Vale, Bill Corey OAM

South Australia mourns the passing of Mr William (Bill) Corey OAM, World War II veteran and ‘Rat of Tobruk’.


“On behalf of the State Government, I send my sincere condolences to the family and friends of Mr Bill Corey OAM,” said Premier Steven Marshall.

“Bill was born in Riverton, grew up in Walkerville and attended Adelaide High School, before enlisting in 1940 at the age of 22.

“In 1941, Bill took part in the Siege of Tobruk, and those soldiers who held the garrison of the port of Tobruk during the fierce fighting became known as the famous Rats of Tobruk.

“Bill then went on to serve with the 2/43rd in El Alamein and Syria, then in 1943 fought in New Guinea before taking part in the campaign to re-capture Borneo from the Japanese in June 1945.

“Bill had the great honour of cutting the ribbon to officially open the Anzac Centenary Memorial Walk, and there could not have been a more fitting person to represent the veterans’ community at that wonderful occasion.

“Bill Corey typified the humble nature and selflessness of our diggers, and was very generous with his time in speaking with members of his community and many school children about the Anzac legacy.

“We owe Bill and his fellow servicemen and women a great debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they made so that future generations could enjoy the freedom and way of life we have today.

“Vale, Mr Bill Corey OAM.”

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