A mate, a Warrior an Infantryman Died Today.


I shared a beer with a man I barely knew we seemed to know, after a time he said “I see in your eyes you have been there.” I replied harshly, ” I have been nowhere”, he laughed a while and went quiet saying, “I have been there too.”


After another few he said ”RAR Vietnam,” I said “SASR nowhere,” he simply nodded and smiled, we talked of things we did in veiled terms and those around looked as if we were mad as we seemed to laugh at nothing and horrid things of which they understood none.


We cared none and continued to grow closer as this bond of nowhere became strong, soon we agreed  to do this again, parting ways a promise to meet each Friday night; Months of this passed, mates we became and stronger for this bond.


One Friday my friend he came no more another week passed and a stranger asked, “are you Ben’s mate,” I nodded not needing the answer to a question in my head.


The funeral was a quiet and solemn affair when my turn came to speak, I told of a man in his prime who stood and fought with courage and valour, told of his mates and their humour, the tears dried as they laughed at this man they hardly knew for years of life.


A soldier a warrior a mate I buried today and his family farewelled him not just with tears but a smile and a laugh for his daring, courage, mates and humour.

Craig Hannan 2012


  1. Mark Stewart says

    Nice one Craig

  2. Graham Hayes says

    It is with sadness I learned today that WO1 “Blacky” Ried passed away yesterday due to a motorbike accident in the Surat, QLD. Blacky was a great RSM and college. He was a soldiers soldier and balanced his positionof authority with play. I remember a number of his “play” times. He will be greatly missed. Lets we forget.

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