Shropshire Room Commissioned at HMAS Kuttabul
On Wednesday 5 July 2006 at 1030, the name Shropshire was “recommissioned” into the RAN, although this time not as a capital ship, nor even in a sea going capacity. The Shropshire Room was named in a ceremony at Maritime Command Headquarters within the grounds of HMAS Kuttabul at Potts Point in Sydney, continuing a name that served the RAN so well in WW2 and beyond. Shropshire will now serve the RAN in the capacity of the Boardroom at Maritime Command HQ and was officially named by Rear Admiral David Thomas RAN, Maritime Commander.
The Shropshire Room will be used to support maritime operations, operations planning, command/control communications and intelligence, as well as logistic and administration support. The name Shropshire will play an integral part in this planning and support being the venue where key decisions are made.
Peter Ward-Smith, President of the NSW Division of HMAS Canberra/Shropshire Association presented RA Thomas with a framed print of HMAS Shropshire, in action during the Leyte and Lingayen operations in the Phillipines in 1944/45 to commemorate the occasion and to act as a permanent reminder of her namesake. These were reprints of paintings commissioned by members of the NSW Division by artist Ian Hansen. Also present at the unveiling were Committee Members of the NSW Division.
RA Thomas in his speech following the unveiling remarked that the RAN had shifted policy in the last few years to embrace more community and historical values and mentioned that this “was a fitting way in which to embrace the historical aspect of a truly remarkable ship”. Responding to RA Thomas, Peter Ward-Smith on behalf of all ex HMAS Shropshire crew members said that “This is a wonderful day for all ex Shropshire crew to have finally secured a permanent, serving reminder of the name Shropshire”. Lobbying for another HMAS Shropshire has been an ongoing process by members of the National Associations and is unlikely to occur however, due to the Government policy of naming all newly commissioned ships after Australian cities.
Report by Chris Johnston. Grandson of Petty Officer N. ( Nutty ) Ferris who proudly served in this fine ship in WW2.