The plaque attached to the AHS Centaur wreck which marks her as a protected war grave
Centaur’s bell and chimneys
Looking for Centaur
CAMPAIGNING FOR THE SEARCH
The Centaur Association had long campaigned for a full scale search to confirm the exact site of the Centaur. In March 2008, there was a resurgence of interest following the finding of the HMAS Sydney 11 off the coast of Western Australia.
The HMAS Sydney 11 was sunk by the German raider Kormoran in November 1941 resulting in the loss of 645 officers and men from the Australian ship.
QUEENSLAND GOVERNMENT SUPPORTS THE SEARCH
Following approaches from Ian Hudson and others from the Centaur Association, on the 14th May 2008, the 65th anniversary of the sinking of the Centaur, Queensland Premier Anna Bligh wrote to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd seeking support to enable a search for the AHS Centaur.
STATE AND FEDERAL GOVERNMENTS SUPPORT THE SEARCH
The Australian and Queensland governments jointly committed $4 million to the search and officers from the Department of Defence and the Department of Premier and Cabinet provided oversight and technical assistance to the project.
With both State and Federal governments committing funds, the search began to find a team of experts and the right equipment to solve the mystery and locate its final resting place. Eventually David Mearns with his expert team from Blue Water Recoveries on the Seahorse Spirit were commissioned to find Centaur.
Centaur lies under 2kms of Ocean
THE MEMORIAL SERVICE
On Tuesday 12 January 2010 a memorial service was held for the AHS Centaur which lay 2059 metres below the surface. Major Arthur Dugdale, Historian John Foley and Graham Samway, Captain of the Seahorse Spirit were involved in the service which included prayers and readings.
At the conclusion of the service Major Dugdale laid a wreath on the water over the site.
THE MEMORIAL PLAQUE
In the early hours of the morning, the memorial plaque was gently placed on the foredeck of the wreck of the Centaur. Incorporated in the plaque was a Roll of Honour with the names of all 268 men and women who perished when the Centaur was sunk. This plaque serves as a headstone for those entombed in this maritime grave.
The location where the plaque was laid – just starboard of the forward (No. 1) hatch opening – was chosen because it was deemed to be the most visible and permanent in keeping with the wishes of the Centaur Association.
For more information: Oz at War | The Australian War Memorial | 2/3 Centaur Association Inc