Jock (Robbie) Buchan – a 6RAR Soldier lost but now found

An interesting article concerning Jock Buchan, KIA 11 December 1969, his ashes found in Scotland!

You can read it here  Buchan Article

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Further to the above article, comments and a link from Paul Jackson, Jock’s Platoon Commander.

Hi Fred, 

What a special journey. It is hard to believe that after almost 50 years we have finally completed Jock’s story. We have come so far over the past year or so. A little over 12 months ago those involved in the action, Jock’s closest mates, did not even know where his body had gone after watching him being wrapped in a hutchie, tied on to a jungle penetrator and then winched slowly up to the hovering Dustoff chopper. Due to the tireless and dedicated work of a group of committed brothers-in-arms, Jock’s sacrifice has now been properly recognised, first with a Last Post Ceremony at the Australian War Memorial and now with your special service at his gravesite in far off Scotland. 

Most of you reading this email would not be aware that Jock Buchan’s death holds a very special place in our Vietnam war history. On the day of the action, an official Army photographer was moving with the company and took a series of photographs immediately after the contact. Of the many thousands of photographs taken during the Vietnam War, these are the only ones that actually record the death of an Australian soldier. For this reason I believe that Jock’s death has become symbolic of all those Australians who lost their lives in that conflict. Too graphic and politically sensitive to be publicly released at the time, the images are a poignant reminder of the human cost of war. 

The importance of this series of photographs is also well recognised by the AWM who have been corresponding with me recently seeking help identifying other members of the platoon captured in those iconic images. With your agreement Fred I would like to send your article to the Head Curator, Photographs, Film and Sound at the AWM. She has already expressed interest in the Dundee ceremony. I believe that this would also be an appropriate place for ‘Jock’s Story’ to be recorded.   

On behalf of all Jock’s 12 Platoon brothers, well done and thank you. 

Regards 

Paul 

ps For those interested, the AWM link to those photographs is attached below: 

https://www.awm.gov.au/search/all/?query=11+december+1969&submit=&op=Search&format=list&section%5B0%5D=collections&filter%5Btype%5D=Photograph 

 

 

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