Collie-Cardiff RSL unveils finished M113A1 Armoured Personnel Carrier

The Collie-Cardiff RSL unveiled their re-coated and finished M113A1 Armoured Personnel Carrier recently in memory of Collie Boy and Lance Corporal Keith Ivan Dewar. Photos: Breeanna Tirant

The Collie-Cardiff RSL unveiled their re-coated and finished M113A1 Armoured Personnel Carrier recently in memory of Collie Boy and Lance Corporal Keith Ivan Dewar. Photos: Breeanna Tirant

The Collie-Cardiff RSL unveiled its re-coated and finished M113A1 Armoured Personnel Carrier recently in memory of Collie Boy and Lance Corporal Keith Ivan Dewar, who died in battle after his APC hit a land mine in Phuoc Tuy Province in South Vietnam in 1969.

A group of volunteers, alongside Collie-Cardiff RSL president Gary Benton and vice president Grahame Old, Keith's brother Ron Dewar, and sister in law Margaret Dewar all got together recently to reveal the shrine in front of the RSL's APC, which is similar to the one Keith was killed in at age 21.

Mr Old said the RSL wanted to do something in memory of Keith and was pleased to finally see it finished.

Keith's brother Ron thanked the men for their efforts.

"The comradery you guys have got to get stuff done is just amazing," he said.

The comradery you guys have got to get stuff done is just amazing.

Collie Boy and Lance Corporal Keith Ivan Dewar's brother Ron

Mr Benton thanked all their volunteers and everyone who helped to re-design their club and complete projects, including the painting of the APC.

RSL volunteers Bill Cork and Wally Braley put in countless hours repainting the APC with the correct military colours.

It was all made possible through the provision of the RSL's own money and also from the South West Development Commissions Royalties for Regions Community Chest Fund of over $19,000, which the club received back in 2017.

Other works included the installation of two new shade structures to extend the life of the club's military vehicle display.

Margaret said Keith was excited to go to war.

"He was so excited to go, but little did he know that adventure was going to take his life," she said.

Ron said Keith was generously covering for a mate who was sick when his APC hit a land mine.

"He was the crew commander of the APC which ran over and detonated a land mine which killed both himself and his driver," he said.

The American APC was developed as an all purpose mobile military vehicle.

Its light-weight aluminium armour allowed it to be air freighted and dropped on location for rapid deployment.

Its ability to handle rough terrain meant it was suitable to be used as recovery vehicles, ambulances, and command vehicles.