Dechaineux in Albany, Anzac Day

Published on LEUT Kara Wansbury (author)

Location(s): Albany, Western Australia

Transport ships coaling and watering in the inner harbour, Albany 30 October 1914. (photo: Unknown)
Transport ships coaling and watering in the inner harbour, Albany 30 October 1914.

For a second year in a row the crew of submarine HMAS Dechaineux will march down York Street in Albany, Western Australia for Anzac Day. 
 
Twenty-one personnel from the 60-strong crew will march with A Company, 11th/28th Battalion, Royal Western Australian Regiment, personnel from RAAF Base Pearce, cadets of all three services, representatives from WA Police, Red Cross and ex-service organisations. 
 
Albany is important because the convoy of Australian and New Zealand troops departed from Albany for the battlefields of First World War just over 100 years ago. 
 
The aspect of heritage is an important link and the reason Captain Malcolm Wright from Navy Strategic Command has accepted the role as Reviewing Officer for a number of events over the course of the weekend.
 
“I am not connected to Albany personally but I am connected as a proud Australian, because it was from this very shore that many young Australians departed for a war on the other side of the world, all those years ago,” Captain Wright said.
 
“For so many of them it was the last piece of Australia they saw before they made the ultimate sacrifice.”
 
As a guest of the Albany Returned and Services League, Captain Wright is looking forward to acknowledging the importance of Albany and the role of the Navy in the war. 
 
“The Anzac story is woven into the fabric of both our military and national history and yet so much of it remains unknown. 
 
“As a Navy Officer I take great pride in our naval contribution and I look forward to highlighting the brave men of our submarine AE2 and their action in the Dardanelles in support of our soldiers in Gallipoli.”
 
The sailors of AE2 will be something Able Seaman Electronic Warfare Submariner James Mitchell will recall as he marches with his fellow ship's company of HMAS Dechaineux
 
“Anzac Day to me is a about taking time to remember the soldiers that payed the ultimate price for our way of life today, to consider how we would feel being called on to fight for our country and the overwhelming fear that they must have fell,” he said.
 
Able Seaman Mitchell was in Albany last year however he was required to stay onboard the submarine as part of duty watch and unable to march so he is looking forward to the cobbled streets of Albany.
 
“But Anzac Day to me isn’t just about remembering those men who fought in Gallipoli but also the ones that continue to fight to ensure we are able to live our lives in safety and that is why I am so proud to march in the Parade.”