5RAR Association Website
In memorium


Lance Corporal Marinko 'Tich' Tomas
Lance Coporal Marinko 'Tich' Tomas Killed in Action 8 July 1966

Marinko TomasMarinko "Tich" Tomas was born at Nannup Western Australia on 6 January 1945 and later educated at Cundinup (1950), Nannup Catholic School (1951-56), Nannup State School (1957-59), Harvey Agricultural High School (1960-61) and was a sheep and dairy farmer prior to being conscripted for National Service 30 June 1965.

According to his brother Frank the nickname 'Tich' is a contraction (and Australianisation) of the Croatian word "Chicha" meaning "little old man". This nickname was bestowed upon him by one of his father's mates when Tich was very young, presumably because he behaved in a way a lot older than his years.

Tich was the youngest of six children with 2 older sisters...(Olga, Mary) and 3 older brothers (Michael, Frank and Brian) and an active member of the Junior Farmers Club, the local fire brigade and participated in recreational social events which he enjoyed just as much as he did fabricating farm machinery and translating theory to practise. He was a non-smoker and non-drinker but never a wowser and was a very popular figure around the Nannup district.

After completing his basic National Service training Tich was posted to 9 Platoon Charlie Company 5 RAR where he quickly demonstrated a high level of soldierly qualities and a preference for carrying and operating the M60 Machine Gun. His leadership qualities were soon recognised and he was promoted to Lance Corporal and 2IC of the section before leaving Australia. 'Tic'SWs' quiet but jovial manner coupled with his leadership skills and practical approach to any problem made him a popular member of the platoon and indeed the entire company.

Sadly on 8 July 1966, twenty one year old Lance Corporal Marinko 'Tich' Tomas was hit by shrapnel while on a patrol on Nui Nghe Hill during Operation Sydney One and that day became the first national serviceman from Western Australia to be killed in the Vietnam War.


Lest We Forget