The Rest is Silence – In Memory of HMAS Sydney
The Rest Is Silence – Lest We Forget
On 19 November 1941 during World War II, HMAS Sydney was involved in a mutually destructive engagement with the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran. The Sydney was lost with all hands (645 in all). Most of the German crew from the Kormoran survived. I have seen some of the lifeboats the German crew used when rescued off the coast near Carnarvon.
The wrecks of both ships were lost until 2008: HMAS Sydney was found on 17 March, five days after her adversary.
The purpose of today’s post is to appreciate the concept of the memorial dedicated to HMAS Sydney through the pictures we took during our visit to Geraldton back in November 2020:
Memorials are important because they remind us not only of who was lost regardless of whether friend or foe, but the futility and inevitably, of war. It also reminds us of the tough decisions leaders need to make when committing to a course of action without a guaranteed outcome. Australia has a war or Anzac memorial in every town throughout its length and breadth for this very reason. Anzac stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.
Some of the wars Anzacs have fought in have been the major conflicts in modern times: WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam and of course those wars since then we now watch live on TV.
It would seem, for us, there is unfortunately a “grey war” being fought right now with a certain aggressor. We have taken a key stance on a number of issues and it hasn’t been well received. Diplomacy appears to be off the table at this point in time, but interestingly enough may come back onto the table once someone realises they have underestimated the capabilities we have.
If you want to understand what is at the very heart of an Australian, the RSLWA puts it best: Anzac is that single word so powerful in the Australian vocabulary that it can bring a tear to the eye, a lump in the throat and a feeling of pride. A word that brings to mind those other words so uniquely Australian that had their origin in the trenches of Gallipoli in 1915 – Cobber, Digger, Fair Dinkum, True Blue, Mate.
As the Sydney memorial says: “The Rest is Silence.” War is a price too high to pay.