The Snail Trail

Travelling with my home on my back and in no hurry to get anywhere

Seagulls for Souls Lost at Sea


Yesterday we visited the HMAS Sydney Memorial that overlooks Geraldton in Western Australia. It is a stunning- and emotional- tribute to the

645 men who lost their lives when their ship was destroyed off the nearby coast in 1941.

HMAS Sydney Memorial

The memorial consists of several components. The dome above, known as The Dome of Souls, is made up of 645 seagulls, one for each life lost – the single largest loss of life in the history of the Royal Australian Navy. The link included in this paragraph details the symbolism of this stunning sculpture.


The wall is inscribed with a brief history of the attack by the Kormoran and identifies each person, their rank and where they were from. It makes for thoughtful reading to see 645 names etched into the wall 😔

The Stele represents the ships prow and it stands out above Geraldton and draws your attention to the memorial.

The Stele

The Pool of Remembrance is surrounded by 644 seagulls, the 645th in the centre of the pool and pointing to the coordinates of the final resting place of the HMAS Sydney. The pool itself depicts the shoreline and the dark ocean depths where the ship was discovered in 2008, some 2500 metres below the surface.

Pool of Remembrance

Nearby is the final component of the memorial, the Waiting Woman. She was positioned here before the wreck of the Sydney was found and, in a coincidence that raises the hairs on my neck, she is looking directly towards HMAS Sydney’s watery grave.

The inscription reads –

Close by the waiting woman waits no more. Now she watches over her loved ones eternally at rest. Her gaze lingers along the exact compass bearing to the ship, as it has since she was placed here before the site of the Sydney was known.

It truly is a beautiful memorial that serves as a reminder of the lives sacrificed for us to enjoy our freedom today.

Author: The Snail Trail

I’m a nomad who loves travelling Australia in my old campervan, Brutus the Beast, seeing amazing places and meeting fellow travellers.

8 thoughts on “Seagulls for Souls Lost at Sea

  1. Pingback: Seagulls for Souls Lost at Sea – The Daily Snail

  2. Beautiful memorial, beautiful photographs. I have never visited WA and had not heard of this monument, a fitting tribute to their eternal rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Rosemary. I love that memorial in Geraldton, my favourite of all the war memorials in the country. So beautifully done. I use it a lot for sone5of my night photography, it’s just as stunning at night. I wish we were in Geraldton yesterday to catch up, but we drove down to Perth to visit family this weekend.. Are you going to be around there next week?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve headed back to Quobba for some warmer weather then make my way back down the coast over the next couple of weeks. Would love to catch up with you and Deb when I’m back in Geraldton 🚐🚐


  4. That would be lovely Rosemary. Let me know when you are in town and we can get together for a coffee/meal. I’ll send my contact details to you in your Snail Trail messenger.


  5. This memorial is also my favourite, I found it really stirred my emotions, all those seagulls but aslo the woman watching and waiting for the return of her loved ones.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It is such a moving memorial.


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