Able Seaman Tammy Vaughn realised a childhood dream when she marched out as a member of the catafalque party at the Australian National Memorial site in Villers-Bretonneux, France, on Anzac Day.
CAPTION: Australia’s Federation Guardsman Able Seaman Tammy Vaughn rehearses her role in the catafalque party during the leadup to Anzac Day 2023 at the Australian National Memorial site in Villers-Bretonneux, France. Story by Lieutenant Carolyn Martin. Photo by Sergeant Oliver Carter.
Able Seaman Vaughn, from Wagga Wagga, NSW, was one of four sentries guarding one of Australia’s most sacred memorial sites during the dawn service.
She joined the Navy five years ago as a Gap Year sailor, but her passion for drill was sparked at Army cadets while still at school.
She would watch the dawn services each year on TV and was in awe of the ceremonial guardsmen in their pristine uniforms.
When she was posted to HMAS Armidale, based out of Darwin for two years, she would always volunteer to be part of the ship’s ceremonial team.
“There’s just something about drill that sets my heart on fire,” she said.
“When I work in the catafalque party it’s a way for me to express how passionate I am about Anzac Day and being in Defence.”
Her passion became her full-time job two years ago when she posted into Australia’s Federation Guard (AFG).
AFG is a triservice ceremonial unit made up of members from the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and Royal Australian Air Force.
Formed in 2000 for the centenary celebrations of the Federation of Australia, it was the first purely ceremonial unit in the history of the Australian armed forces and represents Australia at home and around the world.
Able Seaman Vaughn has been soaking up the experiences and the challenges since posting in.
“Last year I went to Papua New Guinea and had the chance to walk the Kokoda Track, one of the most physically challenging things I’ve ever done,” she said.
“And now to be here in France, I feel so honoured.
“It’s such a special thing for us to do – to remember those brave souls who have fallen.
“I hope that I can make Australia and the Navy proud.”
The Wiradjuri woman also wants to do a great job for her Nan, who brought her up.
“She’s very proud of me,” she said.