PRIME Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition leader Tony Abbott were among dignitaries and senior military officials who attended the funeral service for Private Nathanael Galagher yesterday at Pilliga.
More than 900 people, including family, friends and colleagues from the Australian Army’s 2nd Commando Regiment, gathered to honour the 23-year-old soldier during a private funeral service at St John’s Anglican Church.
Private Galagher was born in the NSW town of Wee Waa in 1989 and joined the army in 2007. He served in Afghanistan from September 2009 to February 2010 and returned to Afghanistan on his second deployment in July this year.
Private Galagher was killed in a helicopter crash in the Helmand province of Afghanistan in the early hours of August, 30 2012, while serving as part of the Special Operations Task Group.
Commanding Officer of the 2nd Commando Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel B, paid tribute to Private Galagher, reflecting on his drive, professionalism and commitment to his mates at the regiment.
“In just over four years of service, Nate’s achievements were remarkable and a testament to his talent,” Lieutenant Colonel B said.
“Nate died at the top of his game and in the company of men who knew what it was to strive valiantly for a just and noble cause.”
Private Galagher is survived by his parents Sally and Wayne, his sister Elanor and his partner, Jessie Feeney. He was due to welcome a baby son later in the year. To Private Galagher’s partner, Jessie, Lieutenant Colonel B said: “Nate’s legacy will live on in the miracle of your son and we will be there to make sure that he has everything that Nate and you will want for him.”
Private Nathanael Galagher was buried in a private service in Pilliga.