- Swinden, Greg
- Ship histories and stories
- RAN Ships
- HMAS Tingira
- December 1991 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Several boys deserted the RAN and joined the Australian Imperial Force seeing active service in France and Belgium. The first boy to join the TINGIRA, Boy Mortimer Froude, lost his life at the battle of Jutland whilst serving with the Royal Navy.
Between the wars TINNY boys served in every ship of the RAN from cruisers to survey vessels and were involved in a myriad of peacetime duties as well as taking part in the punitive expedition to Malaita (in the Solomon Islands) to put down a native revolt.
During World War II TINGIRA boys, many of them now officers and senior sailors saw action in every theatre of war where RAN warships were involved. Many lost their lives when HMA Ships PARRAMATTA, SYDNEY, YARRA, PERTH and CANBERRA were sunk. Others were killed at Leyte and Lingayen Gulf whilst serving onboard HMAS AUSTRALIA.
Not all TINGIRA trained boys were a credit to the service. A number were discharged “services no longer required” and some went on to lives of crime. The 1919 HMAS AUSTRALIA mutiny had several TINGIRA trained boys involved. On the credit side however many boys went on to become officers including two who reached the rank of Captain – (Captain C.H. Blacklock, RAN and Captain L.N. Dine, RAN) and several more became commanders and lieutenant commanders.
Periods of service from 20 to 40 years were not uncommon, the record being held by Lieutenant Edward Stokes, a 1925 TINGIRA boy who left the Navy in 1938 after 43 years service.
The legacy of HMAS TINGIRA continued in the RAN with the junior recruit system of entry. From 1960 until 1984 HMAS LEEUWIN junior recruits between the ages of 15 and 16 wore the flash TINGIRA on their right sleeve to denote the link between the two training systems.
With the demise of the training of junior recruits in 1984 this link was severed although many of the 12000 ex junior recruits continue to serve in the RAN.
Today only a handful of ex TINGIRA boys remain and their association the TINGIRA Old Boys Association (TOBA) is particularly active. The 25th of April 992 will mark the 80th anniversary of the commissioning of HMAS TINGIRA and the beginning of boys training system in the RAN.
Puer Viri Parens – The Boy is Father to the Man.