With the poignant sound of the Last Post echoing throughout the ship, HMAS Choules took an operational pause to conduct a Remembrance Day service while deployed to Solomon Islands in support of the Pacific Games.
CAPTION: Ship’s company, along with Australian Army and Australian Federal Police personnel, mark Remembrance Day on board HMAS Choules while supporting the Pacific Games in Solomon Islands. Story by Warrant Officer Nikolai Rofe. Photo by Able Seaman Ethan Belleville.
As monsoon rain fell, the ceremony was conducted inside the vehicle deck, with the ship’s company, Australian Army personnel and Australian Federal Police members standing side by side to honour the fallen.
The ship’s boatswains, who formed the catafalque party, guarded a makeshift cenotaph. Poppy tributes were laid on behalf of Navy, Army, ADF Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personnel and the Australian Federal Police.
Commanding Officer Choules Commander Ross Upton paid tribute to the 61,000 Australians who died during World War 1 and also to the servicemen and women who have served since in war, operations and peace. He also acknowledged the service personnel who survived but returned home with the physical and mental scars of war.
Boatswains mate Leading Seaman Jack Nona, a Torres Strait Islander, laid a floral tribute on behalf of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander personnel who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country.
Choules is in Honiara to provide logistical support to the Australian Federal Police, who are assisting the Royal Solomon Islands Police during the 2023 Pacific Games.