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News > Old Boy News > Reflections of a Veteran

Reflections of a Veteran

19 Apr 2024
Old Boy News
Old Boy Claude Palmer (1952) reflects on his accomplishments and those of two Churchie mates.
Old Boy Claude Palmer (1952) reflects on his accomplishments and those of two Churchie mates.


Class of 1952

As ANZAC Day this year approaches, Old Boy Claude Palmer (1952) has been reflecting on the accomplishments of three Churchie Old Boys and Vietnam veterans from the 1952 cohort: James Pye, Ian Fisher and himself. Claude says: “Jim graduated in medicine from the University of Queensland, whilst Ian and I graduated from Royal Military College, Duntroon. Jim completed his Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) at Middlesex Hospital around the same time as I completed Staff College at Royal Military College of Science, UK. We met again in Vietnam in 1969, whilst I was Officer Commanding 106 Field Workshop Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers and he was a Surgeon at 1 Field Hospital. Ian graduated into Infantry and also served in Vietnam.”

Having earlier been responsible for Technical Support of a Construction Squadron in Papua New Guinea, Claude saw active service in Vietnam where in 1968 he assumed command of the newly established 106 Field Workshop, responsible for maintaining and repairing the fighting equipment of the 1st Australian Task Force.

After resignation from the Army, Claude joined AMPOL (Australian Made Petroleum Oils and Lubricants) where he later became the Chief Engineer and achieved the reputation of completing projects on schedule, to specification and under budget. Claude later accepted the position of Sessional Lecturer at Griffith School of Engineering, Gold Coast Campus where his main achievement was as Foundation Lecturer in Engineering Leadership and Communication

In November 2018, Claude and his unit’s Vietnam service was recognised by then Governor-General, General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK CVO MC (Retd), with the naming in his honour of the Major Claude Palmer Building. Reflecting both their history and ongoing vital role in the Australian Army, this is the HQ of 106 Field Workshop Company, 7 Combat Services Support Battalion, 7 Brigade, Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera.


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