- Jarrett, Hugh
- Ship histories and stories
- None noted.
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Benalla I
- March 2004 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
DURING WW2 we had commissioned the corvette HMAS Benalla as a survey ship and she was lying alongside Station Pier West, Port Melbourne, about to start acceptance and work-up.
A very small cadet midshipman who was on leave from the Naval College came onboard asking to see the Captain. This resulted in him coming onboard daily and he was very keen and into everything.
At the end of our Acceptance Trials we were horrified to hear that Members of the Naval Board would spend the day with us, led by the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sir Guy Royle (a gunnery officer) who was wanted to see our new Oerlikon 20mm AA guns in action.
At lunch the ship’s officers ate in our cabins, the small wardroom being too cramped due to the presence of our august guests, but the Captain had the Cadet Midshipman in the mess, where the Admiral amused himself by offering the snotty a gin (which he refused). The Admiral asked him how he liked being in the Navy, to which he replied (causing great laughter), ‘Oh I like it fine, Sir – but don’t you think the promotion is rather slow?’