Silkstone's 'Doc' Dobson takes his final salute

If you had asked Phill 'Doc' Dobson about his Army service, he would have said he was just doing his job, but to the wounded soldiers he tended on the battlefields of Vietnam, he was a hero.

A veteran of the famous 'Battle of Long Tan', Mr Dobson, or Corporal as he was then, looked after 23 wounded soldiers of Delta Company, 6 Royal Australian Regiment, in Australia's biggest land battle of the Vietnam War.

Mr Dobson was farewelled by family and friends in a moving service at Wacol's Centenary Gardens on Friday, with many of his surviving comrades attending the service to pay their last respects.

Joe and Katrina Dobson read a tribute to their father, saying he was their hero.

"A father is a son's first teacher and a daughter's first love, that is true," Mr Dobson said.

"He was my hero, a man who wholeheartedly and tirelessly devoted himself to the betterment of others."

Corporal Phillip 'Doc' Dobson was described by other veterans as a 'hero' after the Battle of Long Tan in August 1966.
Corporal Phillip 'Doc' Dobson was described by other veterans as a 'hero' after the Battle of Long Tan in August 1966. Courtesy of Dobson family

A handyman at home, Joe Dobson said his father's greatest work was in crafting the lives of others.

Mr Dobson joined the Army on September 24 1962, serving until his discharge on September 23, 1968, with rank of Corporal, Temporary Sergeant.

He was posted to Vietnam with D Company of 6RAR, from June 4 1966 until April 3, 1967.

Lieutenant-Colonel Harry Smith, who served as the Major in charge of D Company in 1966, spoke of Mr Dobson's bravery in tending to wounding soldiers in the middle of the battle.

""The fire from the enemy was thousands and thousands of tracer rounds coming at us and going over my head and back over the aid post area," he said.

"Unless we had the medical orderlies, the wounded wouldn't have survived. He was a wonderful, quiet, humble man, and not only at Long Tan."

Other veterans shared their memories of Mr Dobson with the QT.

Platoon commander Geoff Kendall said Mr Dobson continued to care for he wounded after the battle.

"He was going to all the unconscious men, and putting a safety clip between their lip and their tongue, to stop them swallowing their tongue," Mr Kendall said.

"He was treating the wounded as rounds were still flying, it was almost certain death to stand up."

The funeral service for Vietnam veteran Phill Dobson of Ipswich was held at Centenary Memorial Gardens. Phill's son and daughter Joe and Katrina Dobson.
The funeral service for Vietnam veteran Phill Dobson of Ipswich was held at Centenary Memorial Gardens. Phill's son and daughter Joe and Katrina Dobson. David Nielsen

Russ Smith summed up his friend as being 'a great guy'.

John Heslewood said they all met when the new recruits arrived in December 1965.

"He was already there, he was a professional soldier, we formed D Company and trained for nine months, he trained us all in medical basics, we all had to know a bit about it." he said.

"He was the Company Medical Officer, he was always there to help, he always had a laugh and a smile, he was a great mate.

"I have no doubt he saved a lot of lives in that 12 months."

Corporal Phillip Ness Dobson was born in Carlton, Victoria on May 25, 1941, and passed away on July 10.

The funeral service for Vietnam veteran Phill Dobson of Ipswich was held at Centenary Memorial Gardens.
The funeral service for Vietnam veteran Phill Dobson of Ipswich was held at Centenary Memorial Gardens. David Nielsen


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