It is with deep regret that we advise of the peaceful passing of David Matheson Butler on the morning of 24 November 2020.
Born in September 1928, David on graduation from RMC in 1948 was posted to BCOF in Japan. He received the US Silver Star while in action in Korea as a platoon commander in 3RAR at The Battle of the Apple Orchard where he was wounded. Following further postings in Japan and Australia he returned to Korea in 1953 with 2RAR where he was involved in the Third Battle of the Hook.
Further postings included the Infantry Instructor at OCS Portsea, studies at the Staff College, Camberley and on the staff of the AAS in the UK, PIR in PNG and by 1968 CO 6RAR . During 1969-70 David commanded 6RAR/NZ in Vietnam where he was again wounded and received the DSO.
By 1972 David was Commandant of OCS Portsea. During 1979-82, as a Brigadier, David was Army Attaché with the AAS Washington DC. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia prior to his retirement from the Army as a Major General in 1984. An active retirement followed including roles as consultant, writer, company director, grandfather and great-grandfather.
In April 2019 David and his wife Ann moved from their home in Portsea to Elizabeth Bay in Sydney to be closer to their children Sue Gibson and Jen Ellis and their families. David’s son John (who also served in 6RAR) passed away in September 2017.
A military funeral for David will be held at the ANZAC Memorial Chapel of St Paul at Duntroon in Canberra on Monday 7 December at 1.30pm. Medals to be worn. Preferred entry is through the Gun Gates off Fairbairn Avenue. Refreshments will be available in Duntroon House following the service.
Homeward Bound – For our mate
I saw the shooting star burning so bright falling, falling, fading and soon from sight.
So distant and yet so near. In its wake, a soldier’s journey so very clear. Duty, sharing, caring, courage and sometimes fear
No longer a mortal in life’s short race,
A contented spirit bound for home somewhere in distant space.
This fiery trail I saw tonight marks a warrior’s farewell,
Leaving behind another legacy of proud deeds to tell.