Vale Brigadier Bill Rolfe AO (Retired)

The Royal Australian Regiment Association extends our condolences to Joan and the extended family of Brigadier Bill Rolfe AO (Retired) who touched the lives of so many in the Defence community through his lifelong work and devotion to duty both as a serving member and in his retirement.


The Regimental ODE:

Rest Ye, Oh Warrior
You’ll battle no more
No longer to live
The horrors of war

Your duty was done
With honour and pride
Farewell! Oh Brother
Until we march by your side

“Lest We Forget”


This image is reproduced from the Canberra Times and was taken when Bill was Legacy Canberra president. He is pictured at home in Nicholls with a cartoon of him drawn by cartoonist Warren Brown that was gifted to him when he retired from the Repatriation Commission


From RARA (ACT Branch)

Members, Associates and Infantrymen,

Our RARA member Brigadier Bill Rolfe died this morning [Fri 4 Mar 2016] at
about 0800 hrs; in Clare Holland Hospice, Canberra. He has been ill for some time and died peacefully with Joan and family by his side. Despite his
disabilities, Bill led a very full life and will be mourned by many in the
veterans community. Rest in peace, Bill.

His funeral will be held on Wednesday 9 March 2016 at 1030 hrs at St Paul’s Memorial ANZAC Chapels, RMC Duntroon, in the Anglican Chapel. Details to be confirmed later.

Duty First,
John Robbins

RAR Association (ACT Branch)


By Warren Feakes, 2RAR/NZ:

So Sad to hear of the passing this morning in Canberra of Brigadier Bill Rolfe AO (Retired), a classmate from the Class of ’68, Royal Military College Duntroon and a fellow officer in 2nd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (ANZAC Bn) Vietnam 1970/71. Many of you will be aware that Bill, as a Platoon Commander, lost both his legs at the age of 23, as a result of a mine incident in Phouc Tuy province in South Vietnam in August 1970. Bill was one of four caught in the explosion; one soldier was killed. He was mentioned in despatches for his service. Another Platoon Commander, Pat Cameron, also lost his legs in the incident.
After substantial rehabilitation, Bill undertook retraining at the Australian National University and continued his military career in the Australian Army Legal Corps. He subsequently served as Director Army
Legal Services and Director General Defence Force Legal Services before retirement in the rank of Brigadier in 1992.
In 1993 he joined the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Legal Practice and worked in the then National Security Branch. In 1997 he was appointed to head the Veterans’ Review Board, an independent statutory tribunal responsible for review of Repatriation Commission decisions on
entitlement to and assessment of disability pensions. He resigned from that position in January 2007 to take up an appointment as a Member of the Repatriation Commission and Member of the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, retiring in July 2010. He also served on
the Commonwealth Administrative Review Council 2007-2010. He was appointed as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours List in 2008 for service to veterans.


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