The brave actions of Naval personnel lost in battle were remembered recently, with the Naval Monument at Bradleys Head officially dedicated by the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP.
At the ceremony, a memorial avenue of twenty-two trees and plaques commemorating Royal Australian Navy (RAN) ships and submarines lost in war was opened.
Acting Commander Australian Fleet, Commodore Jonathan Mead, AM RAN laid a wreath at the ceremony and said the memorial walk is an important reminder of the sacrifices Navy personnel have made in service to the nation.
“This memorial avenue provides us with a solemn reminder of those who have died and fought and the sacrifices made by family members left behind. This will undoubtedly serve as a place of reflection for future generations.
“For current serving personnel, the memorial walk is an important reminder of the tradition in which we serve and of those in whose footsteps we tread,” said Commodore Mead.
“Throughout the RAN’s proud history, our sailors have fought in battles near and afar. Some such as HMAS Sydney’s battle with Kormoran in 1941, HMAS Perth’s campaign in Sunda Strait in 1942, and HMAS Vampire’s Indian Ocean engagement with enemy aircraft would be well known to you due the heroic circumstances surrounding their demise.
“Others, however, have participated in small combat actions only known to a few or have provided support to campaigns by charting, clearing minefields and bringing supplies and troops to battle. Their contribution to war efforts, no matter how small or large they seemed, were vital to ensuring the way of life we enjoy today,” said Commodore Mead.
“The 22 plaques and plinths on the Memorial Walk, reminds us of their courage, camaraderie, and devotion to duty in active combat and support roles, and in some instances, such as those of HMAS AE2, celebrates their survival under trying circumstances.
“It is rewarding to see the redevelopment of the precinct paying homage to the past as well as educating future generations about Australia’s naval heritage,” said Commodore Mead.
The ceremony was sponsored by the Federation of Naval Ships Associations and attended by NSW member for the North Shore, the Hon Jillian Skinner MLA.
The precinct has recently undergone a redevelopment, with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage developing the memorial walk as well as upgrading infrastructure and associated heritage work.
As part of the upgrade, the HMAS Sydney (I) Memorial Mast was refurbished as part of a joint venture with Navy, and was rededicated ahead of the 2013 International Fleet Review.
The HMAS Sydney (I) Memorial Mast and walk is located at the southernmost tip of Bradleys Head in Sydney Harbour National Park and is accessible to the public.
Imagery is available on the Royal Australian Navy Media Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20140800.