The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Petty Officer Stoker John James Samuel Turnbull, HMAS Perth, Royal Australian Navy, First World War

Accession Number PAFU/826.01
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 22 May 2013
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial every day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Craig Berelle the story for this day was on Petty Officer Stoker John James Samuel Turnbull, HMAS Perth, Royal Australian Navy, First World War.

Speech transcript

Last Post closing ceremony

Petty Officer Stoker John James Samuel Turnbull
Roll of Honour panel number: SWW 6
Date of death: 12 September 1944

Today, we remember and pay tribute to Petty Officer Stoker John James Samuel Turnbull of the Royal Australian Navy.

John Turnbull, of Brisbane, Queensland, joined the Royal Australian Navy in 1934. During the Second World War, he survived the sinking of HMAS Waterhen off Salum, Egypt, in 1941. The ship had been ferrying supplies and reinforcements to troops who were under siege at Tobruk. This was an extremely dangerous operation as the ships were constantly exposed to attacks from enemy dive-bombers.

After returning to Australia, Turnbull was posted to HMAS Perth. On the 1st of March, 1942, he was taken prisoner of war by the Japanese, following the sinking of HMAS Perth during the battle of Sunda Strait, near Sumatra.

John’s two brothers, Private Kenneth Turnbull and Private William Turnbull, both of the 2/26th Battalion, were also taken prisoner in Java. All three worked together on the Burma Thailand Railway and were later selected for a work party to be transferred to Japan. All three brothers were killed when the Japanese prison ship in which they were travelling, the Rakuyo Maru, was sunk by a submarine of the United States Navy on the 12th of September, 1944. John was aged 32. William was 27 and Kenneth was 23.

Their names are listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, along with approximately 40 000 others from the Second World War. John Turnbull’s photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is one of the many stories of courage and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Petty Officer Stoker John James Samuel Turnbull, and all of those Australians who have given their lives in service of our nation.

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of Petty Officer Stoker John James Samuel Turnbull, HMAS Perth, Royal Australian Navy, First World War (video)