H.M.A.S. Canberra Print Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Peter Williams
The memorial commemorates H.M.A.S Canberra and all who served in her during World War Two. 

HMAS Canberra (I33/D33), named after the Australian capital city of Canberra, was a Royal Australian Navy (RAN) heavy cruiser of the Kent sub-class of Country-class cruisers. Constructed in Scotland during the mid-1920s, the ship was commissioned in 1928, and spent the first part of her career primarily operating in Australian waters, with some deployments to the China Station.

At the start of World War II, Canberra was initially used for patrols and convoy escort around Australia. In July 1940, she was reassigned as a convoy escort between Western Australia, Sri Lanka, and South Africa. During this deployment, which ended in mid-1941, Canberra was involved in the hunt for several German auxiliary cruisers. The cruiser resumed operations in Australian waters, but when Japan entered the war, she was quickly reassigned to convoy duties around New Guinea, interspersed with operations in Malaysian and Javanese waters. Canberra later joined Task Force 44, and was involved in the Guadalcanal Campaign and the Tulagi landings.

On 9 August 1942, Canberra was struck by the opening Japanese shots of the Battle of Savo Island and was quickly damaged. Unable to propel herself, the cruiser was evacuated and sunk in Ironbottom Sound by two American destroyers. From the 819-strong ship's company, 84 were killed (74 during the battle, 10 dying later from wounds), and another 109 were wounded.

The United States Navy Baltimore-class cruiser USS Canberra was named in honour of the Australian ship.



Address:Royal Australian Navy Heritage Centre, Garden Island Naval Base, Garden Island , 2011
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.859027
Long: 151.230537
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Monument
Monument Theme:Conflict
Actual Event Start Date:03-September-1939
Actual Event End Date:15-August-1945


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 25th October, 1998
Front Inscription

Battle Of Savo Island And Loss Of
HMAS Canberra on 9 August 1942
84 Personnel Killed And 109 Injured

         They Have No Grave
           But The Cruel Sea 
No Flowers Lay At Their Head 
A Rusting Hulk Is Their Tombstone
       Afast On The Ocean Bed

         Brooks WG
        Should Read 
        Brookes WG

This memorial was made possible by
     the combined efforts of 
H.M.A.S. Canberra H.M.A.S. Shropshire Association
       N.S. W. Division
Department of Veteran Affairs
  Royal Australian Navy.

            Unveiled by
Vince Highland Association President 
      25th October 1998




Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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