Spey remembers fallen in visit to Papua New Guinea

Topic: Fighting armsSurface Fleet Storyline: HMS Spey

Sailors on HMS Spey were joined by HRH the Princess Royal in Papua New Guinea to pay their respects to those killed in World War 2.

The Offshore Patrol Vessel visited the Pacific island to meet officials and show her support for the region.

While the ship was in port, her crew visited the Bomana War Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony which was also attended by Princess Anne and her husband, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence. The short ceremony followed a church service hosted by Spey with the British High Commission and local government officials.

The cemetery at Bomana – just outside the capital Port Moresby – commemorates the lives of those lost during the war in the Pacific against the Japanese in 1942.

It contains 3,824 Commonwealth burials from World War 2, 699 of them are unidentified. The bodies were brought in from across Papua and Bougainville Island to create a central point of commemoration honouring those who defended the island nation during the Japanese invasion.

After the ceremony, defence officials were invited on board HMS Spey for a ship’s tour and for her sailors to show how they can support the area and the importance of their work in the Pacific.

Lieutenant Gareth Senior, Marine Engineering Officer, said: “It was a great opportunity to host the Papua New Guinea government organisations.

“We were able to demonstrate how the UK can assist the local government and its agencies in patrolling their waters to help protect them from illegal activities.

“I look forward to helping build stronger relationships between Papua New Guinea and the UK.”

Since deploying from Portsmouth in September 2021, Spey has travelled 25,000 miles. Since leaving Hawaii at the turn of the year, she’s focused her efforts in the South Pacific. She has been tasked in many operations and engagements; most notably the relief efforts in assisting the Tonga Government during the volcanic eruption.

In addition they have delivered medical and dental aid to remote islands such as Pitcairn.

We were able to demonstrate how the UK can assist the local government and its agencies

Lieutenant Gareth Senior, Marine Engineering Officer