John Killian passed away at 0942hrs on the 16th January 2022 in hospital in England after a short illness. John was well known to many international shooters who visited Bisley and met him on his many tours with British teams around the world. Many Australians were helped by John when we visited Bisley and were entertained in his back yard at Clock Tower Lodge. His lunch parties on the day of the Queen’s Final were legendary. I can remember in 2010 his great friend John Fitzgerald organised the Gurkha Band to play for the lunch guests where John also sang the first verse of Waltzing Matilda.
The world of target rifle shooting will be a much lesser place with his passing and our thoughts must go to his family, Di his wife and Gibson his son as well as all the extended family.
I have put together a short list of his shooting achievements as John was not just a very decent person but also a great shot.
30 ‘Big 5’ (Palma, Australia Match, Kolapore, Mackinnon and National) appearances – for England, 7 in the National and 8 in the Mackinnon – for GB, 5 in the Australia Match (74, 76, 78, 79 and 84), 3 in the Palma Match and 7 in the Kolapore (including captaining the winning GB team in 1997).
9 GB overseas tours of which 4 were to Australia (74, 79, 84, 88). On his first visit he won the NSW Queen’s and acquired the nickname “son of Walt”.
He made 12 appearances in HM The Queen’s final, including winning the Silver Medal (the 2nd stage) in 1974, and 7 Grand Agg crosses, including the Silver Cross in 1976.
He also won a full set (Gold, Silver and Bronze) of St. George’s medals, including winning the competition.
Thankyou John Killian for the many great memories that you have given the shooting community around the world in general and on being such a great influence with my shooting career.