AUS: 1300 630 488    NZ: 0800 1477 6287

Bring them home

Bob Shewring from the national project ‘Bring them home’ was a guest speaker at the Darwin Probus Club earlier this year.

Bob has been the driving force behind the initiative, which aims to return those 25 Australian soldiers who died on active duty during the Vietnam war and were buried overseas instead of being returned home.

Australia deployed over 60,000 servicemen and women to the conflict in Vietnam between 1962 and 1975, the nation's longest operational commitment. During the course of the Vietnam War, 521 Australians lost their lives. The majority of these were repatriated to Australia for burial and commemoration, but 24 were buried in Terendak, Malaysia and one in Singapore.

Bob told members about our young Australian soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War during the sixties and seventies. Cpl Reg Hillier was the only Northern Territory soldier killed in Vietnam and was buried at Terendak in Malaysia. His family were told they would have to pay for his return and interment in Australia, an unviable financial burden at that time. Bob has been working tirelessly to have Reg, and other veterans, brought home to Australia for burial.  

In May this year, the Prime Minister announced that the Australian Government would offer to repatriate the remains of 25 Australians who died in the Vietnam War with full military honours. Cpl Reg Hillier will be laid to rest in the Northern Territory Adelaide River War cemetery, during the 50th anniversary remembrances of the Vietnam battle. A piece of history we should all know about.