Raymond Barker (Ray) BARREY


BARREY, Raymond Barker

Service Number: 407000
Enlisted: 29 April 1940, Adelaide
Last Rank: Flying Officer
Last Unit: Not yet discovered
Born: Grange, Charles Sturt, Adelaide, South Australia , 23 July 1916
Home Town: Maroubra, Randwick, New South Wales
Schooling: Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Salesman and Motorcycle Racer (Amateur)
Died: Killed In Action, Killed In Action (Naval Battle Hsk Kormoran), Indian Ocean (HMAS Sydney), 20 November 1941, aged 25 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Sydney Memorial, Rookwood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Birkenhead HMAS Sydney (II) D48 Memorial, Geraldton HMAS Sydney II Memorial, Sydney Memorial (Sydney War Cemetery) Rookwood
Show Relationships

World War 2 Service

29 Apr 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Aircraftman 2 (WW2), SN 407000, Adelaide
29 Apr 1940: Enlisted Royal Australian Air Force, Flying Officer, SN 407000

Letter to John Barrey as Written on 27 May 1941

At Sea
Pilot Officer R B Barrey RAAF
HMAS Sydney
C/- GPO, Sydney, NSW
Tuesday, 27th May, 1941

My Dear Brother,

Now that my schooling has ceased for the time being, and my commission having been granted, plus a transfer from the Fleet Co-operation Base at Rathmines, NSW as OC in charge of the RAAF Detachment.

I now find that I have much more time on my hands which permits me to catch up on a good deal of my back correspondence.

You have probably learnt through Mother that I let my head go in February when I was home on leave and decided to get married, thereby using up my last three days. Since then I have only had about seven days with Glad as I was posted (with about 2 ½ hours notice) four days after she arrived at Rathmines. I had taken a house there.

However, she has now taken a flat at Kings Cross, Sydney. And now every time this ship returns to its port, I’ll be able to reap the benefits of my new home for these ships never put out into the Outer Harbour during wartime.

Gladys is an entirely different girl from when you knew her and both Mother and Pop have taken a definite liking to her now.

John, I suppose it isn’t fair to tell you this after what you’ve had to put up with, but the life aboard this ship is really first class, and the meals are more-or-less like a Government House touch.

Our duties at the present moment are mainly patrol and escort work around the whole coastline and at the same time, the almost entirely new crew are getting in as much practice as possible at their various action stations, so I don’t think they’ll be venturing over to your side of the globe till they’ve attained a little higher standard.

I took over from Flight Lieutenant Price, DFC (a South Australian) on 29th April, 1941 after completing one dual catapult and recovery underway, so now I have the Walrus and 1 Sgt Fitter II, 2 LAC Fitters, a LAC Fitter Armourer, a LAC Photographer under my charge.

The Navy supply the observer who is a Lt/Cmdr and also the Telegraphist Air Gunner. As you probably know, these ‘Ducks’ are used mainly for spotting purposes and make ideal targets for enemy planes. However, as far as I know, there hasn’t been another machine of this type built that can take the bashing they get when landing in rough seas.

We paid a visit to Singapore recently and while there, I called on Alan Brewin. He was very surprised as he had not seen me since I was at Parafield. He is absolutely fed up with his present posting and reckons it’s rotten to the core. I’m a bit ‘wid-im-dere’ as what I saw of the place was bloody terrible.

Since I’ve come aboard, my flying hours have slipped to blazes and I’m told that 15 hours a month is considered quite good going round these parts. My hours are now up around the 280 mark in just over thirteen months (Air Force training only). I really think my 18 months of Aero Club flying before the war has placed me in good stead, and so has been one of the main factors in the granting of my commission.

I am still getting 17/9 per day, the same as I received as a Sergeant, with an additional 3/- a day marriage allowance. I have joined up for the duration of this bloody war and twelve months thereafter, and so if it finished up tomorrow, I’ve still got to complete my term of twelve months before being relieved.

I've still got the Velocette at home looking just like a new pin. I built a new garage on the old ‘cookhouse’ site and incorporated a bench with a window over it facing south, and covered the floor with bricks.

You never can tell just what this navy is going to do next and maybe it will not be long before they are satisfied with the present crew and so give this ship another chance to make its presence felt again in the Med. If so, I’ll be doing my level best to get in touch with you somehow. I may surprise you the same as I did Alan Brewin.

Well old son, I’m glad to hear through Mother that you’re OK and managing to hold your own over there, so may I wish you the best of Health and heaps of LUCK, plus many more happy landings.

So cheerio for the time being

From your One and Only

“Cow’s Udder”

Raymond B.


Adelaide News 1 December 1941 Page 8 - Personal Details about Members of Crew of HMAS Sydney from SA

Adelaide News - 1 December 1941 - Page 8

Personal Details about Members of Crew of HMAS Sydney from SA

School Mates

Flying Officer Raymond Barker Barrey RAAF went to Croydon School with Leading Seaman GF
Standish (also on the Sydney). He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Barrey of George street, West Croydon and married Miss Gladys Young, daughter of Mr. S. Young of Welland.

Flying Officer Barrey, who was 25 was called up for training with the RAAF and was later transferred to New South Wales for seaplane instruction.

His brother Sgt CJ Barrey, of the RAF was recently awarded the DFM.


The Ode to HMAS Sydney by AR (Lex) Fullerton

The Ode to the HMAS Sydney

A R (Lex) Fullarton

"T'was Banjo who did wrote it,
and to to you I will quote it;

No foe shall gather our harvest,
nor sit on our stock yard rail:

Now this is a tale of the ocean blue,
of an Aussie vessel brave and true;

The HMAS Sydney,and the boys that didn't fail:

T'was race day in Carnarvon and the sun was going down;

When the boys from HMAS Sydney were sailing passed our town:

Another job was over,they'd made another run;
When they chanced upon this bastard, called raider 41

The enemy had travelled far to bring destruction here;
But they'd reckoned not on Sydney, and this would cost them dear:

They swung towards the setting sun,they made for it a chance to run;

They thought that they would sneek away,did Raider 41:

The sharp eyed crew of Sydney saw the Raiders flight;
They closed the gap,they knew they had a fight:
They'd fought before had every mothers son;
They thought that they would capture her,this Raider 41

But the Germans were so clever they had a nasty plan;
She held their destruction did the bowels of Kormoran:
The cloak of her mystery she soon would throw aside;
As she thought to hammer Sydney with shell from side to side:

They set to work with grim profession,
they knew their grisely task;
The Sydney,she would sail no more and home had seen them last:

"They've torn our bloody guts out,we'll never make it home;
We'll never see our loved ones or the seas again to roam";

The layer of the turret gave out an anguished cry;
Then we'll take this Bastard with us, cried the boys from turret Y

They snatch another round,they mount to their six inch gun;
They target their tormentor,this Raider 41;

Their ears they are a bleeding,their muscles strain to lay;

Their shot must be a true one in the twilight of the day:

They aim her at his engine room,and there's a mighty crack;

And now these sons of Hitler will never journey back:

Now we'll leave them lying there,their souls have gone to rest;

There passing but a brief one and Carnarvon town was blessed;

Their lying out there somwhere, toward the setting sun;

The HMAS Sydney,her crew,and Raider 41.

Showing 3 of 3 stories

Biography contributed by David Barlow

Six members of Number 9 (Fleet Cooperation) Squadron RAAF based at Rathmines were deployed aboard HMAS Sydney to fly and maintain the ship's aircraft; they were all killed when HMAS Sydney and the German auxiliary cruiser HSK Kormoran engaged in a Naval battle in the Indian Ocean - Flying Officer (Pilot) Raymond Barker Barrey 407000 / Corporal Arthur John Clarke 7143 / Leading Aircraftman Richard Dodds 15452 / Corporal Roy Ebenezer Foster 9347 / Leading Aircraftman Keith Homard 35338 / Sergeant Sidney Marley 3967



Son of Joseph and Violet Barrey, Brother to John Clement and Husband to Gladys Margaret Barrey of South Australia. No Children.

Also Listed on 9 RAAF Squadron Memorial at the Seaplane Memorial, Rathmines NSW, HMAS Sydney Memorial Geraldton Western Australia, Adelaide War Memorial, South Australian Memorial to Crewmen from HMAS Sydney from that State, Adelaide and AWM Canberra.