Justice, Roy David

Last updated on 02-Jun-19

Roy David Justice


3537 Stoker Roy David Justice was born in 1895 at Thoona, Victoria to David Charles Justice and Isabella Miller.  They settled on Phillip Island in the early 1900’s.Roy enlisted with the Royal Australian Navy on 15th December 1913.  He was the only Island resident to enlist with the RAN and the first Islander to serve overseas in the First War.


After initial training on HMAS Cerberus (temporary Royal Australian Naval College at Geelong) he was transferred to HMAS Protector (gunboat) on 31st January 1914 then HMAS Australia on 27th February 1914.

“With the outbreak of the First World War, Australia became the flagship of the force that captured the German colonies in the southern Pacific. She led a force which captured Rabaul on 13th September 1914 before proceeding to Samoa.

With no German forces left in the South Pacific, Australia was deployed to the United Kingdom.  En route she sank the German auxiliary Eleanore Woermann.  On 8th February 1915 she became flagship of the 2nd Battle-cruiser Squadron of the Royal Navy’s Grand Fleet.

Australia’s service with the Grand Fleet consisted of a series of frequent patrols and exercises.” 


Australian War Memorial web site.


It was in Scapa Flow at Rosyth that Roy was asphyxiated whilst on board a naval pinnace – (a small steam driven launch) on 5th March 1916.  He was buried at Queensferry Cemetery, Queensferry, Scotland.



A tragic discovery was made yesterday morning on a steam barge at H. M. Dockyard, Rosyth, two seamen being found suffocated in the stokehole of the vessel. 

The men were Walter Matthews (31) and Roy David Justice (20), both of whom are understood to belong to London. They were last seen alive at a late hour on Saturday night. It is thought that when they entered the stokehole, the weather being cold, they closed ventilators and fell asleep. 

About seven o’clock next morning a fellow seaman entered the stokehole and found the two lifeless bodies of the men, death having taken place several hours previously. It was certified that the cause of death was suffocation. 


Dundee Courier, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, 6 March, 1916



Roy David Justice is commemorated on the Cowes Obelisk, the Phillip Island RSL Book of Honour, the Phillip Island RSL Roll of Honour and the Cowes Primary School Honor Roll.