Shropshire Park. Ulverstone Tasmania.
Sitting on the northern coastline of Tasmania is the township of Ulverstone, it has a population of about 14,000.
At Ulverstone is located Shropshire Park, dedicated to the 8 inch cruiser HMAS Shropshire, her wartime crew, and her sailors who have since died.
At the main entrance is an anchor mounted at the centre of two supporting stone wings, the ships crests of HMAS Canberra, (after she was sunk on August 9 1942, many of her survivors went on to crew Shropshire) and HMAS Shropshire support between them, a plaque detailing the achievements of Shropshire and her crew.
Within the two stone wings are niches, designated to receive the ashes of crew members, some are already filled, and these are capped with a descriptive plaque of each individual’s service record.
Other Naval Memorials.
This park now contains memorials to other RAN ships and personnel. You find remembered HMAS Australia, the 7th. Australian Destroyer Flotilla, which comprised HMA Ships, Napier, Nizam, Nestor, Norman and Nepal.
The RAN Corvette Association of Australia has provided a plaque for Teddy Sheehan, a young Ordinary Seaman whom hailed from Tasmania, and gave his life trying to save his shipmates, when HMAS Armidale was sunk by attacking Japanese aircraft. See my Web Log for the story about Teddy Sheehan.
Also to be viewed at Shropshire Park, is a huge globe of the world, on it are depicted all the individual positions where Australian ships of the Royal Australian Navy were sunk during their service across the world. Canberra is shown where she is sitting upright on the bottom, at a depth of 2,500 feet off Savo Island, in the Solomons.
Unless you are aware of Shropshire Park, you will be taken by suprise when you come across this segment of Australian Naval History, nestling in this quiet corner of Australia, at Ulverstone Tasmania.
The dedicated people involved in recording these historic ships, and their crews who served in them during times of conflict are to be congratulated for their initiative.
It is so easy to forget our past, and those who played their part in maintaining our freedom for future generations to enjoy.