Service Voices

Monday 26 February, 2018
3:00pm - 4:00pm

Surgeon Lieutenant Commander  Samuel Stening, DSC RAN Reserve – One of Australia’s (almost) forgotten heroes

At the outbreak of WW2, he enlisted in the RAN and served in the Indian Ocean and then in the famous ‘Scrap Iron Flotilla’ in the Mediterranean, where his ship, the Waterhen, was sunk in June 1941. Sam was posted to the cruiser Perth for her final deployment to Java and her subsequent sinking in Sunda Strait on 1 March 1942.

Dr Sam Stening’s life story is certainly about the Royal Australian Navy at war, and about being a Japanese Prisoner of War, but more than that, it’s a love story, and surprisingly, about the early days of advancements in paediatrics in Australia…  and triaging premature babies – who would live and who would not.

Naval historian Ian Pfennigwerth who wrote Sam Stening’s biography, said “Writing it was struggle, but the story was too good to abandon just because I found the facts extremely confronting.”  Ian engages us in a great insight into this Australian Naval hero’s life.



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Service Voices is also broadcast Australia-wide every Tuesday and Friday by the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia’s Community Radio Network.