Commando News Spring17


In Victoria, Dad had postings with 1RVR and 6RVR.

From 1979-1981 he was the Commanding Officer of

Melbourne University Regiment, during which time

the size of the Regiment doubled, and the first female

officers were recruited. Dad initiated the Sir Edmund

Herring annual lecture series, which provides out -

standing speakers on leadership, military history, and


In 1981, he was appointed SO1 Infantry on HQ 3rd

Division, with responsibilities for co-ordinating career

planning for Infantry officers and senior NCOs. Upon

returning to Melbourne from Japan, he served as the

Principal Project Officer, Victoria, for the Bicentennial

Military Tattoo in 1988.

In 1988 he returned to teaching at Fairhills High

School, where he was the Head of English and Co -

ordinator of the Bright Sparks Committee promoting

Gifted Education in the Knox District.

From 1990-1992 he was the Colonel Project

Officer at the Command and Staff College,


Dad wrote papers on military history, gave

presentations, and contributed many articles to the

Defence Force Journal. He also made submissions to

various inquiries, including the Millar Inquiry into the

CMF in 1974. He had two books published: The

Forgotten Force: The Australian Military Contribution

to the Occupation of Japan 1946-1952 (Allen and

Unwin, 1998) and Chiefs of the Australian Army:

Higher Command of the Australian Military Forces

1901-1914 (Australian Military History Publications,


In 2011 he was appointed as a Vice-Patron of

Military History and Heritage Victoria.

Since retirement from teaching, his efforts on

behalf of those Australians who served in the British

Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) in Japan in

the post-World War II period consumed much of his

time. Dad wrote a major submission, ‘Australia’s

Forgotten Force – Case Studies – Justice delayed is

Justice denied’, as a response to the ‘Inquiry into the

refusal to issue Entitlements to, Withholding and

Forfeiture of Defence Honours and Awards’, being

undertaken by the Defence Honours and Appeals


Early in 2016, Dad was diagnosed as suffering from

angiosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. He was under

the expert care of oncologist Dr Jayesh Desai at the

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. This has been a

roller-coaster ride, during which Dad fought bravely,

which was so characteristic of the hard work and

enthusiasm he demonstrated throughout his life.

Finally his suffering ended on 30 June 2017 and he is

now at peace.

Dad's funeral was a great tribute to his life and he

is missed terribly by so many. He is survived by his

loving wife Dr Colleen Wood, his daughter Dr Erica

Wood, his son Derek Wood and youngest daughter

Natasha Wood.


– EST. 1982 –

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COMMANDO NEWS ~ Edition 11 I September 2017 35

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