Celebrating Australian service from Gallipoli to MANITOU

Published on CHAP Colin Tett (author), ABIS Jake Badior (photographer)

Lieutenant Catherine Trew plots a course on the bridge of HMAS Success, while sailing through the Mediterranean en-route to centenary of ANZAC commemorations in Athens, Greece. (photo: Able Seaman Jake Badior)
Lieutenant Catherine Trew plots a course on the bridge of HMAS Success, while sailing through the Mediterranean en-route to centenary of ANZAC commemorations in Athens, Greece.

For Lieutenant Catherine Trew, a Maritime Warfare Officer in HMAS Success, Anzac Day has been a family affair her entire life. 

Her two great-grandfathers served in the First World War, and she was taken by her grandfather, a Second World War veteran of HMAS Shropshire, on her first Anzac Day march when she was just five. Since she joined the Navy herself, she has served on seven warships and participated in several major exercises as well as Operations RESOLUTE and SOUTHERN INDIAN OCEAN.

Now 26, Lieutenant Trew is making her contribution to Operation MANITOU in the Middle East region. However, she, with the rest of Success’ crew, feels it is an honour to extend her time away from home in order to represent Australia at the Centenary of Anzac commemorations on the island of Lemnos and in Athens, Greece.

"Being given the opportunity to be present at one of the major Centenary of Anzac commemorations has caused me to reflect on all the wars in which Australians had served, and to think about how much was sacrificed," Lieutenant Trew said.

"I am privileged to be in Greece directly after operational service, because the 'spirit of Anzac' is not just about Gallipoli."

Lieutenant Trew’s grandfather was Stoker III John ‘Jack’ Leeds, who taught her how to change a tyre and make a chip sandwich. 

"I remember his dragon tattoos, going with him to the dedication of the Shropshire window in the Garden Island Chapel, and looking at his treasured cruise book, ‘Porthole’, which was issued after Shropshire’s return from the Battle of Leyte," she said.

One of her great grandfathers was Clifford Leeds, Jack’s father, a merchant seaman who was awarded the Second World War Mercantile Marine War Medal – which can be seen in the Australian War Memorial. 

The other was Private Francis ‘Frank’ Jackson, of the 4th Brigade, 13th Battalion (later 1st ANZAC), who was awarded the Military Medal for his actions as Battalion Runner on the night of 4-5 February 1917 near Gueudecourt, in the same action his Commanding Officer, Captain W. Murray, was awarded the Victoria Cross. The Military Medal is the highest award made to an enlisted man for bravery next to the Victoria Cross.

When asked about her feelings about the Centenary of Anzac, Lieutenant Trew said it was a combination of remembrance and pride.

"Anzac Day is not just a commemoration; it’s also a celebration – of Australian Service from Gallipoli to today."

More images are available from the Navy Image Gallery http://images.navy.gov.au/S20150980