Late Navy members among new names on the War Memorial Roll of Honour

Published on POIS Paul Berry (author and photographer)

Location(s): Australian War Memorial, Canberra

Topic(s): Naval Heritage and History, Australian War Memorial

Ray and Marie Hyland pay their respects at the new Roll of Honour panels at the Australian War Memorial. Ray's brother, Ordinary Seaman John Herbert Hyland, was one of four members of HMAS Warrnambool's crew killed following a mine strike in 1947. (photo: POIS Paul Berry)
Ray and Marie Hyland pay their respects at the new Roll of Honour panels at the Australian War Memorial. Ray's brother, Ordinary Seaman John Herbert Hyland, was one of four members of HMAS Warrnambool's crew killed following a mine strike in 1947.

On 13 September 1947, the Bathurst Class corvette HMAS Warrnambool was lost after striking a mine during operations in the Great Barrier Reef.

Eighteen year-old Ordinary Seaman John Herbert Hyland was one of four sailors killed following the terrible impact.

Today, JH Hyland and the names of 47 other Defence personnel who have died in non-warlike operations were unveiled on three new bronze panels at the Australian War Memorial's (AWM) Roll of Honour.

The AWM ceremony followed the historic decision made by the Council of the Memorial on 6 March 2013, to amend criteria for the Roll of Honour to include personnel who have died in non-warlike operations.

The Australian War Memorial's three new bronze panels on the Roll of Honour, commemorating an additional 48 Australian servicemen and women who have died in non-warlike operations.

The Australian War Memorial's three new bronze panels on the Roll of Honour, commemorating an additional 48 Australian servicemen and women who have died in non-warlike operations.

Seventy-nine year-old Ray Hyland and his wife Marie said seeing his Brother John's name unveiled at the War Memorial was a wonderful experience.

“We were so proud after so long, and I think the length of time has made it better,” Mr Hyland said.

“We've always felt that his name ought to have been there. We were told they were trying, but there was never much hope and we are so proud to see it there now,” he said.

“We were proud of John joining the Navy because he loved the Navy, he really did.”

Thirteen Navy officers and sailors are among the 48 names now commemorated under the 'Operational Service' section of the Roll of Honour, including six Navy and three RAAF members who were tragically killed following the Sea King (Shark 02) crash on Nias Island in April 2005.

Director of the Australian War Memorial, Dr Brendan Nelson, said it was a milestone for the 48 families of those whose names were added to the Roll of Honour, for the Australian War Memorial and for Australia.

“In future, when the government of Australia declares an operation which is named by the Chief of Defence, and men and women of the Defence Forces are deployed, should anyone lose their life as a result of that operation, their name will be added to the Roll of Honour,” said Dr Nelson.

“An ongoing challenge for the Memorial is to recognise the changing nature of war and conflict. Remaining true to the vision of Charles Bean, the Memorial’s founder, the inclusion of these names on the Roll of Honour fittingly remembers the sacrifice made by these servicemen and women on behalf of all Australians,” said Dr Nelson.