A rememberance service is to be held in London for the men lost on the HMAS Sydney II and HSK Kormoran during World War II

[UKPRwire, Tue Nov 18 2008] In conjunction with the HMAS SYDNEY & V.L.S.V.A (Vic Inc) Association, London Legacy shall hold a United Kingdom Service of Thanksgiving & Remembrance for those 645 men lost in HMAS SYDNEY II on the 19th November 1941 and for the 83 crew lost from the German ship HSK Kormoran.

The Sydney was sunk on 19th November 1941 by the HSK Kormoran with the loss of all 645 hands, which represented the greatest loss of life in an Australian warship, and the largest Allied vessel to sink with all hands during the war. The Kormoran was subsequently scuttled by her crew after receiving irreparable damage during the engagement. The whereabouts of both the Sydney and the Kormoran had remained unknown until earlier this year when the Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that both wrecks had been discovered 150 kilometres (81 nmi) from Shark Bay, Western Australia.

A wreath laying service of remembrance will be held to give closure to family and relations after 67 years. The service will be held at 2.30pm at St Clement Danes church opposite Australia House in the Strand, London on the 19th of November 2008.

HMAS SYDNEY II was commissioned on the 24th September 1935 at the Royal Naval Dockyards in Portsmouth. HMAS Sydney II spent time on the Mediterranean Station during the Abyssinian crisis and then went home to her final station in Fremantle, Australia.

Lt Commander Michael Morgan Singer DSC RN was the Gunnery Officer and one of the seven Royal Navy men on board, and appropriately, his nephew Ruan McWilliam, will attend the service to represent the families of the seven RN members who lost their lives on HMAS SYDNEY II. Also present at the service will be other relations of the RN men who perished along with Andrew Hasker, whose Great Uncle was Surgeon Commander John Reid Hasker RAN.

A number of veterans, current officers and dignitaries will be participating in the service including a representative of the 1st Sea Lord, Rear Admiral Guild SRO-CS and Captain Ian Greenlees representing the Commodore of the Royal Navy Dockyard in Portsmouth, who will speak about the ship and her commissioning in 1935 at Portsmouth.

London Legacy will have a number of contributors to the service including Lindsay Birrell Legatee, President of London Legacy, who served on HMAS Sydney III in 1956 and John Gwilt Legatee, who served on HMAS Sydney III in Vietnam 1964-66.

The Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, His Excellency Mr John Dauth LVO will represent the Government of Australia whilst the head of the Defence Staff at Australia House, Air Commodore Legatee Steve Martin will represent the Royal Australian Air Force and Commander Michael Dunne will represent the Royal Australian Navy. Representatives from NZ Defence Staff, Brit/Aus Society, Australian Business and other interested parties will attend including the German Naval Attaché Capt Gen Ewe Hovorka MA.

The Chaplain of HMS Nelson Roland Wort RN and the Reverend Adrian Gatrill RAF, the Resident Chaplain of St Clement Danes will lead the service. Similar services are being held throughout Australia including at sea above the wrecks of both ships and at the Melbourne Shrine of Remembrance.

For the full story of the discovery of HMAS SYDNEY II see website Further information on the 60-year history of the work of London Legacy is available at Follow up questions can be addressed to Lindsay Birrell on 07505145461 or e-mail It would be appreciated if people would register their intention to attend the service via the email above, for security purposes.

Company: London Legacy

Contact Name: Mark Daley

Contact Email:

Contact Phone: 07909 992 912

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