Freedom of Entry

"HALT! WHO COMES HERE?" - bellowed Superintendent Brad Sorrell, South Metropolitan District (Police Force).

"AUSTRALIAN NAVY SUBMARINE FORCE, EXERCISING ITS RIGHT AND PRIVILEGE TO PASS THROUGH THE CITY OF FREMANTLE" - was the reply from Captain Matt Buckley, and their march around and through Kings Square continued unimpeded. 


The sea of white that snaked along William Street on Friday 7 November consisted of men and women of HMAS Stirling.  Some 600 locals, CBD workers, and naval enthusiasts came out to see the submariners in their finery with "swords drawn, bayonets fixed, drums beating, band playing and banners flying". 

After a moving Welcome to Country from Reverend Sealin Garlett, Mayor Brad Pettitt addressed the crowd, reading text from a large ceremonial scroll which was soon handed to Captain Matt Buckley (Commander of the Submarine Force) for his response.

The Mayor and the Commander then moved among the servicemen and women, passing out compliments to the assembled parties. 

The Mayor soon stepped aside and HMAS Stirling stepped off. The band uproariously guided the hundreds of sailors marching behind them up William Street towards Queen Street. They were stopped on the corner of William & Queen Sts by Superintendent Sorrell but soon continued on and completed their lap. Cheers followed them as they went.

The rest of the afternoon was spent enjoying refreshments in the Fremantle Town Hall, an expression of gratitude for the service of these men and women and a celebration of the long-standing relationship Fremantle has with our Navy.

Mayor Brad Pettitt, Captain Matt Buckley & Superintendent Brad Sorrell

 Reverend Sealin Garlett delivering the Welcome to Country

The weapons party moving into position

 Forming up

 The HMAS Stirling band getting prepared


Mayor Pettitt and Captain Buckley reading from the ceremonial scroll to commence the Freedom of Entry  


And the march begins with band playing


And drums beating 


 Presenting the scroll to Superintendent Brad Sorrell to prove their right to parade through Fremantle's streets


 Perfectly in step



Enjoying some refreshments and live entertainment (by Fiddlestix) in the Fremantle Town Hall

The 849

The 849

Eight hundred and forty-nine is the number of servicemen who lived in the greater Fremantle area, embarked in Fremantle on transport ships that would take them to far away fields, and they are the ones that never returned. You can view the list here. If you would like to make comment about the list please contact 9432 9999 or email
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If you have ancestors that were involved in World War One, we would like to hear their story! The Great War touched every home and every community across Australia and one hundred years on the ANZAC legend is still alive and well. We want to give a voice to the experiences of Fremantle men and women during periods of war and the transformation of our town.
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The City of Fremantle will be participating in, supporting, and hosting a number of events over the commemorative period. The people of Fremantle (including the greater Fremantle area) are proud to be part of the ANZAC Centenary commemorations and to have the opportunity to honour and pay respect to those who have and are serving our nation as part of the Armed Forces. ANZAC Centenary events will embrace the themes: 'Commemorate, Contemplate and Educate'.
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