- A.N. Other and NHSA Webmaster
- History - WW1
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Sydney IV, HMAS Oxley II, HMAS Tobruk II
- June 1990 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
HMA Ships Sydney and Tobruk and HMAS/M Oxley represented the Royal Australian Navy as part of the International Fleet assembled for the Anniversary of the Landings at Gallipoli on 25th April, 1915.
Four of the Fleet, Turkish Naval Ship Kili Cala Pasa, HMAS Sydney, French Ship Destienne Dorves and HMS Broadsword sailed past Anzac Cove and fired a salute.
At Lone Pine Cemetery speeches accompanied by wreathlaying were made by Mr Hawke, Mr Hewson, the Governor General of New Zealand, the Turkish President, Mrs Thatcher and the French Minister for Veterans Affairs.
The ANZAC veterans were a big drawcard and delighted in the attention being paid to them by the crowd.
The Australian Army Guard and Catafalque Party, ably supported by the Naval Band performed very well, indeed being described by one spectator as faultless.
The Honourable Mr Kim Beazley, late Minister for Defence, launched the book First In, Last Out – The Navy at Gallipoli before a small party of interested spectators, the Naval Band playing in the background at Anzac Cove Cemetery.
A Naval Memorial Service was held at the site of the scuttling of S/M AE2, the weather being similar to that prevailing all those years ago. Mrs Smyth and Mr Geoffrey Haggard, whose father was First Lieutenant of AE2, were present. Commodore D. Smyth gave an historical account of the incident and a wreath laid in honour of all naval personnel killed during the campaign.
The Turkish Navy was most attentive throughout the visit and it was reported that they were most efficient and their ships spotless.
Some members of the ship’s company of Tobruk were able to have an audience with His Holiness Pope John II in the Vatican.
OXLEY reported this to the Maritime Commander:
HMAS OXLEY – PAPAL AUDIENCE
A. HMAS OXLEY EUX/EDG 091225Z MAY 90
- DELIGHTED TO SEE (FORGIVE THE PUN) REF A. DO NOT FORGET.
A. THE HAND WHICH FEEDS YOU (NOCWA)
B. THE ARMS WHICH SUPPORT YOU (COMAUSNAVSUP)
C. THE OFFICE WHICH ENDURES YOU (COMAUSSUPRON)
D. THE LIGHT WHICH GUIDES YOU (MHQ)
E. THE PEN WHICH POSTS YOU (NAVY OFFICE)
- THERE ARE NO FALSE IDOLS OF COURSE AND IT IS NICE TO HAVE BLESSINGS FROM ON HIGH BUT THINK NOT OF WALKING ON WATER AS YOU THREAD THE CURRENTS BELOW
- JEREMIAH CH 10 VIZ
who replied as follows:
HMAS OXLEY – AUDIENCE WITH POPE JOHN PAUL II
A. TELECON CO (MHQ)/CO OXLEY 29MAY90
- ON SATURDAY 05MAY90 CO and 32 SHIPS COMPANY ATTENDED A PRIVATE AUDIENCE WITH HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II IN HIS APARTMENTS AT THE VATICAN.
- AUDIENCE CONSISTED OF A SPEECH WELCOMING OXLEY TO THE VATICAN, INTRODUCTION OF EACH OF THE SHIPS COMPANY AND EXCHANGE OF GIFTS. DURING HIS SPEECH THE POPE PAID TRIBUTE TO THE SACRIFICE OF THE ANZACS AT GALLIPOLI IN 1915 AND CALLED UPON THOSE PRESENT TO LIVE UP TO THE TRADITION SET BY THEM.
- THE VISIT WAS REPORTED IN OSSEORATORE ROMANO (HOLY SEE NEWSPAPER). REPORT INCLUDED THE TEXT OF THE SPEECH AND A PHOTOGRAPH.
- ADVICE FROM AUST EMBASSY REPRESENTATIVE SUGGESTS GRANTING OF A PRIVATE AUDIENCE IS A RARE EVENT.