Leading Stoker Godfrey James Lockard was among 11 navy men serving on the battle cruiser HMAS Australia.
These men were selected to perform the raid on the German held ports at Zeebrugge and Ostend on the night of 22 – 23 April 1918. The raid aimed to render the ports unusable as U-Boat and destroyer bases by blocking the Zeebrugge Canal with three obsolete cruisers that would act as block ships.
Many members of the Royal Navy and Royal Australian Navy volunteered for the hazardous mission. Godfrey Lockard was one of the five stokers on one of the three block-ships, HMS Thetis, which “…was in the thick of the action”.
Although HMS Thetis was heavily damaged during the raid and was brought to a halt 500 meters from her objective, she had cleared the way through obstructions for the Intrepid and Iphigenia to pass through and make their way up the canal. The Zeebruge Raid saw 11 Victoria Crosses awarded and seven of the 11 Australians who took part in the raid on Zeebrugge were decorated for bravery.
Godfrey Lockard entered the Royal Australian Navy on 10 June 1913 and served during World War One. He was discharged from the RAN on 16 June 1920 as his service time had expired.
During World War One, Lockard served with the New Guinea Force form 14 August 1914 until 5 March 1915. During 1915, he also did shore service in the Naval Staff Office in Brisbane.
From 6 April 1916 to 3 January 1917, Mr Lockard did sea service aboard the HMAS Gayundah, which acted as the Moreton Bay guardship and Examination vessel in Brisbane. With the threat from German merchant raiders increasing after 1917, Gayundah first assumed patrol duties off Port Jackson and later in the Spencer Gulf. The wreck of the Gayundah can now be viewed at Woody Point on the Redcliffe Peninsula, north of Brisbane.
After World War One, Mr Lockard lived at West Hobart and then Moonah.
Mr Lockard enlisted with the Royal Australian Navy in World War Two and reported for duty on 29 March 1941 and served with the HMAS Derwent from 29 March 1941 to 31 March 1942, and HMAS Huon from 1 April 1942 to 31 December 1943.
Mr Lockard’s son, Terrence, joined the Royal Australian Navy in World War Two and was killed in action on board the HMAS Sydney.
Mr Lockard died on 15 October 1949 at the age of 58. His grave is at Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Hobart.