Bundy man remembers brother who died on HMAS Sydney
AS AUSTRALIANS pause for one minute silence on Friday to remember those who have fought for our country in wartime, one Bundaberg man will reflect to remember his brother who lost his life 75 years ago.
Stanley Greenwood's brother James Greenwood was aboard the HMAS Sydney when it was involved in a mutually destructive engagement with the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran in November 1941.
The ship and all 645 men on board were lost.
James was born in Bundaberg and joined the Royal Australia Navy when he was 16 years old, he was an Ordinary Seaman.
He was born at home in Perry St, North Bundaberg in 1923.
The house was removed and the site is now where the small war memorial garden is.
A list of names of those born in North Bundaberg who paid the supreme sacrifice in Second World War are listed on a plaque.
James was a keen sportsman who whilst attending the Christian Brothers he won the 100yard sprint and a boxing competition in his weight division.
In his teenage years he was a milk delivery man with a local company that started a pasteurised milk business and delivered the milk in glass bottles.
This cause quite a stir in Bundaberg as the only milk delivered up to then was warm milk from a milk churn on the back of a truck.
Stanley was 10 years old at the time and said he often helped his brother, but found he was more of a hindrance.
James was part of the first naval intake after war was declared in 1940.
Stanley said his brother spent some time sailing around the South Pacific and served seven months in the Middle East before being posted to Perth where he escorted convoys back and forth from Singapore.
"When they were returning from one of this trips they fell fowl to the Kormoran," Stanley said.
"All the families were notified the Sydney was missing and it was some days before they picked up survivors of the Kormoran and they told them what happened.
"It received a torpedo to the bows and the bowel of the ship fell off and the rest of the ship followed."
The wrecks of both the Kormoran and the Sydney were lost until 2008; Sydney was found on March 17.
Sydney's defeat is commonly attributed to the proximity of the two ships during the engagement, and Kormoran's advantages of surprise and rapid, accurate fire.
It is believed no one survived the sinking of HMAS Sydney although one officer was found and buried on Christmas Island.
Family members where asked to provide DNA samples but he never received a result.
Stanley and his wife attended a burial and memorial service in Geraldton in 2008.
This year is the 75th anniversary of the sinking of the HMAS Sydney Stanley was invited to attend a commemorative service was not able to attend due to health reasons.