51st Anniversary of the Periscope Memorial Service
On Trafalgar Day, 21st October 1972, His Excellency the Governor of Western Australia, Major General Sir Douglas Kendrew, KCMG, CB, CBE, DSO unveiled the Submarine Periscope Memorial on Monument Hill, Fremantle, Australia.
The memorial comprises the Attack Periscope from HM Submarine TABARD to commemorate members of the Allied submarine crews based in Fremantle during the Second World War.
The memorial was completed by the President & Members of the Submarine Old Comrades Association – Western Australia (SOCA-WA). They are now known as the Submariners Association – Australia Branch who are still based in Fremantle.
A Memorial service has been held at the periscope site every year (excepting covid!) by the Australia Branch members on the Sunday nearest Trafalgar Day.
On the 22nd October 2023, the veterans of the SA Australia Branch once again promoted the Memorial Service, albeit a lesser service than the previous year’s 50th anniversary.
This year we were honoured to have Commodore Tom Phillips RAN (ComSub Australian Submarines) attending. The memorial service was also attended by numerous dignitaries (listed below), senior officers from the RAN and USN, the TS Anzac cadets, Submarine Association of Australia (SAA), families of our branch members and other guests.
The RAN, Submarine Force Chaplain, Gay Addison was the officiant for the service, to whom we are very grateful.
Wreaths were laid by many of the dignitaries and flowers placed on the periscope collar by other members and guests
The RAN Bugler sounded the Last Post, followed by one minute silence before Reveille
The chaplain then gave The Commendation prayers.
Readings of the Submariners Prayer and Crossing The bar were made by Commodore Tom Phillips RAN and Capt. Ken Burleigh RAN, Commanding Officer of HMAS Stirling.
The RN Naval Hymn was recited by our member Dave Barlow.
Our President, Richard Drain, then gave a closing address, thanking all that had attended the service before closing the service at 12:00
On completion, many VIP’s and guests attended the Fremantle Navy Club for lunch and refreshments.
Our thanks go to the following
- Commodore Tom Phillips – Sub-Force Australia
- CO HMAS Stirling, Capt. Ken Burleigh RAN
- CO USN Sub Force – Cdr Jeremiah Shumway
- The Mayor of Fremantle – Hannah Fitzhardinge
- Anthony Willinge, Honorary Consul, Consulate of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
- Royal Australian Navy (RAN) based at HMAS Stirling
- RAN Sub Force
- RAN Band providing the Last Post Bugler
- RAN Chaplain
- TS Anzac
- Fremantle Navy Club
Members of the Submariners Association – Western Australia Branch (SOCA-WA)
The service was a success, but it needs to be understood that with our ever-dwindling number of members, the service becomes more difficult year on year.
Without the support of the Royal Australian Navy and the Fremantle City Council the service would likely become untenable. Having said that, the Australian Branch of the Submariners Association will make every effort to ensure the annual service continues.
Memorial Plaque Reads
The Attack Periscope from H.M. S/M Tabard was presented to the City of Fremantle in 1971 by
FOSM Vice Admiral Sir John C.Y. Roxborough R.N. CB. CBE. DSO. DSC. with intention to be dedicated to all
Submarines that served out of Fremantle during WW2, and Submariner’s ‘On Eternal Patrol.’
The Periscope was shipped from the U.K. in 1971 and errected at the Memorial Site
on Saturday October 14th 1972. The unveiling Ceremony took place on Trafalgar Day 21st October 1972
by Governor Major General Sir Douglas Kendrew K.C.M.G CB. CBE. DSO.
Royal Navy Submarines Based at Fremantle During WW11:
I have often looked for an opportunity of paying Tribute to our Submarines.
There is no Branch in His Majesty’ Forces which in this War,
Has Suffered the same proportion of Total Loss As our Submarine Service.
Winston S Churchill