20th November 2013
The Australian War Memorial (AWM) will commemorate the service and sacrifice of Ordinary Seaman Edward Sheean at a 'Last Post' ceremony at 1655 on Sunday 1 December 2013. SIA members and submariners are encouraged to attend. Members of the Sheean family are travelling from Tasmania to attend.
Seaman Teddy Sheean was killed defending the survivors of HMAS ARMIDALE who were struggling in the water after their ship had been fatally damaged by air attack. As the Japanese Zeroes started strafing survivors, Sheean returned to the sinking ship, strapped himself to an Oerlikon anti-aircraft gun and began shooting back. He shot down at least one of the aircraft before being fatally wounded himself. He was Mentioned in Dispatches but efforts to have his sacrifice honoured by award of the Victoria Cross were not supported by the Government committee that recently investigated various potential awards that had not been made in Australia's past.
The Navy honoured his sacrifice by naming a Collins class submarine after him.
The format of the ceremony is as follows:
SIA members and other members of the submarine community are urged to attend this important event and should aim to gather in front of the AWM at 1630.
- A Memorial MC commences the ceremony with a brief introduction;
- The National Anthem is played;
- A piper plays a lament during which visitors lay wreaths at the base of the Pool of Reflection;
- A uniformed Defence member volunteer reads the personal story. In this case, the Ode will be read by WOAWASM Martin Holzberger (Warrant Officer of the Navy and a former Chief of the Boat of HMAS SHEEAN);
- The Defence member reads the Ode;
- A bugler plays the Last Post.
- The ceremony concludes.