Express trains to Melbourne for hundreds of sailors

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), ABIS Bonny Gassner (photographer)

Location(s): Melbourne, Victoria

Topic(s): Recruit School, HMAS Cerberus, Anzac Day

Hundreds of sailors exit Flinders Street Station ahead of taking part in the 2018 Anzac Day march through Melbourne. (photo: ABIS Bonny Gassner)
Hundreds of sailors exit Flinders Street Station ahead of taking part in the 2018 Anzac Day march through Melbourne.

The Royal Australian Navy has marched through the heart of Melbourne with a 1000-strong contingent to mark Anzac Day.

More than 700 personnel from HMAS Cerberus and Navy’s Recruit School on the Mornington Peninsula travelled in their ceremonial winter uniforms from Frankston to the historic Flinders Street Station via special metro rail services, joining 300 more Navy members on Swanston Street before marching from Melbourne Town Hall on Swanston Street to the Shrine of Remembrance at Domain.

Senior Naval Officer – Victoria, Commodore Greg Yorke, said Navy’s connection to Melbourne over the past century made today’s large procession of personnel particularly special.

“Navy has a long association with Melbourne with our largest training establishment nearby on the Mornington Peninsula and a history of shipbuilding at Williamstown,” Commodore Yorke said.

“It is symbolically fitting that such a large contingent of our people arrived today at Flinders Street Station, one of the most iconic buildings on Melbourne’s cityscape, to commemorate Anzac Day 2018.

Hundreds of sailors from HMAS Cerberus alight at Flinders Street Station after travelling to Melbourne via a special train service.

Hundreds of sailors from HMAS Cerberus alight at Flinders Street Station after travelling to Melbourne via a special train service.

Commanding Officer of HMAS Cerberus Captain Tim Standen, CSC, RAN said the special service trains provided by Public Transport Victoria and Metro Trains Melbourne proved to be a uniquely practical way to transport such a large contingent of sailors into the city to take part in the march.

“Often in the Navy our work demands that we think outside the box to overcome challenges and the coordination of today’s special train services for our sailors is a fantastic example of Navy working effectively with civilian agencies to rise to the occasion,” he said.

“The mass transit of sailors through Flinders Street Station was deliberately intended to invoke images of past troop movements during historic times of conflict and recreate that scene to mark the final year of the Anzac centenary.”

Flinders Street Station was completed in 1910, a year before HMAS Cerberus was opened as the Flinders Naval Depot with both since becoming institutions in Victoria.