Richard Kingsland

I spoke in parliament today about the late war hero and public servant, Sir Richard Kingsland.
Sir Richard Kingsland, 13 September 2012

Sir Richard Kingsland passed away at Calvary John James Hospital after a short illness on Monday, the 27th. Like many of my constituents, his was a life of public service. His wartime service was marked by the bravery and ingenuity he displayed in the 1940 retrieval of Field Marshal Viscount Gort VC from a Moroccan hotel. It is a tale of derring-do that befits 007, perhaps with a hint of the Pink Panther.

Having received orders to extract Gort from the hotel in Rabat, he first seized a police boat, commandeered a car, then shot his way into the hotel. Then, because the French failed to take away his revolver, he shot off the lock, managed to free them both from the room in which they were held captive and made a dawn escape by flying out of Morocco under a guard of pro-Nazi police.

He later served with distinction in the Royal Australian Air Force, was Secretary of the Department of Veterans' Affairs and was awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire, receiving his knighthood in 1978. He was an extraordinary Australian.

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