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1st Battalion Rhodesian Light Infantry Regimental Association ®




It is with great sadness we advise that at 0450 hours on Wednesday 28th of March 2007 in Perth, Giles "Starwars" Gillespie (3 CDO, 1977-79) passed away.

Giles is survived by his wife Barbara, 14 year old daughter Katherine, and 11 year old son James His parents left Rhodesia for SA just before Giles was due to do his time. However he returned to Rhodesia to do his bit and actually signed up for 3 years. He was very proud of his time in the Regiment.

Immediately upon hearing of Giles's death, RLIRA members John Kirkman & Dawn Losper began contacting Perth based RLI to attend the funeral. Following is an account of same:

About 10 x RLI attended Giles's funeral marching alongside the Hearse as it slowly made it's way to the Chapel and inside, formed an Honour Guard as the casket was brought in.

One of the chaps had brought along a full set of RLI "Greens" which, he managed to retain during his years in Zimbabwe by disassembling and carefully hiding the parts sewn inside pillow cases and other such innocuous items. The Greens were laid on a chair in the Chapel.

Many photos commemorating Giles's life were placed on display, including, several of his time in the RLI of which, he was very proud.

Giles was an enthusiastic supporter of the re-launched RLI Regt. Association and, was planning to attend the Sydney 2007 Anzac Day RLI Reunion.

At the Sydney Reunion Pre-Anzac Day Dinner, a moving obituary was read out by John Kirkman and, Giles's ex-Troop Sergeant, Tony Coom, then immediately afterwards a formal toast was made to his memory, followed by a minutes silence.

Next day, when the RLI formed up for the Anzac Day parade march through Sydney streets, a blank file was intentionally made to symbolize that Giles was, in spirit, marching with us.