Australian High Commission
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka
Also accredited to the Republic of Maldives

ANZAC Day 2021





ANZAC Day is one of the most important days in our national calendar. Just after dawn, His Excellency David Holly, Captain Ian Cain, RAN and Warrant Officer Class One Paul Cooney paid their respects to four Australians; Warrant Officer McCouat, RAAF, Leading Seaman Stanley, Able Seaman Turner and Ordinary Seaman Morton buried at the Commonwealth War Graves, Liveramentu Cemetery, Colombo.

For those wishing to watch the national commemorative service in Australia, you can follow @DVAAus & @AWMemorial on Twitter to stream the Dawn Service and Ceremony live from Canberra.




The story of Warrant Officer John Battison McCOUAT

411924 Warrant Officer John Battison McCOUAT Royal Australian Air Force trained as a Navigator during the Second World War and was serving with 22 SQN RAF at the time of his death. He was born in Marrickville, NSW on 22 Oct 1910. WO McCouat enlisted in the RAAF on 21 June 1941 at 31 years old. He was the son of John Battison McCouat and Jessie McCouat; husband of Leila Ferguson McCouat (Nee Wilson) of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory.

WO McCouat died on 01 November in an aircraft crash (Beaufighter NE478, 1530 Hours 01 Nov 1944 at RAF Station Vavuniya, Ceylon). The aircraft swung on take-off and collided with a Spitfire in a dispersal bay and a Wireless Telegraph Trailer in which two RAF airmen from No. 17 Squadron, RAF were working. The pilot and passenger of the plane, and one of the men working in the trailer received severe burns. The other worker, Leading Aircraftman John Edward Riley (1037091), also died in the accident and is buried beside WO McCouat. WO McCouat was 34 years old at the time of his death. WO McCouat is now buried at Liveramentu Cemetery Plot 1, Row F, Grave 2.

More information can be found at McCOUAT John Battison 411924 | Aviation Heritage Museum (


The story of Leading Supply Assistant Patrick William Anthony STANLEY

22888 Leading Supply Assistant Patrick William Anthony STANLEY Royal Australian Navy. LS Stanley was born in Dulwich Hill, NSW on 29 Apr 1919, the son of Percy and Mary Lynn, of Beech Hill; Wigan, Lancashire, UK. LS Stanley was married to Muriel Lorraine Stanley of Glasgow Ave, Bondi Beach NSW and worked as a Clerk prior to enlisting for a period of 12 years at 19 years of age (21 Feb 1939).LS Stanley served at sea on HMA Ships Canberra, Australia and Nizam and ashore in establishments HMA Ships Penguin and Rushcutter.

LS Stanley joined Nizam on 01 Oct 1943 in Melbourne while the ship was in refit. Nizam completed her refit in mid-October and, after completing sea trials, sailed to Fremantle arriving there at the end of October. During 04-17 November she escorted Convoy OW 7 from Geraldton to Colombo and in November 1943 Nizam joined the Eastern Fleet at Kilindini, Mombasa, Kenya, but in December was away on convoy duty to Aden.

On 27 January 1944 HMAS Napier and Nizam rejoined the Eastern Fleet en-route to the re-opened Fleet Base at Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, arriving on 06 February 1944. On 08 March the fleet departed for operations in the Bay of Bengal and on 19 April 1944 the Australian destroyers participated in the Eastern Fleet carrier strike on the Japanese held port of Sabang in Sumatra. The Australian destroyers were HMA Ships Napier, Nepal, Nizam, Quiberon and Quickmatch. From May until November 1944 Nizam was employed on shipping protection duties in the Indian Ocean.

LS Stanley was transferred to Royal Navy Auxiliary Hospital (RNAH) Colombo from Nizam on 07 Jul 1944, where he died of pneumonia and blood poisoning on 09 Jul 1944 at the age of 25. Leading Supply Assistant Stanley is now buried at Liveramentu Cemetery Plot 1, Row G, Grave 2, his grave site is incorrectly recorded on the Commonwealth War Grave Commission’s database and steps are being made to rectify this oversight.

More information on LS Stanley’s service record can be found at View digital copy (


The story of Able Seaman Kenneth Royston TURNER

26104 Able Seaman Kenneth Royston TURNER Royal Australian Navy. AB Turner was the son of Robert and Selina Turner, of Narrogin, Western Australia. Born in Tambellup, WA on 8 Oct 1919, he worked as a Shop Assistant prior to enlisting for a period of 12 years on his 18th Birthday (8 Oct 1937), nearly two years before the start of the war. AB Turner served on HMA Ships Swan, Burnie, Brisbane, and Maryborough. He joined HMAS Maryborough in Oct 1941 and after a brief period of service on the east coast of Australia, Maryborough proceeded in November 1941 to Singapore. There on 28 November she became a unit of the 21st Minesweeping Flotilla. Following the outbreak of the Pacific War, Maryborough with six of her sister ships played a notable part in the Malayan-Java-Sumatran operations ending on 2 March 1942, when she departed Tjilatjap for Fremantle.

The period of March to November 1942 was spent on escort and patrol duties in Western Australian waters based on Fremantle. It was an uneventful period. During April 1942 Maryborough took the submarine USS Sea Raven in tow and brought her to Fremantle. The submarine, which had rescued a party of servicemen from Timor, had broken down. On 3 November 1942 Maryborough departed Fremantle for Diego Garcia en-route to join the Eastern Fleet. The following four months were spent escorting shipping from Colombo to Bombay and to the Persian Gulf. In November 1943 Maryborough returned to the Indian Ocean and resumed her convoy escort duties.

AB Turner was transferred to the Royal Navy Auxiliary Hospital (RNAH) Colombo from HMAS Maryborough on 11 August 1944 and died of Poliomyelitis (Polio) 13 Aug 1944 at the age of 24. AB Turner is now buried at Liveramentu Cemetery Plot 1, Row G, Grave 2.

More information on AB Turner’s service record can be found at View digital copy (


The story of Ordinary Seaman Allan Francis MORTON

S/8871 Ordinary Seaman Allan Francis MORTON Royal Australian Navy. O/S Morton was born in Albury, NSW on 1 Aug 1925, the son of Francis Stanley Morton of 668 Olive Street, Albury, NSW O/S Morton joined the RAN on 13 Aug 1943, at age 18 years and 12 days. He trained as a Radar Operator and joined his first ship, HMAS Bathurst on the 31 Mar 1944

Bathurst conducted escort duties between Colombo to Bombay in 1944 and at Bombay on 14 April Bathurst played a worthy role in the rescue and salvage work that followed the explosion of the munition ships Fort Strikine and Jalapadma. Fifteen ships were gutted by the resulting fires and large numbers of the local population killed and injured.

O/S Morton contracted Polioencephalitis, a viral infection of the brain. The virus is most often spread by person to person contact with the stool or saliva of the infected person, and it is most likely that during the rescue and salvage work O/S Morton was infected. He died on 12 Aug 1944 at the age of 19 at the Royal Naval Auxiliary Hospital (RNAH) Colombo after serving one day short of a year in the RAN. Ordinary Seaman Morton is now buried at Liveramentu Cemetery Plot 1, Row G, Grave 3.

Able Seaman Turner and Ordinary Seaman Morton died within one day of each other and are buried alongside each other. More information on O/S Morton’s service record can be found at View digital copy (