Royal Australian Navy

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The Royal Australian Navy is the navy of the Commonwealth of Australia, formed upon the federation of the Australian colonies in 1901 as the Commonwealth Naval Forces. In 1911 the Permanent Naval Forces were granted the title of Royal Australian Navy, and the Citizen Naval Forces received the title of Royal Australian Naval Reserve.

Prior to 1913, Australian waters fell under the protection of the forces assigned to the Royal Navy's Australian Station. In that year the British Australian Station was replaced by the locally-administered Australian Fleet.

The Naval Board

Under the terms of the Naval Defence Act, 1910, the Royal Australian Navy was administered by a Naval Board of administration. The first Board was appointed in March, 1911:[1]

  • The Minister of State for Defence, President.
  • Rear-Admiral William R. Creswell, First Naval Member.
  • Captain Bertram M. Chambers, Second Naval Member.
  • Engineer Captain W. Clarkson, Third Naval Member.
  • Paymaster-in-Chief H. W. Eldon Manisty, Finance and Civil Member (and as Naval Secretary).

Under Statutory Rule No. 32 of 1911, which was backdated to 1 March, the powers and functions of the Naval Board in its relation to the Naval Forces of the Commonwealth were defined as:

The Naval Board shall, subject to the control of the Minister, be charged with the administration of all matters relating to the Naval Forces. The members of the Board shall act as a whole, its orders being issued over the signature of the Naval Secretary, but for matters of routine each member's sphere of supervision shall be —
The Minister—President—
Control and general supervision.
First Naval Member—
War preparations, intelligence, ordnance, fleet exercises, manœuvres, gunnery and torpedo exercises, &c., Naval works, advice as to senior appointments.
Second Naval Member—
Personnel and Reserves, discipline, stores, victualling, medical.
Third Naval Member—
Construction and engineering of ships, repairs and control of Naval dockyards and bases.
Finance and Civil Member—
Finance, contracts, legal questions.[2]

The procedure of the Board was outlined:

A Naval Secretary, who does not as such vote as a member of the Board, will have charge of the clerical staff and be responsible to the Board for clerical duties, safe custody of confidential books and documents, and will sign Board orders.
The Board shall meet fortnightly, or as may be directed by the Minister.
The members of the Board shall submit to the Minister four clear days before the meetings of the Board the agenda of the subjects they desire discussed, with a recommendation thereon.
The recommendations of the Board shall be submitted to the Minister initialled by each member, signifying his concurrence or dissent.
Three members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.
In the absence of the President, the senior Naval Member present shall preside.[3]

The First Naval Member largely retained the powers previously held by the Director of Naval Forces.[4]

Fleets

Royal Australian Navy Squadron

For a period, the force was embodied in a Squadron commanded by Royal Navy flag officers loaned to the R.A.N. for the appointment.

Dockyards and Reserves

Personnel

Officers

Ratings

See Also

Footnotes

  1. "Appointment of the Naval Board. No. 2." Commonwealth Forces. Navy Orders, 1911. Manisty was granted the temporary rank of Paymaster-in-Chief while holding the his appointment, dated 1 March, 1911. "Finance and Civil Member. No. 43." Commonwealth Forces. Navy Orders, 1911.
  2. "Powers and Functions of the Naval Board. No. 3." Commonwealth Forces. Navy Orders, 1911.
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Wardle Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/44. f. 245.
  6. Succeeded that day. Evans Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46. f. 40.
  7. Evans Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/46. f. 40.
  8. Ford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 180.
  9. Ford Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/45. f. 180.
  10. Custance Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49. f. 34.
  11. Custance Service Record. The National Archives. ADM 196/49. f. 34.

Bibliography