Retired Navy Captain Ian Pfennigwerth is leading a small group of volunteer researchers in seeking out the background stories behind every imperial, national, civil and foreign honour and award made to Australian naval people from 1900 to Australia Day 2014.
The outcome of this enormous task will be a book, intended for a general readership, setting the individuals’ stories in the historical context of the development, activities and operations of the Royal Australian Navy over the past 114 years.
The list of recipients has more than 3600 names on it, making it the first comprehensive account ever complied.
With the project now in its sixth year, the researchers are concentrating their efforts on the final five chapters, covering the period from 1975 to 2014. To complete the task, they are attempting to make contact with around 400 not-yet-located recipients. Big gaps in their research occur for the periods 1987-1995 and 2007-2014 in particular.
“This is a great project, run by people who have served in the Navy, who are passionate about telling of the great things that Navy people have done. If you have been the recipient of honours and awards over the past 39 years and have not yet been in contact with my team, I strongly encourage you to do so as soon as possible,” Captain (Rtd.) Pfenningwerth said.
“Similarly, if you know an Honours and Awards recipient, you should ensure that they too have taken the opportunity to have their stories included in the collection,” he said.
Contact details are Ian Pfennigwerth at firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 139 Salamander Bay NSW 2317.