Lance Corporal Marinko (Tich) TomasPrint Page Print this page

Marinko Tomas Memorial
Marinko Tomas Memorial

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

The sculpture commemorates Marinko Tomas, the first West Australian national serviceman to be killed in the Vietnam War.  It was presented by the Vietnamese community and was erected as a Nannup bicentenial project.

Marinko "Tich" Tomas was born at Nannup Western Australia on 6 January 1945 and later educated at Cundinup (1950), Nannup Catholic School (1951-56), Nannup State School (1957-59), Harvey Agricultural High School (1960-61) and was a sheep and dairy farmer working on the family property in Cundinup prior to being conscripted for National Service on the 30th of June 1965. 

According to his brother Frank the nickname 'Tich' is a contraction (and Australianisation) of the Croatian word "Chicha" meaning "little old man". This nickname was bestowed upon him by one of his father's mates when Tich was very young, presumably because he behaved in a way a lot older than his years.

He was an active member of the Junior Farmers Club, the local fire brigade and participated in recreational social events which he enjoyed just as much as he did fabricating farm machinery and translating theory to practise. 

After completing his basic National Service training, he was posted to 9 Platoon, Charlie Company, 5th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment (5 RAR) where he quickly demonstrated a high level of soldierly qualities and a preference for carrying and operating the M60 Machine Gun. His leadership qualities were soon recognised and he was promoted to Lance Corporal and second in charge of the section before leaving Australia. 

On 8 July 1966, twenty one year old Lance Corporal Marinko 'Tich' Tomas was hit by shrapnel from friendly artillery forces while on a patrol on Nui Nghe Hill during "Operation Sydney One" and became the first national serviceman from Western Australia to be killed in the Vietnam War.




Address:Vasse Highway, Marinko Tomas BiCentennial Park, Nannup, 6275
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.985621
Long: 115.764998
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Actual Event STart Date:08-July-1966
Actual Event End Date:08-July-1966
Monument Designer:Van Khoat Nguyen


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Saturday 5th March, 1988
Front Inscription

Plaque : 

Marinko (Tich) Tomas Park
Killed in action in Vietnam
8. 7. 1966

Opened by Hon. A. A. Lewis, M.L.C.
5. 3. 1988

Plaque :

Thuong Tiec 
Love & Regret
Marinko " Tich" Tomas 
Born 6th January 1945

Gave his life for freedom in the fight against Communism in the Vietnam War on 8th July 1966.

Presented by  
Free Vietnamese Community of Western Australia,
The Republic of Vietnam Veterans Affairs Association of W.A.
Nannup 5 - 3 - 1988

Sculptured By Van Khoat Nguyen

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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