SASR pays tribute to barracks' namesake

Special Air Service Regiment personnel salute during the sounding of Last Post

Australia’s Special Air Service Regiment (SASR) has unveiled the refurbished grave site of Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Campbell, as part of the 50 year anniversary of the unit’s foundation.

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Alexander Campbell was the first Commandant of Military Forces in Western Australia. Campbell Barracks, Swanbourne, was named after him and has been home to the SASR since 1957.

The SASR Historical Foundation refurbished the grave area of Lieutenant Colonel Campbell and his close family, comprising an obelisk, stone wall and plaques. During the ceremony, plaques were unveiled that detail Lieutenant Colonel Campbell’s place in local military history.

Special Operations Commander Brigadier Dan McDaniel, DSC, DSM said the unveiling offered an opportunity to recognise Lieutenant Colonel Campbell’s service.

“Lieutenant Colonel Campbell was a British officer who served with distinction in India before being posted to Western Australia,” Brigadier McDaniel said.

“Campbell Barracks in Swanbourne proudly carries his name.

“For 50 years SASR members have returned to Campbell Barracks from campaigns in the jungles of Borneo and Vietnam, in defence of Australia and counter-terrorism operations, from peacekeeping in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and from more recent engagements in the Middle East and Afghanistan.”

Commanding Officer of the Special Air Service Regiment Lieutenant Colonel G said Campbell Barracks was also home to the wider SAS “family”.

“The SASR family – including the SASR, the SAS Resources Fund, the SAS Historical Foundation, the SASR Auxiliary and the Australian SAS Association – support the families of the fallen and those who have been injured in body or mind,” Lieutenant Colonel G said.

“As the regiment marks its Golden Jubilee, it is an occasion to celebrate the achievements of the Regiment and honour the supporting role of the wider SASR family,” he said.

“Since 1964, 48 SASR members have died in operations or training incidents. Another 20 have died in other circumstances and more than 200 have been wounded.”

Fundraising efforts during the Golden Jubilee year will benefit the SAS Historical Foundation and the SAS Resources Fund, a charitable trust established after the Black Hawk disaster of June 1996, in which 15 SASR members and three members of the 5th Aviation Regiment were killed.

In 1884, Joseph Campbell became the Sergeant Major Drill Instructor to the Western Australia Volunteer Force. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 11 October 1901 and became the acting Commandant of the Commonwealth Military Forces in Western Australia. Lieutenant Colonel Campbell retired in 1910 then reenlisted from 1916-1917 during the first World War as Commandant of the Commonwealth Military Forces in Western Australia. He was incapacitated as a result of his service, and died in 1924.

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