HMAS Canberra before WW2

Good Afternoon Sir.

My interest with respect to this ship stems from passed down experiences of when my father was in Canberra pre WW2. Alas he died several years before the ship was rediscovered, not to far co incidentally, from where I was stationed during the middle 60s whilst working for the airline TAA.

My contribution to all, is a retouched colorized photograph of Canberra during the latter part of the 1930s lying at anchor in the Derwent River at Hobart.This picture can be made available should you require it.

Also some where here, if I can relocate it is a very generous letter written to my father by CMDR Stan Veale, his commanding officer at that time. My father, was very proud of his association with CMDR Veale, in fact,as a very small boy I met this man at one of the many Trafalgar days held at como park, it was compulsory attendance and we never had defaulters at our place, sick or not rain or sun, you went. My father believed in the true Nelson ethics of the senior service and the word duty comes to mind. Regrettably, I do not have his service number but there are several photographs of him in both rigs also available if required.

Whilst my father was quiet disappointed that I never joined the service full time, I did like himself, serve part time in Lonsdale (PM 9900) for several years both here and in TPNG attached to Manus Island, and the friendships that I formed at that time are still with me today. Sadly, I was required to attend my former divisional officers funeral in Sydney NSW during mid September.

Captain Peter A Ross (J21) a cadet entrant at 13 years  from Melbourne Grammar was an inspiration and "sea daddy" to me throughout my brief naval service and airline career and like all former serving sailors, they may have been away from the service for some years but I notice at their funerals the presence is very strong.  And like my own father he died as he lived a PO Stoker.

I trust this all too brief e-mail will be of some value to your cause, of which I intend to support, and if additional information is required, I can be contacted as shown.

Kind regards
John R Lancaster

Dear John,
Thank you for the detail about your Father, and his time in Canberra.

I would be grateful to have a copy of the photo in the Derwent and the two of your Dad plus Stan Veale's letter, should you turn it up, we wll add them to AHOY.

Not long ago, the son of the late Commander Stan Veale, contacted me to have a look at some records of his Dad, he was going to throw them out, and I was invited to take what I might like.

I picked up Stan's diary as a Midshipman in WW1, and his part in the Naval group that went off to New Guinea to capture the German territory there.

There were also accounts of his involvement in the first shots fired in both WW1 and WW2, all most fascinating.

I actually turned up Stan Veale's birth and wedding certificates, and found his medals hidden within a thick file, but they were fortunately to be saved by his son.

Nice to hear from you, and I will give you a phone call soon.

Best regards,

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