ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, James Truscott,
We will remember him forever

Please contribute to this memorial with memories and moments of Jim's life exploits.
Click on the Gallery Section to see pictures of Jim in many memorable moments.   

We would love for you to add your story in the stories tab. Your Words of Jim that you lived through, don't keep in your memory!

Express here for all of us to know/see how one man can have so many adventures!


Funeral Announcement - Correct as 14th 1030am MAY 
 Please see below for the LIVESTREAM link for the Funeral Service of James Francis Truscott at Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park at 1.00pm on Monday 17th of May 2021.
Please take note of time difference. East coast 3.00PM


https://livestream.com/accounts/29307044/events/9669175

Watch IMP 2's James Francis Truscott on Livestream.com.
Bowra & O'Dea Funeral Service at Pinnaroo Valley Memorial Park

 Please note there are no logins or passwords required. Just click on the link and when we go 'LIVE' the livestream link will automatically go live.


All are welcome to celebrate Jim's life at a service held in the West Chapel Pinneroo commencing 1300 on 17 May 2021.A graveside burial will commence at 1430 within Pinneroo Valley Memorial Park Perth, Western Australia.
Following the service join the family in commemorating Jim’s life at “The House” from 1530.
Please RSVP to pamtruscott@hotmail.com please note there are no current limitations on attendance numbers.
Please find below directions.
"The House” Nightingale Road, Swanbourne WA 6010
A Live Stream link will be available, closer to the date.

For updated information details please see the memorial website.https://www.forevermissed.com/james-frances-truscott/about

In lieu of flowers the family request you make donations in Jim’s name to the Australian Himalayan Foundation.



Jim Truscott OAM passed away suddenly on the 28th April 2021.  At the time of his death Jim was on an unsupported push bike tour of the Mungo Loop with two close friends.  They were following the footsteps of the Burke and Wills expedition and were approximately 80km north of Balranald nearing the end of their first day’s ride when Jim collapsed.  They’d had a great day, perfect autumn conditions, much friendly banter, enjoying life to the full far from the madding crowd.  Jim passed as he lived – with his boots on, riding into the setting sun, on an adventure.  
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquirer/jim-trus...


 The family have also requested that in lieu of flowers you make a donation to The Australian Himalayan Foundation https://www.australianhimalayanfoundation.org.au in Jim’s name.  





Posted by Harri Keinonen on May 4, 2021
I am extremely saddened to learn of Jim’s passing.
I had the pleasure of briefly working for him on “special projects” during my posting to the regiment. I remember that I immediately took a liking to him for his intellect and energy. But especially for his unconventionality and odd-ball status within the unit. And that’s saying something in a unit full of exceptional individuals.

I first met Jim, I think, whilst I was a sergeant posted to the Defence Staff of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. He was planning the OP RIMAO REVISITED kayaking expedition then.  I was tasked by the defence attaché to be the organizer and liaison on the Indonesian and Singapore and. I then met him and the rest of his team in the Riau archipelago in the middle of the night to ensure that cooperation between the Indonesian authorities and his team was working as planned.

I didn’t get to know him personally until I was posted to the regiment from Jakarta. From the reaction of some members after learning that I would be working for him on unspecified special projects, I learned quickly that Jim was a bit of a polarising figure. There was some eye rolling and head shaking from some. Amused tolerance from others. But overwhelmingly it was impressed upon me that this was a man of great intelligence, vision and courage. I could almost feel the air around him hum with his energy.

To me, and my all too brief association with him, Jim was the modern equivalent of such mid-20th century personages as Sir Hubert Wilkins, Sydney Cotton and Fitzroy Maclean. If Jim had been born in the 1920s, I’m sure that we would have been reading about his daring and unconventional exploits during WW2 in history books. He was intrepid, inventive and indefatigable.

I am grateful to have known him and to have worked with him. I join with his family, his mates and his colleagues in mourning his passing.

Vale Jim Truscott.

Harri Keinonen
Posted by Greg Pike on May 4, 2021
Jim Truscott was a member of a unique group of 152 Australians who served on Op DAMON in Southern Rhodesia in 1979/80. On behalf of this group, i send sincere condolences to Colette and family as you mourn his untimely passing. We salute you Jim! Your duty done.
Posted by Phil Davidson on May 4, 2021
We were shocked to hear of Jim's passing.
Jim was effervescent like a man in his 20's, always appearing to be in perpetual motion. It didn't matter if you sent him an E-mail at 1 am, from wherever he was you would likely get a response then or in a matter of hours afterwards (as long as he wasn't halfway up some mountain in a place you could hardly pronounce).
I had the privilege of getting to know Jim over the last 20 years or so & while the engagements of his time were generally short and sweet (quality, non-nonsense events), I did travel with him to Borneo and a number of remote places around Australia as the time and need arose. I have been lucky to have known Jim and again privileged to read quite a bit of his written work of story's that films could be made of.
It is a great loss and my sincere condolences to his family, his colleagues and friends as he will be sorely missed by us all.  Jim, you were an inspiration. Istirahatlah dengan tenang, pak Jim.
Posted by Peter Allen on May 4, 2021
Vale Major Jim Truscott, It was pleasure to serve with you at the 1st Field Squadron (1 FER).  You will be surely missed by all who knew and served with you in the Squadron and during your time of service in the ADF.  Rest in peace, Jim. 
Posted by Ian McPhedran on May 4, 2021
Without doubt one of the most intelligent and interesting men I have ever met. Jim was a truly original thinker and always up for a chat on any subject you could imagine. A wonderful soldier and successful businessman, he will be sorely missed. My deepest sympathy to Colette and family. Vale Jim.
Posted by Peter King on May 4, 2021
It was Boxing Day 1979. The Australian contingent of the Commonwealth cease-fire monitoring force (Rhodesia) had just landed and been briefed by Major Peter Cosgrove at the Rhodesian Light Infantry Barracks. I was teamed up with a young engineer Lt, Jim Truscott and we were immediately flown to the Chiota Tribal Trust Land near Marandellas in two British Army Gazelle helicopters. I shared a hootchie with him for the next three months attached to the Rhodesian Amy’s 1 Psychological Operations Unit. On one occasion we received a letter from a group of “freedom fighters” who wanted to surrender to us but thought the Rhodesian Army would kill them. Jim decided that he and I would go and talk them into surrendering peacefully. Along with a small contingent of Rhodesians we traveled to a Native Kraal and Jim announced he would walk in unarmed and talk. I waited and soon a company group of Rhodesians arrived and wanted to attack the Kraal. I managed to get them to give me 15 minutes and went looking for Jim. I found him in a hut with about 6 heavily armed “freedom fighters” (AK 47’s and RPG 2’s) and some villagers all drinking mealie maize beer (warm brown horrible stuff) and some were smoking Dacca (marijuana). By now Jim was their best friend and he had convinced them to come back to Marandellas as they were safe under his protection. He also convinced the Rhodesian company commander (who was also a big fan of Jim’s unorthodox methods) to safely escort us to the police HQ whilst we sat in the back of a truck singing chimeringa (freedom) songs with our new friends. Jim was an amazing character born a hundred years too late. He became a friend for life and I will miss his enthusiasm and intellect. My thoughts are with Collette, his family and friends.
Major Peter King (ret’d)
Posted by George Clegg on May 4, 2021
Tragic news. Jim was an excellent officer with a memorable steely determination. He had a mischievous side and it was a pleasure to serve with him and follow his remarkably successful career. George Clegg RMO, SASR 1980-84
Posted by Paul Fuller on May 4, 2021
Our lives crossed briefly many years ago. Condolences to your family and many friends. May you Rest In Peace.
Posted by Phil Goodear on May 4, 2021
I would like to pass on my sincere condolences to Jim's wife, Collette, his children and grandchildren, the wider family and the network of friends and colleagues of past and present. Like everyone, I was shocked to hear of Jim's passing.

Jim and I first met during our guerrilla warfare course in 1988 and we teamed up again in 1989 for Ex: Blue Flame...and what an enjoyable experience it was to be part of the GWTT Taipan with Jim as the leader. I liked and respected Jim and what he tried to do for himself and others...and that was to make you 'be better' than you are.

Jim was and will remain a remarkable individual who had an incredible sense of adventure, was personable, he had a positive impact on me and he always valued my contributions.

Rest in peace Jim (Taipan)

Respectfully,
Phil
Posted by Jeff Dvaie on May 4, 2021
One of those rare, extraordinary people who we occasionally have the privilege to know in life.
Live all you can, learn all you can, give all you can, to paraphrase a John Wesley quote.
What a life and inspiration to the rest of us mortals.
We shall remember him. Or perhaps Jim might have preferred it if we were to say... who could forget him?
Posted by Graham Brammer on May 4, 2021
Jim... The moment you were conceived they broke the mould. I don't recall ever working with you but I do recall a number of discussions we had about rock climbing, mountaineering and even tactics. Ah! Yes; and concepts. You were a skilful writer whose stories left a reader with thought provoking ideas. My favourites were the fireside chats with Genghis Khan around a camel dung fire. Farewell Warrior... Brother in Arms... Rest in Peace.
Prairie Dog
Posted by Ian Errington on May 4, 2021
I did not know Jim well, but had some dealings with his literary endeavours. I published everything he submitted to the Defence Force Journal and the readership was enriched by each and every piece. He certainly encouraged debate and left his critics looking dull in the wake of his thoughts. Thanks for your service and your ideas Jim.
Posted by David Birkett on May 3, 2021
I first met Jim in June 1982, in Darwin, N.T. and left an indelible impression in the recesses of my mind. I again met Jim in March 2002 in the Fleet Street Coffee lounge in Pulteney Street Adelaide with Bob Kilsby to form Truscott Crisis Leaders, which I was privileged and honoured to join this 'band of brothers' , or Jim's Guerrilla Group, as Jim advised that his unusual structure was based on that model. I salute Jim and am grateful for the extensive example and leadership, provided to us all in this unique group. RIP Jim my friend.
Posted by Russ Baker on May 4, 2021
From the first time I met you, cleaning your toenails with a fork at the dining table in the SASR Officers Mess in 1981, something just told me you were different.  This grew over the years during many climbing adventures to some pretty exposed parts of south-west Australia, and then over east when we were both in Sydney.  Then there was that bloody passage you had me read at your marriage to Colette !
A fearless speaker of the truth, even if it was unpleasant, every country needs a Jim Truscott (but maybe only one).  You have inspired those who will follow you, but it is hard to imagine anyone ever replacing Jim.
Have fun on your next great adventure.
Russ
Posted by Ian Young on May 3, 2021
So shocked and saddened at your sudden passing.
We are comforted by the fact you were on yet another adventure with brothers in arms.
You were, and always be a legend, especially of the unconventional.
We all stood in awe of your amazing energy!
You will never be forgotten.
RIP Taipan
Posted by Jason Gotch on May 3, 2021
I only had the pleasure of meeting Jim once and then a couple of phone calls, but what an impression he made and more than backed up the stories that I had heard. Like many I read and shared his Crisis Manual and referenced his name in corporate meetings as a recognised SME reference point. A life of such adventure and exhilaration seemingly lost in such a manner just seems a bit unfair. RIP, Jim.
Posted by John Blaxland on May 3, 2021
Jim was a legend I was privileged to know and work with. He was a source of inspiration. He left a deep impression wherever he went and with whoever he met. He was a true patriot and an honourable man. He will be missed. Vale, Jim
Posted by Vicki O'Haire on May 3, 2021
"All men dream ,but not equally. Those that dream in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find it was only vanity, but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they act out their dreams with open eyes to make it happen" T.E Lawrence , Jim was a Dangerous man".
Continue to push the bounds.
Rick O'Haire
Posted by Rick Simpson on May 3, 2021
Thanks for your contributions Jim, to life, to memories of 3 Squadron together, and to the Rendezvous. You will be sorely missed by all whose lives to which you added colour, excitement and provocation. May your next journey be as fulfilling and remarkable as the one you have left behind. Perjalanan yang bagus.
Posted by Martin Hamilton-Smith on May 3, 2021
Goodbye Jim. You always left us wondering if we could do more, strive harder and have a different look at the view to see if we had missed any thing. As CO of Commando's I would have been happy to drop you and 2CDO into Burma In1942; they would have followed you to a man and Orde Wingate would have welcomed you! I am glad to have put you together with Collette in the early days! Best thing ever. Thanks for your friendship and guidance.You were loved by many, you made a real mark and you will live on. Marty HS
Posted by john thurgar on May 3, 2021
May Jim's spirit be soaring with the eagles high over the Himal at the dawn of every new day. May his spirit, enthusiasm for life, endurance, sense of tradition and adventure remain among those of us who were privileged to know him till our own passing.
May the legacy he has left behind with his writings and photos inspire the next generation of Australians to achieve their life long ambitions as well. 
Posted by Rick Moor on May 3, 2021
Vale Jim, it was a great journey while it lasted. Many early starts, heavy packs, hard days and freezing nights, mixed in with a liberal dose of fear. But much laughter and mischief. In all great memories and great friendship. Bon voyage Min
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Recent Tributes
Posted by Robert Te on May 17, 2021
Throughout our lives, numerous people we meet will subtly or overtly influence us, or give us motivation, or guide us forward, or help us get to the next level in our endeavours, or tangibly change the way we view something. They may have encouraged you onwards, set you challenges or influenced you to undertake activities you otherwise would never have done. One is extremely fortunate therefore, if they encounter, other than perhaps a life partner, someone who facilitated all of these effects in a very significant, enduring, positive, life changing way. In my life this was Major Jim Truscott OAM. 

Jim impacted me in all these ways and much more but he never let me believe “I had arrived”. There was always more to do, and more again after that. Bronze or Silver Standard did not exist, one always aimed for Gold. I first met Jim when he was posted to 2 SQN, The Pilbara Regiment in 1991 and was my OC. From the onset I was blown away by his energy, vision and tempo for making things happen. I had always been described in reports as a high achiever and was involved in and lead various pursuits, but in meeting Jim, I wondered what scale I had been assessed on – I knew I had met my match! Jim had a natural intelligence for analysing things from every angle and questioning the status quo - then vocalising this passionately, no doubt often to the chagrin of the chain of command. If something in the Army system needed fixing he wanted it so, and in Jim's words “We have to be ready for the next conflict now – not caught with our pants down as in the past!”

As a Squadron Commander Jim truly led by example and while pushing all personnel to greater efforts and higher standards, many believing they would die in the process, he was always approachable, fair and consistent regardless of someone’s rank. It is an understatement to describe Jim as an adventurer – he lived and breathed for adventure, all types of adventure, on a regular basis and had a knack for turning something “normal” into a memorable escapade. Jim’s enthusiasm was unstoppable and his conviction in what we trained for and how we trained was contageous. Realism!! And such was the realism we created in training, courses and exercises that more than once we were in the CO’s office together, receiving his size 11 boot. Happily this was usually tempered by the off- the record praise for the outstanding attendance of the Reservists and excellent feedback from participants.

It was inevitable Jim and I would become good friends. At some point I was at Jim’s house for dinner and met the lovely and highly organised Collete and a young David and even younger Sarah, Jess and Lisa. I saw them often, and me being a Bachelor, Collete thought it was better I went to their place for dinners, so I brought the “Reds”. I respected Jim so genuinely, it took him several dinners and a threat to get me to stop calling him "sir", when not at the Unit. Two New Year’s Nights were spent by the Truscotts at my place and we often went on picnics or trips together. One Saturday morning I was taking the the Truscott clan to abandoned Cooya Pooya Pastoral Station for a picnic. Just out of Karratha the two heavy duty batteries under Jim’s seat in my Land Rover started to short-out, as loud as gun shots, smoke streamed out and heat could be felt under him. Jim was also being zapped as his bare feet were on the metal floor, now intermittently electrified. I pulled up hard and before the Land Rover was stopped Jim jumped and almost did a perfect parachute roll. Through wide eyes he looked at us and said, “Now that was one adventure I hadn’t figured on”. Some minor repairs and we were on our way. 

As at least one smart Officer accounts in his memories of Jim earlier in this memorial, one had to be fearful of Jim because of “guilt by association”, not that I cared about that, our friendship came first, but also “if you got too close to him, you got dragged into his schemes and adventures.” Sensing how passionate Jim was and having taking a real liking to him, being roped-in was an early failing of mine. In particular, having never been a climber, and never inclined to climb, and having watched enough climbing movies to know I never wanted to climb, I found myself climbing up rock cliffs and features which did not allow one to turn around or chicken out. Jim, small frame, wiry and nimble would be up ahead moving around like a Rock Spider, talking to himself and yelling out all sorts of information I couldn’t make sense of. I would be the number 2, following Jim, taking out the climbing apparatus which Jim had inserted in holes and cracks as he progressed upwards. Over a period of 3 years we would grab a Zodiac from the Unit on a weekend and Jim and I, and on occasion a friend from the local SES Unit, would head out to the Burrup Peninsular. I enjoyed parachuting but this climbing business where I could see the jutting rocks and knife edges my head was going to crash into far below, if I fell, created some imaginings. After 2-3 climbs in a day and abseiling down after each, it was always a satisfying feeling. Jim had stretched me yet again.
He named each climb and recorded all the details, years later they were published. Jim was a prolific writer.

I found for Jim, whether in uniform or out, not a moment was wasted. Over the 31 years I knew him, time simply never stood still. Plans were always afoot. Then the action. Then more plans. I couldn’t believe my luck when after two years as my OC, Jim was then posted to remain in the Regiment as Operations Officer. Now in a more influencing role, Jim had Regional Infrastructure Patrols take on a whole new meaning and focus. Intelligence gathering activities included patrols including Customs, Federal or State Police or all three organisations. Defence Aid to the Civilian Community became common place. Naval Patrol Boats and Submarines became part of the repertoire of unit activities and as Senior Instructor Water Operations, I was as happy as a pig in mud. Army and Airforce aircraft were frequently on hand as part of an exercise regime - all indented for by Jim. Jim was simply driven in everything he undertook and more than anyone I ever met in the Army, he knew how to engineer things to happen.

In 1994 Jim ran me through a series of tests without saying why – Battle Fitness Assessment, Combat Fitness, 300m swim test in cams, webbing with rifle, 10 minutes straddling water. That was Jim – all was always on a “need to know basis”. I already had the Survival Course under my belt, but Jim then gave me the marine navigation test from hell! On passing all elements, having cleared it with the CO, Jim invited me onto Exercise Rimau Retrace – to be held in Indonesia to re-enact, on its 50th anniversary, the escape route taken by a small raiding force after a planned second raid on shipping in Singapore during WWII, but was compromised. Jim and five other Majors, myself as a Captain and the Chart based Navigator, and one Sergeant from Commandos retraced the exact 250NM route, in Army Sea Kayaks, of the original mission. Jim had the historical records and detailed knowledge of what happened where, on each island along the escape route. The excursion was living history with hardships and dangers from nature or people, at various intervals. Jim was an outstanding organiser and problem solver, and although expedition members had certain roles, Jim was the cement keeping all on mission. On about the fourth day after the hard slog of kayaking had begun and sleeping in the jungle each night endured (with thousands of insects completely covering our mosquito nets), we were once again up well before light, quietly collecting our gear in the dark, packing it into the hatches of the Kayaks by feel. Communication was by whisper. There was a sense of urgency. Suddenly, through the quiet one of the Majors called out loudly “Jim, what the hell are we doing – it’s not WW 2 and the Japs aren’t actually chasing us!” For Jim, a war was always just around the corner, one had to “Train hard and fight easy”, but after that morning, things did ease off a tad. Just a tad. But Jim was again correct, a few years later Australian Forces were in Iraq and after that Timor Leste.

In 1998 when I was posted Squadron Commander, many a time when writing a Field Exercise, planning a Patrol Schedule or running a Water Ops Course, I asked myself, where did this fit on the "JT" scale. Would he approve? Was I being bold enough? Had I obtained all the good resources I could to enhance the activity? Would it be memorable? Inevitably I added another dimension of realism, risk, value outcome. And afterwards I received the CO's size 11 boot.  

More than enough has been written on Jim’s post-military life and successes, other than to say Jim put the same vigour, intelligence, conviction and effort into those ventures, as he did his Army roles. Jim’s alternate perspective to almost everything and approaches to military problems proved their value in Iraq. His efforts and unique contribution and manner of operations in Timor Leste are well known and respected.

Jim was an exceptional man who lived life like few others seem able to, and held throughout it, the virtues of fearless honesty, integrity, humbleness and compassion. Jim balanced his adventures with keeping his family close. Jim was a real friend and a true mate as I know he was to so many others too. I read all of the entries here and many have been lucky enough to have known Jim since RMC. In reading these I smiled, I laughed and some made me cry, as they typified with clarity, the Jim I experienced. 

My thoughts are now with Collete, David, Sarah, Jess and Lisa, and all those who called Jim a friend.

Even though we periodically caught up and always emailed each other, just a couple of years ago I wrote to Jim and let him know he was unequivocally the most inspirational person I had ever met. Jim, my flag remains at half-mast for you. 

Mintu Wanta

Rob


 


Posted by Jillian Gorski on May 16, 2021
Jim and I did our bronze surf lifesaving certificate in the same group late last year - 2020 Floreat WA. Jim proved he was incredibly fit as we had to brave and struggle through some extreme ocean conditions, practicing our rescues and doing the required ‘run swim run’ every weekend for 6 weeks .
Following our wet drills, we would play out our dry first aid drills. Jim would throw in a story from his life experience . At first these stories sounded too incredible to believe. However as the group got to know Jim, we realised what a fascinating life and character he was.
Two weeks after completing our bronze I saw him on a current affair report speaking up on behalf of the armed services . It would have been good to have gotten to know him better at our club and hear more of his amazing experiences.
Posted by Michael Kelly on May 16, 2021
I met jim in grade 4 at marist brothers ashgrove. We finished school together in 1973 and started engineering together in 1974. Jim and I climbed together first at Kangaroo point(illegally) anchoring off the fence posts designed to keep us out, and then at Frog Buttress. One memory was climbing ships stern range without ropes. I fell 5m and broke my foot. Jim stayed with me for 5 hours as we got back to the car.
We kept in touch over the years and met Collette in 2018. They made us so welcome in Perth.
Jim was a great mate and will be sorely missed
Mick Kelly
his Life

Vale Jim Truscott OAM

Jim Truscott OAM passed away suddenly on the 28th April 2021.  At the time of his death Jim was on an unsupported push bike tour of the Mungo Loop with two close friends.  They were following the footsteps of the Burke and Wills expedition and were approximately 80km north of Balranald nearing the end of their first day’s ride when Jim collapsed.  They’d had a great day, perfect autumn conditions, much friendly banter, enjoying life to the full far from the madding crowd.  Jim passed as he lived – with his boots on, riding into the setting sun, on an adventure.
Jim was well known for his drive, enthusiasm and dogged determination.  He was in many ways a renaissance man – a very professional but unconventional soldier; intrepid and daring adventurer; somewhat reluctant engineer; amateur but respected historian and author; red wine connoisseur; highly successful businessman; and committed community member; but above all son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend.   
Jim first served in the Marist Brothers Ash Grove school cadet unit then the Queensland University Regiment before entering the Royal Military College (RMC) Duntroon as a third class cadet in 1975.  He graduated in 1977 and was awarded a BE (Hons) in 1978 (he later completed a BA out of interest).  Jim subsequently served as a Troop Commander in 1 Field Squadron of the 1st Field Engineer Regiment and as an observer with the Commonwealth Monitoring Force in Rhodesia attached to a mixed race field propaganda unit before completing selection and serving as the Operations Officer in 3 SAS Squadron. He along with his Officer Commanding will be long remembered for organising and overseeing “Exercise Biltong Watcher”, an epic in the Northern Territory that even included airstrikes by B52s operating from Guam.  Jim subsequently served as the Garrison Engineer in Newcastle and on the Operations Staff in Field Force Command, Army Headquarters and Headquarters Special Forces.  Following these postings he vowed to never again serve in the “Big Army” or as a “Staff Wally”.  He achieved legendary status as the Officer Commanding 2 Commando Company with his many innovative and realistic exercises often involving short notice call out.  He also served in the Pilbara Regiment as a Surveillance Squadron Commander then in the Northern Territory as a Civil Affairs Officer before returning to as the Operations Officer in SASR.  It is during this last posting that his ingenuity, knowledge and experience came to the fore as he led the regimental planning team for the deployment to the Middle East to enforce the no fly zone, the initial entry by the ADF into East Timor and the counter terrorist support to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.  But above all Jim’s core professional interest lay in Special Warfare.  Hestarred on the Special Warfare Course, taught himself jungle Bahasa Indonesia and studied in detail the activities of the Services Reconnaissance Department (SRD) during WW2.  He was a known “Friend of Z” and had befriended, supported and interviewed many of the original operatives.  He had also conducted a long distance sea kayak trip from Singapore through the Indonesian archipelago tracing the route of the escaping OP RIMAU party, spent two months walking through the jungles of Borneo retracing the steps of the OP SEMUT operatives and interviewing the few surviving guerrillas and their families and had recently travelled to East Timor to research a battle field guide covering the activities of the Independent Companies and SRD in WW2, TNI and Falantil during the Independence War and finally INTERFET and UNTAET post 1999.  As a Special Forces Officer, Jim was one of the few truly unconventional thinkers, and he pushed and prodded SASR and Commandos toward more advanced capabilities, often with complete disregard to his own career.  A subordinate at the time recounts that it was always a joy and terror to be a junior officer within his command or earshot.
Jim was also a passionate, committed and enthusiastic mountaineer, rock climber and Nordic skier.  As a cadet at Duntroon he was a founding member of the RMC Mountaineering Club, instrumental in the re-establishment of the Army Alpine Association (AAA) and the instigator of the famous RMC August Epic.  He was a fierce and dedicated climber and mountaineer his entire life. Anyone who knew Jim will have a favourite tale of his eccentricities, his at times manic drive and his fiery intellect, his endless energy, great projects and causes and his legendary wordsmithing. He was always driving hard, whether rustling up a team to tackle Carstenz’s Pyramid; signing off on C130 flights for Everest logistics or hitting up Big Ben Pies to sponsor an expedition to the remote volcano of the same name.  Jim’s list of achievements is lengthy. As a mountaineer and climber he first headed to the Southern Alps of New Zealand in December 1974.  He then spent many summers in the 70’s and early 80’s in the Southern Alps.  While recovering from a major injury incurred solo climbing near Majors Creek, Jim made an early ascent of Ball’s Pyramid, this in turn after a disastrous and near death experience attempting to sail to the remote sea stack.  In 1981 hesurvived an avalanche at Camp 2 on Ganesh IV (7102 m) in Nepal.  Tragically Dave Sloane was not so lucky and was swept to his death.  Jim was a member of the successful expedition to Broad Peak (8047 m) in Pakistan in 1986, at that stage only the second 8000 metre peak climbed by an Australian team. Jim was also a member of the successful 1988 Australian Bicentennial Everest Expedition, the second ascent of the mountain by an Australian team and the only ascent of the mountain accomplished without local high altitude porters. He was awarded an Order of Australia Medal and Chief of the Defence Force Commendation for his organising efforts and participation in this activity.  Subsequently, he climbed Aconcagua in Argentina (the highest mountain in the America’s) in 1990, Carstenz Pyramid in Irian Jaya (the highest mountain in South East Asia) in 1991 then Nanda Devi East on a multi-national expedition with the Indian Army in 1996.
He was also a voracious rock climber, putting up hundreds of new rock climbing routeswherever he was based from Kangaroo Point and Frog Buttress in south east Queensland, the Sydney Sea Cliffs and Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Arapiles and the Grampians in Victoria, the remote Western Australia northwest coast, to the Perth Hills and his beloved Southwest. Generations of future climbers will puzzle at his climb names and wonder at his route selection and bolting practices. Jim knew a quality route when he saw it, but didn’t mind putting up the odd scrappy climb – one climbing partner recalls getting told to bring a shovel when joining him on one of his Perth Hills new routing adventures.   Many a climbing partner will recall that it was always prudent to double check Jim’s belay stances and to be wary of his pick of climbs, as the call “your lead” would oft come at an inopportune moment.  They will also recall many a session in the Dugandan, Natimuk and Mt Vic pubs contemplating their failures, celebrating their successes and building Dutch courage for future ventures.  In the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s Jim was also a committed and competitive Nordic skier.  He organised and competed in many Inter-Service events, representing Army on numerous occasions and finishing in the top 30 in NSW state championships several times in the 1980’s.  On one occasion he, along with a friend, skied from Kiandra to Mt Kosciusko in 18 hours.  In 1989 he also led a ski mountaineering trip to Mt Shasta in California.  Jim had in addition to tracing the route of the OP RIMAU operatives conducted several remote sea kayak trips including to the Monte Bello Islands and two attempts to cross the Torres Strait.  He also rafted the Franklin in Tasmania before it became popular.  
Immediately following the Sydney Olympics Jim left the Army and entered business as a crisis management consultant, first with a British multinational company, before setting up his own firm “Truscott Crisis Leaders”.  After a lean start Jim through sheer determination and exceptionally hard work established a very successful consultancy with a clientele that included many of the world’s leading multi-national companies.  His straight forward and sometimes abrupt style was not everyone’s cup of tea but his advice and training was highly valued by many mining and off shore oil and gas companies operating in the remote corners of the world.  Jim was known to cover 10 countries in 7 days, conduct day trips to Singapore and travel to Europe for one day jobs.   His ideas, advice, guidance and training significantly enhanced the emergency response capabilities and safety of many work places around the globe.   
Jim was a prolific writer.  A cursory inspection of professional journals and newsletters will feature Jim Truscott.  Jim’s thoughts on Special Operations published under his nom de guerre “Taipan” while his accounts of his personal adventures not only inspired many but were in the finest traditions of mountain writing.  He was also a prolific reviewer and authored several books including his autobiography “Snakes in the Jungle – Special Operations in War and Business”, an account of OP SEMUT titled “Voices from Borneo – The Japanese War” and a business sales guide titled “Who Dares Sell, Wins - Mastering True Sales in Management”.  At the time of his death he was finalising a detailed “Battlefield Guide of East Timor”.  His writing was always erudite, often lengthy and sometimes unprintable.   As you considered his ideas and read of his adventures, as you listened to his proposals and stories, you were sometimes stunned by his audacity but more often left enriched by his grasp of history, military capabilities, mountain geography and business practices, giddy in the wake of his often preposterous ideas and actions, and unsettled by how boring your own mind and life appeared next to his.
Following the recent sale of his business Jim qualified as a Surf Life Saver and served as a hose man in the Darlington Volunteer Bush Fire Brigade.  He was also actively working with the 2/2nd Commando Company Association in an attempt to have the unit awarded a Unit Citation for Gallantry for their actions as an Independent Company in Timor in 1942 and the HMAS Armidale Association on a project to locate the wreck.
Above all, Jim was a family man, devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren.  He was a man to follow and learn from, both in his words and deeds. You had to be quick to keep up and follow his thinking, but he suffered fools better than he made out, and we are all the better for his friendship and life.   His passing not only brings a great sadness to his family and close friends but leaves an enormous gap for many across military, veteran, business and adventure communities. Vale Jim Truscott, gone but not forgotten.
Recent stories

Jim's quotes

Shared by danilo zonta on May 14, 2021
Found on my inbox these quotes from Jim;

- Adventure before Dementia.

- You do not stop climbing from growing old, you grow old from stopping climbing.
- The Art of happiness
It is good to come close to danger and death.
What you see there makes you feel alive.
You must hold into those feelings.
One who grows old without such memories has nothing.
Memories are our souvenirs from a lifetime of forgetfulness.
- The brotherhood of the rope
I look at my bookcase full of interesting mountaineering books, factual discussions of survival, success and failure from all over the globe.
What happened to my climbing ambitions?

Climbing had in previous years opened up a new universe for me.
It involved all of my senses, the touch and feel of the various rock faces, the sounds of the mountains, whether listening for an approaching avalanche or the crunch of crystallized ice and snow underfoot; the smells from the summits as tiny spicules of ice crystals invaded my nasal cavities; blown there by a tormenting wind; the taste of the air; laced with fragrances from the valley flora; and finally the sights of almost indescribable beauty, of a perfect windless warm summit day contrasting with the savagery of an unrelenting storm front tearing its way through an unprepared camp.

The camaraderie that exists between climbers is unimaginable, the brotherhood of the rope binding all who travel together on it with the same set of un-written rules,

Occasionally, there is the opportunity to lay a path where no-one else has previously trodden.
Along with all of these things there is an obsession with what the view will look like from the summit.

These are the reasons that I climb.

- I am keen for a big climbing trip somewhere on my 65th birthday on Wednesday 26 May 2021 Maybe even a new route somewhere !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- I can go anywhere, anytime and anyplace.



WHEN YOU ARE READY - Kokoda PNG 2017 - Jim and Son

Shared by David Truscott on May 14, 2021
WHEN YOU ARE READY

Very Slippery

By
Taipan, Python, Ray Nave and Billy Amuli

Look after David.. and look after each other!” With Colette’s parting words ringing in my head, our son David and I boarded the plane in Perth for the sabbatical that I had to have in the jungle of Papua New Guinea. I knew that I had left this Kokoda Track trip for far too long. Colette was full of wisdom when she had said, “You have always had a project. You have always been project driven.” Now I had one again, after 16 years of gut-sucking business.

Two of my uncles and a second cousin had served in Papua New Guinea in WWII although none of them had fought on the Kokoda Track. My father had also served in the 2nd/25th Battalion for a very short time but he had transferred to the RAAF before the Battalion went to the Middle East and subsequently to Papua New Guinea. Nevertheless though I have walked and paddled the routes taken by many other WWII operations across South East Asia, the Kokoda Track remained to be done.

So I left the computer at home for the first time in 16 years. Robert Kilsby said that to not put myself in my own diary was “really crazy” when you think about it. Walking the Kokoda Track would be a self-test to see if I could walk away from business and do something else. Would a short walk in the Owen Stanley Range clear my brain?
Three flights later we landed at Popondetta on the northern side of the Owen Stanley Ranges to be met by Henry Amuli, the Operations Manager of Kokoda Courage our trekking company, Ray Nave and Billy Amuli, Henry’s nephew, two gentle giants who were to be our erstwhile and ardent travel companions.
David and I had been physically training with heavy back packs walking up and down the many groomed trails leading to the summits of Reabold Hill in Perth but it was insufficient preparation for the six gruelling and wet days which were to come. Getting pack fit for Kokoda aided me in determining what I want to do for the rest of my life. At sixty years of age I realized that business had consumed me and that it would eat me up if I did not do something about it.
We were not your usual trekkers as we had brought our own food and we wanted to carry our own packs like the original Militia 39th Battalion. We had hired the obligatory guide to be legal in the eyes of the Kokoda Track Authority and we had allowed seven days to get to the road head at Ower’s Corner above Port Moresby. So far, so good.
After a few hour’s drive up the hill and across the Kumusi River we arrived at Henry’s trekking camp on the edge of the Kokoda plateau for a round table discussion. While Ray would be our guide, we were urged to take Billy as well; glad we did! So after a good night’s sleep we arose early to check out the small museum and memorials at the original Kokoda station before setting off with 20 kilogram backpacks in the humid jungle, generally following Eora Creek for the Isurava battleground.

Interestingly while the track’s name is associated with Kokoda, the initial delaying battle by an Australian company facing a Japanese battalion lasted only a few hours and in the subsequent advance, Kokoda was taken by the Australians, and unopposed by the Japanese.

The walk soon became a hard slog and I almost pulled a previously sore muscle from the exertion. Ray had opined that the first day would be the hardest and when we got to Deniki village he diplomatically suggested that David and I should offload some of our weight to him and Billy. It was disappointing to depart from our original plan, but there seemed no other alternative and by the time we stopped in the mid- afternoon rain it was with glad resignation that I pondered if we had taken on too much.
The first day had been much tougher than my past battlefield trekking experiences in Borneo, although I had been 20 years younger then and in Borneo we could rely on getting food at each kampung. The rain forest water in PNG tasted good, but it certainly stirred up the body gases from every orifice. There were many local people on the track that day heading back to Kododa village for carrier jobs at the start of the trekking season and the approaching ANZAC Day.
It was fascinating to see Billy nonchalantly walk in bare feet and for Ray to saunter along in an old pair of runners. The torn ligaments from an old rock climbing accident when I had broken my shoulder started to ache and I started popping anti- inflammatory pills well in excess of the recommended dose, which got me through the first long night’s sleep in our jungle hut and the next five days of ripped ligament pain.

Heavy but warm rain fell late afternoon and throughout the night. It stopped briefly before dusk to enable David and I to walk around the monuments at Isurava which were being made ready for ANZAC Day by the local people, including some of Ray’s family who lived a short distance up hill. It was pleasant to meet with several of his brothers and sister and to listen to their banter in their local language. We could also see Billy’s village on a distant hill.

Thanks to Bill James, the military historian and trekker, we were able to use the many images in his Field Guide to the Kokoda Track to roughly determine the battle positions of the Australian and the Japanese troops. Reg Yates who has also walked the track many times had advised us to take the guide book otherwise the trek would become a muddy blur and his advice was 100% correct.
The track largely ‘cross-grains’ the terrain the way that the advancing and withdrawing military forces sought to win or hold ground. Contouring was only for encirclement. While the current route does not always follow the original tracks, it is still possible to gain an appreciation of the vital ground, the approaches to ground of tactical importance and the enfilading and flanking tactics that are required by the attacking force.
For example a current land owner issue prevents trekking access to the long Mission Ridge which connects the lost battlefield above Efogi and Brigade Hill. Very few people have actually trekked the exact routes used by the Australian and Japanese battalions. None the less with a military background and eye for the ground it is possible to gain an intimate understanding of the horrendous conditions under which the Australian forces operated, supported by over 20,000 local people; the ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy’ carriers.
We started before dawn each day. My muscles had not cramped through the first night; we were doing well. Ray and Bill continued to carry about four kilograms of our gear much to my chagrin. The Kunda (cane) suspension bridge at Eora Creek had been washed away during the wet season and it was being rebuilt by some locals under the supervision of a Ranger from the Kokoda Track Authority. Without much ado we were virtually dragged and hand passed across the swollen creek by a chain of strong sure footed locals. I had not done anything quite so invigorating like this for ages. The Ranger even checked our trekking permit!
We passed a large trekking group that had started a day before us. We were not to see any other groups on the track for the remainder of our trip and the isolation was enjoyable. We detoured up a short side ridge to see a small collection of very rusty Japanese hand grenades, signal flares, a helmet and some weapon pits. The artefacts were interesting to see but it was really viewing the fall of the ground and contemplating jungle fighting that intrigued me most.
Most of my military career had been spent on the hoof in the jungle but David had mainly been involved in open and desert warfare in armoured vehicles. A PNG Defence Force helicopter had been flying overhead during the last two days and it was not until after the trip that we realized that they were rehearsing to bring the Australian Prime Minister to Isurava later in the week.
We climbed steadily throughout the second day towards Kokoda Gap and the highest point on the track. Climbing up was okay but the downhill sections were jarring to the knees forcing a strong focus on each foot placement on the often slippery and root covered sections. By now I had completely forgotten about consulting work.
Late in the day it rained heavily as we crossed Eora Creek again, this time on a sturdy single plank bridge to camp in huts at Templeton’s Crossing, a small WWII logistic dump. I stunk from sweat and it was pleasurable to have a full immersion just like one of Bill Tillman’s (famous early Himalayan mountaineer) memorable bathes in the Himalayas with the exception that the water was not cold.
We sat around the fire in the late afternoon watching the rain, and my brain had not been in neutral like this for many years. I realized that any helicopter evacuation in this terrain and weather would be parlous indeed. We had taken Army patrol ration packs which contained far more food than we could possibly eat and so we gave away many of the sweets to local children at every village. My leg calf muscles were sore and I could feel my right knee cap but we slept soundly even with the roar of Eora Creek. At least we could sleep dry unlike the WWII diggers and there was no piquet duty on the gun.
There had been no rain through the second night and on the morning of the second day we quickly climbed Mt Bellamy to subsequently trudge through the swampy moss and pandanus forest. There were still some small arms ammunition cartridges on the ground to be found even with the passing of time and the oozing mud to cover them up. We could only but imagine the running fire fights in 1942 as we trudged through the scenes of desperate fighting some 75 years earlier.
It was hard going as we crossed the Owen Stanley’s. The anti-inflammatory pill upset my guts, but so be it; better than pain in the shoulder from carrying a heavy pack. Ray had developed some blisters on his heel and Billy had cut his finger tip with his own machete during a fall, which we patched up.We stopped at Naduri village for lunch and met two Rangers from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service who were on secondment to the Kokoda Track Authority. I suspected that they would learn more from the locals than what they could impart from their own experiences; maybe it was just a public servant jolly.
There was another equally exciting crossing of the Efogi River in the later afternoon before a stiff climb up small waterfalls to the village with a view and another memorable bathe to rinse our sweat ridden clothes. It was pleasant to chat with the owner of the hut about life and familiar challenges of the cost of sending children to school.
It was a beautiful third morning as the Kokoda Track Authority Rangers weighed Ray’s and Billy’s back packs before we set off on our fourth day. Their pack weights were inside the legal limit for carriers, but the Rangers may have been surprised if they had weighed ours as they assumed that we were standard trekkers.
By mid-morning we were on the grassy Brigade Hill in sunshine and perfect mountain weather with a PNG Defence Force helicopter flying overhead, this time with Prime Minister Turnbull on board. It felt like we were back on military operations. I can recall riding with the Brigade Commander of the 1st Brigade on his Leopard tank on a similar hill at Puckapunyal in Victoria and seeing the rest of the mechanized Brigade deployed around us. Now we could visualize the battle that ensued here as Brigadier Potts and his men, effectively only two battalions, were almost cut off by 6 to 8 Japanese battalions.
As we sat on the knoll about 30 local people walked past heading for carrier work at Kokoda. It was reminiscent of what the carriers in WWII bringing supplies forward and carrying back our wounded, close to the front lines.
It was a hard slog into Menari, quite a large village, where we stopped for lunch of pineapple and a bunch of bananas, looking back down at the sloping post-war airfield. I had sweat sores all over my back and the bit of my gut muscle that occasionally pops out of my stomach lining did so again just as I was bending over to fill a water bottle in a stream. Woe was me, as I pushed the protruding muscle back into my stomach.
The day continued through a slog in the mud and a wade across the Uga River in the rain to our night stop at Agulogo village. There were chooks everywhere and it just felt like one of those dank places in the Himalayas where surely you would get sick. David remarked that he would “go a whiskey,” but alas it was not to be as the roosters crowed out of synch through the night.
We had a delayed start on our fifth day as we waited for the nearby swollen Brown River to drop and for Ray’s mobile phone to recharge at the solar powered, Kokoda Track Authority HF radio shack. I changed my shirt and my jocks hoping that it may do something about the sweat sores on my back. My mind was now completely blank at all times and it has not been like this for years.
It was a racy river crossing this time with the assistance of a local as we bounced sideways and downstream, ‘ferry glide’ style, across the river. I hold these strong and highly capable people in high esteem and they would be well suited as SAS operators.
It was another challenging day of walking through swamps for hours with the inevitable steep hill and mid-afternoon rain followed by a steep descent and river crossing into Ofi village. It was my ‘annus horribilis’ day on the track and I surrendered another two kilograms of weight to Ray at his suggestion. These guys were tough and I was fading. I was physically exhausted at the end of the day with our constantly wet feet taking a beating. Ofi Creek was in flood and it was very noisy, but it did not stop us from having a heavy sleep.
I felt better in the morning on our sixth and final day despite fatigue setting in, and I had overcome my embarrassment of Ray carrying some of my gear. We crossed many creeks through the day, paused at Ioribaiwa village, the furthest point of the Japanese advance and lunched on the definitive Imita Ridge before wading Goldie River at the old WWII flying fox capstone and pushing on up the last hill to Ower’s Corner.
Imita Ridge is like a razor’s edge with some sheer granite cliffs and the defensive positions would have been literally backs to the wall. Interesting we found some old Japanese artefacts potentially from mountain gun ammunition. These may have been abandoned post-war by trekkers; no Japanese soldiers advanced beyond Ioribaiwa.
The Ranger Station at Ower’s Corner was closed on the Saturday afternoon and so Ray telephoned for a minibus from the nearby Sogeri Lodge and we were soon ensconced in the Trade Winds Hotel in Port Moresby just after dusk. I called Colette and Min Moor to cancel the search and rescue watch. With the very wet conditions, the track has been unforgiving and it had tested us all the way to the end.
It was a pleasure to also book Ray and Billy into the hotel with us and to repay the kindness and physical and moral support that they had shown to us. “When you are ready,they would politely say when they urged us to get up and get going, interspersed with the occasional “saddle up”. Ray would say to me “hold my handas he would literally pulled me up a steep step which was “very slippery.” Ray and Billy are ‘salt of the earth’ people, modern day fuzzy wuzzy angels, that David and I have had the pleasure to share a week of our lives with.
On our seventh day, now a rest day in Port Moresby, we visited the some 3,000 graves at Bomana war cemetery. We stopped at Private Bruce Kingsbury’s grave and pondered his charge, at the head of his mates with a Bren gun at Isurava for which he was posthumously awarded a Victoria Cross. 625 Australians died in the campaign, while thousands of other men were wounded or fell ill. Many of these men do not have graves and their names are recorded in the rotunda at Bomana.
I have been to Papua New Guinea several times on business but I am very pleased to have walked the modern day Kokoda Track on its 75th anniversary with my son.
Shared by Amy O'Sullivan on May 13, 2021
Some of my favourite childhood memories were visiting Aunty Colette and the gang during the school holidays and the various adventures Jim took us on, piloting the infamous white Tarago! 
As a kid, Jim never treated you like a "mere" child. He spoke to you just the same as the adults. At times, he probably allowed us an independence beyond our years; most likely to Colette's dismay! But when Jim was in charge, you felt a sense of confidence, maturity and a bit of excitement! A particular boat trip he took David and I on off Karratha when I was 12 immediately comes to mind! 
In more recent years, the Truscott family Christmas lunch stands out as really fond memories - listening to Cher and drinking a lot of wine!! I'll miss his cheeky sense of humour, which often resulted in a dig in the ribs from Colette. I'll also miss our many conversations about politics and business, it was always incredibly interesting to hear his personal accounts of both!
Im glad we had the chance to catch up recently. Jim was feverishly taking our details for the family tree, not wanting to let an opportunity pass to capture more information about the extended family. Gosh, what would he think about this tribute site just for him!! 
It really was a privilege to spend time with you Uncle Jim. You've left an impression on many, me included.