HMAS Choules, at sea, conducted a clear lower deck on her flight deck, to commemorate Remembrance Day yesterday.
In the opening address, the Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Chris Doherty recited Second Lieutenant John Alexander Raws, 23 Battalion AIF, Poziers (1917)
“We are lousy, stinking, ragged, unshaven and sleepless…My tunic is rotten with other men’s blood and partly splattered with a dead man’s brains. It is horrible, but why should you people at home not know?”
Commanding Officer, Commander Chris Aulmann highlighted the significance of Remembrance Day and the sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands of men who enlisted to fight, and the thousands women who also enlisted and served over seas.
“The allied nations choose this day and time for the commemoration of their war dead and the symbolic burial of those who were lost beyond the wire and never recovered, or entombed with their sunken ships…Australian women also volunteered for service in auxiliary roles, as cooks, nurses, drivers, interpreters, munitions workers, and skilled farm workers. While much of this service was at home in Australia, nearly 3000 nurses deployed overseas. Australian nurses served in Egypt, France, Greece, and India, often in trying conditions or close to the front, where they were exposed to shelling and aerial bombardment”
It was a proud and sombre event for all onboard.
HMAS Choules is a Landing Ship Dock, weighing in at 16,000 tonnes, she is 176 metres long and is capable of carrying up to 700 troops in an overload capacity as well as 23 Main Battle Tanks, 150 Light Trucks, Landing Craft and various Navy and Army helicopters including the MRH-90 and Army’s Black Hawk.