Pandemic dashes Anzac Day plans

By | April 18, 2020

, This used to be revealed 8 months in the past

Never thoughts medals at the lapel. They lengthen past the road of the sleeve.

Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths (Ret’d), 97, is the closing survivor in Australia of HMS Repulse, which used to be torpedoed and sunk in a Japanese air assault in 1941 in conjunction with the Prince of Wales off Malaya as battle raged within the Pacific.

To mark Anzac Day, he had deliberate to wait two purposes in Britain along with his son, additionally Guy. One used to be aboard the brand new airplane provider Prince of Wales by means of invitation of the captain. Then as patron of the Repulse/Prince of Wales survivor’s affiliation he used to be intending to sign up for the yearly reunion in Torquay within the West Country.

Rear Admiral (Ret’d) Guy Griffiths, pictured at his house in Castle Cove. He hopes Australia is rarely all in favour of every other global battle.Credit:James Brickwood

“My son stated he used to be coming with me,” Rear Admiral Griffiths stated from his house in Castle Cove. “I feel he sought after to ensure the previous bugger were given house. We simply needed to finesse the lodging right here and there. Now as a result of the virus it has all been cancelled.”


It used to be an illustrious occupation. From past due 1973 to mid-1975, he used to be in charge of the airplane provider Melbourne, which used to be flagship of the Australian Fleet. In June 1976 he used to be promoted to Rear Admiral and appointed Chief of Naval Personnel.

On Anzac Day he has marched in Sydney as the pinnacle of Navy. This 12 months he’s resigned to the concept it’s most probably higher to stick at house.

“It is relatively conceivable to assume again to these days. I shouldn’t have to visit a memorial to consider the lack of the Repulse,” Rear Admiral Griffiths stated.

At the time of the assault, he used to be a midshipman. “It truly wasn’t an afternoon for rejoicing, I will be able to let you know,” he stated. “It used to be a depressing day, an overly darkish day for the Royal Navy shedding the battleship Prince of Wales and the battlecruiser Repulse.

“The Prince of Wales had 1612 folks on board and misplaced 327, yet in Repulse we had 1309 and we misplaced 513. We went down faster than the Prince of Wales; we weren’t so closely armed as a battleship. We have been hit with 5 torpedoes in a slightly couple of minutes and the previous woman indexed to port after which, after all, there is numerous water coming in, she sooner or later rolled over and sank stern first so folks did not have a lot time to get on deck and get overboard.

“I used to be down under yet I used to be fortunate in arising in time to get thru what folks usually name a porthole yet we referred to as them a scuttle. The record wasn’t an excessive amount of for me simply to get thru that after which slide down the send’s facet and into the water, which used to be heat.

HMS Repulse of the British fleet enters Sydney Harbour in 1924. Credit:SMH

“People have requested me over a variety of years, used to be I anxious about sharks? My reaction used to be it wasn’t a concept in my thoughts at the moment. Survival used to be nearer to the purpose.”

This 12 months the RSL has get a hold of different ways to commemorate ANZAC Day, each within the lead-up and the day itself, within the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ideas come with recording a video of your self reciting The Ode or sharing a message of toughen for veterans on social media. There also are calls to “illuminate the daybreak” with candles on April 25.

Acting president of RSL NSW Ray James stated whilst it’ll be very other to earlier years, “there are nonetheless some ways to recognize ANZAC Day and make sure Australian servicemen and ladies are as it should be remembered”.

Rear Admiral Griffiths stated: “I simply sincerely hope that that we by no means, ever, pressured into every other global battle. It’s a non-productive match. There’s numerous lives misplaced unnecessarily, folks disturbed or wounded and with recollections for the remainder of their lives.”

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,–but-not-spirits–for-wwii-hero-20200419-p54ksx.html, The Sydney Morning Herald

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