At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the crew from HMAS Stuart took time from providing support to the G20 to pause and remember those men and women who had gone before them in service to the nation and had made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
The 186 officers and sailors of Stuart stood silently at attention as the catafalque party, under the command of Sub Lieutenant Marita Sellick, took guard around the ensign staff and as the Executive Officer, Lieutenant Commander Benjamin Dalton led the ship’s company through an emotional service to commemorate the end of the ‘Great War’ 96 years ago to the day.
For many of the crew this was their first commemorative service at sea, and it was clear that the setting of a warship under way at sea added an element of solemness of the occasion.
Leading Seaman Communication and Information Systems Fane Cokanauto led the ship’s company with beautifully sung renditions of both the Naval Hymn and Australian National Anthem, with the service made all the more poignant by stark ocean background and the no other sound but the flapping of the Australian White Ensign in the background.
"I was honoured to be able to sing on such an important occasion," she said.
Navy members across the nation, at sea and ashore marked Remembrance Day with commemorative services and wreath laying. Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, paid his respects with Minister for Defence, Senator David Johnston at the Monument Hill Memorial, in Fremantle, Western Australia, coinciding with Century of Submarines activities.
Remembrance Day imagery is available on the Navy Image Library at http://images.navy.gov.au/S20143453.