Vale Chaplain Peter Dillon

News just to hand of the death of Anglican Chaplain Peter Dillon. His funeral is 1.00pm Wednesday 28 at St Paul’s Duntroon. Many would have known him, as a padre during our time of service. His service included operations in Vietnam.

There are a few mentions of Peter Dillon in Captains of the Soul. A history of Australian Army chaplains.’ by Michael Gladwin (2013), offered here as an insight into the man:

…….Anglican padre Peter Dillon was conscious that ‘the dominos were falling’ and that Christian South Vietnam needed protection from the communist north. Nevertheless, some padres were less convinced politically. (p 205);

Anglican padre Peter Dillon observed that most padres went out of their way to rub shoulders with the troops; the padres’ presence on patrols earned them the respect of troops and the right to be heard at services or on questions of religion and morality. (p 215);

Unsuitable chaplains, recalled Dillon, were discreetly weeded out with a minimum of fuss. (p 232);

Anglican padre Peter Dillon also confirmed the truism that numbers at worship services tend to swell in proportion to their closeness to the forward areas. Behind the wire at Nui Dat, Dillon could expect around half a dozen worshippers (the exception being the well-attended Christmas services). At FSBs he could expect around 25–30 at his services, but after three days of patrolling with a rifle company, Dillon found that the majority of the company turned up to a combined service. (p 233);

Peter Dillon recalled a fruitful chaplaincy at RMC—the highlight of his uniformed ministry—during the 1980s and 1990s. Scores of cadets found and deepened their Christian faith during these years. (p 312).

An article he wrote for the Christian Military Fellowship of Australia in February 1985 is at the following link: Article in the Magazine of the Military Christian Fellowship of Australia, February 1985.

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