Wedding presentation tray : Lieutenant T E Davis, RAN

Place Oceania: Australia
Accession Number REL/00379
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Silver-plated metal
Maker Hecworth
Place made United Kingdom
Date made c 1930-1941
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945

Circular silver plated tray with two handles and a pattern of raised grapes and vine leaves around the rim. The centre of the tray has an embossed design of Acanthus leaves. Within this are engraved the words 'FROM CAPTAIN AND WARD ROOM OFFICERS H.M.A.S. SYDNEY 21 Feb. 1941.' Above these words is the acid-etched facsimile signature of Captain J A Collins, while below is that of Commander T J N Hilken. Outside the Acanthus leaves are a further 26 facsimile signatures, those being, clockwise from top: Flight Lieutenant T M Price DFC, Lieutenant T G Brown, Lieutenant J H Simpson, Lieutenant G M J Goller, Engineer Lieutenant A W Wilson, Lieutenant R B N Baker, Surgeon Lieutenant A J Gray, Paymaster Lieutenant R E Ridout, Warrant Engineer W G Batchelor, Engineer Sub-Lieutenant J W Carroll, Engineer Sub Lieutenant E M Smith, Engineer Sub Lieutenant F H Schoch, Engineer Sub Lieutenant A J King, Lieutenant I T R Treloar, Lieutenant A N Dollard, Lieutenant G J B Crabb, Paymaster Lieutenant W H Ross, Lieutenant E E Mayo, Lieutenant Commander R D Handcock, Lieutenant Commander C A C Montgomery, Lieutenant Commander M M Singer, Lieutenant Commander J C Bacon, Commander E W Thruston, Surgeon Commander H W Gault, Paymaster Commander T F Maynard and Commander L S Dalton. The underside of the tray's top rim is impressed with the maker's marking 'HECWORTH REPRODUCTION OLD SHEFFIELD'.

History / Summary

The tray was presented to Lieutenant Thomas Edgar Davis RAN, as a gift from his fellow officers in HMAS Sydney, in celebration of his marriage to Miss Sheila Isabel Mitchell. The wedding took place on 21 February 1941, but less than nine months later, on 19 November 1941, the Sydney was lost with all hands, including Davis, in an action with the German commerce raider 'Kormoran'. Born in Geraldton, WA in 1919, Davis was 13 years old when he was appointed a Cadet Midshipman in the RAN in 1933. From June 1937 to September 1939 Davis was loaned to the Royal Navy for service and training. Upon returning to Australia, Davis joined HMAS Sydney as a sub-lieutenant in November 1939. In addition to Davis, fifteen of the officers whose signatures appear on the tray lost their lives, these being: Commander Lionel Sydney Dalton DSO, Commander Thomas Francis Maynard, Commander Edmund Wybergh Thruston DSC (RN), Lieutenant Commander Jack Cawston Bacon, Lieutenant Commander Richard Daniel Handcock (RN), Lieutenant Commander Clive Alexandra Craig Montgomery (RN), Lieutenant Commander Michael Morgan Singer DSC (RN), Lieutenant Thomas Garton Brown, Lieutenant Eric Elton Mayo, Lieutenant Robert Ernest Ridout, Lieutenant Ian Thomas Roy Treloar, Lieutenant Allan Robert Wallace Wilson, Sub Lieutenant Allen James King, Sub Lieutenant Frederick Harold Schoch and Warrant Engineer William George Batchelor.