Lost Digger at rest, at last

A special guard of airmen fires off a volley after the service.
A special guard of airmen fires off a volley after the service.

PILOT Officer Robert Carver came home yesterday.

It may have been 39 years late, but it was a historic and emotional homecoming that was of enormous importance to the serviceman's family and friends.

St Luke's acting parish priest Fr Geoff Poliness welcomed nearly 700 mourners to the full military service at St Luke's Church - the centrepiece of the parish that PO Carver had a connection with so many years ago.

“We are reminded of the significance of this occasion in terms of the nation - the last men home,” he said.

“But let us not forget that behind it all there is the life of a human being that we've come to honour.”

The eulogy was shared between three speakers.

Lieutenant Colonel Tony Ralph (retired) was a member of the cadets with “Freddy” Carver in Toowoomba and spoke on behalf of the family.

“Freddy, welcome home. It's taken a long time, but we're glad you're here,” he said.

The Commanding Officer of No. 2 Squadron, Wing Commander Luke Stoodley, spoke for the military and Group Captain Greg Weekes (retired) spoke for the No. 2 Squadron RAAF Association.

Also at the service were Defence Minister John Faulkner and Air Force Chief Air Marshal Mark Binskin who presented the Carver family with the RAAF Ensign which had adorned the coffin.

At the conclusion of the service in the sun outside the church, three volleys were fired by a special guard of airmen and women before the Last Post and Reveille were played.

Then, in a final, roaring tribute, a RAAF F-111 performed a flypast.

The Anglican Bishop to the Defence Forces, Bishop Len Eacott, led the committal outside and provided a sense of final resolution for mourners after so many years of waiting.

“As a family, as a nation, as a community, we now leave Robert Carver to rest in peace,” he said.

“Rest in peace Freddy.”

PO Carver's remains were later cremated in Toowoomba.

Read more ...

'Routine sortie' turned into tragedy

An emotional day of tribute

Prime Minister pays tribute to Carver

St Luke's to host airman funeral

RAAF brings lost airmen home

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Biloela couple selected for Baton Relay

TEAM EFFORT: Di and Don Morris have been selected as Queen's Baton Bearers for Gladstone.

A Biloela couple will be part of the baton relay in Gladstone.

5 patients involved in CQ highway crash

A Toyota camry was smashed in a two vehicle crash this morning at Biloela.

Emergency services treat patients after 2-vehicle collision

Shorten shares his CQ vision to a packed town hall meeting

HOLDING COURT: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten hosted a rousing town meeting where locals brought plenty of issues to his attention.

The alternative PM hears heartbreaking stories from CQ locals.

Local Partners