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2nd Commando Regiment,

16 JULY 2014

PRIVATE LUKE WORSLEY_edited_edited.jpg


SGT Gary Francis, from the Sydney-based 2nd Commando Regiment, died during a training activity on Mount Cook in New Zealand on July 16, 2014

The 44-year-old former Royal Marine was leading a group of 10 Commandos on a two-week Mountain and Cold Weather Operations (MACWO) exercise when he plunged 40 metres down a crevasse on the Grand Plateau.

Sergeant Francis was leading his team on a crevasse rescue exercise at the time of his death. During the rescue exercise the team would climb down into the crevasse and then use one member as the patient for the extraction exercise.

Normally the team would be roped together for the actual exercise but Sgt Francis was surveying the crevasse for its suitability when the crust gave way and snow collapsed around him.

Another commando, who is also a former Royal Marine, led the recovery of his mates body and the men administered first aid but sadly were unable to revive him.

Sgt Francis had been the ADF’s MACWO subject matter expert since January 2011, a year after joining 2nd Commando Regiment at Holsworthy.

The Englishman, originally from Welling in South East London, previously spent 13 years in the British military as a Royal Marine Commando Mountain Leader before moving to Australia in 2010.

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