May 29, 2024

Staff Sergeant Colin ROWLEY

38137 Staff Sergeant Colin  ROWLEY


Military Medal (MM)



Staff Sergeant Colin Rowley enlisted in the Australian Regular Army on 25 November 1963, and was allotted to the Royal Australian Infantry. He arrived in South Vietnam in February 1970, for his second tour of duty in South Vietnam with 7th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment.


On 21 May 1970, his platoon came into heavy contact with a Company sized enemy force in bunkers. During the action one soldier fell badly wounded at the entrance to a bunker. Staff Sergeant Rowley, deliberately exposing himself to aimed enemy small arms fire, moved forward and dragged the wounded soldier to a safe area. Subsequently Staff Sergeant Rowley again moved forward and helped in the recovery of a further two wounded, and with hand grenades neutralised two enemy bunkers.


In other actions during June, July and September, Staff Sergeant Rowley has shown the same personal courage and professional competence. His leadership by example and general conduct reflect great credit on I himself and The Royal Australian Regiment.



Extract from: Vietnam Veterans Honours and Awards by Alexander M Palmer

13 thoughts on “Staff Sergeant Colin ROWLEY

    1. Alaana…it was nice to see the comment about your father. I did my police training with Colin and I need to make contact with him re an incident that he was involved with in Vietnam. I you or anyone else can put me in contact with Colin Rowley, I would be extremely grateful. Thanks.

  1. Alaana, You have every reason to be proud of your Dad.
    An exceptional man – best words imaginable are not enough to do justice to such a great person.
    Aunty M

  2. Very sad to learn today from Cheryl that Colin has passed away after a long battle with cancer.

    A good man and a good friend.

    Ken Meaney

  3. RIP Dad, you have served your country and family above and beyond the call of duty. You will be sorely missed. You have made this world a better place and I’m proud to be your son.

  4. I had the pleasure of working with your dad Alanna in his early policing days. Not many people knew of his heroic actions. I well understood why Major General Grey sort him out for promotion. Because he was so quite about his past I doubt many knew what a brave man he was as well as being one terrific bloke. May Col Rest in Peace ❤️

  5. Col I am a better person today for having had the privilege to have known you. From policing in Canberra to the AIDEX demonstrations where your leadership skills came to the fore, and then in later years liaising with you in your post AFP role as Marshall of the Family Court. A gentleman and friend who will be sorely missed. My condolences to your wife and family. RIP.

  6. I just found out that we have lost you skipper and I am deeply saddened. Your skills as a soldier under the most trying circumstances at times was inspirational to your section commanders and diggers. Your precise map reading and involvement of your corporals was unchallenged. Very much the professional skipper and a courageous one at that. The 22nd June was a very bad day for several of us but your decisions got us out and home to live on and make something decent out of our lives. Condolences to your wife and family. We are better people for having known men like you Colin. God Bless. Corporal ‘Bull’ Mahoney Recce Platoon.

  7. He is the best man I know and I miss him every day. His integrity, bravery, intelligence, kindness and logic are second to none. I am honored and proud to be his daughter and cherish every memory I have of him. Thank you all for your kind words, it brings a lot of comfort to hear your thoughts and memories of him.

  8. Sorry to learn that Colin has passed on. He was a good man. I was his contact in Canberra when he was in Bangkok. I had a little to do with arranging your travel to Bangkok and in return he looked after me and my family on our way to Cyprus and return.

  9. I met and worked with Col At the Australian Police College, Manly, in 1995. A wonderful, unassuming, talented and sharing man. Knowing him is gift I will always treasure.

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