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Research Guides


The Sinking of HMAS Sydney: A Guide to Commonwealth Government Records


Appendix 3: The major personalities

Baume, A C, Lieutenant, RANVR
Officer in charge of the naval guard which boarded the MV Trocas

Beasley, The Hon. J A
Minister for Supply and Shipping and member of the War Cabinet and Advisory War Council

Bonney, Edmund G
Chief Publicity Censor in the Department of Information

Bird,H St G
Collector of Customs, Fremantle, 1933–1943

Burnett, Joseph
Captain of HMAS Sydney, May–November 1941

Chifley, The Hon. J B
Treasurer, and member of the War Cabinet

Cole, The Hon. T R H President of the HMAS Sydney II Commission of Inquiry 2008–09

Colvin,Vice Admiral Sir Ragnar (RN) Chief of Naval Staff, November 1937 – March 1941

Crace, Rear Admiral JG (RN)
Rear Admiral Commanding the Australian Squadron (RACAS)

Curtin, The Rt Hon. John
Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Co-ordination, and member of the War Cabinet and Advisory War Council

Davoren, T A F, Flight Lieutenant, RAAF
Staff Officer Intelligence (RAAF), Western Area

Dechaineux, E F V, Commander, RAN
An officer of the Directorate of Naval Intelligence seconded to assist with the interrogation of the Kormoran's survivors, and later, to undertake an investigation and prepare a report to the Naval Board on the loss of the Sydney

Dedman, The Hon. J J
Minister for War Organisation of Industry and member of the War Cabinet (from 11 December 1941)

Detmers, T A, Commander
Commanding officer of the HSK Kormoran and camp leader at the Dhurringile prisoner of war camp

Drakeford, The Hon. A S
Minister for Air and Minister for Civil Aviation and member of the War Cabinet

Durnford, J W, Commodore (RN)
Second Naval Member on the Naval Board and acting Chief of Naval Staff, March 1941 – July 1941

Eldridge, F B
Senior master on the teaching staff at the Royal Australian Naval College who produced a report for the Naval Intelligence Division on 28 January 1942 based on his examination of all the material obtained from the interrogations

Evatt, The Rt Hon. H V
Attorney-General, Minister for External Affairs and member of the War Cabinet and Advisory War Council

Ewers, G
Sub-Collector of Customs, Carnarvon, and local Naval Reporting Officer

Fadden, The Rt Hon. A W
Leader of the Opposition and member of the Advisory War Council

Farncomb, H B, Captain (RAN)
The Commanding Officer of HMAS Canberra and the officer chosen to interrogate the prisoners of war from the Aquitania in Sydney

Farquhar-Smith, C, Captain, RAN
District Naval Officer, Western Australia

Forde, The Hon. F M
Minister for the Army and member of the War Cabinet and Advisory War Council

Getting, F, Captain, RAN
Took over from Burnett as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff when Burnett took command of the Sydney

Gibbons, W
Captain of HT Aquitania

Gill, G H
Publicity Censorship Liaison Officer in the Naval Intelligence Division of the Department of the Navy, and after the war appointed to write the naval volumes of the official war history

Hughes, The Rt Hon. W M
Non-government member of the Advisory War Council

Keller, G Leading Seaman
Belonged to the propaganda section of the German Navy and claimed he took a film of the SydneyKormoran battle

Kohn/Koehn, P, Chief Petty Officer
A telegraphist on board the Kormoran and camp leader at Murchison prisoner of war camp

List, F, Sub-Lieutenant
Doctor of Economics and propaganda officer who claims to have taken photographs of the battle with a camera which he hid in a cave at Red Bluff

Lobstein, J L
A teacher of modern languages at Scotch College in Perth, who was sent to Carnarvon with Lieutenant Commander Rycroft to conduct the first interrogations

Macandie, G L
Secretary of the Naval Board

Mclachlan, A D, Lieutenant Commander
Commanding Officer of HMAS Harman, the Naval Communications Station at Canberra

Makin, The Hon. N J O
Minister for the Navy and member of the War Cabinet and the Advisory War Council

Mason, R W, Chief Petty Officer
Captain's Secretary to Lieutenant Commander AD Mclachlan, Commanding Officer of HMAS Harman

McEwen, The Hon. J
Non-government member of the Advisory War Council

Mearns, David
Marine scientist and deep sea search and recovery expert, lead the search team and located the wrecks of the Kormoran and Sydney II.

Menzies, The Rt Hon. R G
Non-government member of the Advisory War Council

Muirhead-Gould, G C, Commodore
Commodore in Charge, HMA Naval Establishments, Sydney

Oldham, George C, Captain, RAN
Director of Naval Intelligence (1949)

Quealy, V
An Assistant Secretary in the Department of Defence Co-ordination and official notetaker at meetings of the War Cabinet and the Advisory War Council

Ramage, V A T, Commander, RAN
The senior naval intelligence officer in Fremantle

Royle, Admiral Sir G C (RN)
Chief of Naval Staff, July 1941 – June 1945

Rycroft, J L, Lieutenant Commander, RANVR
Staff Officer (Intelligence), Fremantle. Conducted the first interrogations of the German prisoners of war at Carnarvon

Salm, G B, Commander Royal Netherlands Navy
The Royal Netherlands Navy Liaison Officer who was sent to Perth with Commander Dechaineux on 28 November to assist with the interrogations

Shedden, F G (later Sir)
Secretary of the Department of Defence Co-ordination and Secretary to the War Cabinet and Advisory War Council

Shu Ah Fah
One of the two Chinese survivors of the Kormoran

Skeries, F, Lieutenant
The Kormoran's gunnery officer

Spender, The Hon. PC
Non-government member of the Advisory War Council

Taplin, J A, Lieutenant
Commanding Officer, HMAS Yandra


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