A tragic wartime anniversary was observed at Beachport yesterday. Royal Australian Navy sailors Able Seamen Thomas William Todd (aged 30) and William Leonard Edward Danswan (33) were killed at Surf Beach while dismantling an enemy sea mine during World War II.
The two men died 80 years ago on July 14, 1941 and were the first victims of enemy action on Australian soil. The Beachport National Trust erected a memorial lookout at Surf Beach in 1974 and it was upgraded a few years ago by the Lions Club of Beachport and Rivoli Bay.
A public commemorative service was arranged for yesterday afternoon by the RSL Millicent and Robe sub-branches with members of the families of the deceased sailors, a Royal Australian Navy contingent and Federal, State and Local Government representatives expected to be in attendance.