- Hobden, D.T.
- History - general, Biographies and personal histories
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Australia I, HMAS Australia II
- September 1996 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Thomas Bull married Mary Sullivan, also born and reared in the Isle of Wight. One of her sisters married Chief Petty Officer George Bull and a second sister married Arthur Arnold, also a Seaman in the Royal Navy.
On discharge from the Royal Australian Navy, Thomas Bull still maintained his connection with the Service in that he joined the Royal Australian Naval Reserve, being employed at the Armament Depot at Spectacle Island, until he had to retire on account of ill-health.
He died on the 14th August, 1937 at the age of 55. He leaves three sons and one daughter. Three sons are also in the Royal Australian Navy with the rating of Petty Officer, Leading Seaman and Able Seaman respectively. One is serving in H.M.A.S. “AUSTRALIA” and the elder brothers were also present, together with Mrs. Bull and Miss Bull at the committal service on 4th October, 1937, when the ashes were committed to the deep off Jervis Bay.
While the services of the late Thomas Bull were not unique, his devotion to the Service, with all that that implies, were exemplified by his wish that the last resting place for his remains should be the sea and that they be committed from one of H.M. Ships.
It is fitting in view of his connections with the second “AUSTRALIA”, that the third “AUSTRALIA” should be that ship.
The record of the Bull Family, in war and in peace, should be an inspiration to the youth of Australia and of the Empire.
The traditional honours applicable to the funeral of a retired seaman in possession of war medals follow the religious service.
Sometimes undue stress is laid on the outward and visible signs of tradition and sometimes we are apt to rate them as a veneer and lose sight of what tradition in the Service really stands for. Thomas Bull had, I think, a true conception of it in its wider implication, and his spirit will have approved the exercises carried out by this ship today, exercises of a routine nature and more up to date in their technique than he practised – exercises to train us for war, in the hope that they will never be put to the test, but nevertheless, with a resolve that the Service will not be found wanting”.
(Information supplied by D.T. Hobden, grandson of Thomas Bull.)