A ship’s history – HMAS Bunbury II – submissions wanted

Published on CMDR Andrew Schroder (author), LSPH Tracy Casteleijn (photographer)

Location(s): Canberra

Topic(s): Ceremony and Traditions, Naval History, Patrol Vessels (PB), Historic

HMAS Bunbury in the foreground, with FNS La Glorieuse on the right. (photo: LSPH Tracy Casteleijn)
HMAS Bunbury in the foreground, with FNS La Glorieuse on the right.

For more than a century there have been hundreds of ships and aircraft as well as many thousands of people who have served the Royal Australian Navy, but who keeps tabs on ships past and present, and collects the history for future generations?

A small group of dedicated staff at the Navy’s Sea Power Centre – Australia, in Canberra.

The Centre’s Director of Naval History, John Perryman, said the Navy has many stories worth telling, some of them undoubtedly his own, as his passion was borne from his own service.

The responsibility for capturing, preserving and promoting Australia’s rich naval history falls upon the Naval History Section.

The team collects and records the histories of each ship, boat, submarine, squadron and base of the Navy in order to honour the legacy of those that have come before, for lessons acquired along the track, some of them at a high cost.

“In amongst capturing everything that is happening now, my team and I are constantly looking backwards to write about and promote the amazing stories that the Navy has to tell,” he said.

Preserving this information is a complex job with lots of moving parts, and marrying the official records with the personal stories of the sailors is equally challenging.

“With the ‘Reports of Proceedings’ we get the Commanding Officer’s perspective, but more substance to the story is added by providing the perspective of each member – regardless of whether they were Commanding Officer, Petty Officer or Seaman.”

One such ship’s history under draft is that of the Fremantle class patrol boat, HMAS Bunbury II.

The Centre is calling for any past or present Navy personnel who may have served in HMAS Bunbury II, between 15 December 1984 and 11 February 2006, to forward to the Sea Power Centre copies of any photographs, anecdotes or (pictures of) memorabilia which may be considered for inclusion in the Ship’s History.

Photographs should include an inscription which annotates the people, places and activities depicted in the images.

The donor’s name should also be included for the purposes of academic recognition when the History is published online.

Should you wish to forward content, or know someone who may have something to contribute, please use the following email address: navalhistorysection@gmail.com

Those interested in Naval history are invited to view a growing collection of detailed historical information about the ships, boats, aircraft, bases, people, customs and traditions of the Navy, at http://www.navy.gov.au/history.