Deployment Offers Opportunity to Remember Lost WW2 Ship

The crew of HMAS Ararat took the opportunity while deployed in the south-west Pacific on Operation Solania to hold a memorial service over the resting place of HMAS Canberra 1.

Canberra 1 was sunk on August 9, 1942, during the WW2 Battle of Savo Island, with the loss of 84 hands.

The memorial service, at the end of May, was a moving occasion for Ararat crew member Able Seaman Gilbert Jackson.

His grandfather served in HMAS Shropshire, which was acquired from the Royal Navy following the loss of Canberra.

“I’m proud that my grandfather served in the Shropshire. He certainly did his bit. My grandfather was part of a generation whose like we may never see again,” Able Seaman Jackson said.

“Having now served in HMAS Canberra III myself, our family connection to the Canberra-Shropshire Association spans two generations.

“Today’s memorial is a special one for me.”

Commanding Officer Ararat Lieutenant Commander David Martinussen said the memorial service was a significant moment for the crew during their deployment.

“The site of Canberra 1 is sacred ground,” Lieutenant Commander Martinussen said.

“It’s also a symbol of the deep and enduring relationship we enjoy with our friends in Solomon Islands.

“It was a rare privilege to acknowledge this during our regional deployment.”

Operation Solania is the ADF’s contribution to maritime surveillance in the Pacific region.

Ararat is providing surface maritime surveillance support in the Solomon Islands and Fiji exclusive economic zones.

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