When the Sydney Swans take on West Coast on Saturday, Aoril 6 at Mount Barker in Gather Round, the teams will pause to honour the memory of those who died when HMAS Sydney II was lost in World War II.

Each year, since 2010, the Sydney Swans and the West Coast Eagles have played in the HMAS Sydney II Tribute Game, to honour the 645 young men who died when the ship was sunk off the coast of WA in World War II, in what remains Australia’s greatest naval tragedy.

The clash will see the Swans and Eagles play for the HMAS Sydney II Commemorative Trophy, while the player judged best on ground will receive the perpetual Gun Shell Gallantry Trophy. In addition to the perpetual Best on Ground Trophy, the Best on Ground player also receives a pure silver 2008 HMAS Commemorative Coin as a keepsake, minted after the ship’s discovery, by the Perth Mint.

Much celebrated for successful battles in the Mediterranean, the HMAS Sydney II had returned to a hero’s welcome in Australia in February 1941.

The ship was then tasked with escorting troop ships to South East Asia, and it was on one of these return voyages, on November 19, 1941, about 180 kilometres west of Shark Bay in Western Australia, that Sydney encountered German naval raider Kormoran.

The Kormoran was disguised as a Dutch merchant vessel, and unaware, Sydney approached, before being fired upon.

The fate of Sydney and her crew remained a mystery until she was found on March 16, 2008, at a depth of 2500 metres, sitting upright on the ocean floor. The discovery finally offered some closure to families on the devastating loss.

The Sydney Swans represent HMAS Sydney’s home port and the West Coast Eagles symbolise the ship’s final resting place.

The annual match was established as an initiative of the AFL, the Finding Sydney Foundation and the Royal Australian Navy.

Read more about the Swans connection to the tragedy, here

West Coast Eagles v Sydney Swans
Saturday, April 6 - Mount Barker
First bounce: 1:00pm local time / 1:30pm AEDT

Tickets to this game are sold out. Tune in at one of our Swans Friendly Venues OR watch free-to-air on 7mate or stream via Fox Footy or Kayo Sports.