On This Day
1900-1913 > Federation, RAN and pre-WW1
On This Day - 1900-1913
- December 1, 1911
SBLT A. M. Longmore, RN, an Australian serving in the RN, successfully landed a Short S27 aircraft fitted with airbags on the Medway River, England.
- November 15, 1911
The Australian Blue Ensign was hoisted in HMA Ships PARRAMATTA and YARRA, (torpedo boat destroyers), at Port Phillip, VIC to accompany the joint use of the Royal Navy’s White Ensign by Royal Australian Navy ships. The RN White Ensign replaced Australia’s national flag flown since 1901 as the Naval Ensign. With this joint flying of the White Ensign, Australia, the independent self-governing Dominion, within the British Empire, allowed itself to become more closely aligned to British Admiralty. The Admiralty, slow to accept the independence of it’s former colonies, ensured that, following Australia’s RADM Creswell, influence would be maintained by only by RN Admirals being appointed as Australia’s First Naval Member on the Australian Commonwealth Naval Board (ACNB). This was not a legal requirement of the Australian Constitution but had been diplomatically managed. This “agreed” position lasted until RADM Sir John Collins KBE RAN was appointed First Naval Member of ACNB in 1947. Thereafter only Australian Admirals served as First Naval Member on the ACNB.
- November 7, 1911
The site of the RAN College was selected by Parliament. After consideration of several areas, the site at Captains Point, Jervis Bay, NSW, was selected. Construction of the College began the following year, but an interim College was opened at Osborne House, Geelong, VIC, where the first class of Cadet Midshipman commenced their training in 1913. The College transferred to the Jervis Bay site in 1915.
- October 23, 1911
HMAS AUSTRALIA, (battle-cruiser), was launched at Clydebank, Scotland.
- October 5, 1911
The existence of the new Australian Navy was formally advised when the Naval Board issued an historic order promulgating the designation ‘Royal Australian Navy’. The order also directed that the permanent naval forces of the Commonwealth and for the ships of the Navy to be designated ‘His Majesty’s Australian Ships’, and that all ships and vessels of the Royal Australian Navy were to fly at the stern the White Ensign as the symbol of authority of the Crown, and at the jack staff, the flag of Australia.
- July 31, 1911
The Imperial Conference defined: ‘The Australia Station includes waters between 95° E and 160° E as far south as the Antarctic Circle: but the northern boundary is drawn so as to exclude the Cocos Group and all Dutch islands, while including the whole coast of British Papua; and the eastern boundary is extended to include Norfolk Island’.
- July 10, 1911
HRH King George V granted the title of “Royal” for the Royal Australian Navy and it’s Permanent Commonwealth Naval Forces and the Royal Australian Naval Reserve.
RADM Sir William Rooke Creswell CNF, recently promoted to Flag Rank on 1st March 1911, was First Naval Member of the Naval Board of the now redesignated RAN. He was Australia’s first Admiral (although ex RN) to occupy the position.
- April 4, 1911
HMAS WARREGO’s re-launching ceremony was conducted by Mrs. G. F. Pearce, wife of the Minister for Defence at Cockatoo Island. The ship built at Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering, Govan, Scotland had been broken down into it’s individual parts and shipped to Australia for re-assembly at Cockatoo Island. It was the first destroyer ‘built’ in Australia and launched at Cockatoo Island, Sydney. This provided Australian dockyard workers with ship construction experience for they were to build three more River class destroyers, HMAS SWAN, HMAS TORRENS, and HMAS HUON.
- December 31, 1910
VADM Sir George F. King-Hall, KCB, CVO, was appointed Flag Officer Commanding Australia Station. His flagships were HM Ships POWERFUL, DRAKE, and CAMBRIAN.
- December 10, 1910
Commonwealth ships HMAS PARRAMATTA and HMAS YARRA, (torpedo boat destroyers), the first warships built for the Australian navy since Federation, arrived in Port Phillip, Melbourne, Victoria, the Federal Capital of Australia.