Vale 26931 Major Peter Rothwell MID

Vale 26931 Major Peter Rothwell MID

Korea, Malaya and Vietnam

For those who have marched with any column, no matter when or where, always is a sadness which flows through the ranks when a comrade fails to answers the roll call. It’s a time of reaching for the past where treasured memories stir. Today, we do so as we mourn the loss of Major Peter Rothwell MID.

On enlistment, the strong bonds of mateship for Peter and his mates were sparked with the swearing of the oath to serve our nation. The spark slowly became a flame as the new column stumbled and faltered in the very early days, striving to master the art of battle discipline. With each step, the bonds grew and grew.   Came a time when all were in step and marching towards the sounds of war, and with it  were the indestructible bonds of brotherhood, confirmed by a belief of all for one and one for all.  Peter was one of them. He was always in the van and already accepting responsibilities of higher rank.

I was with that column. Peter and I as young soldiers became close comrades, and served side by side in the same unit for several years, until our military mistress sent us on different paths. Several years later, Peter was commissioned from the ranks and continued to lead. His military service included two tours of Vietnam where he was exposed to war as close as you can get.

On his second tour he demonstrated exceptional bravery when such gallant action was needed most. His conduct under fire gained him a “mentioned in dispatches” represented by a metal oak leaf proudly attached to his Vietnam campaign ribbon. A proud award which in my view was far from adequate for his deeds demonstrated in extremely dangerous circumstances.

Our column marches on and always is the legacy he left echoing in our wake of

Duty First and Persevere .”  Safe journey, cobber; rest in peace.

Major Peter Rothwell, MID

An old scarred true blue warrior has ended his race

Now he is travelling to a far distant peaceful place

His armour was Trust, Faith, Duty First and to Persevere

His sword etched with honour and love of country so dear

A comrade always in step, ever so ready to aid and share

He marched with pride in our column here, there and everywhere

Always he was one of us and us of him

Be it with laughter in peace, or gritting teeth in Mars terrible din

Today a new column prepares for the unknown of tomorrow

Odds are, his spirit is whispering a sense of duty for all to follow

George Mansford June 2020


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