Mounted piece of shrapnel, Japanese shelling of Sydney, Balfour Road, Rose Bay : Mrs E Lyons

Accession Number REL49718
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Cork, Felt, Nickel-plated brass, Steel, Wood
Maker Unknown
Place made Japan
Date made 1942
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Piece of exploded shrapnel, approximately 100 mm high x 65 mm wide x 25 mm deep, screwed by its base to a wooden block. An engraved plaque is mounted on the front, stating: "OUTSIDE 32 BALFOUR RD / ROSE BAY / 8 JUNE 1942'. The base is covered with felt, with four cork dots.

History / Summary

Piece of shrapnel from a shell which exploded outside 32 Balfour Ave, Rose Bay on night of 8 June 1942, fired from Japanese submarine I-24. Mrs Edith Lyons related:

"On the night in question we arrived home from my husband’s parents at Mosman at midnight and fell into bed. A few minutes later there was the sound of “wooomph”, “whish” - about ten times. I was sitting up in the bed (John was asleep) and saying "John!!, listen!!" when there was a “wooomph”- “whish” - BANG right outside our flats, 32 Balfour Road, Rose Bay.
"We were up - dressing gowns and slippers on - first aid box and rug and on our way to the Air Raid shelter in one of the garages in moments.... John went into the next block of flats and found a young couple shaking like mad under the bed clothes. A piece of shrapnel had come through the wall of their bedroom."

"The shell blew a huge hole in the road. I found the the driveway the next morning."

"My husband, John Lionel Lyons a marine engineer, used to go from the Shell Company at Gore Bay to Rose Bay to refuel the seaplanes which flew to New Zealand and any other seaplanes that flew in. He enlisted and was accepted in the Air Force and put on the Reserve. When called up the Shell Company had him put on the “reserved occupation”. The Air Base at Rose Bay was finished and the Shell Company had a depot there.