The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (2137680) Trooper Douglas James Voyzey, 3 Cavalry Regiment, Royal Australian Armoured Corps, Vietnam War.

Accession Number AWM2019.1.1.348
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 14 December 2019
Access Open
Conflict Vietnam, 1962-1975
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on (2137680) Trooper Douglas James Voyzey, 3 Cavalry Regiment, Royal Australian Armoured Corps, Vietnam War.

Speech transcript

2137680 Trooper Douglas James Voyzey, 3 Cavalry Regiment, Royal Australian Armoured Corps
KIA 14 December 1969

Today, we remember and pay tribute to Trooper Douglas James Voyzey.

Douglas Voyzey was born on 5 November 1947 in Tamworth, New South Wales, to Leonard and Jean Voyzey. He was the second of four children, his siblings being Jeanette, Malcolm and Heather.

He grew up in Tamworth and attended the West Tamworth and Albion Park Primary Schools before advancing to Tamworth High School. While at high school he joined the Tamworth High School Cadet Unit and by the time he left school, he had gained the rank of cadet under-officer.

Outside school, Douglas enjoyed coin collecting, fishing, shooting and reading military history.

He attained his leaving certificate at the end of 1965, after which he entered the work force. Over the next two years he worked as a clerk for several companies in Tamworth.

He had always had an interest in the military, having joined the joining the 12/16th Hunter River Lancers, Citizens’ Military Force. As part of his training with his unit, Voyzey learned to drive and maintain the M113A1 Armoured Personnel Carrier.

Soon after joining the Citizens’ Military Force, Douglas changed jobs to become a clerk at the Tamworth radio station 2TM.

Douglas enjoyed his time in uniform and was quickly identified as a future leader. He was sent on courses to qualify him for promotion, and by 1967 he had been promoted to corporal.

He transferred to the Australian Regular Army on 3 June 1968 for a three-year period. Despite his time as a reservist, Voyzey was sent to the 1st Recruit Training Battalion, Kapooka, where he successfully completed his training. Part of his evaluation report stated that he was the “most outstanding soldier of the platoon”.

In August, Voyzey was posted to the Armoured Centre Training School where he attended the crewman driver/signaller course for APCs. His training continued into 1969 in preparation for deployment to Vietnam, and by August he had become fully qualified as a driver and had successfully completed the crew commander’s course.

Voyzey was posted to B Squadron, 3 Cavalry Squadron, and on 26 August 1969 flew out of Sydney via Darwin to Vietnam.

The new arrivals to 3 Cavalry Regiment were soon on operations in the 1st Australian Task Force area of Phuoc Tuy Province. Voyzey was involved in transporting Australian and South Vietnamese troops during operations, and providing mobile fire support platforms when the soldiers were dismounted.

On 8 December one of Voyzey’s fellow trainees and reinforcements, Trooper Vivian French, was killed when his APC hit a mine in the May Tao Mountains. French was just 19 years old.

The 14th of December was a dark day for 3 Cavalry Regiment.

During a relief operation of Army of the Republic of Vietnam troops, an APC hit a mine. The resulting explosion destroyed a nearby truck, killing 13 ARVN soldiers and wounding a further two.

A second incident occurred near 4pm when the APC Voyzey was driving, Call-sign 20B entered a creek to make a crossing. The vehicle tripped a mine and in the resulting explosion, the crew commander and two passengers were wounded, and the vehicle, which was destroyed, flipped over onto its roof in the stream. It was not immediately known if Voyzey had survived the blast, and there were frantic attempts to rescue him. But he died before a rescue could be affected. He was 22 years old.

Voyzey’s remains were sent home to Australia and he was laid to rest in the Lincoln Grove Memorial Gardens and Crematorium in Tamworth.

Voyzey’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, along with more than 500 others from the Vietnam War, and his photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

We now remember Trooper Douglas James Voyzey, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Michael Kelly
Historian, Military History Section

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