Mystery HMAS sailor may be Bolgart man’s cousin
AN UNKNOWN Australian sailor whose body was washed ashore on Christmas Island in February 1942 after the World War II sinking of HMAS Sydney may turn out to be the cousin of Bolgart man Ray Martin (pictured left in 2010 with wife Doris).
The Australian light cruiser was sunk in November 1941 about 200km west of WA’s Dirk Hartog Island with the loss of all 645 sailors on board after a surprise attack by the German raider Kormoran.
The Kormoran was sunk by HMAS Sydney during the half-hour battle.Read more
The remains of the dead sailor washed up on Christmas island were reinterred at the Geraldton War Memorial in 2008 and the Royal Australian Navy has been using DNA testing to try to establish his identity.
“We’ve got a top ten list of candidates,” RAN Cdr Greg Swinden at the Navy’s Canberra Sea Power Centre said.
“We believe he could be HMAS Sydney sailor Norman Foster, who was a direct blood relative of Ray Martin.”
Mr Martin’s wife, Doris, said Norman Foster was her 89-year-old husband’s older first cousin.
Norman’s mother was Olive Syred from Toodyay, who married Norman’s father – also Norman – after their son was born.
Cr Swinden said the result of DNA testing would be known later this month.