The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (9358) Corporal Colin Archibald Nott, No. 9 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Second World War.

Places
Accession Number AWM2016.2.270
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 26 September 2016
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 each 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 Richard Cruise, the story for this day was on (9358) Corporal Colin Archibald Nott, No. 9 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Second World War.

Speech transcript

9358 Corporal Colin Archibald Nott, No. 9 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force
KIA 1 March 1942
Photograph: P12560.001

Story delivered 26 September 2016

Today we pay tribute to Corporal Colin Archibald Nott, who was killed on active service during the Second World War.

Born in the rural Queensland town of Roma on 25 July 1914, Colin Nott was the son of Allan Archibald Nott and Hilda May Nott. Growing up, he attended the local school, and was awarded a scholarship to attend Central Technical College in Brisbane. On gaining his qualifications, he was employed as a blacksmith and general engineer for Evans Deakin & Co, an engineering firm in Brisbane.

Prior to his enlistment in the Royal Australian Air Force in February 1940, Nott had previously served in the 61st Battalion of the Militia. Upon joining the RAAF he served as a technician, and trained as a fitter and turner. In October 1940 he was posted to No. 9 Squadron.

Nott married Nancy Alice Edgar in Brisbane on 27 August 1940. Together, they had a daughter, Helen, born on 9 October 1941. Colin had a short period of leave at home with his wife and newborn daughter prior to his final departure.

No. 9 Squadron was a fleet cooperation squadron flying amphibious aircraft for Royal Australian Navy cruisers. Nott served as an RAAF technician as part of a small team attached to serve with navy cruisers and operate the cruiser’s Supermarine Walrus amphibious aircraft.

His first deployment was to HMAS Hobart, where he served for the first half of 1941. During this period, Hobart served as an escort in Australian waters. In November Nott was deployed to serve HMAS Perth.

In February 1942 the Perth sailed for the Netherlands East Indies. On 27 February, along with a force of Australian, British, Dutch, and American ships, it fought in the major naval battle for the Java Sea. Five of the 14 Allied ships that took part in the action were lost against a formidable Japanese force. The Perth, alongside USS Houston, was lucky to survive. Both ships were able to break off from the engagement and make for Tandjung Priok to refuel.

The following night HMAS Perth and USS Houston made for the southern coast of Java through the Sunda Strait. En route they engaged with a Japanese invasion force heading for Java. In the ensuing battle for Sunda Strait the Perth and the Houston were outnumbered and, after bravely engaging the enemy, were both sunk.

A total of 357 members of Perth’s crew were killed when the ship went down, including Corporal Colin Nott. The 320 survivors became prisoners of the Japanese, and 106 of them died during the following years of captivity. At war’s end in 1945, only 218 returned home to Australia. Of Houston’s crew, only 368 of 1,061 sailors survived the sinking.

Corporal Nott was 27 years old.

His name is commemorated upon the Singapore Memorial at the Kranji War Cemetery in Singapore. It is also listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second World War. His photograph is displayed today beside the Pool of Reflection.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Corporal Colin Archibald Nott, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.

Dr Lachlan Grant
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (9358) Corporal Colin Archibald Nott, No. 9 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Second World War. (video)