John Richard (Tink) TINKHAM

TINKHAM, John Richard

Service Number: 3791207
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR)
Born: Koo Wee Rup, Victoria, Australia, 1 November 1946
Home Town: Koo Wee Rup, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Killed in Action, South Vietnam, 20 October 1968, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Springvale War Cemetery, Melbourne, Victoria
A F Alway Lawn, Row Q, Grave 68
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bunyip War Memorial, Grafton Clarence Valley Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Holsworthy 4th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment - Holsworthy Memorial, Kallangur Vietnam Veterans' Place, Port Pirie Vietnam Veterans Honour Wall, Seymour Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk Roll of Honour, Victorian Garden of Remembrance
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Vietnam War Service

21 May 1968: Involvement Private, 3791207, 4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR)
21 May 1968: Involvement Australian Army (Post WW2), Private, 3791207

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Biography contributed by John Edwards

"...3791207 Private John Richard Tinkham, 4th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment (4RAR). A clerk from Koo-wee-rup, Victoria, Pte Tinkham was conscripted for National Service on April 19, 1967 and served in Vietnam with 4RAR from 21 May 1968 On 20 October 1968 he was killed in action during Operation Capital." - SOURCE (

Biography contributed by Brian Donnellan

3791207 Private John Richard Tinkham was a member of 12 Platoon Delta Company 4RAR 1st Tour 1968-1969.

Tink (John) was a quietly popular member of the Platoon who could always be relied on to do his job well.

On the day of his death while on patrol during operation Capital due to our regular forward scout Gary (Roo Shooter) McGlin being on R & R leave all members of the rifle section had rotated through the forward scout position.

We had been ordered to follow up significant enemy sign by pushing hard following up on the track used by the enemy.

This went against all training, experience and instinct.

As Section Commander of the lead section having no option but to follow the order I explained to the rifle section what was going on and said that I was not going to order anyone to take the point as all those men had already taken their turn in what was a tense environment.

John Tinkham stood up and said "I will do it" we moved off and within one hundred meters John fell dead from a single sniper shot to the heart.

John knew as well as any of us that contact was imminent but put his hand up anyway, that is the measure of the man that was John Tinkham.

When talk turns to bravery John Tinkham stands tall.