Prayer Response to Death of Sgt Blaine Diddams (former
student of St Columban's College)
Thursday 12th July 2012
- Ms Galvin:
Today we gather
to express our
heartfelt sorrow and condolences to the family of Sgt
Blaine Diddams. Our prayers and thoughts are with him
and his family in this terrible tragedy. May they find
protection and comfort within their family and friends
and in God and in knowing that Blaine died doing his
duty as a soldier for Australia.
Loving God, Father and Mother of us all be with the
family of Blaine now.
Jacob: A reading from the Gospel of Matthew
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I
will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from
me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will
find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my
burden is light."
The Word of the Lord
Thanks Be to God
History of Blaine at St Columban's College
Ellie: Blaine was a student at the College in 1984 and
1985; he was here for Year 8 and 9 of his schooling in
Duhig house. His father was also in the Army and the
family moved a lot. Whilst at school, Blaine played
Rugby. In lots of ways, he was a student like many of us
here he had good friends, he enjoyed sport and he
dreamed of a future where he could make a difference.
Blaines service in the army
Born in Canberra in 1971, Sgt Diddams enlisted in the
Army in April 1990 and was posted to the 1st Battalion,
Royal Australian Regiment in Townsville, Queensland,
later that year.
In 1995 he was posted to the elite SASR in Perth after
completing the selection course.
Sgt Diddams was on his seventh tour of Afghanistan since
2001 and had deployed previously to Somalia, East Timor
and the Solomon Islands.
Highly decorated, he was awarded a number of honours
and served in various operations over his 22 year
Sergeant Blaine Diddams, who was deployed as a Regiment
Patrol Commander with the Special Operations Task Group
in Afghanistan, was killed during an engagement with
insurgents in Afghanistan on 2 July 2012.
Blaine had a wife and two young children. His parents,
brothers and sisters also mourn the loss of a son and
Sergeant Diddams has been awarded the following honours
Australian Active Service Medal with Clasp
Somalia, Clasp East Timor, Clasp ICAT
International Forces East Timor (INTERFET) Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Australian Service Medal with Clasp Solomon
Islands, Clasp CT/SR
Defence Long Service Medal
Australian Defence Medal
NATO ISAF Medal
Meritorious Unit Citation
Infantry Combat Badge, and
Returned from Active Service Badge.
During Sergeant Diddams service in the Australian Army
he deployed on the following Operations:
Operation Solace (Somalia) Jan May 1993;
Operation Warden (East Timor) Jan Feb 2000;
Operation Tanager (East Timor) February May
Operation Trek (Solomon Islands) 2002;
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Nov 2001 Apr
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) May Oct 2007;
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jan April
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) May July
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jun Nov 2009;
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Jan Jul 2011;
Operation Amulet (CHOGM Perth) 2011; and
Operation Slipper (Afghanistan) Feb 2012 July
Sgt Blaine Diddams was a son, husband and father. We
pray for family life. We thank God for the gift of those
who love us and care for us. We pray today for those in
our society who suffer from the loss of family and
friends, especially those losses caused by war and
conflict. May we make a commitment to show our
appreciation for those who care for us.
We remember those whose lives have been taken or changed
due to war and conflict.
God of mercy hold each of them gently in the palm of
your hands. Guide and bless all your people as we stand
in solidarity during this time.
We make this prayer through Christ our Lord.
We ask for a minutes silence now as the white cross with
Sgt Blaine Diddams name is taken to the Anzac
Remembrance Garden and placed there as a mark of
respect. He will now be added to the group of former
students we honour each year at our Anzac Day ceremony.
The Lonely Forward Scout
Each man has his duty
Yes, each man has his job
And each one takes the chance
That he will stand before his God
But ask of any soldier
What he thinks of the scout
The one that leads the others
The lonely forward scout.
He's the first one into danger
The first to face the shots
He sees and hears what others miss
And reads right on the spot
For none may walk beside him
While he's up front, the scout
He's known as both the eyes and ears
The lonely forward scout
But man is man and life goes round
And returns to form a ring
The whispering of the leaves may mean
That death is on the wing
The rifles boom, the rockets crash
Many lives hang deep in doubt
His chest now but a crimson cloak
The lonely forward scout
And now there lies in our sunburnt land
Deep down beneath the earth
A boy who died a soldiers death
For all this it was worth
We were hit from every side it seemed
Just able to get out
But there up front, alone, he died
The lonely forward scout
S.A Evans WIA 19 July 1969
Eulogy for Ray Kermode
Killed in Action
Long Kahn Province, 19th July 1969
218535 Stephen Andrew EVANS was killed in a motor
vehicle accident on 18 March 1994 aged 45.
The Apollo 11 space flight landed the first humans
on Earth's Moon on July 20, 1969.
Advance Australia Fair sung by Keely