First Anzac Day for HMAS Canberra crew

Published on Ms Natalie Staples (author), LSIS Helen Frank (photographer)

HMAS Canberra Commanding Officer Captain Jonathan Sadleir, AM RAN and Petty Officer Electronics Technician Che Simons lead the ship's company of HMAS Canberra in the Anzac Day march in Hobart, Tasmania. (photo: LSIS Helen Frank)
HMAS Canberra Commanding Officer Captain Jonathan Sadleir, AM RAN and Petty Officer Electronics Technician Che Simons lead the ship's company of HMAS Canberra in the Anzac Day march in Hobart, Tasmania.

As the sun rose over the Hobart Cenotaph, members of HMAS Canberra’s ship’s company joined the community to commemorate one hundred years since the first ANZACs landed at Gallipoli.

Later that morning, around 400 personnel marched up Macquarie Street, saluting the Governor of Tasmania, Her Excellency Professor the Honourable Kate Warner, as they passed Town Hall, led by Commanding Officer, Captain Jonathan Sadleir.

Petty Officer Electronics Technician Che Simons carried the life ring in the main march and said it was a special occasion for Canberra’s officers and sailors.

“This is a very proud moment for me and I think for most of the crew. 

"This is the first time HMAS Canberra has marched as a commissioned ship’s company to commemorate Anzac Day - it’s excellent,” he said.

The main march ended at the Cenotaph and was followed by the dedication of Flame of Remembrance. During the commemorative service, personnel bowed their heads and reflected on the 102,000 servicemen and women who have given their lives for Australia.

Captain Bruce Greig, who joined Canberra for a few weeks as a reserve doctor said it was a very emotional service, as he reflected on his grandfather, one of the original ANZACs.

“It’s a very important day for my family, which has five generations in uniform - it's also a very emotional day,” he said.

“My grandfather was in 14 Battalion D company and was landed at Gallipoli on the afternoon of the first day. 

"He was shot in the chest during the August offensive but survived. 

"He then spent five months in Egypt, before being sent to the Western Front where he was gassed.

"Despite all this he survived and came home,” Captain Greig said.

“Today I remember my grandfather, but I also remember those with whom I have served. In particular my team that was killed when Shark 02 crashed in Banda Aceh.”

While the Hobart crowds didn’t rival the 125,000 at the Canberra dawn service, attendance still set a local record. 

HMAS Canberra made her first visit to Hobart, after conducting cold weather aspects of First of Class Flight Trials around Storm Bay, Tasmania.

HMAS Canberra's colour guard take part in the Anzac Day march in Hobart, Tasmania.

HMAS Canberra's colour guard take part in the Anzac Day march in Hobart, Tasmania.

Additional imagery is available at: http://images.navy.gov.au/S20151117.