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The Captains Lounge

We invite you to enjoy the comfort of the "Captains Lounge". This area has been designed for the comfort of our guests who want a place to meet, relax or just enjoy some luxury and scenery of the amazing HMSA Otway Submarine.

The Captain's Lounge honors Captain Holbrook. Holbrook was  born 9 July 1888 in Southsea, Hampshire. He was educated privately and at Portsmouth Grammar School. In 1903, he enrolled in the officer training establishment Britannia Royal Naval College and was appointed midshipman on 9 January 1905. He joined the submarine depot ship HMS Bonaventure on 4 April 1911, served in submarines F3, V4 and E41 before taking command of B11 on 30 December 1913

Holbrook was 26 years old, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy during the First World War when on 13 December 1914 at the Dardanelles, Turkey, he performed a deed for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. He was in command of the submarine B11, an old and obsolete craft built in 1905. Notwithstanding the difficulties of a treacherous current in the Dardanelles, he dived under five rows of mines and torpedoed and sank the Turkish battleship Mesudiye, which was guarding the mine-field. In spite of being attacked by gunfire and torpedo boats, Holbrook succeeded in bringing the B11 back to the Mediterranean, When they got back to safety the B11 had been submerged for nine hours.

Holbrook later achieved the rank of Commander.

During the years following the change of name from "Germanton" to "Holbrook", Norman Holbrook made a number of visits to the town before his untimely death in 1976. In 1982 his widow, Gundula Holbrook donated his medals to the town. The unlikely link between the inland farming town  and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Submarine Squadron developed between 1986 and 1992 when submariners were given Freedom of Entry to the Shire. 

Today, Holbrook's vision of erecting a fitting memorial to Australian submariners has become a reality. Following the Navy's gift of the decommisioned OTWAY's 'fin' in 1995, a submarine working party was formed to investigate ways of obtaining a real submarine and overseeing its erection. Finance was the biggest stumbling block. Several thousand dollars were raised by public spirited people and organisations who believed in the project. Then out of the blue came the amazing gift of$100,000 from Gundula Holbrook, widow of the late Commander Norman D Holbrook. Mrs Holbrook's generosity has enabled the project to forge ahead.