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Donel Froome 2 71

Donel Froome, 2/71

Donel John Froome was born in Perth on 3 October 1948. He completed his secondary education at Mount Lawley Senior High School in WA. He attended Perth Technical College and graduated with a Diploma of Cartography in 1970.

Before entering the Army as a National Serviceman 5718283 on 21 April 1971, Don was employed as an

Engineering Survey Draftsman by the
Public Works Department, Perth. With his
fellow West Australians, he flew to
Melbourne and was transported to 2 RTB,
Puckapunyal. There he was selected for officer training and commenced at OTU with Class 2/71 on 7 May. Don was allocated to 14 Section, 7 Platoon, Blamey Company. In his Senior Term Donel held the position of Battalion Regimental Duties Corporal (Q) at Battalion Headquarters, with his room on “King’s Row”.

Donel graduated with his class on 6 October 1971 and was allocated to the Royal Australian Survey Corps. The following day he was posted to 4 Field Survey Squadron. The squadron was deployed to PNG in 1972 where Don was responsible for aerial photography, flying grid sections over the Owen Stanley Ranges and coastal areas of PNG, and updating the maps of this difficult terrain. Although he only needed to serve eighteen months, Don served a little extra time, discharging from National Service on 20 January 1973. Don married Deb in 1973.

Post – NS, Don returned to surveying with the Public Works Department in Perth as an Oceanographic Cartographer and in later years went back to New Guinea to walk the Kokoda Track. He also climbed many mountains throughout the world. Towards the end of his career with the Department of Transport in WA Don was Manager of Hillaries Boat Harbour in Perth and prior to retirement was tasked with monitoring all marinas in WA. Don and Deb were keen explorers and there are not many outback tracks and camping spots that they haven’t enjoyed throughout Australia in their 4WD and Off-Road Caravan.

Don was a pilot prior to NS and maintained his Private Pilot’s Licence until his death this year. He was also an Ultralight Pilot and built his own Ultralight aircraft at home and maintained it at a club on a friend’s farm at Calingiri east of Perth

Don was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year and was admitted into palliative care. After just one week in hospital, he passed away on 30 August 2021. His Funeral was held at Pinnaroo Valley in Perth on 15 September and was attended by OTU classmates and Senior Class 1/71 WA members, family and a large number of friends. Don is survived by his lovely wife Deb and sons Jarrad and Craig and their wives Melena and Lucy. Jarrad and Melena have given Don and Deb two grandsons, Jack and Ry.


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David Ford DS

David Wycliffe Ford (OTU DS)

David Wycliffe Ford was born in NSW on 20 October 1938. He joined the Corps of Staff Cadets on 11 February 1956. In July 1956 some RMC Cadets were on an activity on Lake George, north-east of Canberra. Some of the Cadets were in the water and David and a fellow Cadet attempted to save them from drowning. Five Cadets drowned in the incident, which according to newspaper reports was caused by a number of factors. For his actions David was awarded the George Medal.(See The Coroner’s Report, The Canberra Times, Friday 21 September 1956.)

David graduated from RMC Duntroon on 9 December
1959. His first posting was at 1 RTB Kapooka, however,
he spent the time of that posting at the RAASC Centre
undertaking his Corps Training. Following this course,
he was posted to 1 Coy, RAASC, Ingleburn. In early 1962 David was posted to the Australian Miscellaneous Detachments, Far East Land Forces in Singapore/Malaya and served with British Service Corps units. In 1963 he was in Vietnam for a week. David was promoted to Captain at the end of 1963. He returned to Australia in 1964 and was posted to 10 Coy, RAASC. When OTU opened, in March 1965 David was posted there as one of the initial staff, arriving even before the appointment of Colonel Geddes who was posted on 1 April 1965.

David’s post-OTU posting was at Headquarters 6 Task Force in 1967. The experience he gained there no doubt led to his appointment to Headquarters 1st Australian Task Force in Vietnam where he served from 24 October 1967 to 5 November 1968. On return to Australia David was posted to the RAASC Centre at Puckapunyal where he was promoted to Major. After a short posting with 112 Supply & Transport Company, in mid-1971 David was posted to the ANZUK Base Transport Unit in Singapore. He returned to Australia in time to commence with the Australian Staff College for 1973. At the end of that year David was posted to Headquarters. Logistics Command. David ended his Regular Army career on 14 February 1977. He transferred to the Reserve and was posted to 3rd Division Field Force Group in Melbourne from where he finally retired, with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on 8 July 1977.

With the commencement of the Victorian monthly lunches, David attended many of those lunches over the years. He died on 15 November. David leaves behind his partner Christine Edrich, in Melbourne, and a son Damon and daughter Tara, both who live interstate and three grandchildren – “A beautiful, brave, highly respected, funny man loved by all.” David had a private cremation. The association has been informed that there will not be a memorial service for David.

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David Ford was a member at The Shrine of Remembrance in Melbourne and, as a trustee and


Life Governor, gave over 39 years of service to the Shrine, the veteran community and the


people of Victoria.


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Vale Allan Nolan

Sadly, I must inform you of the passing of Allan Nolan, RMC, class of 1956.  Allan passed away on Tuesday 21 December after suffering another bout of recurrent pneumonia.  Ann says he had excellent care at ARCARE and Box Hill Hospital, that he was not in pain and could communicate and read almost to the end.
The funeral will be held on Wednesday 29th December at 2:00pm at the Herbert King Funeral Chapel, 364 Warrigal Road, Ashburton.
We have lost a fine officer, gentleman, colleague and friend.  We send our sincerest condolences to Ann on her loss.
Konrad Ermert
Duntroon Society Victoria