HMAS Westralia (I) Anzac Day marching banner

Accession Number REL40081
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Brass, Synthetic, Vinyl
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1950's
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Bright yellow synthetic satin marching banner with black applique lettering. The top of the banner reads 'HMAS WESTRALIA' in black satin. In the centre of the banner is a machine sewn stencil of the ship's badge. The battle honours are listed at either side of the badge. The left side reads 'ARAME 15TH DEC 43/ NARURU 1941/ HOLLANDIA 22ND APRIL 44/ PANAON 20TH OCT 1944', and the right side reads 'INDIA 1940/ LINGAYEN 9TH JAN 45/ TARAKAN 1ST MAY 45, LABUAN 10TH JUNE 45/ 1939'. Directly beneath the badge is 'BALIKPAPAN 1945'. The top and side seams of the banner are open, forming pockets to accept the carrying poles. The top seam and bottom corners of the banner are made of a yellow vinyl with brass eyelets.

History / Summary

This marching banner was carried by veterans of HMAS Westralia (I) as members of the Armed Merchant Cruiser & Landing Ships Association at ANZAC day ceremonies since the 1970s.

Previously an Australian passenger vessel HMAS Westralia (I) was requestioned for war service in November 1939 and refitted into an armed merchant cruiser. Commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy as HMAS Westralia in January 1940, she patrolled East Indian and Pacific Oceans from 1941 to 1945. She performed convoy escort duties in 1941 to 1942 and was refitted as a infantry landing ship (LSI) in 1943 for Allied troops in the Pacific region until 1945. The Westralia was paid off in September 1946 and returned to her owners in 1951. Her battle honours are proudly listed on the banner.

Veterans of HMAS Westralia (I) marched behind this banner every ANZAC Day until late 2008 when it was decided that there were insufficient numbers to march under the single banner.