Posted by Bryan Blake on May 17, 2021
To quote Ed Hillary:
"Nobody climbs mountains for scientific reasons. Science is used to raise money for the expeditions, but you really climb for the hell of it." Jim may your spirit forever rest with the giants of the Himalayans RIP Friend.
Posted by Ben Doyle-Cox on May 17, 2021
I have met many blokes from Special Operations over the last 30 plus years, they all strive for excellence in mind and body, Jim stood out with both his understanding of who came before us but also thinking outside the box.
Jim Truscott made an impact on SAS, Commandos, ADF and is a massive loss to Australia and will be missed by all
condolences to his family, I cannot fathom your loss

Ben Doyle-Cox,
Posted by Mark Dickson on May 17, 2021
At RMC, Jim introduced me to climbing, caving, Nordic skiing, SCUBA diving and other adventurous activities. We did our first parachute jumps together. I was always outside my comfort zone -but often so was Jim, and that is the way he liked it. 
I was privileged to know the Jim behind the bravado: highly intelligent, meticulous, thoughtful, sensitive and even poetic.
Our lives took us to different parts of the world but we stayed in regular, albeit infrequent, contact.

Jim was a friend, and his memories bring a smile to my face.

My condolences to Collette and Jim's family
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 very 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 strove 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 been assessed 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! The only time Jim rested was when he had no option. Jim had a natural intelligence for analysing things from every angle and questioning the status quo - then vocalising this passionately to all and sundry. 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, higher standards and into new horizons, many believing they would die in the process, he was always entirely 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 was everything! And such was the realism Jim created in training, courses and exercises that more than once it drew the concerned attention of the CO. Happily this was usually tempered by off- the record praise for the outstanding attendance of the Reservists and excellent feedback from participants and Observers.

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 considrered it better I went to their place for dinners, so I brought the “Reds” which were drunk well into the early morning. My respect for Jim was such, It took many dinners and a threat from him to get me to finally stop calling him "sir", when not at the Unit. Two New Year’s Nights were spent by the Truscott at my house and we often went on picnics or trips together to surrounding locales. 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 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 did an almost 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 “if you got too close to him, you got dragged into his schemes and adventures.” Sensing how passionate Jim was and having by then 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 made most people dizzy. Moreover these features did not allow one to turn around or chicken out. Jim, being small framed, wiry and nimble would be up ahead moving around like a bloody Rock Spider, talking to himself and yelling out all sorts of information. Mostly I think he said - "don't fall here".  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. For over 3 years we would grab a Zodiac from the Unit on a weekend and Jim and I, and on occasion a friend from the SES Unit, would head out to the Burrup Peninsular and associated islands. I enjoyed parachuting but this climbing business where I could see the jutting rocks and knife edges, waves crashing white far below, created some imaginings. After a long climb or 2-3 shorter climbs in a day, abseiling down after each, it was always a satisfying for me to still be alive at the end of it. Jim had stretched me yet again, and over some drinks he was already plotting the next climbs. Jim named each climb and recorded all the details, years later they were published. 

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. Jim was happy too as there was another two years to create mischief in the "Pilbara Playground".

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”. The fact is, despite his occasional tendency for decent, Jim was a highly dedicated, loyal to the Army and patriotic officer. 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 force which had aimed to carry out the second raid on shipping in Singapore during WWII. Jim and five other Majors, myself as a Captain and the Chart Navigator, and a Sergeant from Commandos retraced the exact 250NM route, in Army Sea Kayaks, of the original team. Jim had the historical records and detailed knowledge of what happened where, on each island along the exfiltration 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 each had roles and input, Jim was the cement keeping it on track. On about the fourth day after the hard slog of kayaking had begun and sleeping in the jungle each night (with thousands of noisy 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 store sections of the canvas kayaks by feel. Communication was by whisper. There was a sense of urgency. I still remember thinking, these Special Forces guys really take the enactment seriously, and was happy to follow suit. 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. But Jim was again correct, a few years later Australian Forces were in Iraq and after that Timor Leste.

When I was posted as a 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 "Jim Truscott" 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 then added another dimension of realism, risk, value outcome. Now Jim would approve. 

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 his operations in Timor Leste are well known and respected.

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. 

I wondered some times, who inspired Jim. Who did he look to and respect, beyond friends and colleagues. At the end of the Retrace Mission, the team returned to Singapore and was at the main cemetary. Jim and I tracked down the tomb stones of those who had undertaken the original Operation Rimau and there amongst them was that of Lt Col Ivan Lyon, leader and creator of the raids on Singapore. Jim kneeled down and with eyes closed touched the stone, holding his hand on it for several minutes in what appeared quiet reflection, perhaps linking with a like minded brother of the past - someone also non conventional. I think that partly answered my question. I captured Jim in the moment by photo.

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



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
Posted by Perry Gamsby on May 16, 2021
I served with this man at 1st Field Squadron (1 FER) and remember the lecture he gave on the Australian Contingent to the Commonwealth Monitoring Force in Rhodesia. I also acted as one of two radio operators for him on Ex Droughtmaster while we spent time strolling with the Infantry for a few days. He was extremely fit and when getting into shape for SASR Selection I can recall him running past the Lines every night, checking his watch, returning my salute with a nod as he jogged. His getting in to the Regiment was never in doubt; he was that sort of bloke. We were, of course, on a first name basis. He called me Sapper, I called him Sir...
Posted by marcus mcritchie on May 16, 2021
I've been wondering what I should write about Jim these last few days. His life was so rich as was his personality and take on the world. Maybe funny stories and anecdotes but the details allude me lost in time. The most intense period i spent with Jim was 1990-1991 when we worked together virtually every day for 18 months at 2 Commando Company in Williamstown, Melbourne. It was a long time ago now. I was his Adjutant/Operations Officer while he was in Command of the unit but it often felt like Watson to his Holmes. I had no preconceived notion of him before we met but quickly realized in some ways we shared a kindred spirit. Risk takers, passionate and wanting to make a difference.

His enthusiasm in that role was quite incredible and to that point in my working life it was the hardest I had ever worked. He drove everyone very hard which was polarizing and exhausting for many, particularly the senior regular staff. Yet the outcomes for the reserve soldiers we were there to serve and mentor were often phenomenal. They experienced an excellent level of training, exposure to environments and skills that I believe for many underpinned their future careers on operations in the Middle East in the years ahead. Tuesday nights, Friday nights and training weekends each month were a frenzy of high tempo activity. It was nothing over a 48hr period to find ourselves inter-State on RAN patrol boats, submarines, Zodiacs, Klepper canoes, RAAF aircraft, in vehicles, patrolling through scrub then suddenly back in Melbourne cleaning equipment. We all slept very well on Sunday nights. I remember one Friday evening attending a photographic show in East Melbourne where my wife was exhibiting, glass of wine in hand and then 6 hr later landing in soft sand in Cultana, South Australia parachute settling beside me. We were off and running.

Jim lived for these training activities and in his mind there was nothing to limit his imagination or what could be achieved. He took risks to make the training realistic and was often in strife with the headquarters in Sydney - he was not fussed. In his mind the focus on tough, dynamic close as you can get to warlike conditions was what mattered. For me as a young officer he showed me what was possible and trusted me to make it happen. It was exhilarating, exciting and we had a lot of fun. One of my many enduring images of Jim was walking into the Depot each morning past his office where without fail he was bent over his desk writing. Always writing. Smashing out a letter to someone, a concept paper for the next activity, an article for a journal or perhaps an explanation to the Commanding Officer in Sydney regarding an alleged misdemeanor. He always said to me it was brilliant to be so far away from Rome and left alone to get on with it. He loved writing as did i and in subsequent years he always asked me what i was doing and he'd share his latest piece with me. If i said i was doing a bit of this and that he'd say get off your arse and get it done - followed by a momentary death stare and wry grin before reaching for the bottle of red and pouring a glass. He was very proud of his published work.
During that period he insisted on keeping the spirit and connection of the Commando history alive. Once every few months we'd choose a pub in Melbourne and convene a Paratroopers Lunch with our senior staff. The guests of honour were legendary M and Z Special veterans. These were raucous and amazing occasions where these humble men would share incredible stories. Jim's knowledge on the history was rich and deep - he had a comprehensive library at home with all the published memoirs. Many of our training scenarios were based on real exploits and operations experienced by these men. The connection and continuum was tangible and these men appreciated the recognition by Jim

Since that time Jim and I stayed in touch. Our paths crossed in Australia or Asia and we'd catch up when we could. He tried very hard to get me involved in his Crisis Leadership business and though I was very interested I was otherwise committed - he made an extraordinary success of it. As time went on he insisted that like him i plan adventures, at least one a year so 'you don't get soft'. It was a mantra and it inspired me to plan early and ensure i kept that excitement and curiosity alive - forget tomorrow as you never know whats around the corner. He was always fun to catch up with to hear his latest stories, views on the world and adventures. Climbing of course was never far away and he was very proud of Colette and his children as they became adults and made their way in life with their own children.

What i feel now and what will remain with me is a sense of who he was - how he seized each day looking for meaning and purpose - he didn't take life for granted - it was to be lived and experienced without regret. He was someone I admired, respected and am proud to call a friend. He did make a difference and left the world a richer place. I will miss him terribly.

Posted by Christopher Davies on May 15, 2021
My first meeting with Jim was at a Business Continuity Forum in Perth. I immediately thought this guy was amazing. I did some research on him and could not believe such a man was a well respected officer of the SAS Regiment and how he set up Crisis Leaders.

Over time Jim encouraged me to give a talk on crisis management to a forum. He could have stopped my talk to a group of high paid lawyers a number of times, but he let me go and at the end made a comment of the nature - I love your dry sense of humour and that is what crisis management is all about. Its the greatest compliment I ever received as a public speaker.

Over the years we stayed in touch and discussed various crisis management issues and the work we were doing.

He was a great man - my deepest sympathies to his family - may he rest in peace.
Posted by Lindsay Morrison on May 15, 2021
Elizabeth and I were lucky enough to call both Jim and Colette friends. Having first met in the Pilbara in the 80's. We have managed to keep in touch ever since. Jim was my boss for a time and what a boss he was! It was at this point I believe we gained a mutual respect for each other. Later on I was able to employ the 'Crisis Leader' for the business in which I worked. A bit of a role reversal to say the least. I will miss greatly, being able to sit in the 'back yard' with Jim sharing a bottle of red and just talk. Onwards to the next challenge Jim. Our hearts go out to Colette and the rest of his terrific family.......Lizzy & Lindsay Morrison
Posted by Jon Hawkins on May 15, 2021
Deepest condolences to Collette and the entire Truscott family. Jim lived life to the fullest and was an inspiration to many with his energy and persistence. He was frequently ahead of his era, in military and business, generating concepts and plans that appeared farfetched to many but with the passage of time several of his notions became truths.

We have lost an inquisitive character, an eccentric, a man of passion! Jim’s life was rich, and he lived it well.

“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”


Posted by Mike Turner on May 14, 2021
As one of the fraternity we applaud your life and offer our sincere condolences to Collette and the family. Your positive mark has been stamped on many communities with Timor Leste now coming under the wing of others.
Thank you from all our members and friends across the globe now you have stood down. Mike Turner Tasmania
Posted by Bob Quodling on May 13, 2021
I would like to pass on my sincere condolences to Jim's wife, Collette, his children, grandchildren and many close friends. In particular, Harry and Rick who shared the last pages of the last chapter of his extraordinary life.

A great character who will be sadly missed. We all should think of him and remember him whenever times get tough. His can do, never retreat attitude to life was amazing.
An inspiration and reminder to get out there and have a go while we still can.
Vale Jim
Posted by Julia Mackay on May 13, 2021
I will never forget Jim coming along on my honeymoon to Rick (Min) Moor in 1984 as both fellas were not 'going to waste a week and not go climbing'. At least Jim slept in his own tent! When I stayed with Rick during the AAA Everest Expedition in 1988, Jim banged on our tent and said something encouraging to Rick about leaving our tent and getting part of his anatomy back up the mountain. Jim will forever be remembered as a true mate, a humble fellow, a much loved husband and father and a really wonderful person. Always loved. Never forgotten. 
Posted by Kenneth Webb on May 13, 2021
Rest in peace Taipan. You are an enduring inspiration that will always be there for the many who were fortunate to enjoy your mateship and mentoring. Dugite
Posted by Matt Rosser on May 13, 2021
What it was like to climb with Jim

Climbing was in Jim’s DNA - in his case a double rope rather than a double helix. 
He was always looking for potential new climbs. Scouring for hidden unclimbed rock that could possibly hold new lines. Jim was happy as Larry when climbing a new rock and penning a colourful description to record and locate the event. To establish a new climb to record an event in his own or his friends’ lives was an oft-pursued goal.
I remember a 7am pickup after a whisky and cigar evening. Driving to the bush included stops to vomit from the car. We marched in the summer heat through the parrot bush to find a rumoured rock and put up a new climb which Jim promptly named “Death by Cutty Sark” - a popular bottle the evening before…its legacy and the climb far less inspiring. 

Death by Cutty Sark 7m 20   
The overhang on the detached buttress at the LHE with 2BR. Sequency pull-ups, knee bars and heel hooks. M Rosser, J. Truscott 15 Aug 04’ 

Jim was a very vocal climber, helping someone with unsolicited advice as they ascended the rock, yelling enthusiastic instructions from the ground. ‘Left foot higher right hand lower. Push push push… take a breather’. 
When on the rope himself he would vocalise his way up. It was sometimes loud, often dramatic or funny. It was all absorbing. It was Jim. 
Jim always provided more than his fair share of the enthusiasm, but he also always carried his fair share of the load. At a recent trip to Wilyabrup when he was recovering from a hernia Danilo and I gave instructions to leave the gear and we would bring it on. Of course we found Jim at the car having hauled more than he should’ve and more than his share. 
One thing that was quite unique for someone who climbed as much as Jim was that he never climbed alone. Dedicated climbers often go through periods where they go alone with their ropes to develop an area or practice a climb. Not Jim. Always amongst others.
In years gone past , young Sarah, Jess and Lisa accompanied us out in the bush. The girls were a tight tribe with zero interest in our activities. An unconcerned Jim left them to their devices that would often include a hammer and a box of matches. Fellow climbers were always a little concerned but Jim had confidence that the girls would come to no harm, do no harm and that they would learn to enjoy the bush by being able to play in it.
David came climbing as he grew older. This showed a new side of the great man, known for his enthusiastic encouragement of others’ climbing feats. When his son was on the rock, though, the enthusiasm waned. It wasn’t easy for Jim to see David in risky situations. Although proud of David for serving in the ADF, he was mightily relieved when he returned to civilian life. 
Above all, Jim talked. About family, friends and life. 
For me, Jim gave me the opportunity to be in the company of a cheerful climber with a shared sense of humour. He was a great friend. Climbing with Jim was something I looked forward to and was often the highlight of my week. It is over too soon.
Matt Rosser

Remembering Matt’s friend and Collette’s husband
Deb Rosser

Sundays, Easters, Boxing Days, long weekends. Many of them sacrificed to Matt and Jim’s climbing trips. I found it a pain when the kids were younger and we only had two – Collette had four at home! And a husband who worked away. But during this inexplicable shared love of going up rocks the hard way, I saw my husband enriched by a firm and enduring friendship that would eventually, and tragically, culminate in a profound sense of loss.
But it was not always this sad. Through the decades we have known them, Jim and Collette have regularly practised random acts of kindness and generosity – oodles of food and slides at their place, dinners out, platters brought to yours. While each had their own spheres, fundamentally Jim and Collette were a team and that was how I thought of them – as co leaders of Team Truscott, revolving around family and including lots of friends.
My most frequent contact with Jim was in his role as Matt’s climbing buddy - part of that dreadful, scary, dangerous world of climbing that Matt loves so much. Jim would sit, shedding bush dirt, in my clean kitchen while Matt made them full fat Sunday snacks, chai tea and whisky and he would talk about this or that trip or adventure that he and Collette, or Collette and the girls, had undertaken. Sounds great, I’d say, how did that come about? Collette just pulls it all together, would be the response. 

When we first met Jim and Collette, they were living in an army house in Swanbourne. Collette was very matter of fact about Jim’s role and absences and not only managed to raise a close and loving family but also had a professional life and her own hobbies. She supported Jim in all his adventures, and made home a special place for him - somewhere he wanted to return to whenever his job or restlessness would permit.
While it’s clear that Jim had many friends, I years ago formed the opinion that he was an essentially solitary soul. As I came to know Jim better in later years, I felt that he understood his own idiosyncrasies and knew how very lucky he was in his best friend – Collette. I can’t remember Jim ever having anything but fond words to say about his kids or Collette. Of course his kids were the best, most interesting and capable people. Not in a bragging way – they just were. And his wife was the prettiest wife anyone could hope to have – and who looked much younger than her years, as she always had. Again, not bragging that he could pull such a fine bird - more enduringly surprised that he had and somewhat bemused and grateful that she’d stuck with him!
As hard as it is to lose Jim as a friend, my heart especially goes out to Collette. She has lost her best friend and life’s partner too soon and I am sure that for all Jim’s stated desire to go out in a blaze of glory, he would never have wanted Collette and the kids to have to endure this pain and grief.
Deb Rosser

Posted by Martin Hamilton-Smith on May 13, 2021
Jims family might like confirmation from an eye witness that it was love at first sight! Impressed with my match making skills after successfully introducing Mike Hindmarsh to my mate Debbie, I had Jim Truscott in my sights! I shared a house in Subiaco with two great girls, Shirley in business and Helen a nurse. My house mates were keen to meet some of these army boys. I thought they were mad and I warned them off, but over a few reds it was decided a blind date was in order. I rounded up Mick 'bady' Goodyear and Jim. Helen brought her friend and fellow nurse Colette. It must have been 1981. Out we all went. Colette took one look at me and 'bady' and could plainly see we were both lost causes and beyond redemption. Her attention was immediately drawn to the interesting bloke in the room, Jim. Its fair to say they didn't stop talking all night as two sparkling smiles, big hearts and bright minds met. It was clear to those who knew him Jim was gone immediately!! We all had a lot of fun.

Although clearly smitten, Jim never the less designed the 1/81 SASR Young Officers Prospective Wives Selection Course, which involved dragging poor Colette down the Franklin River (when no one else had thought of it) hauling boats, climbing, endurance walks with starvation and exhaustion thrown in. Few women would have suffered was clearly love. Colette deserves a dozen medals and a Presidential Citation!@#!. At the time Jim probably thought he was putting Colette through her paces. In fact she was clearly calling the shots from the outset and was completely in charge! It has been a wonderful match. Jim was a rare gem, but when he found Colette he discovered the Crown Jewels. Jim was able to keep being Jim because he had you and the children as backup. His spirit will live on with all of you.
Posted by Lester Cornall on May 13, 2021
Jim was my friend and I miss him.

Jim and I discovered that we both loved rock climbing early in 1975, our third-class year at RMC. We pooled our gear and for the next 4 years almost every weekend and holiday was spent on the rocks, developing our ice climbing and mountaineering skills or skiing. At some stage we also embarked on scuba diving and caving just to have a break.
Jim was never content, and he always had visions of bigger, further and higher. With support from various Supervising Officers, we kicked off the RMC Mountaineering Club and instigated a revitalization of the Army Alpine Club which attracted a diverse group of like minded friends. We also gathered various sponsors and supporters to assist in our activities. His efforts in these bigger projects are well documented and I will leave to others to tell these stories.
Our first serious climbing activity was in Xmas 1975 with a trip to the Mount Cook region where we teamed up with some of my climbing friends. As far a NZ climbing seasons go, the weather held and we climbed Mt Footstool (2767m), Mt Green (2837m), Mt Darwin (2952m) and Hochstetter Dome (2810m). When the weather closed, we did some long bushwalks. Overall, a very satisfactory Xmas not-with-standing a near disaster on Mt Darwin where a member of our team got caught in a slab avalanche. These dangers were always present and mostly managed with some success. We formed an enduring friendship borne of these adventurous activities, shared risks and like mindedness.
Jim and I were discussing his upcoming plans last month and he brought up the “Major’s Creek Falls accident” near Braidwood some 43 years ago. We were at the bottom of the 200 ft falls looking for a line, we were climbing solo on the water worn skirting rocks leading to the base of the falls proper. Jim took a tumble, bounced a few times and ended up head first about 50 ft down, unconscious in the pool at the bottom. After a frantic climb down, some agricultural first aid, a long climb and run to the Majors Creek pub, a quick beer, the SES was organized and after 7 hours we had him up the falls and in the Braidwood Hospital for preliminary treatment.
I remember, about 3 weeks later, still in plaster, he joined us for a scuba trip at Jervis Bay, Torpedo Tubes. Time for a night dive and Jim, arm and shoulder in plastic glad wrap, insisted on diving, hanging off an emergency regulator. A good dive, but I’m sure that he used more than his fair share of air.
Work and family, developing interests and circumstance lead us in different directions but we always found time to talk about our activities a couple of times a year and get together less frequently. Jim and Collette were due in Darwin next month as part of a driving trip and I was looking forward to catching up.
Jim was a rare man, an adventurer, collaborator, focused, driven, visionary and with a knack for organising unusual activities. In many respects fearless but with an eye to risk management.

Most of all, Jim was my friend and I miss him.
Condolences to Collette and family and Jim's many friends
Posted by Paddy Ramanathan on May 12, 2021
It was shocking to say the least to receive the other day a fax from NSW Health about Jim's demise.
As his GP for nearly 20yrs, I found Jim to be 'challenging' but a delightful friend! He exchanged with me great stories of Army and the exciting trips to various places of the world delivering his management talks.
I have seen many patients in my 40+ medical career but Jim will be remembered as a special soldier and great family man. The bonding he created with his family through treks & mountaineering was special & amazing!
The copy of "Snakes in the Jungle" signed and gifted by Jim will be treasured.
May his soul Rest in Peace. My heartfelt condolences to Colette & the family.
Posted by George Walker on May 12, 2021
I didn’t know Jim well, but we had done some indoor climbing and were talking about a group of us going out to some of the WA classics. During one of the email chains he posted this under the title “The brotherhood of the rope.” From what I know and have heard of him, it seems a fitting tribute:

I looked 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 were the reasons that I climbed.
Posted by Bjorn Aikman on May 12, 2021
I knew Jim first as a climber then as a soldier. In both arenas he was an outlier. Gifted, driven and forever challenging the establishment. For all his combativeness he was also humble, generous and encouraging of his subordinates or those less experienced. He put in many hours to establish the mechanisms to enable others to achieve both in the mountains and in the field. I owe Jim a lot for which I never got the chance to thank him but I suspect if I had he would just have given me one of those looks and said ‘get on with it’. 
Posted by Scott Terrey on May 12, 2021
Jim was the Orde Wingate of our times. He was a gloriously eccentric, driven, talented operator; a relentless searcher for adventure and, most of all, a steadfast friend. 

And we all knew him in such different ways; loving husband, proud father, larrikin brother, amazed grandfather, thoughtful commander; irreverent subordinate; uncontrollable optimist; unfathomable talent for mischief - and as one of his former clients described him, “a serial pest”.  Jim wouldn’t let “no” get in the way of doing what he thought was right!

There was another Jim too. The one that selflessly strode into great danger to serve his country in unnamed places at unacknowledged times and cheerfully accepted that none of those exploits would ever be recognised, let alone spoken of. 

My thoughts are with Colette and the family and also with Min and Harry who tried so hard to keep their friend alive and who, ultimately had to let him go.  Its apt that Jim died doing something in his usual manic style but so crushingly sad that it didn’t happen thirty years from now.

And so we will all remember him in our own ways. For me it will be this email that he sent a few short weeks ago,


Push on to the summit

The definition of mountaineering is the ability to get out of bed in the morning and to keep putting one foot in front of the other

The definition of life is to put off the prospect of death as long as possible.


- that and a cheeky grin coming at me in the small hours of a black tropical night and a pithy “How’s your morale”?
Posted by Joseph Lynch on May 11, 2021
I'm still in shock. Terrible news. Deepest condolences to Collette and family. Jim and I first met in kindergarten (Mater Dei School Ashgrove) and were in the same class all the way through school. We climbed together periodically throughout the last 40 years. He was an extremely decent person who packed several lifetimes of adventure into one. And Collette, you deserve a lot of credit for his amazing array of achievements. I'm sorry we never caught up as planned last year.
Posted by Peter Nicholls on May 11, 2021
RIP Jim I was shocked to hear you had passed away. Condolences to the family. It was great working with you every time we conducted our crisis management drills, we always got a lot out of it. Farewell Jim you will be missed.
Posted by Patrick Cullinan on May 11, 2021
Very saddened by Jim's passing. Deepest condolences to Colette, David, Jess, Lisa, Maria, Grandkids and family. Jim will be sorely missed. Jim was an extraordinary talent. Never satisfied with the status quo and always pushing forward. Jim was very clear on what was needed to succeed, to win in war or in business. He was very professionally honest and trustworthy, and generous in giving his time and expertise to raise the knowledge and conceptual level of others, regardless of rank. In planning and life, Jim would often observe things from a red team or devil's advocate perspective - often the only one in the group who would do this. Seeing Jim operate, I used to think; how can you measure that and how can you put a price tag on that? A unique and natural thinker, Jim will be sorely missed by both his adventurous and loving family, and by his very many friends and admirers. Rest in peace Jim, if that is possible. Hard to believe that you are no longer with us, but great memories and respect for you will always be firmly in place.
Posted by Bruce Armstrong on May 11, 2021
Jim Truscott, thrived in unconventional environments and often, right or wrong, tested and sometimes broke the boundaries in situations defined by rules. In the military and in business, he sort to write his own rules. He was a deep thinker with a soaring intellect. He challenged myself, and many others, to question our view on many issues, and our traditional thinking. Those he met in the military and in business often held a polarised view of Jim.  I personally greatly valued our friendship and communication, and at all times was proud to call him my mate. You will be greatly missed Jim. Colette, thank you for allowing and supporting Jim to live his extraordinary life. My condolences to you and the Truscott family. 
Posted by Jagdish Buch on May 10, 2021
While working at then CAIRN ENERGY PLC at Viramgam Oil Terminal, Gujarat, India, as site in charge of Administration of the terminal, I had the rare privilege to attend a safety related programme by Jim in 2011. We had great learning from him and cherish fond memories of the same. My sincere condolences to the bereaved family. May God grant him eternal peace.Om Shanti..
Posted by William Forbes on May 10, 2021
The Jim I knew was a driven man. He was guided by a strong personal commitment to get as much as possible out of life regardless of where or what it was. He was an unconventional thinker with great enthusiasm for alternative approaches - always thinking out of the box regardless of the body of evidence which suggested there was only one path to follow.

The Jim I knew had a never say die approach. He could be measured and thoughtful but bold and audacious was his preference. He was a traveller, an adventurer and entrepreneur always ready to climb a new rockface, paddle a new sea, advance a new idea or take on a new challenge.

The Jim I knew was a good friend to many.

Along with others we survived a lost aircraft event and came close to crashing into the Arafura Sea off Arnhem Land. We planned and conducted Ex Biltong Watcher which stretched the envelope for SAS operations in Northern Australia in new and challenging directions. We conducted a major Kidnap for Ransom exercise and there were other memorable events some of significance, some not.

I will carry Jim's memory with me always. He was strong, resourceful and optimistic and I feel a weight of sadness with his death.

As we endeavour to console ourselves we should remember short as it has been, Jim's life was a life well lived. We have all lost a good man.

My sincerest condolences to Colette and family.

RIP SeaGull - Bill
Posted by Shahid Gardezi on May 10, 2021
Indeed a very sad news for everyone who knew Jim. As a safety professional he made quite a mark in Northern Hemisphere as well. We at Eni Pakistan knew him as a very composed, experienced and knowledgeable gentleman. We considered him as our mentor in the field of emergency handling. He conducted so many successful exercises for us.

As a person he was energetic and down to earth. He was enthusiastic about his work and always went extra mile to help others. He will be greatly missed.

Heart felt condolences to his family and friends. May God Almighty grant him highest place in heaven. So long Jim
Posted by Neil Gledhill on May 10, 2021
It was a privilege to call Jim a friend. One of the wiliest, smartest guys I ever went climbing with and without a doubt one of the most passionate. His love for the sport and adventure came through in his actions and words. We had great fun tearing up the hills of Perth, setting fires, trespassing and going to the pub. Some how we also managed some climbing and plenty of ethical talk.

Jim's emails to stay in touch and share regular updates on his life's adventures and challenges were also welcome in my inbox and every one was a porthole into an amazing mind.

Not a moment wasted. Like many others have said and all are thinking. Jim, it has been a privileged.
Posted by Paul Prickett on May 10, 2021
I worked with Jim in 1989 during a suite of training run out of Swan Island. We spent about 10days in southern Victoria and then about 3weeks in a jungle setting in Nth Queensland. It was very challenging and innovative training demanding much of us all both physically and mentally. Jim was our team leader and mentor. He was tireless, determined and professionally flexible throughout this entire period. His calm and quiet approach kept the team focused and task worthy under trying conditions. I would follow Jim under any circumstances and will no doubt draft into his team somewhere on the other side when my time is up. Don't rest Jim, you still have mountains to climb. GWTT Taipan.
Posted by Leigh Alver on May 10, 2021
Back when we were young, we all believed ourselves to be invincible, courageous, and willing to take risks that others would never consider. Our confidence sometimes showed in our swagger or how we wore our beret. Then along came Jim Truscott, and frankly, he made us feel like pretenders. No objective was unachievable – no risk too high – no effort ever enough. He was dangerous, even to speak to, as there was every chance that you could be roped into his latest adventure. And if we felt threatened, can you imagine how the hierarchy saw this maverick. A career could be put at risk by no more than guilt by association. But it was Jim’s mind that defined him in my eyes. He was a deep thinker who questioned every problem and provided a solution. He was the soldier who never saw defeat no matter how stacked the odds seemed at first sight. If it could be done by anyone, it would be done by Jim. I am greatly saddened by his lost and send my deepest condolences to Colette and the family. If it is any consolation, Jim will be grieved by many, and much of what he was, came from his family.
Posted by Stefan Frodsham on May 10, 2021
Rest in peace Jim, you have done enough to fill three lifetimes. See you again upstairs.
Posted by Clay Kruger on May 10, 2021
Jim, I considered you a mentor...a true friend.

You were a remarkable man. Your energy and passion for life were truly inspiring, and those stories of your adventures were always so entertaining and just a joy to hear.

I will genuinely miss you...
Posted by Peter McKenzie on May 10, 2021
I knew Jim as a youngster and a classmate. Followed his adventures from afar, a great human being. A life well lived.
Posted by Ian Mansfield on May 10, 2021
I had not seen Jim for many years, but I had followed his work through his publications and word of mouth. We had served together at 1 Field Squadron way way back when. Jim decided it would be useful for sappers to know how to jump out the back of moving trucks - so his bemused troops spent the afternoon launching themselves out of perfectly good trucks. I had never been rock climbing so he offered to take me - big mistake, when I found myself hanging upside down from some impossible ledge. When Jim went away one time, he asked me to look after his beloved lime green Subaru ute which I enjoyed driving around (Jim told me he had once driven the ute from Broome to Perth - mainly along the beach!!). A great character who will be sadly missed.
Posted by Peter Bastable on May 10, 2021
A great loss of Jim who I've worked with since 2005 until a couple of years ago. For me, Jim was easy to work with as honesty was the best policy and caring about all and everybody is a blessing.
Being brave isn't easy but it publishes very much.
The important thing now is for the younger to achieve and for the older to stick by them, all of them.
Posted by Nadine Gibbons on May 10, 2021
To Jim's wife, children and grandchildren, extended family and all who honoured this wonderful gentleman. I was a librarian at Leuwin Barracks. A less likely looking Aussie soldier, scrawny almost bland looking, in fact the perfect member of the SAS, visited my library, once I knew he was a mountaineer, well that explained the almost greyhound look. Jim used the Defence library for many years advising me on desirable items for the collection - I was never able to acquire Sefton Blake, but I did have Lake Boga. From Jim, and a few other ex SASR members I expanded my own knowledge, as well as the collection. When it was broken up and the library closed, Jim still found people to fight for the finest collection of intelligence and counter intelligence open source material in Defence to be retained as close to the Regiment as possible. We were beaten by bureaucracy but we tried.
Jim, you have gone too early, as others have said. You have left a legacy via those you trained and worked with. I am glad you passed swiftly doing what you loved.
Vale Taipan.
Posted by Kevin Arlidge on May 8, 2021
Jim and I were class mates at RMC Duntroon - Class 1977. Big Jim was always larger than life and a great person. It is so sad that he has been taken so early. He will not be forgotten.
Posted by Harry Butler on May 8, 2021
From Jim:

Commended to me when I was proffering excuses for not signing up for one of his excursions: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” ― Calvin Coolidge.

On canvassing your business: "Once you learn to handle rejection, life becomes easy."

And, with characteristic bluntness, on an uninviting morning about to set out for a day's climbing: "You've got to get out there. One day you're going to wake up dead."

Not a minute wasted. It has been a privilege.
Posted by Tony Webster-Smith on May 7, 2021
Well mate I guess dinner at my place is off but we'll catch up again. I'll miss the cups of tea, sharing the wins and losses. Always genuine and with good intent you always challenged. You proudly wore the leather out of the shoes, frenetically communicated and humorously remonstrated. I learnt to appreciate that no is a starting position and I always felt sorry for the person saying no.  I will miss your energy, enthusiasm, laughs and the bottles of red and the relaxed conversations with you and Collette on latest exploits and planned adventures. Being very Jim, you departed on adventure.
Posted by Martin Dransfield on May 7, 2021
I had the great privilege to meet Jim in Timor-Leste in 2019 and we exchanged a number of emails resulting from our shared love of Timor-Leste and its people. Moreover, he was intent on telling the story of 2/2nd Commando Squadron and ensuring that the Falantil story was captured before the veterans passed on. He also wanted to capture the Australian and New Zealand story from 1999.

His energy and passion for Timor-Leste and life was boundless. He was trusted by the Timorese and his vision was to produce a battlefield tour guide for veterans and their families to return to Timor-Leste.

It was an honour to have spent time with you Jim. Rest In Peace.

Posted by Guy Duczynski on May 7, 2021
A sad and much too early end to an amazing life of achievements in military, business and adventure. 
Rock climbing with Jim was always an exciting experience; you just never knew how the day would play out. On a visit to a mountain warfare course in the early 90's he was the first with his skis on, the first to knock up a hot brew, the first to get his tent up at the end of a long day and the first into his sleeping bag.
As a military thinker and challenger of the status quo he was unequalled.
Posted by Marc Preston on May 6, 2021
I had the privilege of serving as one of your young Officers at 2 Coy and can say without equivocation you were one of the best OCs we had who was always focused on the mission, men and Unit capability - sometimes to the detriment of your career. I was also fortunate to have kept in touch with you since the 90's and being dragged in your wake with Crisis Leaders, reviewing you prodigious articles and books and of course the epic motorbike adventure through Timor Leste. You were a big influence on my life and career and will certainly be missed mate. RIP Jim
Posted by Jim Wallace on May 6, 2021
Jim was indeed a unique individual. 
His passion for unconventional warfare and combination of courage, intelligence and vision would have seen him standout and widely written about in conflicts at any other point of history. Truly remarkable person and missed. 
Colette, you and the family can be very proud of him.
Posted by christine helliwell on May 6, 2021
A great friend and tireless ferreter-out of the truth. Without his generosity my forthcoming book on Operation Semut would have been considerably poorer. So sorry that I now won't get the change to argue with him about it. Deepest sympathies to Colette and family.
Posted by Truck Sams on May 6, 2021
I first met Jim at the Army Parachute School where my first impressions of him were correct. He was indeed a true officer and a gentleman amongst his peers and always respected his fellow soldiers. I would have gladly served under him during peace time and operations. Rest In Peace my friend 

Truck Sams and The Long Ride Home Team
Posted by John Trevivian on May 6, 2021
Jim used to joke to me when we he was in his early 20's that it would be a miracle if he survived beyond 30 years of age. This indicated the drive he had to live life to the full, take (calculated) risks and enjoy what he wanted to do. He survived the 30 years milestone and Jim went on to cram as much as he could into life. I was always interested to find out what he was doing and he kept in periodic contact. I was very sad to hear the news.
Posted by Margaret Lyons on May 5, 2021
I did not know army Jim but I do know my cousin Jim’s intense gaze had thawed out over time.
Jim was driven but comfortable in his civilian suit and tie. He loved a challenge and relished using his life skill, wit and the pen to take on the corporate world in crisis.
Jim greatly cherished his wife, children and grandchildren. He was somewhat amused by the width and diversity of the wider family across the country and our Irish roots. He was currently researching the family tree, many of us receiving text messages and requesting information just days before his passing.
Jim relished the challenges of looking into past history, following up links to our convict past and rattling the bones of buried secrets.
Jim's passing is a reminder to all of us to make every moment count.
Margaret Lyons ( Unternaehrer) [First cousin of Jim on his maternal side]
Posted by Shane Cornell on May 5, 2021
Goodbye Sir, but never forgotten. Inspirational and challenging, you taught many the art of dancing with the tiger.

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