologise for that. Blue and I became brothers in arms after Borneo when I was posted to 10 Platoon as a corporal section commander over the top of Bluey who was about to be promoted to corporal. I took his place. Blue did not get excited about all this but just said to me with his deep blue steel like eyes something like, "we have a section to look after, I will get my second hook when I get it". We became a team, so much so that we won champion section in a battalion competition in 1967. Later, Blue did get his second hook and it was well deserved. Blue always looked after his soldiers although at times not following the rules himself. He had the ability to lead by example and he was a warrior who thought of his soldiers first and that can be seen by the official report of his death."
This was followed by Colonel Avery's description of a deep reconnaissance patrol into Indonesia conducted by 10 Platoon in Borneo and of the close reconnaissance performed by himself, Tim McComb and Blue on an occupied Indonesian position. He stated that only the professionalism of Blue and Tim allowed that patrol to achieve its aim of locating, accurately mapping and accurately reporting on an Indonesian unit in Indonesia without being detected. That patrol was the longest and the deepest by route taken of all the more than twelve incursions into Indonesia by 4 RAR during our six month tour of Borneo during Confrontation by Indonesia against Malaysia.
Jim Wrigley then spoke in detail of the contact which he, Blue and Morrie Shaw experienced with their SVN Regional Force trainees just outside of Dat Do in Vietnam. He described how Bluey was actually calling in Mortars, speaking to his old platoon commander when he was hit. Jim then very emotionally described how he attempted to save Bluey after Bluey was hit.
At the end of the service, Alan invited Jenny to become a lifetime Associate Member of the 4 RAR Assoc, Qld and presented her with an Australian National Flag, the flag that Bluey as soldier, protected as do all soldiers.
The Australian National Flag is in fact, the flag of the Australian Army.
Jenny Dawson, Bluey's wife pays her respects to the spirit of Peter. Peter may lay in the Fawkner Cemetery in Victoria but his spirit is also here and is felt here, in the spiritual home of the Royal Australian Regiment, The National Memorial Walk .
The group at the pub. Left side bottom to top and Right side top to bottom: Dwayne Dawson, Mucka Walters, Brian Brooker, Alan Price, John Love, John Leggatt, Erin Leggatt, Quy Wrigley, Jim Wrigley, Pam Love, Pauline Martini, Maureen Price, Lyn Nichols, Val Walters and Jenny Dawson.