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W I LL I AM AL BERT NUN N W h a t d id yo u m is s in th e war, D addy? In 1934, the western world seemed to be trying to re-establish order as the Great Depression bit hard. In America, gangsters ruled the streets of many major towns, but the FBI were hitting back, ambushing notorious bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde, and bringing down Public Enemy No1 John Dillinger in Chicago. Europe, however, was going down a different path. After months of unrest that saw the far right rise in several countries and civil war in Austria, Adolf Hitler was pronounces Führer of Germany, making him both Chancellor and Head of State. It's likely that very little of this affected everyday life in Australia, when in 14 October 1934, a young 21 year old from Brisbane joined the Royal Australian Navy. Born in 1913, William Albert Nunn signed on as a Stoker, a vital role in keeping the massive engines of naval ships stoked with fuel. For the first six months, he was posted at HMAS Cerebus, the Navy's training college at Crib Point, just south of Melbourne. As with the soldiers in WWI, we can trace William's Naval career via his military records, which were digitised on our request for free by the Australian Government. However, these records are, ironically, less easy to read than the WWI records, and with so many changes of ships, we do have a few gaps where we're not sure quite where he was! William joined his first ship, HMAS Brisbane, on 2 April 1935, a veteran warship from WWI (launched in 1915), which had been used for training since the end of hostilities. William joined the ship on the first day of recommissioning. HMAS Brisbane was re-commissioned for the specific purpose of conveying the ship's company of the new cruiser HMAS Sydney to their ship in Britain, William was not to be posted to the new ship but another whilst in the UK. He stayed with the HMAS Brisbane right up until she was sent to be scrapped, so it must have been a pretty tired old ship to sail in! HMAS Brisbane ‘See the Ships and Meet the Men’ was the slogan of Navy Days, held each year at major naval bases around the UK - like this one in Portsmouth. The queues to enter the Dockyard often stretched far up Queen Street and inside the base there was always a long wait to go aboard various ships. The bands played and there was continuous entertainment in the arena, with small-arms displays, drill and often the odd bit of slapstick. Here an expectant crowd waits for the start of the afternoon show in 1935 with HMS Victory behind and, in the background, HMS Nelson, the flagship of the Home Fleet from 1927 until 1941. Nunn Family History • Page 46 of 75

W I L L I AM A NU NN William joined the HMAS Australia in August 1935, a heavy cruiser that was to be home for the next three years. Within a month of joining the HMAS Australia, world politics were to start to shape William's military career in dramatic fashion.

What happened when 12 Sep 1935

The first Seagull MK V amphibian was embarked in HMAS AUSTRALIA.

08 Oct 1935

HMAS AUSTRALIA won the Mediterranean Regatta against all ships of the Fleet. The cruiser scored 279.5 points, against HMS LONDON’s 276.

11 Oct 1935

Secret orders were received by HMAS AUSTRALIA, in the Mediterranean. In the event of war with Italy, HMAS AUSTRALIA was to join HMS BERWICK, and proceed to a p o s i t i o n o f f Ta r a n t o t o c o v e r H M S GLORIOUS, (aircraft carrier), which was to launch its torpedo-carrying Swordfish aircraft against the Italian Fleet. The orders were reactivated with great success in 1940.

15 Jan 1936

HMAS AUSTRALIA, became Cock of the Mediterranean when she won the Cruiser Regatta (again!) from HMS LONDON.

15 Feb 1936

HMAS AUSTRALIA, exercised with ‘Queen Bees’, unmanned radio-controlled Moth aircraft, in the Mediterranean.

26 Mar 1936

The Seagull amphibian aircraft, from HMAS AUSTRALIA, was damaged when it fell from a crane at Malta. AUSTRALIA was on exchange duties with the RN at the time.

14 Jul 1936

HMAS Ships AUSTRALIA and SYDNEY, were attached to the Mediterranean Fleet during the Abyssinian crisis.

Abyssinia Australia HMAS Australia became involved in the Abyssinian Crisis of 1935, and so the Australia stayed within the Mediterranean Sea until July 1936, just in case. Thankfully the crisis eased before the need for British involvement occurred. After the crises calmed down HMAS Australia visited Gallipoli before sailing for Australia. Family photos of William standing on the pyramids in Egypt, sadly now lost, were taken at this time. Certainly their last shore visit was to Gallipoli, the

Portsmouth, England. 1935. A Seagull MKV amphibian aircraft A2-1 in flight after being catapaulted from HMAS Australia during catapult trials.Note that there are many sailors watching the trials. William could be amongst them!

The County Class heavy cruiser HMAS Australia in the floating dry dock at Alexandria. She arrived there from England following her attendance at the July Silver Jubilee Review held at Spithead. After undergoing maintenance work at Alexandria, HMAS Australia returned to Australia via Aden, arriving in Sydney on 11 August 1936

Group portrait of crew members of the RAN ships HMAS Sydney and HMAS Australia sitting on camels and donkeys in front of a pyramid. The newly commissioned HMAS Sydney in company with HMAS Australia had stopped at Alexandria on her way back to Australia after commissioning and working up trials. On 29 April 1935 the two vessels visited Gallipoli where the crews visited some of the battlefields and Anzac cemeteries. Note the head of the Sphinx at far right. (Donor A. McDonald) - photo from April 1936

scene of the terrible Anzac slaughter in WWI, before both the HMAS Australia and the HMAS Sydney steamed back home. Much of 1937 and early 1938 was spent sailing up and down Australia's eastern coast, and a trip to New Zealand. Nunn Family History • Page 47 of 75

W I L L I AM A NU NN Remembering Gallipoli Gallipoli, 1936. Lone Pine Cemetary. On the left are visiting crews of HMAS Australia and HMAS Sydney.

Gallipoli 1936. Crew members of RAN Ships HMAS Australia and HMAS Sydney displaying

When HMAS Australia was refitted in April 1938, William moved between various ships, helping recommission HMAS Stuart, and rejoining the newly refitted Australia for a further six months. His most important duty during spring 1939, however, took place in Sydney, where he married Dulcie Edina Jean McMullen.

It’s War! William's record shows that on 14 July 1939, he joined HMAS Sydney, a Leander class light cruiser, so he would have been onboard when Britain declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939. Now that the Royal Australia Navy were at war, William found himself on escort and convoy duties along the coast of eastern Australia. On board HMAS Sydney in November 1939, he was involved in an unsuccessful hunt for the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee. HMAS Sydney

What happened when 03 Sep 1939 At 2115 in a radio broadcast, Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced; ‘It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially, that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that as a result, Australia is also at war’. The strength of the RAN at the commencement of hostilities in WWII was: 2 heavy cruisers, HMAS AUSTRALIA and CANBERRA; 4 light cruisers, HMAS SYDNEY, H O BA RT, P E RT H , a n d A D E L A I D E ; 5 d e s t r oye r s, H M A S S T UA RT, VA M P I R E , VOYAGER, VENDETTA, and WATERHEN; 2 sloops, HMAS SWAN and YARRA; 1 survey vessel, HMAS MORESBY; 2 armed merchant cruisers HMAS MANOORA and WESTRALIA. The permanent naval forces totalled 5440 and the reserve naval forces totalled 4819 personnel. 06 Sep 1939 Rates of pay in the RAN were:- Ordinary Seaman 2nd Class, (under 17 years of age), 1/9d per day; Able Seaman, 7/- per day; Chief Petty Officer 11/per day. Rates for tradesmen were at a higher scale:- Chief Mechanician 1st Class, Chief Engineroom Artificer, and Chief Shipwright 1st Class, 14/6d per day. A marriage allowance of 4/6d for the wife, and 3/- for the first child, 2/- for the second, and 1/6d for the third and all others, was also paid. 21 Dec 1939 A cartoon in the Australian magazine, The Bulletin, depicted a cruiser with a badly crumpled stern passing the flagship, and the Admiral turning to the Flag Captain:- ‘Send for her Captain Prendercast. I’ll teach him to play boomps a daisy’.

Aboard HMAS Sydney - inside the forward Boiler room

The cartoon alluded to HMAS SYDNEY, colliding with a wharf at Fremantle some weeks previously!

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W I L L I AM A NU NN In April 1940, William was posted to another ship, HMAS Adelaide (I). As ships were added to the fleet it appears that William joined them early on, possibly to ensure that the Boiler rooms were in good functional order. (We can only suppose) HMAS Adelaide was sent to New Caledonia with the New French Governor Sautôt, appointed by Charles de Gaulle. On 3 September 1940 while proceeding to Brisbane from Sydney en route to New Caledonia, HMAS Adelaide (I) was in with collision the merchant vessel SS Coptic of the Shaw Savill and Albion Line. Although both ships avoided major damage, this collision resulted in a court case in 1947 when the owners of SS Coptic sued HMAS Adelaide in dazzle paint

the Commonwealth for £35,000 damages!

Crisis in New Caledonia After the capitulation of France, the Vichy Government aimed to establish a Vichy regime in New Caledonia despite a predominant Free French following amongst the population. The Vichy military Governor already had the sloop Dumont d’Urville in place in the harbour to hinder any Free French movement. Australia was very interested in this move, as the threat of having a hostile population off the east coast of Australia was very serious, and one which could not be tolerated. HMAS Adelaide was now so old she was no longer considered a frontline unit. Though modernised immediately before the war, she was the oldest British-designed cruiser to participate in the war. By the time HMAS Adelaide had steamed out of port, a second French sloop of equivalent firepower to ‘Dumont D'Urville’ had been dispatched to Noumea by the Vichy government. If push came to shove when HMAS Adelaide arrived in Noumea, she had superior firepower, but the two French sloops had a faster rate of fire, and superior numbers. The dispatch of the ageing Australian cruiser was intended as a bluff to support Sautôt’s arrival in New Caledonia under the Free French flag, it was anticipated in Melbourne that if the encounter between HMAS Adelaide and the French sloops came to blows, HMAS Adelaide would come off worst. When the British Commissioner and High Commissioner arrived at Noumea on 30 August, they found that the Military Commandant had taken the place of the French Governor, and that the sloop ‘Dumont D'Urville’ was in port with a pro-Vichy Captain in command. HMAS Adelaide set sail on 16 September for Noumea, escorting the Temporary Governor of New Caledonia, Commissioner-General of Western Pacific and High Commissioner of New Hebrides appointed by General De Gaulle. HMAS Adelaide arrived at Noumea to find that the pro-Vichy authorities had practically declared martial law, and the city was full of De Gaulle supporters. The crowd of several thousand, marched to Government House and demanded the Governor's resignation in favour of the De Gaulle appointee. The Governor finally agreed to permit the new appointee to land, which he did at noon, and HMAS Adelaide withdrew to patrol off the harbour entrance. After negotiations and much diplomacy, the French ship ‘Dumont D’Urville’ sailed for Indo-China on 25 September 1940 and the situation ashore gradually became normal. HMAS As a memorial to HMAS Adelaide, the ship’s Adelaide departed Noumea in October and arrived back in Sydney on 8 main-mast was erected alongside the October 1940. Sphynx Memorial in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park in about 1950. Nunn Family History • Page 49 of 75

W I L L I AM A NU NN In Home Waters Again From October 1940 until May 1942 HMAS Adelaide carried out patrols, convoy escort and shipping protection duties, covering both east and west coasts of Australia. After arriving back in Australian waters, William was promoted to Leading Stoker during 1940, so his pay would increase and he had more authority. At some time in late December/early January 1941 William must have had the opportunity of coming home for a short time to see Dulcie to celebrate his promotion. How do we know this? Fay was born on 4th October 1941 (9 months after Jan 1941!). William stayed with HMAS Adelaide until September 1941, when he was transferred to HMAS Brisbane (the Naval Base). The naval base was opened in 1932 as HMAS Penguin IV and on 1 August 1940 it was renamed as HMAS Brisbane. The base was located at the corner of Merthyr Road and Gray Street, in New Farm, Brisbane and had its own wharves, warehouse buildings and assembly areas. Being in New Farm Brisbane, meant William was also very close to Woollongabba where his parents were living, and so we're pretty sure that he was able to visit them, as well as get a quick visit home, by train to Sydney to see his first born daughter Fay during October 1941.

Dulcie and 1st born Fay

Training at Naval Bases Mine warfare • extinguishing oil fires • Dynamo instruction • Flag hoisting • Instruction class by Chief Petty Officer

Training, Training and More Training The Navy clearly took training very seriously, as throughout his service, William often returned to either the Naval bases HMAS Cerberus or Penguin in between tours of duty on board ship. It also seems that every time any of his ships were to do a long tour of duty, William would be transferred to another ship, often during or after refitting. While this might have been frustrating for him, including missing out on tours to Malta (but of course he'd already been to Malta in 1935! - he was a well travelled seaman when WW2 started!) with the HMAS Stuart it probably saved his life several times over.

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W I L L I AM A NU NN Lucky Again In early November 1941 William was due to transfer from the Naval base to HMAS Sydney, but his orders were changed and he was to remain at naval Base HMAS Brisbane. This decision saved his life, as on 19th November, HMAS Sydney was sunk by the Germans off the coast of Western Australia, with the loss of all 655 lives on board.

These were dangerous times and dangerous waters - the midget submarine attack on Sydney harbour in 1942 had shown that the Japanese had both the determination and technology to reach into the very heart of Australian waters. By 1943, Japanese submarines were operating on the eastern seaboard, and sank no less than 5 RAN ships in April 1943 alone.

What happened when The same luck applied when he joined HMAS Launceston in April 1942, on commissioning day for this ship. By now he was a Stoker Pe t t y O f fi c e r a s H M A S L a u n c e s t o n m ove d f r o m convoy duties to join the British Eastern Fleet at Colombo in September 1942.

01 Jun 1942 During the attack on Sydney Harbour by Japanese midget submarines, a torpedo fired by one of the submarines at USS CHICAGO, missed the target and struck the sea wall on the eastern side of Garden Island. The force of the explosion blew the bottom out of HMAS KUTTABUL, (a converted Sydney ferry, now a depot ship), and the vessel sank at once. 21 sailors, (19 RAN and 2 RN), sleeping onboard, were killed or drowned. The Dutch K9, (submarine), which was moored outboard of KUTTABUL, was also damaged. 30 Jun 1942 From the outbreak of WWII, to 30 June 1942, Australian naval dockyards fitted 288 merchant ships with defensive armament, 275 with para-vane mine protection gear, and degaussed 296 vessels. In addition, refits, repairs, and conversions were carried out on naval vessels. 03 Oct 1942 RAN rates of pay were increased. They were:

Once again, William was landbased in Australia, with brief stints on the training ship Mildura (later renamed Penguin - there are an awful lot of Penguins in the RAN!)

Midshipman, 7s 6d per day Able Seaman, 8s 6d per day Chief Petty Officer, 12s 6d per day Sub-Lieutenant, 12s 6d per day Lieutenant £1 per day Lieutenant Commander, £1 11s 6d per day Commander, £2 1s 6d per day

HMAS Vendetta One of his longest postings

Captain, £3 1s 6d per day Rear Admiral, £5 1s 6d per day

Raising of one of the sunk Japanese midget submarines

was to HMAS Vendetta, which he first joined in October 1942 during her refit. This suggests that he was a valued officer during the refit process, perhaps overseeing the refitting and refurbishment of the engines before the ship came back into service. The Vendetta was back at sea by January 1943 and rescued the crew of a crashed Allied bomber from 60 miles off the Timor coast.

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W I L L I AM A NU NN We Saw the Sea‌ Much of William's time on board would have been dull and uneventful. Despite its aggressive name, HMAS Vendetta actually spent much of her time escorting ships, and on anti-submarine duties between ports in Queensland and

Torpedo men on the Vendetta

New South Wales. During the winter of HMAS Vendetta 1943

1943, she steamed an impressive 18,000 miles, so William's month of shore leave

in August 1943 must have come as a welcome respite. He also must have had a short visit to Dulcie in November 1943 as Joy was born August 1944! After William left HMAS Vendetta at the end of March 1944, the records get

A torpedo being fired from Vendetta

rather tricky to read. We know he joined HMAS Gascoyne for a couple of months, then HMAS Swan for just 7 days, then a month on shore at Penguin base, before joining HMAS Warrego for a month as it sailed to the Philippines to join HMAS Australia.

HMAS Warrego Cleaning a 4 inch gun on HMAS Gascoyne

Finally, however, his hour was to come when he rejoined his old ship HMAS Australia on 20 November 1944. At the beginning of 1945, the HMAS Australia joined Task Group 77.2 as escort and fire support group for the invasion and landings at San Fabian, a port in Lingayen Gulf, in the Phillippines. Bridge of HMAS Australia Nunn Family History • Page 52 of 75

W I L L I AM A NU NN The Battle of Lingayen Gulf

What happened when 05 Jan 1945

As the Task Group sailed from the port of Leyte towards the Gulf, the Japanese air force unleashed numerous kamikaze attacks on the invasion force.

On 5th January 1945, one attack on the HMAS Australia killed 25 men, mainly gunners, but the ship was not so badly damaged as to be withdrawn. A second attack on 6th January reduced their fire power further, with only enough trained men left to operate one 4-inch gun on each side of the ship. On the left is HMAS Kanimbla, an ex-interstate passenger ship now landing ship; to her right is USS California showing bomb burst narrowly missing her; in centre middle distance is HMAS Australia with explosion on her deck and for'ard of her is HMAS Shropshire, Lingayen Gulf, Luzon, Philippines.

The Battle of Lingayen Gulf, 5 to 9 January. HMAS Ships AUSTRALIA, SHROPSHIRE, ARUNTA, WARRAMUNGA, GASCOYNE and WARREGO (Ship William came out to the Philippines on) were engaged. HMAS AUSTRALIA and ARUNTA were hit by Japanese kamikaze planes. A Zero carrying a large bomb dived on ARUNTA from low altitude but clever manoeuvring caused the aircraft to miss and plunge into the sea within metres of the destroyer’s steering gear room on the port side. ARUNTA was holed and damage was caused to her steering motors. In the same attack a second kamikaze dive was made vertically into HMAS AUSTRALIA’s upper deck, amidships on the port side. The explosion killed 25 and wounded 30 of the cruiser’s crew. A fire set by the explosion was soon extinguished and reports indicated damage was slight and fighting efficiency was not greatly impaired. HMAS GASCOYNE, and WARREGO, and the USS BENNION, engaged two Japanese destroyers in a running battle near Luzon. The faster enemy destroyers withdrew and escaped.

06 Jan 1945

HMAS AUSTRALIA, was hit by a Japanese kamikaze plane for the third time. The ship’s casualties were 14 killed and 26 wounded.

08 Jan 1945

HMAS AUSTRALIA, was hit twice by kamikaze bombers in 15 minutes. The first aircraft skidded into the ship’s port side and the second exploded alongside, blowing a hole 4.3m by 2.4m in the cruiser’s side.

09 Jan 1945

HMAS AUSTRALIA suffered her fifth kamikaze attack. The Japanese aircraft struck the cruiser on the top of her third funnel. CMDR G.H. Gill, RANVR, reported: “Australia was the recipient of many signals before her departure from Lingayan Gulf, both from American, and her fellow Australian ships”: VADM Oldendorf, signalled: “Your gallant conduct and that of your ship has been an inspiration to us all. Sorry to lose you at this time.” Berkey, said: “Sorry the hell birds concentrated on you. My deep regrets for losses in the stout ship’s company.” RADM Weyler, in his letter forwarding the Report of Bombardments, commented; “The performance of HMAS AUSTRALIA is particularly to be commended. Heavily hit three times and with the greater part of her dual-purpose battery out of commission, she nevertheless executed scheduled fires in her usual effective manner.” Kinkaid, Commander Seventh Fleet, remarked: “HMAS AUSTRALIA received two minor and three major hits from enemy suicide planes. Despite the resulting damage and casualties, the fire schedule was executed in a very satisfactory manner. Her performance during the entire operation was excellent.”

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W I L L I AM A NU NN A New Morning, New Attacks It must have been a terrifying time, as the attacks were relentless. Early on the morning of 8th January, two kamikaze attacks hit home, when a twin-engined bomber plane literally slid into the side of the ship and another plane was shot down as it headed for the port side waterline. HMAS Australia after the attacks - note the state of the funnels and the size of the hole in the side of the ship.

One of the bombs from this second plane blew a hole 4 metres by 2 metres in diameter in the side of the ship, causing it to list 5 degrees degrees, yet HMAS Australia continued with its bombardment duties, including providing covering fire for the amphibious landings the next day.

One sailor on the HMAS Australia at the time described how it felt: "There was an occasion when I think there were twenty-seven aircraft coming at us at once, and that's when the fire was really going. 8-inch and the lot were going, and we blew a few out. No doubt ... we were singled out for some reason, the 'Aussie' - why I'll never know. Maybe they saw the Admiral's flag onboard, his pennant, and that may have had something to do with it ... Men with a propellor from one of the kamikazi planes which crashed into the ship. Bottom image men with one of the engines from the twin motored Japanese bomber that crashed on deck after being hit by anti-aircraft fire

We were a big ship, but the Shropshire was identical to us, and she got by. But they seemed to want to pick us out for some reason. And that was the way it was. Most of these planes were shot down, whoever shot 'em down I don't know, but our guns were going, and they seemed to be coming at us, the whole lot of them there at once, and a couple got in of course. And it was rather interesting, because that's when you started to - not fear, because you were too bloody busy, and I suppose you were too angry at the time, you're thinking of your mates and that that were wounded, others that were killed, and that sort of thing, and that was the thing that played on your mind most. You'd hear the 8-inch guns going so you'd say, 'Hello, there's something they're after'; then you'd hear the 4-inch start up, (those are the smaller guns, not such a range); then you'd hear the pom-poms; then you'd hear the Bofors, and then the Oerlikons are the last; and ... and you'd brace yourself, because you'd know you were about to be hit by another one of these, because it had got through that far." [Reg Walker, HMAS Australia, interview June 1989, Keith Murdoch Sound Archive, AWM]

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W I L L I AM A NU NN It was the fifth kamikaze attack that finally put HMAS Australia out of action, when at 1.13pm on 9th January, a plane crashed through the mast and the forward funnel, knocking out the funnel radar and wireless systems. The plane, which had been aiming for the bridge, fell overboard, but the damage was too bad to repair without returning to Leyte. Along with other damaged ships, the patched-up HMAS Australia sailed via Manus to Sydney for proper repairs.

Hockey on deck to relieve the boredom on the long journey home

What happened when 14 Apr 1945

The cost of operating the RAN for one day was estimated at Pounds100,000.

07 May 1945

The Admiralty signalled all British naval authorities and ships throughout the world: ‘German High Command has surrendered unconditionally all German Land, Sea and Air Forces in Europe. Effective from British Summer Time 0001 hours 9th May, from which hour all offensive operations will cease’.

14 May 1945

CAPT J. M. Armstrong, RAN, was awarded the DSO for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity, whilst commanding HMAS AUSTRALIA, during the Battle of Lingayen Gulf, and subsequent landings on Luzon. The award of the US Navy Cross for the same operations was made in 1946.

15 Jul 1945

The RAN reached its peak WWII strength. Ships in commission numbered 315. Personnel totalled 39,650, of whom 2,617 were WRANS, and 57 nursing sisters.

15 Aug 1945

Hostilities with Japan ended at 12 noon. When HRH Duke of Gloucester made the announcement in Canberra, three flags were flown. They were the flag raised by Australian troops at Villiers Bretoneux in the First World War, the flag worn by HMAS SYDNEY when she sank the Italian cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni, and the flag which was flying on Government House, Darwin, when the Japanese attacked the port in February 1942. CDRE J. A. Collins signalled the RAN: “I wish to congratulate every officer and man of His Majesty’s Australian Squadron on his share in our final victory announced by the Prime Minister of Great Britain this morning. I rejoice with you that the Japanese have been forced to surrender. We have every reason to be proud of the part played by the RAN during six years of war across the seas of the world, and I say again to all hands ‘Well done’. Let us always remember with sad pride our lost ships and their companies and thank God that their sacrifice was not in vain”.

Boiler Room on HMAS Australia

Peace at Last When the HMAS Australia was sent to Britain via the Panama Canal for a major refit after VE Day in May 1945 , guess who stayed behind! William spent the remainder of the war - official Japanese surrender didn't happen until 2 September 1945 - at the shore base Penguin II (told you there were a lot of Penguins). His final ship was the HMAS Dubbo, part of the 20th Minesweeping Flotilla formed in January 1946 to clear Australian waters of mines. William was on the ship when it sailed into Sydney Harbour for the last time, destined to be put in reserve in 1947. In a final ironic twist, she was finally sold for scrap in 1958 to the Japanese company Mitsubishi.

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Home Life Stoker Petty Officer William Albert Nunn was finally demobbed on 16th December 1946. The government had commissioned new homes to be built for returning servicemen, and in Sydney, many of the orchards and nurseries around Ermington had been built on. William and wife Dulcie bought the show home on the new estate for approximately ÂŁ1390 in 1947. After leaving the Navy, William found work as a boot repairer, before joining Mobil Oil in 1960. With Mobil, he worked to supervise the construction of new petrol station in New South Wales,. He lost the top of one finger to a misaligned metal part of a petrol station canopy.

Sadly, in 1969 he suffered the first of several strokes, each of which left him more debilitated. However, his four girls were the joy of his life, even if having four daughters in the house meant he was outnumbered by women 5 to 1! By the time he died from bowel cancer in 1977, he had seen Joy and Fay married, although he died before your mother Wendy got married in August 1978. William and Dulcie's family home, as you know, is still standing today, and see the photo section of this book for lots of suitably embarrassing pictures of your Mum from this period - how did we ever think clothes like that looked good!

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N A ME ORI G I N - N UN N According to the International Genealogical Index the spellings of this very interesting English surname include Nun, Nunn, Nunne, Naan, Nann, Neane, Noon, Noone, Noun, Noune, and the patronymics Nouns, Nowns and Nunns. Although it means literally 'The nun,' it was probably originally either occupational for a male who worked at a nunnery, or for an actor, one who played the part of nun in the travelling theatres of the time, or even a nickname for a virtuous person, or perhaps, given the robust humour of the time, the exact opposite! The derivation is from the pre 7th century word 'nunne' itself from the Latin 'nonna'. The surname from this source is first recorded in the mid 12th Century. Early recordings include Alice le Nonne, 1273, County Northampton, a witness at the Assize Court of County Durham, and Robert le Nunne in the register of Ramsey Abbey', Huntingdonshire in 1272. Other

e x a m p l e s

include: Margaret Nunne documented in County Norfolk in the year 1300, Robert del Nunnes and Roger o' the Nonnes in 1297 and 1309 respectively. Thomas Jenkins and Abigale Nunn were married at St. James's, Clerkenwell, London in the year 1614. On April 15th 1635 Richard Nunn, aged nineteen, embarked from London on the ship 'Increase' bound for New England. He was one of the earliest recorded namebearers to settle in America. Edmund Nunn and Mary Park were married at St. George's Chapel, Mayfair, London in 1746. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Eluiua Nonna. This was dated 1154, in the register of the abbey of St. Benet of Holme, Norfolk, during the reign of King Henry 2nd of England. 1154 1189. Throughout the centuries surnames in every country have continued to "develop", often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling. Originally the coat of arms identified the wearer, either in battle or in tournaments. Between the 11th and 15th centuries it became customary for surnames to be assumed in Europe, but were not commonplace in England or Scotland before the Norman Conquest of 1066. They are to be found in the Domesday Book of 1086. Those of gentler blood assumed surnames at this time, but it was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) that second names became general practice for all people. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884. The origin of badges and emblems, are traced to the earliest times, although, Heraldry, in fact, cannot be traced later than the 12th century, or at furthest the 11th century. At first armorial bearings were probably like surnames and assumed by each warrior at his free will and pleasure, his object being to distinguish himself from others. It has long been a matter of doubt when bearing Coats of Arms first became hereditary. It is known that in the reign of Henry V (1413-1422), a proclamation was issued, prohibiting the use of heraldic ensigns to all who could not show an original and valid right, except those 'who had borne arms at Agincourt'. The College of Arms (founded in 1483) is the Royal corporation of heralds who record proved pedigrees and grant armorial bearings. Notable members of the name are Sir Thomas Percy Nunn (1870-1944) the English education administrator and teacher trainer, born in Bristol and Sir Trevor Nunn (1940 -) Opera, Stage and Film Director.

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NUNN in th e UK Nunn


Based on the 1881 Census showing place of birth of Heads of Households born between 1788 & 1856 & Genmap UK












Number Ranges



0 births 1 - 10 11 - 25




26 - 50 WRY

51 - 100


101 - 400 401 and over
































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Nunn Family History 5  

Family History

Nunn Family History 5  

Family History