11am Ceremony on the grass
5:30am Dawn Service
11am Commemorative Service
5:30am Dawn Service
Two Up 1pm
5:25am ticketed event at the cenotaph
6:15am Dawn Service
Two Up 12pm to 6pm
4:45am SUNRISE Service and Beach Parade

Teddy Sheean VC

Terry's Biscuits

Teddy Sheean VC

Teddy Sheean VC

Edward "Teddy" Sheean was an ordinary seaman serving on HMAS Armidale whose death during a Japanese aerial attack is an inspirational story of Australian loyalty and bravery.

Sheean was born at Lower Barrington, Tasmania, on 28 December 1923, educated at Latrobe and later worked on farms. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Naval Reserve in April 1941.

After a period on HMAS Kuttabul, which was sunk in Sydney Harbour while he was on leave, he began service as an anti-aircraft gunner on the newly commissioned HMAS Armidale.

On 29 November 1942 Armidale began her last operation, a resupply and evacuation mission to Japanese-Occupied Timor.

On this mission, Armidale was hit by two aircraft-launched torpedoes and began to sink fast. Sheean was wounded and, rather than abandon ship, he strapped himself to his Oerlikon and began to engage the attacking aircraft even as the ship sunk beneath him. He shot down two planes, and crewmates recall seeing tracer rising from beneath the surface as Sheean was dragged under the water, firing until the end. He died on 1 December 1942 aged just 18.

Sheean was mentioned in dispatches for his bravery and in 1999 HMAs, Sheean, a Collins Class submarine, was named after him - the only ship in the RAN named for a sailor.

In 2020, following a sustained public campaign to have Ordinary Seaman Sheean's selfless actions appropriately recognised, the Governor-General presented the insignia of the Victoria Cross for Australia to Teddy Sheean's family at a ceremony held at Government House in Canberra.

Terry's Biscuits

Teddy Sheean VC

On 29 November 1966 Lance Corporal Terry Hendle received a tin of homemade Anzac biscuits from his Mum, Adelaide. Terry had been with the 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR) in Vietnam for six months, beginning his tour of duty on 31 May. He was serving near Nui Dat as part of Operation Ingham.

Adelaide and Desley, Terry’s sister, regularly sent him homemade Anzac biscuits while he was deployed, which he shared with the men of his unit, 6RAR’s Assault Pioneer Platoon. Terry decided to wait until he finished his patrol that night before opening the tin to enjoy the biscuits.

Sadly, Terry never got to enjoy his biscuits. At 10:15pm, some Viet Cong came up to the perimeter of 6RAR’s position and, when challenged by the sentry, opened fire with an automatic weapon before withdrawing. Terry was one of three men wounded in the attack.

Despite the best efforts of medical staff, at 2:55 in the morning on 30 November, Terry died aged 20. His body was returned to Australia and buried at Pinaroo Lawn Cemetery, Queensland. He was survived by a young wife and daughter.

Terry's unopened tin of biscuits was returned to Adelaide after his death. She kept the tin with her the rest of her life and every time she moved house she would carefully carry “Terry’s biscuits” in her lap to her new home.

The tin has not been opened since Adelaide first sealed it in 1966. It still has its original masking tape and you can feel the weight of the biscuits inside. The Australian War Memorial will never open the tin, just as Adelaide and Desley never opened it.