Bowden Laurence

Name   Bowden Laurence  Rank: Stoker

Number RAN W1957

Ship  HMAS Sydney

Place of Birth. Ulverstone Tasmania 13 October 1922

Next of Kin His father Arthur Bowden

He was the son of Henry and Agnes Bowden of Langwarrin 

Date and place of enlistment 6 January 1941 Williamstown

Location on enlistment   Langwarrin

Occupation

Date and place of death 20 November 1941 Indian Ocean

Location of grave or memorial

He has his name on the HMAS Sydney 11 Memorial Geraldton and on memorials in Leongatha and Frankston.

Relationship to Woorayl Shire

The family farmed during the 1930s in the Dumbalk area before moving to Langwarrin in 1941. Two brothers Henry Edwin and Ernest Arthur enlisted in 1940 and 1942 respectively and gave their addresses as Dumbalk.

A section of the memorial Geraldton

Bonner, Reginald Mechanician 1st Class NSW AUSTRALIA
Bool, James Ordinary Seaman VIC AUSTRALIA
Booth, Ernest Albert Able Seaman VIC AUSTRALIA
Bowden, Laurence Stoker 2nd Class VIC AUSTRALIA
Bowes, Keith Andrew Joseph Stoker NSW AUSTRALIA
Box, Robert Aubrey Stoker 2nd Class TAS AUSTRALIA
Boyd, David William Acting Leading Sick Berth Attendant VIC AUSTRALIA
Bradley, Ross      

The HMAS Sydney II

After a number of deployments on the east coast, including several to New Zealand, Sydney II passed through the Sydney Heads, assigned to escort US 12B to Fremantle where she arrived three days later on 25 September. Leaving Fremantle to undertake the ‘milk run’ up to Sunda Strait she did a handover of US12B to HMS Glasgow who would finish the escort.  By now she had become a familiar sight off the coast of Western Australia where there had also been a number of disturbing reports about the disappearance of several merchant ships. This suggested there was a raider in the region. In fact, the German Navy’s largest auxiliary cruiser, the Kormoran, disguised as a Dutch merchant ship MV Straat Malakka and her Captain, Kapitan zur See Theodor Anton Detmers were the culprits.

On November 19, after returning from an escort of the Zealandia to the handover point to HMS Durban in the Sunda Straits, Sydney II would encounter the Kormoran by surprise. It was an encounter that would prove to be her undoing and remains Australia’s worst naval disaster. All on board were lost.

 

 

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