Marinko 'Tich' Tomas
On the 8th of July 1966, 5RAR's 21-year-old Lance Corporal Marinko 'Tich' Tomas was Killed in Action whilst on patrol on Nui Nghe Hill during Operation Sydney 1. And on that day he became the first national serviceman from Western Australia to be killed in the Vietnam War.
The poem about Tich's dog Shadow is based on a true story. To read that story Click Here.


There's an old dog on a verandah.
Waiting every day,
Keeping watch along the road,
Somewhere down Nannup way.

His owner has gone off to war,
But the farm still has to run.
The family go about their chores,
And see the milking's done.

But the dog stays there all seasons,
Through the dry spells and the rain.
Waiting for his master,
To come back home again.

And never will that dog be hoaxed
To leave his vantage post.
He never tires looking out,
For the one he loves the most.

Then one night they heard him howl,
In the dark they heard him cry.
Up in the hills he roamed around,
And no-one knew just why.

A policeman came next morning.
The boys met him on the track.
He told them that he brought sad news,
For Tich would not be back.

But no-one had to tell the dog,
For he knew exactly when.
He wandered off into the hills,
To be never seen again.

And when the family look back now,
To the time he went astray.
It was just as though young Tich came back,
And took his dog away!

© Bill Charlton Author: Bill Charlton