Chalk drawing of HMAS Sydney (II)

Accession Number RELAWM30766
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Chalk, Chipboard, Wood
Maker Sampson, Louis Nicholas
Place made Australia: Western Australia
Date made 1941
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Chalk sketch on soft particle board depicting a port view of HMAS Sydney with a cloudscape background and soaring seagulls. Written in chalk below the Sydney is, 'GOOD LUCK TO THE AIR BOYS FROM HMAS SYDNEY' and, in the bottom left corner, 'SAM RAAF SYDNEY'. Written in pencil are sixteen signatures. The names on the drawing are not all decipherable but appear to be as follows; 'A MCAUSLAN CERA, A FITZGERALD (BLACKSMITH), OL WEBB, E C [illegible name], F X MORDAUNT PETTY OFFICER WRITER, [illegible name] ERA, W BURKE HMAS SYDNEY, E H McHAFFIE PO PAINTER, PETTY OFFICER [illegible] WRD SMITH, S MARLEY SGT 9SQFC, PETTY OFFICER H B SHIPSTONE QR2, F H GAMBLE PO TEL, WILLIAM L AYLOTT PO LTO, G STEPHENS YEOMAN OF SIGNALS, E B O'BRIEN, E HANCOCK'. The board is in a Jarrah frame.

History / Summary

HMAS Sydney called at Geraldton, Western Australia a few days before she was sunk in November 1941. Some of her senior sailors went ashore and spent the night at the Senior Sergeant's mess of RAAF No 4 Senior Flying School where this drawing of the ship, made by Chief Petty Officer Louis Nicholas Sampson, was signed and presented to the mess.

With the closing of the Air Force station at Geraldton at the end of the war, the drawing was handed to the Naval Officer-in-Charge, Fremantle, as a last relic of the Sydney. The frame in which the drawing is now fitted was made up by civilian Naval employees in Fremantle. It is made of Jarrah, a timber grown only in Western Australia, and was considered to be peculiarly suited to the circumstances.

The sailors identified from the signatures are; Chief Petty Officer (Chief Engine Room Artificer - CERA) Arthur Robert McAuslan; Blacksmith 4th Class Augustine Francis Fitzgerald; Petty Officer Oliver Ernest Webb; Petty Officer (Writer) Francis Xavier Mordaunt; Engine Room Artificer (ERA) William Burke; Painter 1st Class Edward Hunter McHaffie; Petty Officer William Reginald Devine Smith; Sergeant Sidney Marley, 9 Squadron; Petty Officer Henry Buccleuch Shipstone; Petty Officer (Telegraphist) Frank Harold Gamble; Petty Officer William Lewis Aylott; Petty Officer Yeoman of Signals George Stephens; Shipwright 1st Class Edward Bedford O'Brien, and as mentioned above, Chief Petty Officer (Stores) Louis Nichols Sampson.