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COLE, Simon John Hobill

COLE, Simon John Hobill

Simon J H Cole of Ceres, livestock buyer, procurement manager, lotfeeder and small farmer served in the Vietnam War.

He was enrolled as a boarder at Geelong College from 14 February 1963 to December 1966. His address at enrolment was Lexington, Moyston and he had previously attended Moyston State School and the Ararat High School. At College, he was in the 3rd Rowing VIII in 1965, 4th Football XVIII in 1966, the 1st Rowing VIII in 1966 and a member of the College Cadet Corps. He was born on 19 May 1949 at Geelong, the son of woolgrower Romney Hobill Cole, MM and Lesley Margaret 'Rab' nee, Smith.

After leaving College, he joined woolbroker Dennys Lascelles Ltd in 1967 and then in September 1969, after being called up in the National Service Ballot, he joined the Army. He served as a Trooper in the Royal Australian Armoured Corps, in South Vietnam with 2 Troop, B Squadron 3rd Cavalry Regiment, Royal Australian Armoured Corps from 10th September 1970 to 6 January 1971, and latterly with A Squadron 3rd Cavalry Regiment from 7 January 1971 to 26 August 1971.

As the Squadron's Commanding Officers were replaced, so the designation ‘A’ Squadron or ‘B’ Squadron changed: Lt-Col John Coates was the Commanding Officer of B Squadron, and when he was replaced by Major Terry Walker, the Regiment reverted to A Squadron.

Simon Cole is listed on the Vietnam Nominal Roll at the Department of Veterans Affairs. He was guest speaker at the College’s 2001 Anzac Day Memorial Service.

On return from Vietnam and discharge he joined the international meat processor, Thomas Borthwick & Sons as a livestock buyer in Victoria’s Western District and later as Victorian Manager for livestock procurement. Later on he worked for SBA Foods as the group livestock procurement manager. He then worked for a time for the AWB Group and then became a partner in a small lotfeeding business. During the 1990’s he was the President of the Ceres Primary School ,the Ceres Community Association and the Barrabool branch of the Liberal Party. He was the inaugural President of the Barrabool Hills Landcare Group in 1995.

Simon's father, Sgt R H Cole of 2/6th Battalion, an Old Geelong Grammarian and Scotch Collegian, was severely wounded in the Battle of Bardia in 1941, and subsequently awarded the Military Medal 'for bravery in the field'. His maternal grandfather, Sidney N Smith (1890-1952), also attended the College from 1903 to 1907 and served as a lieutenant with the 9th Australian Garrison Artillery at Point Nepean

Simon’s brothers; Timothy, David and Jonathan; children Samuel, James and Phoebe, were also educated at Geelong College.

Sources: ‘Geelong Collegians’ at the Second World War and Subsequent Conflicts’ compiled by J. Affleck p563 (citing The Pegasus; Australian War Memorial; National Archives); Department of Veterans Affairs, Nominal Roll. OGC 1963.
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