Cold War submariners help community museum

Cold War submariners help community museum

By Thor Lund, Secretary, Friends of Holbrook Submarine Museum (FHSM)

14 May 2021

The FHSM came into being after discussions in early August 2019 with the aim of providing practical support for the museum and its curator. Since then, much work has been done with and for the museum. 

The museum is located in the rural town of Holbrook in southern NSW. The COVID pandemic has seen a decline in visitors and available funds to undertake various projects. FHSM members from all over Australia have reached out to help with various projects that reflect Australia’s proud submarine heritage. 

Sound Bite 

The creation of an audio re-enactment of life on a submarine was made on the Gold Coast to feature in the submarine control room exhibit. FHSM supplied the script and with the help of Altitude Music Studio’s Alex Kewley, who provided a professional audio production studio and actor Beau Jones (seen in the 2019 movie Danger Close) they produced a very realistic sound bite for the museum. Later FHSM provided sound equipment for it to run on. 

The finished Sound Bite now plays within the reconstructed control room in the Submarine Museum in Holbrook. Visitors can get some idea of the sounds of diving the submarine and carrying out an attack. 

According to Alex and Beau they gained from the experience. ‘I cannot imagine how these guys lived and worked in those conditions,’ said Beau. ‘But I now have a better understanding of their bond with each other. It was a real privilege to work on this for them.’ 

The Silent ANZAC Expeditions book released 

The Australian Submarine AE2 played a significant role in the Gallipoli campaign. When the AE2 was sunk in the Sea of Marmara without loss of life, it became something of an enigma. It was known as the Silent Anzac. 

Finding the AE2 was in itself a difficult task, let alone diving on and surveying the empty wreck some 70 metres down. In a remarkable feat of endurance, patience, and innovation in the face of adversity, teams of specialists managed to not only find and survey AE2 but developed methods of preservation and uncovered unusual facts that are revealed in this book. 

The book, recently released, was written by Dr Roger Neill, chief scientist on two of the expeditions, this book is a compelling read for anyone interested in Australia’s submarine heritage or marine archaeology. According to Roger, the book has many unique photos of the submarine taken during the many dives to and into the deserted submarine. A supporting Webinar was also run in March 2021 following numerous requests for discussion on AE2. Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to funding the further development of the Holbrook Submarine Museum, where hard copies of Silent ANZAC Expeditions are available for sale.

For further information on how you can join FHSM and help our work, or for an e-book or hard copy of Silent ANZAC Expeditions, contact:  

  • tlund [at] 
  • or visit our website (where will soon be available for download).

Please be aware that articles such as this have been submitted and written by ex-service and related organisations. Such articles do not necessarily represent the views of DVA. ESOs are welcome to submit stories for publication by emailing vetaffairs [at]

Black and white photo of submarine at sea with sailors on casing

AE2 with her crew onboard shortly after commissioning.

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