AUSTRALIAN NAVY IN VIETNAM MEMORIAL.
After considerable discussion among several members and
with the approval of the ANVVWA and VLSVA Associations a committee was formed
with a view to researching the feasibility of constructing and erecting a
memorial to those of the RAN who served in Vietnam and the ships and units they
served with. The committee consists of “Aussie”
Lawrence, Les A, Greg Shimall, “China” Hammal and others. This committee has the task of getting the project through to
The driving force arose from the fact that very little is
ever made public about the Royal Australian Navy’s involvement in Vietnam.
This is made more relevant particularly as the 30th anniversary of
the cessation of the
RAN involvement is upon us. It is surprising how few people are aware of the RAN’s presence and what ships and units were there. This project seeks to address that situation and this will be the first Memorial dedicated to the RAN in Vietnam in Australia.
An application was made to the Fremantle City Council for
approval to locate the monument on Monument Hill. With excellent support and
advice from Agnieska Kiera, the Heritage Architect Planner, and Phil Thomson,
the Cultural Development Coordinator, and after many fruitful meetings,
approval was given to erect the memorial on Monument Hill. Some changes were
made to the initial plans all of which will enhance the project. It is
considered that the site would be excellent as it looks out to sea over
Fremantle Harbour and is heritage listed.
monument will be approximately 1mtr by 1mtr by 1mtr and will be
constructed in reinforced concrete clad in Donnybrook Stone on a
circular apron of concrete also covered with Donnybrook Stone to provide a
non-slip surface. Logo’s representing each Association’s involvement will be
inlaid in the apron. Donnybrook Stone is being used, as it closely resembles the
monuments already erected.
monument will have ten links of anchor chain, arranged in a semi circle, and a
sailor’s cap, cast in bronze, bolted on the top of the monument. The ten links
are from the former HMAS PERTH and each link symbolises one for each year of the
RAN’s involvement. The sailor’s cap “Tally Band” will be inscribed with
the words “RAN in Vietnam”. Four cast bronze plaques will be attached to the
sides of the Memorial. The front one will have an artist’s impression of ships
and helicopters and to the left will be a plaque depicting the names of the
ships and units that were involved. The plaque at the rear will have a short
history of the involvement and the plaque to the right will contain all the
names of those RAN personnel who lost their lives during the conflict.
monument will also have a small internal hollow section lined in stainless
steel. This has been done deliberately to allow widows and families of deceased
RAN Vietnam Veterans to place some memento inside the memorial before it is
sealed prior to dedication and unveiling. This will be done just before sunset
on the day before dedication. Widows and families of deceased RAN Vietnam
Veterans who wish to avail themselves of the opportunity are encouraged to
contact the committee at the address above for further details. Items should be
small such as a photograph, a card, a badge, personal message or some similar
and unveiling is set for the 30th of November at 11am with the widows
and families service taking place just before sunset on the 29th. At
sunset there will be a ceremonial lowering of a White Ensign as is customary. On
completion of the dedication on the 30th it is planned to have a
short march through Fremantle with guard and band. Light refreshments at a
suitable venue will follow this. Details of this and other events will be
released closer to the date.
Understandably there is a cost involved with this important project. As our Association is a non-profit organisation, run by volunteers and rely on donations, we would truly appreciate any financial assistance you can provide to the address above.
to view artists impression of Memorial site
Click here to read Fremantle Gazette article
Click here to view photos of the Sunset Service and the Dedication and Unveiling
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