Scattering Ashes to Sea in Australia

On March 6, 2015, Chief Petty Officer William Gerad Ryan, had his ashes laid to rest. He lost his battle with cancer in July of 2013. His ashes were scattered at sea in Australia.

Chief Petty Officer William Gerad Ryan

Ryan as the son of Armidale’s youngest mayor, William Patrick Ryan. He was a part of the Royal Australian Navy for 21 years.

In the time he was part of the Navy, he served on 19 different ships and bases during his tenor. He also served on mine sweepers.

Death Came Quickly

He only knew about his cancer for 11 weeks before his death. He was 57 years old at the time he passed away.

Just like any good military man, he planned his own funeral. He did this so that his family would not have to worry about anything. His bravery was unmatched as he faced death.

Scattering Ashes at Sea

It was important to Ryan and his family that his ashes be scattered at sea. He wanted to be scattered from the back of a Royal Australian Naval Ship. It was the most fitting way for him to be remembered after his years of service.

The Navy was very accommodating to the requests. In fact, they sent an old college friend to pick up the ashes and take them to Sydney.

His ashes were scattered off the back of the HMAS Canberra. It is was one of two Amphibious Assault Ships weighing in at 27,000 tonnes. This makes it one of the largest ships in the Navy.

His ashes were to be spread 3 nautical miles on the south east of Jervis Bay.


What an honour it was for his family to have his requests taken seriously by the military. The family feels at peace with laying him to rest now.

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