Major General William ‘Digger’ James AC AO (Mil) MBE MC
Major-General William ‘Digger’ James who passed away on 19 October 2015, aged 85.
Major-General James, who in addition to an illustrious military career spanning more than 30 years, was a decorated war veteran, former RSL president, leading constitutionalist, Chairman and Board Member of the Australian War Memorial and the Chairman of the Australian Light Horse Association.
Over the next few days his family and friends will remember, mourn and celebrate the life of ‘Digger’ James, a great Australian. To excel and make an enormous contribution in one sphere of Australian life is a great achievement, but Major-General James was a distinguished soldier, doctor and passionate and effective advocate for veterans.
Major-General James served with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (1RAR) in Korea. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1952 after suffering severe injuries while leading a night patrol and organising the evacuation of casualties back to the battalion, insisting that he was moved last, more than three hours later.
Major-General James graduated from Sydney University, where he studied medicine. From his role as Officer Commanding 8th Field Ambulance in Vietnam between 1968 and 1969, where he was awarded the Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1969, to being Director General, Army Health Services between 1981 and 1985, he made a great contribution to medicine.
Many veterans will know and applaud Major General James for his role as National President of the RSL from 1993 to 1997, and for his service on the Australian War Memorial Council from 1993, including his time as Chairman from 1999 to 2000.
A proud Light Horseman, Major-General James travelled to Be’er Sheva in April 2008 to unveil a life-sized statue of a Digger on horseback, erected at the new Park of the Australian Soldier. The Memorial was established with $3 million in funding from the Pratt Foundation’s Philanthropic Organisation founded by Richard Pratt, who had grown up with Major-General James.
The face of the Digger on horseback at Beersheba was modelled on a young ‘Digger’ James, a very fitting honour for such a great Australian.
39120 WO1 Noel Smith, 25 June 1935 – 6 January 2015
A true warrior leader, an RSM without equal who was a credit to his Corps, the Australian Army and his country.
He will be remembered for his wisdom, judgement, professionalism, loyalty and sense of humour.
Men of his calibre are rare and he has left an indelible mark on the profession of arms he loved so much.
Sadly missed by his comrades and many friends in the broader ex-service community.
RSL State President & ANZAC Day Committee
4717639 PTE Kenneth Raymond Warren
Ken Warren passed away on Sunday 7 September 2014, in St Andrews Hospital Adelaide. He had suffered from cancer for many years and in the end the liver and bone cancer became too aggressive for him to cope.
Ken served with 5RAR, C Company, 7 Platoon, 1 Section for the full first tour of South Vietnam as a rifleman and was a well respected and liked member of the unit.
Paul “Richo”Richardson, 21 November 1944 – 23 June 2014
More details are in the attachments
Lt Col Peter Michael (Mike) Dennis MBE
It is with great sadness that we report the recent death of Mike Dennis, 17 November 1946 – 3 May 2014. Mike was a great stalwart of the RARA SA, amongst other associations. He will be missed by many as a friend and mentor.
Below are a number of photos from his military past, and more recently from our trip to Vietnam.