The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (8230813) Private Scott Palmer, 2nd Commando Regiment, Afghanistan

Place Asia: Afghanistan, Kandahar Province, Shah Wali Kot
Accession Number PAFU2014/423.01
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 10 November 2014
Access Open
Conflict Afghanistan, 2001-
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 (8230813) Private Scott Palmer, 2nd Commando Regiment, Afghanistan.

Speech transcript

8230813 Private Scott Palmer, 2nd Commando Regiment
KIA 21 June 2010
Photograph: courtesy of Palmer family

Story delivered 10 November 2014

Today we remember and pay tribute to Private Scott Palmer, who was killed fighting in Afghanistan in 2010.

Scott Travis Palmer was born in December 1982, one of two children to Ray and Pam Palmer of Katherine in the Northern Territory. An active child involved in scouts, Scott attended Clyde Fenton Primary School and later Katherine High School, where he completed his year 12 certificate. He was an avid football player, enjoying both Rugby League and Rugby Union. At one time towards the end of high school Scott was shortlisted to play full-time for the Queensland Reds, but decided to complete his schooling instead.

Scott travelled to Darwin in January 2001 with two mates and enlisted as a rifleman in the Australian army. After basic and corps training he was posted to the 5/7th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, at Robertson Barracks in Darwin. Scott’s first deployment overseas was in February 2003, when his battalion formed part of the Australian Combined Battle Group that supported the United Nations mission in East Timor. In May 2005 he deployed to southern Iraq with his rifle company and formed as part of the Al Muthanna Task Group, assisting in the training of local Iraqi Army troops.

Scott was a highly skilled and experienced rifleman who was determined to become a better soldier. After his return from Iraq, Scott fulfilled a lifelong dream by applying for and passing the arduous Commando Selection Training Course, which ultimately enabled his transfer to the 2nd Commando Regiment at Holsworthy Barracks in Sydney – one of the Australian army’s elite Special Forces units. After months of rigorous training Scott made the first of three deployments to Afghanistan attached to the Special Operations Task Group in November 2007.

Throughout his tours of the country Scott was actively involved in conducting counter-insurgency operations against the Taliban in Uruzgan and neighbouring provinces.
In June 2010 Afghan the coalition forces, including troops of the 2nd Commando Regiment, were part of a Special Operations Task Group operation aimed at disrupting Taliban insurgents in the Shah Wali Kot region of Kandahar province. In the early hours of 21 June, one of the American UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters transporting the commandos crashed as it made its final approach to the designated landing zone. Among the 14 Australian and American casualties was Scott Palmer, who was one of three Australians killed in the crash. Scott was brought home and buried with full military honours in Darwin, where he rests today. He was 27 years old.

Scott lived life to its full. He was popular and well-respected to those who knew him. To his parents, Ray and Pam, and his brother, Adam, Scott was a larrikin who made them laugh. He had mischief in his smile and love in his heart, and was completely generous regardless of the circumstance. Time has not diminished their sadness and grief, but they remain proud of Scott’s service and sacrifice.

Scott’s name is listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, along with the names of his brothers in arms who died fighting in Afghanistan. His photograph is displayed beside the Pool of Reflection.

His is just one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Private Scott Palmer, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

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