Navy women honour Second World War WRAN

This article has photo gallery Published on Department of Defence (author)

Location(s): HMAS Moreton, Qld

Topic(s): HMAS Moreton, Naval Heritage and History

A plaque and tree are placed in the Commander Lachlan King Memorial Garden at HMAS Moreton, in honour of WRAN Assistant Writer Margaret Hall. (photo: )
A plaque and tree are placed in the Commander Lachlan King Memorial Garden at HMAS Moreton, in honour of WRAN Assistant Writer Margaret Hall.

HMAS Moreton hosted a memorial service for the 75th anniversary of the passing of WRAN Assistant Writer Margaret Hall, the only member of the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service to die on active service during the Second World War.

The service organised by Navy Women (WRANS) Qld included the placing of a plaque and tree in the Commander Lachlan King Memorial Garden.

Secretary of Navy Women Qld, Wendy Griggs, said the plaque will ensure the memory of Margaret Hall is not forgotten.

“Margaret is an inspiration to us all and we are proud to have followed in her footsteps,” she said.

“She is the only female to appear on the HMAS Moreton Honour Board and we are grateful that her memory is now more visible here at the base.”

“Margaret Hall joined the WRANS at the age of 28 and was posted to HMAS Moreton in 1943. Her service record stated she was of good character and efficiency - traits to which all WRANs aspired.

“We thank Margaret for her service and may she continue to rest in peace.”

In June 1944 Margaret fell ill and ended up with pneumonia. She was admitted into the No 2 Women’s Hospital at Yeronga with pulmonary thrombosis pericarditis and anaemia and sadly passed away the next month.

Margaret was given a naval funeral at St Augustine’s Church, Hamilton, with full honours including the firing of a salute as she was buried in the war graves section of Lutwyche Cemetery.

The Navy Women formed a squad and performed a slow march before Mrs Fay Royle unveiled the plaque for Margaret.

The service in the Memorial Garden at HMAS Moreton was led by Chaplain Stephan Briggs with support from the Queensland Royal Australian Navy Band, playing the Last Post and Reveille.

The service coincided with a visit to the base from Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mike Noonan, so the ladies took the opportunity to have their photo taken with him.