HMAS Sydney II Memorial
Gummer Ave, Geraldton WA 6530
Open: open to the public Mon to Sun- no closing times or entry fees
Daily Tours: The Geraldton Voluntary Tour Guides Association offers a daily tour of the memorial at 10.30am, taking in the five elements steeped in symbolism. This is well worth taking as it explains the whole story behind the Memorial.
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|Actual Event Start Date:||19-November-1941|
|Actual Event End Date:||19-November-1941|
|Designer:||Joan Walsh Smith & Charles Smith|
|Monument Manufacturer:||Fondex Constructions|
|Actual Monument Dedication Date:||Sunday 18th November, 2001|
This Dedication Stone is a symbol of the firm committment undertaken by the following organisations to an H.M.A.S. Sydney II National Memorial to be unveiled on this site on the 19th November 2001
The Rotary Club of Geraldton
The Geraldton City Council
The Geraldton R & SL Sub-Branch
The Batavia Coast Maritime Heritage Association
19th November 1998
This memorial to the 645 lost souls of H.M.A.S. Sydney II was dedicated on the 18th November 2001 by His Excellency Lieutenant General John Sanderson, AC Governor of Western Australia
This memorial has been a project of the Rotary Club of Geraldton
Designed by Smith Sculptors
Built by Fondex Construction
The memorial to HMAS Sydney
This Memorial comprises many symbolic elements expressing the tragic loss of HMAS Sydney II. The precinct is based on a circular plan, symbolising totality, wholeness, infinity, eternity. It is approached by a path, curving upwards, forming a ceremonial entrance ramp to the dedicated area.
The Wall of Remembrance
Encompassing the south-west side is a semi-circular wall, faced with W.A. Black Granite, engraved with the names of the 645 men lost. This represents the ‘ encircling arms of the Nation’ welcoming home it’s lost loved ones. The exterior face of the wall is sculpted with a low relief motif emblematic of the eternal sea. At the Entrance Portal, historic photographic images of HMAS Sydney II, bring to life the reality of the tragedy.
On 19th November 1941, HMAS Sydney was returning from the Sunda Straits after escorting the Hired Transport Zealandia to a handover with HMS Durban. That evening HMAS Sydney encountered the German Raider HSK Kormoran and became involved in an engagement that would eventually lead to the loss of both ships.
No trace was found of the HMAS Sydney or her valiant men. This Memorial is dedicated to their memory and to the great sacrifice they and their families made to ensure the security of Australia
Dated 19th November 2001.
The monument commemorates the 645 service personnel who died when H.M.A.S. Sydney II was sunk on the 19th of November 1941.
On the 16th March, 2008 the wreck of the Sydney 11 was discovered at a depth of 2400 metres, 112 nautical miles west of Steep Point, Western Australia. The souls of the men of the HMAS Sydney 11 were commemorated with a ceremony over their final resting place.
Australia`s greatest naval tragedy took place in November 1941 off the Western Australian coast when the Royal Australian Navy cruiser H.M.A.S.Sydney II engaged a German armed raider Kormoran with the loss of both ships. Apart from two pieces of debris, no sign was found of Sydney or the 645 aboard. It was the largest loss of life in the history of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and the largest Allied warship lost with all hands during World War Two. The exact location of the two wrecks was unknown until March 2008.
Six of those onboard HMAS Sydney were Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel responsible for flying and maintaining the Walrus aircraft. On the Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour they are commemorated under 9 Squadron RAAF, their parent unit. Another four people onboard were civilians, members of the Navy Canteen Service. As civilians, they are not on the Roll of Honour but are instead recorded in the Commemorative Roll, a book held in the Cloisters at the Australian War Memorial.
Monument characteristics :
The interior concave side of the Wall of Remembrance, situated at the memorial, bears the names of all 645 men who lost their lives. The centre-piece is a dome surmounted be seven pillars, representing the seven states and territories of Australia. The dome is made up of silver gulls that form a filigree canopy.
The Stele is made of stainless steel and represents the bow of the H.M.A.S. Sydney.