Afghanistan — Private Bewes commences final journey home

The Aus­tralian sol­dier killed by an impro­vised explo­sive device on the 9th of July has been farewelled by his mates from the 1st Men­tor­ing Task Force at Mul­ti-Nation­al Base Tarin Kowt.

The mov­ing ser­vice to hon­our the sac­ri­fice of Pri­vate Nathan Bewes was attend­ed by all avail­able Aus­tralian per­son­nel and large con­tin­gents of per­son­nel rep­re­sent­ing the oth­er nations from the base.

Com­mand­ing Offi­cer 1st Men­tor­ing Task Force Lieu­tenant Colonel Mark Jen­nings said Pri­vate Bewes was a sol­dier who dis­played absolute courage and com­mit­ment to his job.

“Nate embod­ied all of what we seek in an Aus­tralian sol­dier,” Lieu­tenant Colonel Jen­nings said.

“He had the moral courage to go out almost every day into harms way and the self dis­ci­pline to con­tin­ue doing so despite the dan­gers that he faced — this ethos is the mark of the Aus­tralian sol­dier.

“Nate was well known through­out the bat­tal­ion and was high­ly regard­ed by all who knew him.” Lieu­tenant Colonel Jen­nings also spoke of the impact on the fam­i­ly of Pri­vate Bewes.

“We can­not for­get the grief of his loved ones who anx­ious­ly await his return and our thoughts and prayers are with them.”

Lieu­tenant Colonel Jen­nings said the Task Force must not let the sac­ri­fice of Pri­vate Bewes be for­got­ten.

“Our grief at his loss is a mark of respect for a true mate who has nev­er fal­tered in his endeav­ours and has laid down his life for a noble cause.

“We farewell him with the hon­our and the respect he deserves as an Aus­tralian Dig­ger who has made the supreme sac­ri­fice.

“We will con­tin­ue this dif­fi­cult but wor­thy mis­sion with a sense of pur­pose born from sac­ri­fice and we will not fal­ter in our endeav­ours in the weeks and months ahead.

“We will nev­er for­get Nathan Bewes for the war­rior that he was.”

Fol­low­ing the ser­vice, the Aus­tralian flag-draped cas­ket of the fall­en sol­dier was moved through an hon­our guard of Aus­tralian, Afghan and ISAF troops before being placed in an Aus­tralian C‑130J Her­cules to com­mence the final flight home.

The Her­cules car­ried the cas­ket of Pri­vate Bewes to the Aus­tralian head­quar­ters in Al Min­had Air Base in the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates where anoth­er hon­our guard wait­ed to receive their fall­en com­rade.

Deputy Com­man­der of Aus­tralian forces in the Mid­dle East, Com­modore Roger Boyce, RAN said the oppor­tu­ni­ty for all mem­bers of his force to take time to remem­ber the sac­ri­fice of Pri­vate Bewes was espe­cial­ly impor­tant.

“The death of an Aus­tralian ser­vice­man on oper­a­tions affects every­one — as a Defence fam­i­ly, it has been a trag­ic five weeks with the loss of six brave dig­gers.

“All of us will mourn his death, but our hearts espe­cial­ly go out to Nathan’s fam­i­ly and loved ones at home.

“Nathan made the ulti­mate sac­ri­fice in ser­vice not only to his nation, but also to those with him dur­ing that fate­ful patrol, his mates.”

The body of Pri­vate Bewes will con­tin­ue the jour­ney home to Aus­tralia in the com­ing days.

Media Con­tact:
Defence Media Liai­son: (02) 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664

Press release
Min­is­te­r­i­al Sup­port and Pub­lic Affairs,
Depart­ment of Defence,
Can­ber­ra, Aus­tralia