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14 May 4, 2012
LEUT Sarah Benton
A WORLD War II veteran who trav-
elled to Singapore to pay respects to
his two fallen Army mates has forged
new friendships with the crew of HMAS
John Ingle travelled from Australia
with his three daughters to attend
an Anzac Day ceremony at Kranjii
Commonwealth War Cemetery.
At the end of the service the crew of
Ballarat discovered he had served as a
Leading Stoker in HMAS Ballarat (I),
during World War II.
The ship's company from HMAS
Ballarat and HMAS Collins participated
in the Anzac Day Dawn Service, with
officers and sailors from both crews pro-
viding the guard, while Ballarat provided
the catafalque party, ably led by POSN
Both ship and submarine were along-
side Singapore for the harbour phase of
Exercise Bersama Shield 12.
After spinning many a dit about his
exploits in Ballarat (I), Mr Ingle jumped
at the chance to visit the newer version
of his former ship berthed in Sembawang
and joined the crew for afternoon tea and
a spot of two-up.
He regaled members of ship's com-
pany with tales from the war and how
Navy life was back in the days of steam,
hammocks and tots of rum. He was fas-
cinated to learn how things had changed
on ships since he was last serving and
in particular, how well women had inte-
grated into the Fleet.
GRAND TOUR: Commanding Officer
of HMAS Ballarat CMDR Jon Earley
with veteran John Ingle at the Kranjii
Gunfire Breakfast in Singapore.
Photo: ABEW Bianca Hall
This was especially so after meet-
ing Ballarat's Chief Tiff, CPOMT Niobe
Oxwell. Although Mr Ingle wasn't able
to tour the engineering spaces, he pep-
pered the crew with many questions on
the capabilities and performance of the
ship's diesel engines and gas turbine.
Regretfully, neither grave of Mr
Ingle's Army mates was at Kranjii and
he now believes they lie in a Bangkok
Nonetheless, his daughters confided
to the crew that his visit to Ballarat II
would most certainly be something he
would talk about for many years.
Ballarat (I) was one of 60 Bathurst
class corvettes built for the Admiralty
during the war, and one of 20 commis-
sioned into the RAN.
Mr Ingle was on board for her com-
missioning on August 30, 1941.
up to Anzac Day,
prepared for Gallipoli
services by practising
their ceremonial drills
at the Australian War
Memorial in Canberra.
Here, members of
the AFG formed a
around the Tomb
of the Unknown
Australian Soldier in
the Hall of Memory
as part of the closing
ceremony at the
AWM on the first
Wednesday in April.
Photo: LS Andrew Dakin
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