- A.N. Other and NHSA Webmaster
- Colonial navies
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- September 1975 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
This article appeared in The Navy and Army Illustrated dated 15th October 1897. The New South Wales Naval Brigade was the least developed of the Colonial Navies for the obvious reason that there was little need for a local naval defence force with the Australian Squadron of the Royal Navy based at Sydney. It developed more as a port defence force than a seagoing navy and was responsible for the manning of garrison artillery. The force had strong connections with the Marine Board (the present day Maritime Services Board), its Commanding Officer being the President of that Board and Harbour Master.
EACH OF THE AUSTRALIAN COLONIES has its own Naval Defence Force, but some have gone in for it more extensively than others, notably, New South Wales and Victoria The latter has a permanent Naval Force of officers and men and the turret-ship Cerberus, two gunboats, and several torpedo boats, besides the training-ship Nelson, an old wooden ‘liner’ cut down. New South Wales has a large partially paid force of the Naval Brigade, and, in addition, a force of Naval Artillery Volunteers. The Sydney Naval Brigade has been in existence for several years, the Naval Artillery Volunteers having been formed later. They have two torpedoboats, built in the Colonies on Thornycroft’s lines, and in 1881, when HMS Nelson relieved the Wolverine as flagship on the Australian station, the latter was sold to the New South Wales Government for the use of their Naval Brigade, but about 1893 she was again sold to a private firm, and the engines taken out of her.
[The accompanying illustrations all refer to the New South Wales Naval Defence Forces.] Captain Hixson, commanding the force, has been for many years in the Colony as harbour master and president of the Marine Board, and was originally in the Royal Navy. Commander Lindeman, who commands the Naval Brigade, was also in the Royal Navy, and retired as a lieutenant in 1871 – he is secretary to the Marine Board of New South Wales. Commander Bosanquet, also late Royal Navy, commands the Artillery Volunteers. The Naval Defence Forces, officers and men, wear the same uniform as the Royal Navy, with the exception of the distinctive lace on the sleeves, which in the volunteers, is in two interwoven wavy lines, and in the brigade has a square instead of a loop above the stripes.
[In the main illustration, crews are shown at their guns in Fort Macquarie, Sydney (one of the old forts named after Governor Macquarie), the officers standing in rear.]
In the group of officers, Captain Hixson is seen in the centre, with four stripes on his arm and gold peak to his cap, also wearing medals. Commander Lindeman is sitting the second on his right. The front row is composed of midshipmen, as shown by the white patches on their collars. With few exceptions these officers are colonial born.
[The next illustration gives one of the many lovely views of Sydney Harbour.] In the foreground is the man-of-war anchorage, the larger vessels, like the Orlando (flagship), lying out on the left, the smaller ones being more in the recess of Farm Cove, the sweep of which is seen on the right. It is hardly possible to conceive, without having experienced it, the pleasure of anchoring in this lovely cove, with the most beautiful gardens all round it, after being storm-tossed in a small craft outside. Bad weather is certainly frequent on the Australian Coast, which enhances the sweetness of Farm Cove; and then, also, after being amongst niggers and foreigners of all sorts, it is an additional charm to see English faces and houses on shore so very close to you. Captain Lindeman is best remembered today by the wines produced in his family’s vineyards. He perpetuated HMS Orlando, in which he served, by promoting the brand name Orlando for his wines.