London service honours historic links

In a remarkable service in London, an Australian WW2 veteran presented a Royal Navy ensign to the captain of Britain’s most powerful warship, aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales.

CAPTION: Rear Admiral (retd) Guy Griffiths, right, presents the Royal Navy ensign to Commanding Officer HMS Prince of Wales Captain Richard Hewitt. Story by Lieutenant Charlie Marshall.

Overseeing the presentation, Australian Submarine Task Force’s UK Liaison Officer Commodore Allison Norris said the link between Australia and Prince of Wales was a personal one.

“The relationship goes back to World War 2, when retired Australian Rear Admiral Guy Griffiths was starting his career,” she said.

Rear Admiral Griffiths’ formidable career began as a midshipman in 1937.

“I’ve seen a few scraps in my time,” he said.

He joined HMS Repulse, still a teenager, as it hunted the German battleship Bismark, and then a few months later Repulse harried the Japanese.

Ultimately Repulse and its accompanying vessel Prince of Wales were sunk by 86 torpedo bombers in a harrowing encounter that cost many lives.

Rear Admiral Griffiths saw further action in WW2, and undertook active service in the Korean and Vietnam Wars commanding various Australian destroyers.

He retired in 1979 after 43 years of service.

Ray Hyde became fascinated by the fates of Repulse and Prince of Wales and decided to make a documentary, culminating in planting a Royal Navy ensign on both ships in a dive on their wrecks.

The ensigns were blessed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the dive was approved after much wrangling because of  sensitivities about the site.

Unfortunately, poor weather allowed an ensign to only be planted in Repulse.

And so, on June 1, Commodore Norris hosted Rear Admiral Griffiths in presenting the blessed ensign to Commanding Officer Prince of Wales Captain Richard Hewitt.

“The ensign will take pride of place and serve as a constant reminder of the service that Australian’s made to the Royal Navy in WW2 and provide a lasting memory of our common bonds,” Captain Hewitt said.





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One thought on “London service honours historic links

  • 11/06/2023 at 1:49 pm

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    Quería escribirte porque me ha parecido interesante comentar contigo la posibilidad de que tu negocio aparezca cada mes en *periódicos digitales como noticia* para posicionar en los primeros lugares de internet, es decir, con artículos reales dentro del periódico que no se marcan como publicidad y que no se borran.
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