The inaugural Lost Submariners Memorial Service was hosted by The Submarines Association of Australia last week, with more than 200 past and present submariners in attendance.
Mr Reece Whitby MLA representing the Western Australian Premier, and Rockingham Mayor Barry Sammels also attended to pay their respects.
Although the weather was not favourable, the rain and wind merely added a touch of uniqueness to the inaugural event for those who gathered at The HMAS Orion Fin, in the Naval Memorial Park, Rockingham, Western Australia.
They gathered to remember all the Submariners who have lost their lives during their period of Royal Australian Navy service since the inception of the modern Australian Submarine Force in 1967.
Deputy Commander Submarines, Commander Chris Forward said it was important to remember all those who had lost their lives.
“It is important to recognise that although we have not lost a submariner at sea for over 30 years, we still must remember all those who have passed away through illness and tragedy whilst serving as submariners in the Royal Australian Navy.
“We must also acknowledge the work of the Submarines Association of Australia, which works closely with the current submariners to bring all submariners past and present together to ensure the legacy of our people are remembered,” he said.
Mr Terry Baker, President of the Submarines Association Australia - Western Australian Branch agreed that the event meant a lot to past and present submariners.
“The number of people in attendance defined the importance of acknowledging and remembering our submariners who are now on ‘eternal patrol’,” he said.
During the memorial service The Royal Australian Naval Prayer, The Naval Ode and the Submariners Prayer were recited by members of the Submarine Force, encompassing the generational spread and unity that exists between submariners.
The memorial service and diversity of attendance displayed the bond that can be found between fellow members of ‘The Trade’ (a word commonly used by submariners to describe their community).
Lest we forget.
Imagery is available on the Navy Image Gallery: https://images.navy.gov.au/S20191985.