Monday, March 17, 2008

HMAS Sydney

Most of my regular readers are from overseas and I just want to mention that today is an important day in Australian wartime history. The wreck of the HMAS Sydney has most probably been located 120 miles off the Western Australia coast. In November 1941, she sank with the loss of all 645 crew after a short battle with the German Raider Kormoran who was also sunk but most of whose crew survived. It was quite emotional watching interviews with some of the widows and some of the children who never knew their father or lost him at a very young age. When I first heard that the Government was going to spend a lot of money on renewing the search for this ship, I was a bit sceptical thinking it would be like searching for the needle in the haystack. I am glad to be proved wrong.
My uncle Ernest was killed on the Somme in 1915 and in 2002 I visited his grave and was glad to be able to take back home to my mother a picture of me kneeling by the grave of her big brother who did not return home when she was only 6 years old. She kept that photo on her mantelpiece for the last 4 years of her life. Last year I returned to the grave with my sister and laid flowers in memory of his little sister.
I can only imagine the relief tinged with sadness of finally knowing after so many years the resting place of one's father, brother or husband. May God bless the relatives at this time and grant eternal rest to the sailors.

6 comments:

Doorman-Priest said...

21 again Brian. Many congratulations.

Grandmère Mimi said...

May God bless the relatives of those who perished on the Sydney, indeed.

And Happy Birthday to you, Noble Wolf! May you have many more happy ones.

BooCat said...

Off Topic: Happy Birthday and many happy returns.

Brian R said...

Thank you D-P, grandmere and boocat. Alcibiades will get his come-uppance one day for letting the cat out of the bag. Have enjoyed the Irish jokes grandmere although the only thing Irish about me is my name and birthday.

Davis said...

21? At least you don't have to worry about being 39!
;-)

My cousin went down on the HMAS Sydney - mother's family never quite recovered from the grief.

Brian R said...

Thanks Davis, I did not realise you had such a close relationship to the tragedy. Prayers for your Aussie family.